Yikes! It’s been waaaay too long!!!! Bear with us and we promise to post up more often! Since the Big Cedar race we closed out the TMBRA Texas Sate Championship Series at Rocky Hill Ranch in Smithville. The Texas heat has kicked in and this race was another hot one! I got to race on a four mile loop to give it a feel of a UCI style race and Carlos raced on one ginormous 16 mile loop. My four mile race course was pretty AWESOME! It had a little bit of everything and offered a great challenge with somewhere around 1000′ of climbing per lap! I can’t say for sure the exact numbers on that because I don’t have anything fancy enough to measure the elevation change, but this was what I heard from others and my legs can probably back that guestimation up! : ) The week before this race my allergies hit me hard. I was off the bike, out of work, and tired of blowing my nose. Carlos got some crit training in that week and I got to spectate from the side lines. Slowly, but surely, we’re both getting the hang of this roady Crit racing thing! We’ll talk about the skinny tires in a little bit!
Once again our field was pretty small with their only being four of us at the starting line. We had a new face, or at least new to Jessica and I, at the line and this was Alex Robinette. We took off hard at the start with Jessica reaching single track first and Alex and I battling it out for second position. I closed in behind Jessica, but on the first wide open climb Alex punched it and passed us both. Jess and I rode together the entire first lap and tried to just keep the pace steady. Going through the feed zone Carlos gave us the time split. Alex had put 45 seconds on us! Not good. I attacked for the first mile or so and put about a 30 second gap on Jessica. Heading into my third lap Alex was now over a minute in front of me. To my surprise a little bit into that third lap, Alex was on the side of the trail with a mechanical. I was now racing for first! I was feeling good and steady until exactly one mile short of that third lap I timed a turn poorly and slid out as I headed toward a creek crossing. There was a male rider not far behind me. I knew this was a blind turn and he would be coming at it fast, so I yelled as loud as I could for him to stop because there was no way I would be able to move in time. I caught him just in time for him to slam on his brakes and not run right over me. We both ran across the creek and as I spun my pedal to get my chain on the right cog Jessica turned that blind corner. She squeezed by and as she did her shoe accidentally hit my rear derailleur. She quickly stopped to see if everything was ok and continued on. I yanked on my derailleur a little bit and thankfully I was able to keep riding! No damage was done but after my little doopdy do I struggled to get my head back in it and now I was really feeling the aftermath of being sick that week. I pulled myself together and finished strong in second. Overall, despite the turn of events near the end, I was really happy with my performance!
Carlos finished off the series in a solid 11th place! He placed 14th at Rocky Hill out of 24 guys and I’m so proud of him! I know I’ll probably sound biased to say this, but he has really raised the bar for himself since we started racing a few years ago. He has catted up just as fast as I have in a field of men AT LEAST FIVE TIMES bigger than the number of ladies that compete in my field! Not to mention the age group and category that he races in is literally one of the most competitive brackets in Texas racing. He is constantly challenging himself by surrounding himself by faster and more experienced riders. I know for a fact that if it weren’t for him pushing himself out of his comfort zone not even I would be racing at the level that I am today. His improvement is my improvement and we reflect each others achievements!
So as we said goodbye to the spring series we quickly said HELLO to crit racing!!! Over Memorial Weekend we raced three days in a row! That Friday night we started out with the newly famous Bike The Bricks located in Historic Downtown McKinney Square. This was the first crit that I’ve ever raced with only women and all I can say is, that sure was different! I ended up in 6th. Because of this race being so big and us not completely sure we were going to do it ahead of time, Carlos missed the pre-registration for the Cat 4/5 race that he wanted to do. His only option was to enter the 40+ Cat 1-4…yikes! This is a super tough field and those guys took off like a speeding bullet! There were well over 100 guys at the line and it got broken up super fast. I think next time we won’t wait to register! ; )
The next day was the local classic, Gary Glickman Memorial Criterium. This was a pretty cool course with rolling terrain and a 180 turn back to the slightly uphill start/finish. Oh, and it was WINDY…ALL weekend!!! Ahhhh! I learned my lesson from the day before not to do so much work at the front, so this time I sat patiently in the pack for a little bit longer, ten minutes to be exact. LOL After that I took off and charged the hills as hard as I could. I tried my darndest to ride off the front and I was able to break the group of about 14 into 4. We all worked together, but every time we were heading up the hill toward the finish I charged as hard as I could. By the last lap it was down to two of us. It came down to the sprint to the finish on the hill, oh yeah, and INTO the wind! I gave it everything I had and she passed me at the line! I won two cool primes and second place! Yay! Carlos rode really strong in the 35+ Cat 4/5 race. He went off the front for a while, bridged a few attacks, and ended up in 11th!
Sunday was the GS Tenzing Criterium. This one was HARD, mainly because of the crazy wind! Kelly and I worked together in the front to try to break away but we just couldn’t get a break to stick. Everyone was fighting to get cover from the wind and not get dropped. The girls rode strong. On the second to the last lap an unexpected prime was called for Oakley’s! I was having an inner battle with myself if I wanted to go all out for the Oakley’s, or use it for a lead out for the last lap. Haha! So I tried to get the best of both worlds by jumping on the wheel of the girl going for the prime and then trying to out sprint her at the last-minute! Carlos thought I barely got it, but apparently the officials said otherwise : ( Good thing I saved a little juice for the last lap! I took off hard and gassed it the entire lap. Of course I thought I was going to die by the end, but I ended up in first while Kelly almost got me by about half a bike length! Phew, close one! She’s strong! Carlos’ goal for the day was to win the most valuable prime. He NAILED it!!! He won a Cateye Bike Computer worth about $140! Not bad for a $35 entry fee! : D
So our next ten days will consist of COLORADO SINGLE TRACK HEAVEN!!!! I will be competing at the Beti Bike Bash this Sunday and right after that we will be heading back down to Colorado Springs to prepare for the UTE Valley Pro XCT on Saturday June 16th! A HUGE THANK YOU to Comedy Defensive Driving for all your support and making this trip possible for us! If you’re not already following us on Twitter or Facebook make sure you are now for details and race results!