By Heather Labance (Sklyands Cycling)
The first lap was fairly uneventful. We hit the hairpin turn and slowly trudged up Tiorati in a tight pack. I watched the women to look for weakness and strength. Of course some struggled for their next breath as others easily paced their way up.
@##=#<1,L>@##=#In the second lap the descent was much faster with Team Lipton positioned at the front. Team Lipton started their attacks. I felt strong and was able to chase them down and that's where my mistake was made. I should've counter-attacked and been more aggressive rather than staying defensive for 56 miles.
The third lap was more of the same. I shivered down the descent keeping a close eye on Katie Lambden from Team Lipton. I would get so cold on the descent I would actually look forward to the start of the climb. The four or five cat 4's that were still with the 1,2,3's emerged towards the end of the lap to sprint it out. The 4's picked their way up to the front and completed their race. It was so foggy I couldn't tell at that point who won. I slightly envied them; they didn't have to shiver down that descent again.
Fourth lap Team Lipton attacked a few last times on the climb. Team Biovail then took control with a fast tempo at the front. I guess there were fifteen or so of us left in the main group. Before I knew it, we only had five miles left. I looked down at my computer and knew that it was now or never for me. I wanted to get away...and then the cat 3 break came through. We were neutralized. They came in drips and drabs as I watched the kilometers tick away. The race was back on and then we were at the feed zone–another missed opportunity. The pace quickened and with 1K to go Kim Geist from Victory Brewing took the front and stepped on it. I felt like the entire race I duked it out with the same four women (climbers). Now it was a different race with sprinters. I couldn't believe I left it up to this! The sprint started and as I stood up to try to get around Kim's wheel, I couldn't see a thing due to the dense fog. I hesitated for a split second and the sprint was over. I came across in fourth. Margot Herman from Mission in Motion came across first with Kim Geist and Jen Magur (Team Biovail) getting second and third respectively.
Oh well, back to the drawing board. Good race ladies!
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