Kern County Stage Race

May 22, 2007 · Print This Article

by Erika

Bena TT:

In general I consistently suck at TTs. Madera with camelback over the skinsuit — case in point. I usually have not set my clock, or have forgotten my HR monitor, or have a loose bolt on my tt bars, or i ride off the road into a ditch, or go all out and fry up in the first ten minutes. i have tried listening to my breathing but it’s not the best gauge, I find, because usually it tells me to pull over and get off the bike. i like the idea of having someone up ahead of me by thirty seconds. i think that this rabbit might make me go faster. but the rabbit just gets smaller and smaller until a new rabbit appears ahead of me which in turn gets smaller and smaller. but i got me this new light bike this year and glitterboy slapped on some TT bars and tipped them so my back was flattish. and for some unknown reason i managed not to completely suck. i’ll take it.

Walker Basin Circuit Race:

i wanted to puke on the drive over to the course. nothing too magnificent. just a few diced carrots, perhaps. it was going to be such a long day, with two stages, requiring much intensity and focus, two things i try avoiding whenever possible. i figured the firestone girls were going to be feisty and aggressive, try something and get away. “uh-uh,” Sabine had said the night before, “they’re not getting away, uh-uh”

She was so right. in fact it was quite the opposite. they were reacting to our moves all race long. While I sat on Sonia’s wheel and did my best dingleberry interpretation, the Bellas attacked and attacked. Soni, followed by Laura, Linda. I never once was in the wind, unless Sonia cut some.

I was relieved of all responsibility, all pressure and free to focus on one thing only, preserving the 10 seconds between us and perhaps getting a few more in the sprints. Andrea from Left Coast (soon to be a Bella) would let me in to follow Sonia. Or move to the right of me to protect me from the wind. Linda would ride up next to me and remind me to move up.

I’m not great at seeing the big picture in races. At one point, Soni was up the road with Laura Perdew on her wheel. I was riding along, eyes focused on Sonia’s ass, when i noticed Janet from MVV was to my left sort of stuck between the center line and me. I thought she wanted Sonia’s wheel. “Let her out,” Sabine said, and so I let a gap open and sure enough Janet attacked which allowed Sabine to get pulled up to the Soni and Laura. It was so perfect.

So every lap while the Bellas attacked and chased, I got pulled along and was set up fresh as a daisy (not ours) to do my bit.

On the last time up the hill, Sabine put in a massive attack and Sonia’s ass slipped out of my vision just a bit. I saw an opening up the middle that seemed to be my only chance. Things got a little dicey at this point and I remember thinking, “wow, this is sort of like the last lap diciness.” not realizing until I crossed the line that the race was over. I thought we had one more to go! (See above about the big picture). So a splendid team effort.

Breckenridge Hill Climb:

I loved this hill climb.

The temp was beautiful, and we were many miles from a dump. The plan was to stay with Sonia, stay at her pace and then when the time was right to have me or Sue get away. I could tell from Sonia’s heavy breathing that she was having a hard climb. Still her teammates were setting a steady pace and I just sat in. I looked to my right and there was Triki and looked behind and there was Chechu. What a very nice sight.

All around was heavy breathing from the Firestone girls. I listened when Sue came alongside me and not a sound. Oooh, it was going to be a good day. A very good day. And when the road pitched up a bit, Sue smoothly came to the front. She was riding so effortlessly. I said, I’m here. And so she picked it up a little. And then a little more. It was so beautiful. It was like one of Linda’s Tour videos (except for the icky Lance part).

Unfortunately when I looked back Chechu was gone. Only Janet (MVV) was left. Triki bumped it up a little more and POP she too was gone. I was so delighted. This was Sue’s stage and we were going to drill it to the finish. But then she told me to ride on, get time. And that Sue can be VERY persuasive. So I went on. There was Bob blowing his clarinet. Lovely. And then there was the “1 to go” sign. One ‘what?’ to go I thought and soon discovered it was 1 hundred fucking miles to go — or so it seemed.

I came in first, followed shortly by Triki! So much fun.

Woody Road Race:

Excellent riding by all. I had 3mins 45 seconds going into the stage over Sonia Ross in 2nd so I felt a little bit of the pressure was off. I just needed to get through it without any mishaps.

It was so good seeing Linda get over those climbs and be there to help slow the descents. Soni and Sabine did some great pacing up the climb, hard enough to get the Firestone girls to breathing deep but still keeping the group together. On the second lap before the dirt right turn, we were all chit-chatting and being nicey-nicey. I was looking forward to finishing, having one of Miss Mary’s boiled eggs and maybe some totellini when WAM! Julie Kaplan blazed to the front. My first thought was no! don’t make it hard! Then, WAM Sabine was gone with her.

All the Firestone girls were at the front and the nicey-nicey went out the window. I folded up my napkin and put my head down to make sure I wasn’t dropped. Poor Janet had her work cut out for her and strung it out. I didn’t know about her seeing Ryan and Tracie up ahead, but the pace slowed as Janet was surrounded by Firestone.

On the rollers to the finish I was happy to see Sue get a gap and keep it going. And Janet too. I watched Sonia put in a super hard effort to close the gap on Janet but it wasn’t to be. (There’s some Karma in Janet getting back those 11 seconds, I believe.) When I crossed the line I rolled down the hill to find out that Sabine had won the stage and Sue took second place (and moved to fourth overall). Aaah, a perfect ending.

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