Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fitchburg Criterium

Here we are: Team NEBC!

The crit: my favorite day!  I woke up pretty groggy after a poor night's sleep.  Despite being tired and having a headache last night, I just couldn't fall asleep.  My mind wouldn't stop churning even though my body was exhausted. Tossing and turning, sleepless by 12:15 am, I was fed up.   I took a melatonin and a Tylenol PM.  Yeah, after midnight.  And yes, I did finally fall asleep, but you can imagine how I felt in the morning....

To counteract this before the crit, I drank a Dr. Pepper.  You know I mean serious business when I down a whole one of those!  First of all, I don't drink soda, and second of all, I don't drink caffiene.  So one 16 oz Dr. P and I am ready to rock!  If you think I'm usually a little uh, energetic, let's say, you should come say 'hi' when I've had some high-fructose corn syrup and caffiene.

So check this photo out.  Where does this piece belong?  Hmm... While we were staging, I pushed my shifter to put my chain on the big ring and SNAP!  It flew off and almost hit another racer in the face!  Crazy, but whatever - who would have needed anything but the 53 today anyway?  This is why I love Campy, I can replace that part and rebuild the shifter.  I can't wait to see how many years I can get out of my equipment.  2 seasons so far, and hopefully one or two more!

Ok, so I'll admit, my first couple of laps were not pretty.  The crew cheering for me at the tavern around the first turn definitely sounded nervous. "Go, Rebecca... Move UP!"  I'd hear them urging me.  Of course, they were right, and I had no intention of staying there any longer.  In a 50-rider field like this sometimes I get complacent because it's usually pretty easy to move up.  But you miss all the fun being at the back! 

So the plan: I'll tell you, but then I might have to dispose of you.  After Cheerwine or Kenda wrapped up the sprint points, our team was hoping to get Sally into a break with Dale from HUB Racing.  Dale is a New Zealand TT champ, and Sally has an awesome motor, too, so we were thinking without either being a GC threat, it just might have a chance.  Although, of course we realized that Colavita and Cheerwine would both be looking for the W.  But it was well worth a shot.  So I moved up and surfed near the front for awhile, going with some moves, but nothing got away.  Then came the bell for a $20 preme. Peter had told me he was going to put this preme up, and he wanted me to sprint.  Bless you, Peter.  So, I hear Brooke shout from the sideline, "That's your preme, Rebecca, go get it!"  Ok, I moved up the right going into the first turn and got into line about 6th wheel  - it got fast, and we were strung out.  Luckily, things stayed fast into the last turn.  I think since there were no points on the line, less people were interested in this one.  I was 5th wheel or so at the 200 meter mark, and I moved up the right of the train and jumped to take the preme, which had ballooned into $50 from crowd donations during the course of the lap.  I felt like I was uncontested for it.  I felt no-one around me.  Passing the pit, I heard Brooke yell to go, so I quickly glanced back to see if I had a gap and if anyone was with me.  Well, I had a big gap, and unfortunately, I was all alone.  All alone with 15 to go.  I'd like to imagine that I was just so fast that nobody could follow me.  15 to go?  Yikes.  Well, I thought I might as well follow through.  

I had about :13 on the field for 2 laps, from what I heard from friends in the crowd yelling at me, and knew there was no chance lonesome me would hold this for 13 or 14 more laps.  I got some raceweek sprint points, which meant nothing to me, but that meant Verge green jersey sprint was coming next lap.  I actually felt relieved - I knew they'd speed up and catch me next lap.  I didn't want to waste any more energy out there!  As they caught me, I hopped in near the front and tried to stay up there for the sprint because I didn't want to miss any move that might counter if it looked like a good move.  I'm not sure I could have gone again right then - I was feeling good, but not spectacular because I haven't had any consistency in my life or training for a few weeks now, and that's something that tends to affect me a lot.  After nothing went, I had to sit in a rest for a lap or two.

As I sat in, Sally ended up off the front solo.  I saw no NEBCers up at the front from where I was so I hauled myself back up the front to "patrol" - I don't like to call it "blocking," that sounds really passive and negative to me.  Mary got up there with me.  Sally also stayed away for 2 laps, but HUB wasn't with her, I'm not sure what happened there.  Let's see what happened next?  There's more in there, but it's all hazy now.  

I remember hearing 2 to go and moving up the right side before the first turn, all the way to Tina's wheel and the sea of Cheerwine and Colavita jerseys.  I stayed up there nicely through the lap and into the bell lap.  Coming around the first turn in the last lap I was positioned right where I wanted to be about 5th wheel, behind Tina, and alongside Laura, who wanted the same wheel.  We went down the backside, and I was psyched for it to be really fast, but it just wasn't.  I heard Tina yell "GO GO!!" to her leadout train, but it just wasn't fast enough.  Then the swarm came on both sides.  I don't know at what moment I lost her wheel.  I do know that I should not have stayed on it, I should have moved left and up alongside the Colavita girls and pushed the swarm left as it was coming on my left.  I didn't for whatever reason, and hind-sight is 20/20.  Wait!!  Time OUT!  I want a DO-OVER!!  I lost my super awesome position and went through the turn maybe 15th or even 20th.  I wish I had seen how Tina got out, because I know she was stuck in the middle.  Freakin' Houdini.  So I accelerated out of the corner and passed a bunch of girls in the straightaway, whoop-dee-do sprinting for a pack finish.  I had a good sprint that I didn't get to use.  I don't know how I finished yet - maybe 23rd???  (See my previous post.)  

So, back to life.  I've got lots of reading a schoolwork that I neglected the past 4 days for class tomorrow, so time to get to it.  I can't believe how many people were cheering for me.  I almost felt famous today.  :)  Thanks.


Zoo said...

Good job Rebecca! Thanks for the race reports!

BeastGP said...

Rebecca - you ARE famous! My cyclocross pic of you on Flickr is one of my most popular.
I'll be publishing Fitchburg photos in the next day or two. I'll let you know when they're up