It’s not often the Trek Red Truck racing ladies don’t show up in full force, but this past weekend at the Tour de Bloom it was just Suzanne and I who had the opportunity to defend the TRT name. In the same light, we are now used to working as part of a bigger whole. Normally, before each race, each rider is delegated a specific task, and for the past few weeks our task has been to attack, follow everything, and attack some more. So admittedly this weekend was going to play out a little differently.
Before I even touch on the racing, I have to pay homage to the insane house/cabin/oasis the team got to stay in for the weekend. It was right at the base of the hill climb, tucked away in the woods for ultimate restfulness – even if it was bustling with 18 year old boys. And I guess I forgot that we barely spent a moment in there due to unforeseen circumstances…read on.
Tour de Bloom is an Omnium with 3 stages. First up was a 4 mile mass start Hill Climb – which is more accurately described as a 4 mile mountain climb. There were some very good climbers starting this stage, but Suzanne and I had made a commitment to not implode, and managed to hold our own in this grueling 1st stage. After not much of a cool down, we found ourselves scrambling to get ready for the crit which was starting in a couple of hours (we later found out the boys had enough time to take a 2 hour nap, play 2 hours of call of duty and watch 2 movies because their race was at a whopping 8:30 pm).
The crit took place in downtown Wenatchee, which is (to our surprise) a beautiful town. They had races all afternoon, including running races, lemond start races, and relays in costume! Our plan was race smart, take turns going for the primes, and to win the race. The crit was only 30 minutes, but we made every minute count. By the third Prime, we had racked up Omnium points in all three, and I remember telling Suzanne ‘we can win this’. With 2 laps to go, and people getting antsy, Suzanne ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and hit the deck – HARD. By the end, I was only able to Sprint to 2nd, but I was so happy about how smart Suzanne and I raced that I was happy to have at least got us on the podium.
|I won a growler - and got to stand close to my good friend Jen!|
Suz unfortunately was pretty banged up from her spill. Mark (Joel’s dad) and I ran around Wenatchee for the next couple hours getting her ice (from the beer garden..:)) and clothes so she could try to clean herself up a bit. I will say that she is tough as nails, and stayed out with us all evening to support and cheer on the boys who put on a great show for all the rowdy Wenatchee-ians (iets!?). The men started and finished in the dark, which made for a really exciting race to watch. Dylan even managed to snag a nice cash prime, while Willem sprinted to a solid 4th in a stacked field ! V. impressive ride by all the men!
After the crit, I was sitting in 4th overall. It’s not often I’m in a position where I worry about my result, so I wasn’t too sure what to do. I did know that the top 3 girls were amongst the strongest in the race, and wouldn’t let anything go ahead without them.
|playing doctor...watch out!|
The road race was 109km of rolling, exposed country side. I was a lone soldier on this stage because Suzanne and her bike were not in top racing form, so I planned to make it to the end as fresh as possible to contend the finish. The women’s field ended up splitting by an awesome attack from TRT alumni Kristine, and I managed to get myself into the front group. The sprint, unfortunately, seemed to pop out of nowhere (it was an extension to the race loop), and after missing my internal queue to TURN IT ON, I was only able to get 3rd in the stage – but right now I’ll take anything I can get. This let me keep my 4th overall, and Suzanne and I ended up leaving Wenatchee with some smiles and lots of new water bottles.
The men had a hard day on the road, and everyone who finished look like they wouldn’t be able to get off their bikes. Although they did seem to be able to throw back some beers fairly easily.
|more water bottles!|
As for Suzanne and I, I think this weekend we learned a lot about racing and about coping with new situations. We were able to make awkward situations work for us, and we learned there is such a thing as ‘too much oatmeal’.
I would like to give a big thank you to the TRT family for getting us to this amazing race, and to the race organizers at Tour de Bloom for putting on such a stellar event in such a beautiful place. The next team race is Enumclaw in a couple weekends, and I’m really excited that the majority of the women’s TRT team will be present for it.