It was awesome to have Special K back in town and racing at the track. It was also notable that it was probably the only time that the entire Grumpy's/LGR track racing contingent will be at the track for a night of racing. Karla and Gwen did awesome in the women's races (I had a typical night of track racing), and the highlight for the Grumpy's team was T-Hag's second place finish in the State Keirin Championship.
Tour of Granite County
Loon State hosted a great weekend of racing last weekend - it was the 3-stage Tour of Granite County. Honestly, I don't know how Skibby and Delaney do it - promoting races is so draining, yet these guys just keep doing it - so big thanks to Skibby, Delaney, and the rest of the Loon State Cyclists for a great, organized weekend of racing.
- Bell Tower Road Race (45 miles): This was the first road race I've done this year, and it turned out to be the strangest road race I've ever done. The Category 1/2/3 and Category 4 women raced together, and it turned out to be more of a training ride than an actual race. Don't get me wrong - there were some times during the race where it got hard, but there were also times when we were literally going 12 mph. But given the breakdown of the teams represented (i.e. there was a lot of blue in the field), it seemed like everyone did what they had to, but it made for a boring race. I felt pretty good and I chased down a few attacks, but in the end, it came down to a field sprint for the Cat 4 women, and while I did my best not to get boxed-in by the sea of blue, my hamstrings weren't up for a sprint, and I rolled in second to last in the field. Such is road racing. We had dropped some Cat 4's earlier in the race, so I ended up 9th out of 16.
- Albany to Avon Time Trial (5 miles): I've never been a fan of TT's - I do not find them fun and I suck at them, so I usually try to avoid them. But since I signed up for the omnium, I was stuck doing my one TT for the year. 5 miles doesn't sound like much, but after doing the road race and being out in the sun all day, 5 miles into a strong headwind totally sucked. I ended up 7th and I was pretty happy with that. After the TT, Pete and I packed up and headed to St. Cloud in search of much-needed sustenance. We found a Godfather's pizza place and proceeded to replenish all the calories we had burned. Yum.
- St. Cloud Crit: The women's Cat 4 crit was at 9:10 am, and having to get up at 6 am just to eat really sucked after a full day of bike racing. When I got up, my legs felt okay, but my stomach was not happy with the previous day's diet which consisted mostly of energy drink, GU, coke, and pizza. But I love crit racing, so I was excited for this race. There were only 11 or 12 women in our field, 4 of which were Birchwood women, so I fully expected to be on the defensive the whole race. But when the race started, I suddenly felt really good. I loved the course - it was a 6-corner crit and more technical than any other local crit yet this year. I tried to stay really active in this race by attacking 3 or 4 times, and I was impressed that the other non-Birchwood riders were willing to be active too - Julia from GP, Kristy from Silver, Dano from MnJRC, and even an unattached rider all took their turns attacking and working at the front. It was a super fun race, and in the end, I knew that I would have trouble out-sprinting a few of the women, so I attacked on the last lap so I could be at the front coming into the last turn - I was going so fast (for me anyway) on the last few turns that I took them super wide (sorry ladies!), but I managed to come through the last turn first and tried to get my legs to sprint. Two women passed me before the finish line, but I was super happy with my race and my 3rd place finish. The race was great practice and a confidence-builder for my upcoming races this week at Superweek where I'll be happy just to finish the hour-long crits.
Thanks again to Loon State for some great races!