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“Sometimes You Have To Risk Losing Big To Win”. Tanya Fredricks Overall GC Victory at Mariposa Road Race 2015

Victory comes to those who go all in! Photo: Alex Chui
Victory comes to those who go all in! Photo: Alex Chui
was reminded of some basic life lessons this past weekend at the Mariposa Stage Race….
           Day One:  Flat Time Trial:
           1:  Always expect the unexpected:
When a herd of cows are being driven down the entire road for what feels like a mile, and you are stuck behind the posse trying to get to the start of the race, relax.  Everyone else is also stuck behind the madness, too.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff:
When you warm up with a  disc wheel (something you’ve only practiced with once before the race) and then change your mind 15 minutes before the race because the wind has picked up, don’t panic.  Just because you can’t get your regular wheel back on and HAVE to use the disc for the windy race,  keep calm and motor on.
TT Result: 2nd 
Impressive result by Tanya Fredricks of ThirstyBear p/b Akamai to finish 2nd in the time trial.
Impressive result by Tanya Fredricks of ThirstyBear p/b Akamai to finish 2nd in the time trial.
Day two: Hill climb and Circuit race:

1. Stick with what is tried and true:
Questionable Mexican food the night before the Hill Climb?  Maybe not the best choice.  Enough said.
2. Never assume:
Coming into the circuit race, I had almost 2 mins on my closest rival, Camille.  Her teammates were well behind at 7-8 mins. I felt all I had to do was stay glued to Camille and make sure she didn’t get any lap time bonuses.  At the end of the circuit race, I had accomplished this and assumed I was sitting comfortably on top of the GC for the final RR stage.
At dinner later that evening, a friend asked the simple question, “soooo how far up the road were her teammates?”.  Having no clue how far up the road her teammates had gone, I got a huge sinking feeling in my stomach and a complete loss of appetite took over.  It was confirmed after dinner that I was no longer 1st in GC but actually now 4:33 BEHIND the leader going into the final stage.   Although I went to bed at 10pm, not much sleep happened that night.
Hill Climb: 1st
Circuit Race: 3rd
Even smiling when climbing. This defines a ThirstyGal
Even smiling when climbing. This defines a ThirstyGal
Day Three: Road Race
1. Keep your enemies close and your rivals closer:
This is extremely helpful in stage racing when one day your biggest rival may need to be your break mate the next day.
 I thoroughly enjoyed the circuit race, chatting and getting to know Camille.  She is kind, smart, and knows how to race a bike.  We developed a nice rapport as we circled around the 7 lap course (while her teammates quietly time trialed themselves into first and second place in the GC).  Little did I know at the time that this was the perfect plan her team had laid out, and I fell hook, line and sinker into their trap.
Fortunately, she also came to my rescue in the road race and became my break mate for 48 of 50 miles. Together we were able to take back 25 mins and secure my place on top (she placed second GC).
           2. Choose your friends wisely:
  I don’t know what I would have done without the amazing support of my teammates…especially when I realized my huge rookie mistake from the circuit race.  They stayed up late with me to wait for the time gap checks to be posted and  believed in me that I could somehow still pull this off!
Tanya and Camille fighting it out. Photo:
Tanya and Camille fighting it out. Photo:
3. Act like you can:
My only “strategy” to salvage a GC win was to go from the gun and try to recover a minute per lap (read: suffer).  Although this sounded daunting, I decided to think positively and give it my best shot.  I guess my acting skills were good enough to worry my contenders. They kept asking if I would be okay shortening the race to 3 laps. I needed 4 laps to punish myself for my stupidity in the circuit race.  4 laps it was.
 Road Race Result: 2nd
Stage Race Result: 1st in GC!
An incredible weekend of racing with the best team/friends around!  Thank you to all my ThirstyBear teammates, Zac, our sponsors, and our weekend mascot, Timpa!  

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