Monday, June 20, 2011

The More Feminine Side of Banff

The men weren’t alone in conquering the hill climb, road race, TT and crit this weekend in Banff. Representing the ST women in full force were Marilyn ‘The Combine’, Laura, Erin, Tomo, and myself. Unlike the men’s categories, the women’s field was open – pros against amateurs, brave neophytes willing to take on not only wet roads but Olympic hopefuls as well. We did awesome.

Happily, after the killer 1.5km prologue, with a whopping 3 seconds lead, I won bragging rights over Marilyn. Erin also had a great go up the hill and revealed that she was going to be a great contender over the weekend.

With another stroke of luck, the 1A road race was cut short because of a den of wolves threatening to eat any rider that would get dropped from the main pack. It was great luck for me since I decided to pull a Jens Voigt and crash hard at about the 25 km mark on the wet roads. The exact cause of the crash remains a mystery, but after a quick skid and a long repair of the bike, I was back on track, albeit a good 5 minutes down from the lead pack. After time trialing for the last 40 kilometers or so, I slinked over the finish line … not last and not eaten!

Only the 21 km ITT and crit were left and ST had one woman high up in the GC – Erin who was 11th – which is super impressive given the competitive field. Marilyn, after fearlessly responding to attack after attack in the road race lost a couple of minutes to the lead pack and was slightly lower in the GC at 18th, while Tomo and Laura were practically tied, coming across the line in the chase group. Of course I rounded up the back of the GC.

Marilyn and Erin again killed it – and me – on the time trial. While Marilyn’s time was impressive, it was still 4 whole minutes behind the fastest time – I guess there’s a reason why we’re not all national team track cyclists who are 2012 Olympic hopefuls.

With only the crit left and Marilyn and Erin bowing out, Laura, Tomo and I were given the reins to giver or, more accurately, to last-as-long-as-we-can. We braved the wet hairpin and the three left turns (who knows how to turn left?) to last almost half of the 26 laps. Not too bad for 3 gals who are brand new to sprinting, slamming on our brakes and faster-than-we-would-like speed turns.

It was a great weekend – full of stories, laughs and good friends. Who needs to be first when you have such a great time?

Can’t wait to do it all again, well, except for hitting the deck. -Jennifer


Robert said...

Congratulations ladies ;)

Steve P said...

Good racing gals!

Ferenc said...

Thanks for the entertaining report, a whole different world indeed.

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