Sunday, April 6, 2008

Redlands: The Infamous Sunset

Missed opportunity on Sunset today. The race starts with 3 miles of positioning-war race-pace "neutral" climbing followed by the Sunset climb, part of a 10k technical circuit that twists up and down through residential neighborhoods. The first time up the climb is QOM plus a time bonus. Read: field-shattering selection in the first 25 minutes of the race. I came off the front group just before the QOM, then caught a group of five that bridged back into the first group. Right when I caught, at the goading of some Aaron's riders, I tried to jump across to Meredith Miller, who would be the ideal breakaway companion, but did not go cleanly enough and had the group on my wheel. Then, after the descent and preparing to enter the climb, sitting second wheel, I dropped my chain. I NEVER do this! Even shifting into the big ring wouldn't get it back so I got off the bike. A second group caught just then so there was some hope but it rode through me as I was stopped and I couldn't bridge up on the climb. Kathleen Billington and I rode pretty much 8 laps together. (Thanks for the water!) I am already plotting my return, because I came to love that course yesterday. There's isn't a single steep section of climbing and the descent, once you nail the corners, is so fun. One of these days... Betina and Kirsten missed that crucial first selection. They are capable of much more and well, it's only early April! Brenda did what she wanted, finished the day in lanterne rouge. At the front, Webcor's Alex Wrubelski took the time bonus and the stage, snatched the leader's jersey, climbers jersey, and I think sprinter jersey too. CRAZY. Mara was the strongest climber but this year that wasn't good enough. Redlands is a different race without the long finishing climb on Oak Glen.

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