Snake, Melon, Quad 2010

(With el Jefe at Northbrook's Sprinters' Omnium series and much of the squad attending a wedding, the Cuttin' Crew fielded a mighty thin team for this weekend's races. At least one of us spent the weekend mixing it up with the big guns, JRho provides this week's race report:) That was some fun and awesome racing. I traveled with the Flatlandia ladies and stayed for the full 3 days looking for some solid training and experience in the 123s with some of the region's best women on 3 very different courses. I was terrified and excited. Main goal: don't be intimidated. In my head goal: don't embarrass yourself.

Race 1: SNAKE. Ugh. 12 times! I was not looking forward to this but I was going to do it dammit. Race goal: don't die. It was hot but I made sure to warm up. Leah decided not to do the race so I was able to get her start spot. Yes, that shit helps. I was damn near skipping this to save my legs for the next day but knew I'd regret not racing. So off I go - lots more girls than I remember from last year - got a couple shoves on the first lap or two going up that thing but it eventually strung out. I had no idea where I was in the race but I was chillin, riding my own race and I actually felt solid (12-27!). I was eventually lapped by first place super pro Tibco and last year's Snake winner Amanda Miller - she is AMAZING - and second place Punk Rock Cycling's Women's World Human Powered Speed Champion (for real) Lisa Vetterlein - also AMAZING - turns out she did the first couple laps in her big ring and was rockin a 23 - what?! Anyway, I'm lapped by the two leaders - cool with me. One less lap to do! Result: 20th - top 20!!

Avi again proved what legends are made of, tripled up, and climbed that thing near 30 times. Um, have you been able to walk yet? :)

Race 2: Melon City. Race goal: Stick and finish with the lead pack. I really like this course so I set my goal a little higher. This is what I'd consider my first real big girl race (Snake don't count) and again I was terrified. It was one race but the 3s had the option to be scored separately which is super cool. Anyway, the race - swoop, swoop, speed bump, hill, chicane, repeat. Lisa Vetterlein took off at some point (I had some kind of idea but not really) and the group was chasing but we never got her even though Kenda had like 10 girls in there. It was again HOT and riders were cracking all day - it became a race of attrition. I don't know - I felt pretty good and was focused on my goal. I was still in the main chase group and we had whittled to about 20 girls. I couldn't really tell how many 3s were in there but I had stopped focusing on that. Last lap - pace picks up, girls jockey for position. There's a crash on the downhill - avoid carnage, speed bump, hill. All I knew was I had to be in a good spot at the chicane for the final meters. We get to the hill and my legs said "haha" but I passed a few people. Hey, I stuck with the main pack! Result: 2nd in the 3s! (looking at where I came in on the 123 list, I would've been top 15). Aaaand I suck. There was confusion in the results, the officials took FOREVER, and I changed not realizing a podium for the 3s was taking place. So, I was sans kit up there. Boo.

Race 3: Quad Cities. Race goal: stick with the lead pack again/try and partake in sprint finish if that's how it plays out. Race goal edited: stay upright. So the organizers have a 2/3 race which is awesome. I was looking forward to this since I've been wanting to get my sprint on. We get there, get in race mode, start to warm up, and the rain starts...fuck. I realize this is one slippery course in the rain so I take some corners and play with tire pressure. It'll be cool - 2s and 3s can ride their bikes, right? HA. The rain stops right before the start so it's just WET. We get going and riders go down like clockwork at turn 7 for the first 5-6 laps. This doesn't include riders going down at other corners. Of course, I feel like I'm stuck behind every one. Some riders get up the road but I have no idea what's going on, I just keep going chasing the chase group. The last couple of laps I finally felt like I was with people who knew how to take corners on wet road, we caught the chase group, and last lap mayhem begins. At this point I am focused on my goal edited. We get through smoothly til turn 7 again. Some girls go down, I just gun it for turn 8 and the finish. Result: Upright. 14th. Meh. I pass on doubling up even though it would've been nice to actually "race" this course. It is fun. BUT I got to watch Kristen take the WIN! And watch someone fly over the 3ft chicken wire in the distance at turn 8 as Kristen is chargin the line.

Main goals accomplished. And I love racing my bike.