Last post I was training to become a BAMF. Nationals went well but still no gold medal to my name. I have one more year of U23 so you can bet I’ll be 100% motivated to give it my all this off-season and give it one last whirl next June. This year’s time trial was the event that I was most looking forward to but when the big day came, I just didn’t have a good day. No excuses, I couldn’t have gone one second faster with the legs that I had that day. That said, I still came in 3rd, a minute and a quarter behind the winner. For the 43 minutes that I was out on the 18km course, my heart rate averaged 204 bpm due to the combination of hard effort, 95 degree temps, and perhaps a bit too much espresso but, nonetheless, the legs could not match the heart.
After the time trial, I went up to the USACycling desk to ask if the U23 Women would have a podium presentation later that evening. The official then told me that that was a good question and it would have to depend on how many medals the top hauncho had brought. I waited for the answer and was told that there would be a podium for all categories, including the U23 Women. Thus, I kitted up and went to the Hooters equivalent of the South that evening where the day’s TT podiums were being held. I waited for an hour while the juniors were awarded their medals and jerseys only to hear the women’s U23 National champion being called to the podium, i.e. not silver through 5th place as was the case with ALL other categories. Needless to say, I immediately bizounced the hell out of there. NOT cool.
Friday night’s crit, I was still feeling the effects of the hard TT effort the day before. I didn’t do much in the crash-marred race and wound up finishing 5th in the U23, 18th overall in the pros.
Sunday’s race was an 85 mile rolling race. I stayed toward the front for most of it and had surprisingly good legs. An early move of 8 riders went off the front in the first lap but eventually the remnants were pulled back by the fifth and final lap. The race wound up coming down to a field sprint, thwarted by the only significant power climb on the course. I wound up getting 18th overall in the pros and 3rd in the U23 while ultra-teammate Ruth Winder got 10th overall and 2nd in the U23.
With the lack of podium presentations, in order to recognize our great sponsors and future development, I’ve taken the initiative to create my own photos:
U23 Women’s Time Trial National Championships (June 21, 2012)
L to R: Ashley James (Now-Novartis), Jessica Prinner (ABD Cycling Team), Kaitie Antonneau (Exergy 2012), Maura Kinsella (Vanderkitten-FOCUS), Danielle Haulman (TIBCO)
^Dani forgot to take off her helmet for the podium shot. #newb
U23 Women’s Criterium National Championships (June 22, 2012)
L to R: Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten-FOCUS), Kendall Ryan (TIBCO), Sam Schneider (TIBCO), Jackie Kurth (Primal MapMyRide), Maura Kinsella (Vanderkitten-FOCUS)
U23 Women’s Road Race National Championships (June 24, 2012)
L to R: Jackie Kurth (Primal MapMyRide), Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten-FOCUS), Sam Schneider (TIBCO), Maura Kinsella (Vanderkitten-FOCUS), Grace Alexander (BYRDS)
On a different note, I spent the past 10 days in France with the fam on vacation. While the first 5 days were spent in the bustling city of Paris, the last 5 days were spent in the Alps where I rode in L’Etape. L’Etape is a race/ride of 9,000 participants along the exact route of Tour de France stage 11, which just so happened to occur on my 21st birthday. Call me crazy but instead of taking 21 shots, I decided to ride my bike for 9 hours, covering 110 miles total and 16,000 ft of climbing.
Now I certainly don’t claim to be a climber, but I actually felt surprising good up until about 10km to go on the final climb up to La Toussuire. Although I’ll have to push myself much harder to stay on wheels at my upcoming NRC race, Cascade Classic, riding L’Etape made me more confident since I know that there will be no climbs as long or as hard in Oregon as there are in the Alps.
Au revoir til post-Cascade… onward and upward! (pun intended)