Wednesday, June 19, 2013

MT State Road Race Championship

Last week I raced the Pintler Classic, which also serves as the Montana State Road Race Championship. I am not eligible to be a "Montana State Champion" since I am from California. The women's race is 50 miles and Cat1,2,3,4 all raced together.

Unfortunately I don't have action shots of the race, so the scenery will have to suffice. I rode my Cannondale SuperSix and it performed great.

I don't have much road racing experience. The field was small, which I figured would be good for me. I went into this race tired and honestly I was fairly uncertain of my ability to compete with the other girls due to all the training I had put in during the days prior to racing. But I also figured you never know if you don't try, and putting in another standard training day didn't sound nearly as fun as racing my bike.

In triathlon from the gun we go hard. We rolled out and once the neutral car pulled over, the cat and mouse games started. We were soft pedaling and then some girl would go off the front, get chased down, and we would all be pedaling easy again. I have watched enough cycling to understand the dynamics of racing, but the entire cat-mouse of it all was irritating to me - mostly because my main goal on this specific day was to get in a really hard workout. Pedaling easy wasn't going to accomplish that.

By the time we hit the first hill one girl had gone off the front, I realized I felt good enough to climb strong and I took off as well, going over the first climb as 2nd for KOM points. On the long descent the group caught me again and we pace-lined to catch the solo girl off the front. Once everyone was back in a group the pace got easy again. I didn't feel I needed a rest and in hindsight I probably should have just tried to go hard off the front because up the road there was a 7 mile section of dirt with pot holes we had to ride through.

Montana girls who race bikes are good at racing on dirt roads. I am not. I went into the dirt with the pack of girls, but was quickly off the back.

Once I exited the dirt I was probably a few minutes back. I could see the pack and a few stragglers. Time to use my triathlon skills and time trial as hard as I can for 15 miles to try to catch back up. Thankfully there was a massive climb between the dirt road and the finish. I was able to catch and pass multiple girls. I secretly wished the climb would go on forever because it was fun and I was able to get back into the mix of the race.

Race finish in an old town.
I ended up finishing 1st in my category and 4th overall. A solid workout and a reminder that I love to climb on my bike.