Monday, May 7, 2012

Weekend Report: DB Mtn Cross, RIR Crit, and Tour of the Dragons

Devil's Backbone Mountain Cross
This race starts and finishes at the Devils Backbone Brewing Company and follows a route through the back roads (paved and unpaved) of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The challenging course includes high ascents and fast descents including some 15% + grades and a total of over 6600 feet of elevation gain. Brenna went for the longer of the two race options at 65miles. She felt luck to be able to follow an experienced pro down some of the trickier descents, and managed to stay on her bike up even the steepest grades. She finished the race strong in 4 hours and 25 minutes and was the first woman to finish the race, only 30 minutes behind the first place men.

Richmond International Raceway Criterium
contributed by Avanell, Leslie, and Morgan
After getting stuck in tunnel traffic, leslie set a new record for cutting it close, arriving at the race at 1:55 for a 2:00 start!  Thankfully she was able to multitask while driving and arrived fully dressed for success, well, except for the mismatched shorts and jersey. The RIR is a 3/4 mile track near Richmond, VA that hosts NASCAR races and once a year a criterium that's a part of the Virginia BAR series. Tradewinds Racing had a good turn out for the race with 6 riders who enjoyed the open track and the nice weather. Amanda E went off the front early and with such a strong showing everybody else was on the front controlling the pace. Shortly after Morgan bridged up to Amanda. After they were about 1/4 lap ahead Julie K attempted to bridge. Getting stuck in the middle, Ava jumped and bridged to Julie. Leslie and Julie H did an amazing job of controlling the pace after that, allowing both breaks to lap the field with enough laps to go to attempt a couple more attacks and set up a strong lead out train. Leslie pulled us around the last couple of laps, and Julie K gave an awesome 1/2 lap lead out for Ava and Morgan who took 1st and 2nd in the field sprint. The team worked great together in breaks, controlling the field, and the sprint and we're definitely getting stronger and more cohesive every race! Awesome job ladies and thanks for getting me across the line!
Tour of the Dragons, VT
by Patty Buerkle
The weekend was a really fantastic time! The Tour of the Dragons is a super fun stage race with 3 great courses in beautiful Bennington and Manchester, Vermont. The first stage was a 10.7 mile TT. After warming up on the trainer I headed out of the parking lot which was 2.5 miles to the start. I had about 20 minutes to spare until I my start, although as soon as I pedaled off my bike stopped shifting. What?! The rear derailleur cable had apparently snapped. After a few of us looked at the shifter and realized it wasn't going to be a quick fix, John's teammate from had his road bike available (50cm and we have the exact same seat height...what are the chances!!!) since he had a TT bike for the time trial. We switched pedals and I time trialed to the time trial about 5 1/2 - 6 minutes late for my start but my day had been saved and it was a scenic hilly TT, awesome!

I had about 2 hours before the crit to get my bike fixed and what an adventure that was! Let's just say it was as close as you as you could get as the announcer was saying, "One to go!", for the race before mine, my bike was coming out of the stand, I was heading to sign in, and at the start line. Whew! The crit course was 35 laps/21 miles, fast, technical, so much fun, and I came in 6th in the sprint. To top off the crazy day I ran over a piece of glass on the course, had a slow leak and my tubular went flat afterwards. Good timing!

The road race on Sunday was a 62 mile loop with a dirt section and 3 tough K/QOM's. The field broke apart on the 2nd QOM and shortly after that the GC leader soloed away and gained many minutes on us by the end. There were about ten of us in the initial group I was riding with and about three more ladies caught on about an hour later. With quite a few attacks and regrouping, it came down to a sprint with us and I ended up fifth in the sprint for another sixth place finish.

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