Giro Del Cielo and some serious hang time
Sure, I didn’t perform at the Giro as well as I would have hoped, but I did figure a few things out about my racing. (Read my column tomorrow to find out what.)
More importantly, I had a blast hanging out with some amazing people. A lot of the women who were at the race are women I race with fairly regularly, so it was really nice seeing all of them and spending a lot of time with them. As an added bonus, my friend Donny came down from Rhode Island for the race and crashed at my apartment, so we got to hang out and talk about… well, racing bikes.
The race didn’t go so well for me, it was sort of an eye-opener. The stage race started with a 4.5 mile uphill time trial on Saturday morning, which meant a 5 am wake up time for me. I don’t mind the early races, but it is kind of rough. I warmed up with Beth on the course and got some great advice, but I guess the stress got to me and my legs started cramping while I waited in line to get started. They hurt just enough during the race to slow me down a bit, but at least I got to the top! I finished pretty decently, under a minute off of the leader’s time, though I think that with clip on aero-bars, a cyclometer that measured mileage (so I knew when the end was coming up) and more tonic water with quinine and a coconut water beforehand, I could have done much better.
The criterium was also pretty interesting. It was a few miles from the time trial site, and the Sussex County Fairgrounds, and it was almost a circuit rather than a crit, since the course was over a mile long. I had a good start, stayed in the group, felt comfortable, but just didn’t have any sprint at the end. Finished mid-pack, which wasn’t what I was hoping for, but could have been worse.
Then, home and talking about bikes for a few hours before a super-lame but really effective 9 pm bedtime. Donny had killed it during the day, getting first in the time trial by 30 seconds and doing really well in the crit.
Sunday was another 5 am wakeup call, and we rolled out leaving Donny’s glasses on the counter at home (woops!). The road race was 30-odd miles and started at 8 am, and it started pretty mildly. Actually, very very mildly. To the point where we got passed by the Cat 4 women. Then again, as soon as that happened, we decided to band together and re-pass them, so Britt Lee and I picked up the speed and blew past. I also saw my boss from the publishing company I work at on course and yelled at him. (He’s on my team. I got an email from him after the race saying he was proud of my racing. I love what I do.)
I was feeling great, leading for a good chunk of the race, bridged to a few attacks, tried blocking, and generally enjoyed myself. I didn’t do great in the sprint, but no big deal. I had fun remembering how to race my bike.
Then, we hung out watching Donny’s Cat 3 race, chilling in the sun and napping and reading. Fantastic.