Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Super Week for Super Women ... Act Two

From my 2-year experience racing at women's road races, I had concluded that the race will either be a coffee ride for 69.75 km, then a hammer fest for the last .25 km, or a thigh burning, gut busting pace that spits out half the field in about 5 km.

I always thought that the only tactic to road racing was DO NOT GET DROPPED.  Not anymore! On Sunday, strategies were formed, deployed and countered.  It was war and it was the most fun I have had in a race. 

Let me set the stage: Jen, Marie, Marcy, Andrea and myself lined up against Sherri, Tanya and Kailee from Aerobic Powerhouse.  Sure, there were other women in the race, but they were mere mercenaries.  The objective: keep my 30 second lead over Sherri in the SuperWeek.  After a 30-second chat with Jen about strategy, consisting of "you should probably counter Tanya's attacks", we were ready.   

The flurry of attacks started early.  Kailee and Tanya took turns hammering off the front, while the other teammate would sit and block at the front of the pack.  Sherri would then hammer to catch whoever was up the road.  

As the attacks came, Jen and Marie furiously responded, not only chasing down each attack but then putting the hurt on whoever had the gall to try to get away.  Jen buried herself so much chasing down attacks at one point she fell off the back of the pack only to fight for 7 kilometers to get back on.  Little did I realize that as soon as she rejoined the pack, I asked her to help chase down an opportunist, Terra from ERTC, who was up the road.  Being a superhuman, she promptly went to the front just to blow herself up yet again.

As for Marie, not only did she work her butt off the entire race, chasing attacks and working up front (even asking if there was more she could do), she out-sprinted, uphill, two of our friends at Aerobic Powerhouse.  Marie is my hero - brand new to racing and kicking butt!!!  Did I mention that she did ALL of the SuperWeek events?!

Andrea (it was her first race!) and Marcy did awesome.  With a little more help in the back half of the race, they could have done serious damage.  

Thanks so much ladies for such an awesome week on the bike - the Bergen Road Race has been the most fun I've ever been in!  Looking forward to next year where I can destroy myself working for someone else. 

Btw, I kept the GC :)

-Jennifer Joss


Marie said...

Thanks Jen! You have been so much help and an inspiration. There's a reason they have dubbed you "Jen-share the love-Joss". I'm not sure how much help I was but you were so encouraging and positive, I felt like every screaming muscle fibre was worth it! Glad you kept your GC. Totally deserving. You worked really hard all week! Thought you might like to know that I got my upgrade too - thanks for your advice!

Unknown said...

From the car following ... although not quite the adrenaline rush ... as being in the pack and often not being able to see the details of the all the front attacks, it was amazing! It took all my will power to not scream and cheer my fellow ST gals on and remain 'neutral' beside the commissaire who patiently answered my billion questions. When Jen M fell off the pack, I swear I have never seen a cyclist work like she did for the length of time to get back on ... although Andrea comes a close second after being knocked off early with enough gap that our car had to pass her to move with the lead group. Out of blue, she came back enough to pass our car even if to stay with the group briefly once again. Of course a HUGE Congrats to our GC leader Jenn, Marie ( yah saw her on those hill attacks WOW) Marcy for always encouraging newbies to race. I know see why ...

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