|Race Report-Spring City Cycling Classic||Sadlebred|
Aug 14, 2003 6:51 AM
|Race: Spring City Road Race
Place: Huntsville, AL
Distance: 38.5 miles
The Spring City Cycling Club hosts an annual race weekend in Huntsville, AL. For those of us that are climbing challenged, the road race provides a good change from the constant up and down of the Georgia and North Carolina races--and an opportunity to stay with the main pack for once. The road course was a 9.4 mile flat loop with one small hill through the countryside and industrial areas of Huntsville. Police were at several intersections blocking traffic, although there was very little of it. The road surfaces were not horrible, but there were a few large wheel eating potholes that were marked.
Ten women (a small field for this area) started on the line. The entire first lap was spent at an afternoon tea pace. We chatted and found out where each other was from, who we rode for, and other important details. I took a short pull at the front but did my best to stay in the second or third row. I didn't want to be much farther back because if someone attacked, I wanted to be able to stay with the group being the absolute horrible road racer that I am. Donna "Supa" (C4) pulled a good bit of the way as did an unattached rider from Atlanta. GCC, with four riders in nonmatching uniforms, did nothing to help us out. On the second lap, the unattached rider attacked in the first straightaway. Donna pulled the group back with the GCC riders clinging on for dear life. A glance back revealed that we'd all come back together. We caught our breath until the hill. A GCC rider tried to go off of the front, but the group was having none of it and quickly brought her back. The rest of the lap was spent "gruppo compacto" at a chatting pace. The third lap was where things got really interesting. Until now, my legs and lungs were happy. Although the pace picked up on the rolling hill, I was able to control my breathing (I have severe asthma) and stay with the group. Steady is good; stop and go-go-go is bad. GCC finally decided to start attacking. Having 4 of the 10 riders was an advantage. Although Donna and I were working together, I'm not much help on the road. Give me some dirt, rocks, and roots, and I'm a much better rider. Maybe one day I'll get the hang of this road thing. GCC launched the first rider off, and Donna and the unattached rider brought her back in. After a mile or two of peace, they tried to launch an attack again. It was unsuccessful. One or two more attacks were brought back in before the group slowed down to come through the finish area. GCC must have been resting. Once again, they attacked on the hill. I stood up to try to follow them, and my lungs protested severely. I had to sit back down. I saw them just ahead and tried to chase. It was no use. My lungs were seized up so badly that I could hardly pedal. Several of us got dropped and rode in together. GCC continued to launch attack after attack. Their sprinter was finally able to get away and solo to the win by several seconds. GCC blocked Supa in, and she was 4th. I was 5th in the Cat. 3's.
Race: Spring City Crit
Sunday's crit course was .7 miles through Downtown Huntsville. The start/finish was located on a 4 lane downhill road. Turn 1 funneled riders into a single lane left turn before opening up on another 4 lane road. Turn two was left and up a hill to a right hand turn into the chicane and an immediate left hand turn onto a narrow road. Turn 5 took riders back to the start/finish road.
Only six women showed up for the crit, and two of those were GCC. As I would later discover, everyone was working for GCC except for Supa and I. My entire goal for the day was to try to get Donna in a position where she could get off of the front and start her amazing time trialing. I got on the front from the start of the race doing what I do best--going slow. Donna was at the back trying to position herself for her attack. I continued the slow pace up front as Donna ca