Friday, July 20, 2007

2006 - The Unexpected Yellow Jersey / Cardinal Sin of Bike Racing

I guest rode last year with Advil-Chapstick. Mike Engleman, whose commitment to supporting women cyclists is matched by few, was directing us, bringing on rising star Alison Powers. Alison, hands down the best descender/cornerer in women’s cycling (coming from downhill ski racing at international level) shocked us all by winning the gazillion-corner alley-diving prologue. Yikes, gulp! How were we going to defend this? We did the best we could and Alison held her own on the climbs, eagerly absorbing and learning and performing in her first big stage race. (Note: Alison just rode a fantastic Giro d’Italia last week!) At Martinsburg in a driving rainstorm, a dangerous break got away with Webcor gc riders. Heather and I killed ourselves chasing with Colavita. We caught the break and I was headed out the back when instead I made the break, disbelieving my misfortune at such a good opportunity in such a sorry state. I survived much longer than I thought possible, but then committed the cardinal sin of bike racing: getting dropped from the break. Dead. Gone. Cracked. My bike broke a few miles later, so I might not have made it to the line (where Brooke Miller smoked them all), but not good. I seem to remember we were rather exhausted, injured backs and shoulders and lots of Advil and ice packs, plus some of the wear and tear of a long season. This is also the year one of my teammates took a sleeping pill Friday night and could barely see for most of Saturday’s stage. Cooped up in the Penn State Altoona cinderblock doom rooms, late in the week we discovered a lounge with cable tv and The Daily Show, gold for my mind that could no longer read. Sort of like the time I did a stage race in Quebec and discovered the last day due to my horrendous French that our host director was a massage therapist.


PoorDumbBastard said...

Will there be a 2007 post for Altoona?

Anna Milkowski said...

Predictions posted. And yes, some updates, though I think I am e-addicted, am considering an internet vacation during the race.