Man, it’s been a big day in the life of Jenny and it’s only quarter to four. After a week of sitting on my bum trying to recover and watching the fuzzy channel (you could make out people fine it was just that they each had three heads, but it was the only daytime television that I wanted to watch – the selection included: The Cosby Show, ER and 8 Simple Rules to Dating my Teenage Daughter) last night I took to the racing bicycle for yet another stage race. It was my first aerobar allowed, flat time trial of the year and to be honest I was fairly stoked to give it a shot. The course was fairly technical and rolling throughout – the fun was amplified by the lightning and rain that greeted us in the 30 degree weather with humidity so thick I swear I was breathing water. I was the fourth rider off with my minuteman up the road (they were at 30 second intervals, but the girl directly in front of me didn’t show). The event treated me well and I was able to catch two girls in front of me, which is always a good confidence boost. I finished the 11km course in just under 18:30 and due to my choice to use the PowerTap (very TT like wheel don’t you know???), I now know that it’s true – I am a spazz when I time trial! The data is interesting and I hope to have some good empirical records on where I am at with my power to improve my training efficiency for next year. I managed to pull out my first podium of the year, 32 seconds behind my kicking teammate (and roomie for the last bit) Robin Farina who smoked the field in her Kenda uniform. Luck was also on my side as I beat out third place Rachel Tatum (a local rider who is not terribly experienced, but used to be an Olympic rower) by only half a second – guess it was a good thing I sprinted out of the final turn! My other two teammates rounded out the top 5 with Chamblee in 4th and Caroline in 5th (although on the original results they had her as a DNF!)
Due to yesterday’s results, we knew going into the criterium today that we needed to put some time between myself and Rachel – not to mention that I had my heart set on the green sprinter’s jersey. With Robin clad in yellow, we were all called to the line and ready to take charge – and that we did. After a month of racing with the nation’s best riders, Kenda had a chance to use team tactics to our advantage – our goal was to take top 3 and we passed with flying colours! Right off the line Robin and I charged the front in order to get used to the sweeping corners on the course that were surprisingly technical. As we were settling in, Caroline took her first flyer of the morning (as our sacrificial lamb of the day she spent a great deal of the race off the front). We made the other girls work to bring her back before reeling her in on the lap before the hot spot sprint. Robin and I countered Caroline and got a good gap off the front for Robin to lead me out for the first sprint. With all our POWER (hee hee) there was no contest and we rolled around with a gap on the field for most of a lap. By the time we regrouped it was time for Caroline to go check out the air up front again and so she continued. With the team’s help I took the second hot spot sprint (my heart rate hit 201! I shouldn’t have been looking at that should I?), but the decisive move was to come with 4 laps to go. Only four girls were left in the front when Caroline attacked. As we were trying to get Rachel to chase her down and she wasn’t biting, we called her back and I countered. The girls let me go and I road it home to a whopping 4-second gap on the field. That right – I took the WIN! And really more importantly I took the green jersey, Robin kept the yellow and I put 30 seconds on Rachel through time bonuses – and Kenda swept the podium. All in all it was a successful day at the office. A whole heck of a lot more fun than riding hamster loops up Mount Royale if you ask me ;) – although I am rooting for all the troopers who are taking on the hardest World Cup on the circuit this afternoon.
Tomorrow we have a circuit race of 33 miles (which seems downright lovely as it’s only 1/3 of last week’s race distance!) although the course is said to be somewhat unrelenting. Kenda is planning on continuing the domination (and learning how to ride together as a team) throughout the rest of the weekend – although I know it’s going to be a challenge. Monday (it’s Memorial Day weekend down here in the U S of A) is our final roadrace boasting a lovely 3.5-mile climb up into the heavens for the finish. As you might imagine, I absolutely can’t wait – better continue to build up my lead through the sprints! But it’s naptime so I’m out – but actually being an integral part of the race requires more frequent race reports. Oooh! Ooooh! And I forgot to mention that I purchased a pair of gorgeous shoes (for my bike of course!) – white Sidi Genius 5.5 – they are the bomb! I can’t wait to get them out on the road. Big thanks to Cumberland Transit for helping me decide that I really wanted them :P