Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ID3: Roanoke's 3-race weekend

This is the 3rd year I have traveled for this race and each year it's a good time and a weekend I always enjoy.

Day 1- the Mill Mountain TT:
This time trial is a hill climb, 1.87 miles up Roanoke's Mill Mountain for an elevation gain of 900 feet. For as much as I really dislike time trials and as much as I am really not a climber I have to admit I enjoy this race every year. My enjoyment has little to do with my result in this stage of the race, but it's more of a sense of accomplishment from just being in so much pain for 12 minutes and still pushing hard. This year was no different and my effort put me in 3rd place (my best result but 1 second off a PR).

Day 2- the first Criterium: 
Getting ready for a hot race
This race is a 5-corner crit on a flat 1KM course (flat in Roanoke is unique enough), it has long fast straight sections and a tricky first 2-corner 180. It's a great course for spectators because of the shade and ability to watch the almost the entire race from one spot. I rode on the front and set pace for the first few laps to make sure the corners would not be too ugly. After the primes started I found myself testing my legs on the sprint, and then fielding attacks that began to follow. The main attacks came from the VBVK team, who sat in first and second after the hill climb. After numerous attacks and with less than 10 laps to go Jen (VBVK) launched off the front, I was able to get in her draft and the gap got smaller after a lap. As soon as the group caught up with us Brittney (VBVK) used the momentum to sling-off on her own attack. I jumped and got in her draft on the back of the course and she held her speed through the line taking a prime. We worked together for the last 6 laps gaining about half a lap on the field before our bell lap. I took the lead for most of the last lap at an easy pace until the 3rd corner where I wound it up for the sprint. I had the jump on the last corner and held it to the line for the win. Jen took the field sprint for third. After this race the overall points race was a three-way tie for first between Jen, Brittney, and I. It would all come down to the final race.

Day 3- the second Criterium:
funny jersey, cat5 = squirly
The final criterium is the more technical with an "L" shape, a short steep uphill on the back side, and a longer more gradual uphill on the front. Today I was really focused on getting the win, which would mean a win in the overall points omnium. The race had several primes which gave everyone a chance to take the last corner fast and try out the sprint. I pushed the pace after one prime with a rider from VT to see if a gap would stick but it was too early and the VBVK ladies pulled it back pretty quickly. Towards the end of the race on a prime lap I saw an opportunity to get a gap up the short steep hill and took it, Jen bridged up and we worked together to stay away for the rest of the race. We had a big enough gap on the last lap to take it slow, I went to the front on the back side of the course and started my sprint out of the last corner. Jen has a very good sprint and used the uphill to her advantage, but I jumped first and was able to hold her off by half a wheel at the line. I got the race win and the omnium win, and I was very happy.

Great race, well organized and really fun with lots of great primes at both crits. I recommend it!

1 comment:

  1. So this jersey has a story and I feel like I need to tell it... Rod Martin a.k.a. "The Bike Whisperer" as his groupies call him (he is the service manager at BikeBeat Kiln Creek) leads a Mon-Wed-Fri ride at 6:15am out of Panera Bread across from Christopher Newport U. That particular ride has been in existence for 12 years now, growing every year. They call themselves the "Squirrel Scalpers" because, although we all try to avoid them, there always seems to be some sort of bike-kill at the end of quite a few rides...

    Everybody is more than welcome to join the interval-ish ride (roughly 45 turns in 22 miles) through back roads of bike route 1 in Newport News. B pace warm up but definitely seeing A-A+ pace for the majority of the ride. The best part, coffee and lies at Panera Bread afterwards!


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