(photo credit: Brian Hodes / VeloImages)
First day of road racing for 2013 is in the books. The last time I raced San Dimas was three years ago. The race followed a similar format then as it does now – opening time trial, stage two circuit race and a criterium to close out the weekend. I join returning Team TIBCO riders Amanda Miller and Jo Kiesanowski along with new teammate Melanie Spath in Southern California for a little bit of racing ahead of team camp.
Today’s time trial was a 4.2 mile uphill effort. The length of the time trial has varied over the last couple years, but it’s always held up steep Glendora road. Mara Abbott (Exergy Twenty16) won in decisive fashion ahead of Amber Neben (The Dare To Be Project) and Taylor Wiles (Specialized-lululemon). Melanie was our best place finisher, slotting into 13th place at 1’49”.
As for me, I felt good on our training ride yesterday and good warming up today. I had to tell myself that I’m not my most fit at the moment – that I felt good within my level of fitness but that I wasn’t going to go out and post a smokin’ fast time or anything like that. I didn’t want to set myself up with too high of expectations, so I reminded myself that it was my first race and when I came across the finish line, I should be happy with good legs regardless of the result.
I started behind Lauren Tamayo (Exergy Twenty16) and caught her during the final kilometre. I knew I wasn’t going super slow, so that made me feel good – although I don’t think Lauren was going all-out either. I managed 32nd place, 2:51 down on Mara.
These time spreads probably sound huge for a 4.2 mile effort. That’s because they ARE huge! Mara killed it. She put 16” into Amber and 33” into Taylor. Everyone beyond fourth place has already lost a minute to Mara.
That’s not to say Exergy can just sit on their laurels these next two days. There are a ton of bonus seconds up for grabs during both the circuit race and the criterium.
The circuit race tomorrow is a rolling circuit around a local park. We race eight laps over the 7.15 mile course, and each lap includes one significant hill. It’s not the sort of climb that is going to tear apart the race, but it is one that will stretch out the field. On the last lap, it’s important to be on the front over the climb – the finish isn’t far from the top. Although this race typically comes down to a field sprint, I won solo here in 2010, which put me in yellow and helped me win the overall.
All in all, it was a good day. I wouldn’t call it a stellar result on my part, but I’m very happy to have the first race in my legs, and I’m looking forward to the action tomorrow.