Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cascade 2 - Trying Hard for the Break that Wasn't

Temps in the mid-90s again for the 80-mile stage. Marisa and I both worked hard early to try to make the early break - only it didn't happen. I spent a few matches but it seemed worth the risk. Tibco and Webcor were both aggressive early but nothing went. Finally, after the QOM at mile 52 (of 80), a powerhouse break went - Kat Carrol, Anne Samplonius, Stacey Marple, Erinne Willock, Andrea Dvorak, someone else - and none of us was there to follow. It was frustrating because quickly the field swelled across the road and the gap ballooned to three minutes. We had missed out. As it turned out, the break worked for some teams and against others. We came into the final climb through the town of Three Creeks and into a long windy false flat drag. If I had more confidence in my climbing right now I would have ensured better positioning. As it was I sat out the first surge up the steep pitch at 72 miles, then clawed my way back up to a group of support riders from the big teams as the grade eased. The grade was such that drafting played a big role. Of course I wonder if I had saved energy whether I might have weathered that first pitch and made a better group but honestly I am not so sure. This was definitely my best climb of the year, and it was quite tough even riding just a steady pace. A lot of excellent climbers struggled today, with surprising people falling out of the break or just not doing the climbs they are used to. The heat appears to be taking a toll. Marisa rode a great climb, finishing 15th, just over a minute back. I am almost six minutes back, 48th. Lindsey, Tiffany, and Ambre all rode solid climbs. And the winner.... Evelyn Stevens again! Northeastern racers, we should feel vindicated. Picture from Nils: team, landscape (!), start of finishing climb, and near the finish (me second from left).

1 comment:

d said...

so which on is you in the photo? you all look alike.