My first race of the year is finally in the books. Froze Toes 2014 lived up to its reputation, with a temp of just 25 degrees at the start line at 9 am. Ladies, it was cold, grey, breezy, and it even snowed tiny little snowflakes of hell! I was so glad I had Heather’s gloves and warm vest, but even with all that it still took about 7-8 miles before I could feel my fingers. Suprisingly, even with the cold we had a really great group of women turn out for the race, which I was very grateful for because it meant more shelter from the wind and cold.
The women's field was larger than any of the other fields up to that point. Most of the other gals must have been thinking what I was about the cold, because we rode most of the race as a peleton rather than a paceline. The pace was pretty easy for the first half, we were all still getting warmed up, and everyone was chatting and getting to know each other, or catching up (it’s not always like that- sometimes you are pegged right from the start line!). This course was pretty flat, but some of the road was a little rough, so everyone had their eyes out for the deep holes and cracks that can cause a flat if you hit them too hard. I was glad I had stuck with my winter/training tires, Maxxis Detonators. Once we hit the halfway point we turned so that the wind was finally at our back, and the pace REALLY picked up! I think we averaged a little over 19mph on the second half of the race, which is saying something because that is the hilly part of the course.
As we took the final turn at the end of the race, our tailwind turned to a crosswind. You could tell most of us were getting pretty tired. I know I was, the pace and the hills were really beginning to make themselves felt in my legs! The girls from Balanced were preparing to set their girl up for the sprint, and we had a very strong young Cat 2 in our field that I was keeping an eye on as well. The Velo Force girls were working hard to keep the keep the pace high and running the paceline tight to the yellow line to discourage an early attack. As we came up the final hill, you could see the finish line at the top and the girls started to attack. It was a tough go, but not very many girls had the horsepower to sprint up a hill like that after 30+ miles of hills and wind and cold at a 17+mph average. In the end, a strong Cat 2 from Texas named Kayla Sterling won by a huge gap. Lisa Glad, from Velo Force put out a very strong sprint to nab second by several bike lengths, and I held on to get third, with the rest of the field nipping at my heals! All in all, I was really glad I decided to give this race a go, and really happy with results. I'm looking forward to the 2014 season and seeing what the team can do this year!
|Why are podium pics never flattering????|