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March 06, 2006

McLane Classic (How I learned to stop worrying and love the NRC series)

This weekend was my first weekend of racing of the year: first NRC ever, first time racing for a pro team, first race in California. I had no idea what I was in for (it wasn’t as bad as I thought
it would be).

The weekend started with a technical crit – what a great way to kick off the season (note sarcasm). There was a little inflated archway about halfway through the course that we all had to squeeze our way through – this caused an amazing amount of havoc. There were crashes every few laps as someone inevitably got squeezed out going through the archway. Thankfully I spent the majority of the race near the front, and managed to avoid the majority of the crashes. My legs felt great and I was able to go with some moves, and even got my name over the loudspeaker twice!

Sadly though the fun came to an end with three laps to go. I wasn’t able to avoid the last crash, and went down (not hard though, but enough to scrape my shifter). No free laps after 5 to go – so I chased for about half a lap, but couldn’t regain contact. Phlllt. Kudos to Nicky Wangsgard for the 6th place finish. She’s quick!

I was happy to get one race under my belt – it gave me some confidence in my fitness and got me pumped for the road race the following day. Road races are better than crits anyway…

So, the following day we shipped out to the boonies for a 77mi (115km) road race. The terrain wasn’t super challenging. Rolling hills (read: no hills) and a fair bit of wind. Our team’s strategy was to make sure we had someone in the break if one went – easier said than done. At first it looked like it would all stay together. A few dangerous moves went up the road, but were quickly reeled back. We decided not to be overly zealous with following moves – there were only four of us and the other big teams had a many more riders. We decided to stay vigilant at the front. Finally something dangerous stuck. Nicky attacked, and when that was reeled back, I countered hard, and managed to bridge up to the break – a serious bit of effort that was well worth it. My teammates (Nicky Molly and Miranda) in the bunch policed the field and waited for opportunities to get another of us to the break but it was not to be. I was the only CPT-Colnago rider in a break of 12 including two Lipton girls, two Colavita-Quark girls, and a spattering of other teams, including
fellow Canadians Erinne Willock of Webcor, and Laura Yoisten of Victory Brewing.

The break worked well togther and we managed to keep a gap of about a minute on the field. I was really surprised that no attacks were launched from the break until about a km to go when Erinne Willock initiated the sprint. I followed Laura, but Dotsie Cowden and Laura Van Gilder attacked from the other side with T-Mobile rider Kim Anderson closely in tow. I passed Erinne and Laura Yoisten and grabbed fourth. Just off the podium but an amazing result for me in my first NRC road race.

I’ve left room for improvement…

In other news, today we had a school visit! We chatted with two grade four classes about pro bike racing and what it's all about. Fun times for everyone.

Our audience is captivated by our expertise

Ok, here it is: Shoes of the Post!


Campers again - Hey, I'm in California, sandals are allowed!

Until next time!!!

Posted by lisa at March 6, 2006 05:10 PM


Awesome Lisa! Glad to hear that things are going well. That is cool that you did some school visits, I see that the American flag is hanging proudly in the front of the room. (I suppose you see that flag a lot, now that you have gone south of the border).

Posted by: Sarah at March 6, 2006 07:37 PM

chatted not chated

Posted by: dsweenz at March 7, 2006 08:17 AM

Well done - and your journal is up on Canadian Cyclist!!

Posted by: Anita at March 7, 2006 04:21 PM

Way to go with the race!
Tell your dad to congratulate publicly, not correct your spelling.. must be a sweeney!

Posted by: Colleen at March 7, 2006 05:30 PM

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