Going to the Colorado Classic was like winning the Golden Ticket to the grandest bicycle race in the country. I was very positive about my ability to hit punchy climbs and was stoked for the opportunity to test myself against the best on a very technical course. As I warmed up, I was a bit shocked to find myself out of breath while barely turning the peddles over…UhOh…. we started the race and the altitude came on like a chokehold. Embarrassingly slow hitting the climbs, looked down, that Amy D sticker is staring up at me telling me- “ ok Tough girl what are you going to do about it” so I started using old positioning maneuvers to give myself better starts into the hills and just hung on, fell off with a group on lap 3 and we rotated ourselves until we barely made contact at the start of the village… move up, trying to keep the peddles turning on the final climb, I lost the main group but was able to settle into a large chase group with retuble riders. We chased a bit, then prepped for the finish- sprinted out because this is Colorado and this is a bike race and I am a bike racer.
The TT. I had been prepping for this for months, yet as I looked at my power on the trainer and felt the intensity of my breathing- I knew this also was not going to reflect my hard work. “Calm Down and race your bike” the sticker said. So I jumped into it, felt my line and stayed below it without regard for my numbers. Was intently looking ahead and made the turn under the underpass- but heard alarming yells coming after me…I had gone off course. “Stay calm- you are still in this” Got back on course and my motor slowed down for his ADHD rider. Finished mid pack. Stage 3 was everything I am afraid of in a bike race; rain on a summer parking lot course can equate a slippinslide with inevitable carnage in even the most skilled groups. Felt better on the trainer. “What are you going to do about it- quit? HTFU- you are a bike racer saddle up this bull and rodeo”. So we started, the pack as a unit bumped, slid and accelerated out of that 180 like we had been doing it our entire lives. As the race went on I realized the conditions were drying out and began hit the outside line much harder to fly up the group….so satisfying. Then a crash in front of me and I was able to slide my bike to a stop, barely setting it down rather than taking a nose dive over the block-aid. Sprinted back into the pack from the pits and moved up- to a descent 16th position for the finish. Stage 4 my numbers looked good on the trainer… Amy D, “race your bike”. Went straight to the front, I’m bring back attacks… I’m countering…I feel GOOD! Like a kid in a candy shop- “ok, back to work you crazy girl” drifted to find our GC rider. Protect her from the wind- move her up. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat… I am getting fatigued. Repeat anyway- this is what it’s about. Crash on the end of lap 3 and I am so scared that Maddy is behind it- but there is no time to stop- There is a big gap and I am in a very dangerous position. I sprint for what feels like forever then mash my peddles, I am going 33 mph and the 6 seconds is coming back… Just made contact prior to the pack heading up the bumpy road. Move up, recover… where is Mad Dog. I move to protect her then try to move up as we head back towards the finishing corners. I can’t move up anymore and I yell at her to Go Maddy! Hang onto the finish at the back with a big smile on my face- now THAT was a bike race.
Amy D Foundation- your support, positivity and professionalism is what is needed in order to bring in the next generation of racing legends. Thank-you for letting me be a part of it, you are the best! Can you believe we were 7th in GC as a team!? If I had the opportunity- I would race with these girls all summer and I’m sure we would only get more dangerous to that top spot! Thanks again!