Climbing sparrow Tanya Fredricks steps onto the podium at Little City Stage Race
Little City Stage Race Report by Tanya Fredricks
Teammates: me, myself and I
W1234 (Cat 3/4 picked sep)
Number racers: 32
Stage 1: Crit
Goal: Don’t chicken out and stay upright.
This was the scariest part of the stage race for me. Never having done a crit/TT/stage race…I had butterflies in my stomach for the week prior.
Race day was perfect weather on great roads which lended me some relief. Unfortunately the minute I parked next to the course, I witnessed two crashes in the men’s race…oh no!
The first few laps I just sat in and got use to crit flow. Mostly I stayed on the outside and midway back. After finally relaxing a bit around the corners, I actually felt ok. At about 10 laps to go, I found myself on the inside and sucked up to the front without meaning to. The next thing I know I’m on the front leading the charge. At 9 laps to go, I won my first prime! Final lap, I tried to stay near the front, but I was two women away from a crash on the chicane before the finish. Being a bit alarmed at swerving to miss the gal falling into the line of fire, I lost some ground and had to sprint to catch the front group. I passed a few gals right before the finish, but ended up 15th out of the 3/4’s. Happy to be alive : )
Stage 2: TT
Goal: Race it like a 5K running race
As we noticed the proceeding day, the winds seemed to be quite strong in the afternoon. I decided to forgo the disk wheel when I saw the dark clouds pressing forward. It would just be me, my clip on bars (thank you Jim!) and my alien helmet (thank you Hans!). Good call. A tailwind out sent me sailing at 26 mph average to the turn around, only to be smacked in the face by cross/head winds on the return, reducing my speed average to 19+ . Big rain drops, feeling like hail, also joined me on the return….which was almost a refreshing break from the sweltering 100 degree heat all day. Finished 6th. Now 11th GC
Note: Most of our tents at the campsite were uncovered because of the extreme heat, thus we returned to the campsite only to find our tents now with indoor swimming pools ; )
Stage 3: Road Race 44 miles (4 laps)
Goal: Stay on the wheels of the P12’s as long as possible.
Started out off the back somehow on the early decent which cause some panic in me. The narrow road made it difficult to find any room to move up. I tried to be patient on the first climb, still stuck in the back and feeling a bit claustrophobic because I was unable to set my own tempo up the hill. As the second hill approached, I was able to squeeze through holes to get to the front. This is where I wanted to be now!
Attrition occurred every lap at the hills. There were 6 of us who always made it to the top together. I tried to rally some organization with the six of us, but no one seemed to commit. Three of us tried, but the others just sat on. We now became 10 again.
At the final climb, just as expected, three of us reached the peak and began to work a bit together over the top. We managed to drop a fourth rider about 4.5 miles from the finish. Then no one would work. I kept suggesting working together, but both seemed comfortable to just let me do the work. I tried out an attack to see what would happen about 3 miles out, and got a gap for a bit until they caught on again. Still not willing to help, I attacked again, which resulted in a slower recovery of the two gals to get back on. Looking up, I noticed I was now almost at 1K to go. I downshifted and pedaled as hard as I could with my head down for as long as I could and then took a peek back. To my surprise, neither gal responded! 200 to go my legs aren’t happy, but I stand up to make sure to keep the gap. It’s closing, but not fast enough….phew! Result first place.
Only after the race did Hans kindly point out to me that the two women behind me were P12’s and I didn’t even need to be racing them to win my category. Duh.
Overall GC: 3rd for Cat 3/4
Best part: Completing my first stage race in one piece! Camaraderie with TB teammates. Supportive, encouraging, generous, kind, and fun!
Worst part: Not even my soaking wet sleeping bag and swimming pools in my tent won for the worst part , but rather leaving behind such a fantastic weekend of camping, racing, and Bear family. Thanks to all!