Yes, this is a mass email and you are welcome to delete, skim through, read intently, or completely ignore this email. Most of you know that I fell in love with the bike back in college and I had 'delusions of grandeur' about going to the Olympics. I have since come to realize that I am not genetically gifted-like Lance Armstrong-but I know that if I don't give it my 110% while I can, I will always wonder 'what if.' I just thought it would be easier, FOR ME, if I wrote a mass email about this season's bicycle racing as so many have wanted to know about it. I would be delighted to hear from each of you regarding what's going on with your life as well. Do not hesitate to ask questions if you are unclear about any details that I provide in my descriptions about bicycle racing.
First, a little background. When you begin racing you start off as a Category 4 (Cat 5 for men) and you earn points based on the type of race, the number of people in it and your placing in the race. The points you've earned in one year's time can be used to 'upgrade' to the next category. I started racing some last year but didn't earn any points; I was just trying to hang on, get fit and get some experience. This year has been full throttle. I've put close to 10,000 miles on my car and spent an unmentionable amount of money chasing my dream. I'm slated to do close to 10,000 training miles this year as well. I've done better than Bob and I thought I would. We were hoping to have the points to upgrade by late summer; and as of now, I'm 1 point away from upgrading to a Cat 3. Additionally, I have had the good fortune and being able to train with a real Pro-Nikky Wansgard-who rides for Colavita, one of the top women's teams in the United States. It's been a fabulous experience all-around. Over the next 3-5 years, as I upgrade and participate in some big name races, I hope to get noticed by some of the top women's teams in the United States. It obviously doesn't hurt that I ride for Colavita's development team and I know Nikky. This is only the beginning and I have a large amount of 'dues' to pay and 'rights of passage,' as cyclists call them, as I try to make my way to the top. Cycling is the only team sport where individuals win. If I do get to the top, in all likelihood I will be a domestique (a work-horse) for my team leader. (Lance was the team leader and his domestiques would protect him during a race, chase down breaks, etc.)
Here's the break-down:
January 25-26, 2008: Southern Nevada Stage Race in Las Vegas Nevada
Time trial = 13th
Criterium = 8th
Comments = First race of the season
February 15-17, 2008: Valley of the Sun Stage Race in Phoenix Arizona
Time trial = 8th
Road race = 6th
Criterium = 9th
General Classification (GC)= 7th
Comments = Tried my first attack in the road race - IT WORKED! I got away to get 6th.
March 1-2, 2008: North End Classic in Yuma Arizona
Criterium = 2nd
Road race = 2nd
GC = 2nd
Comments = Not as big a field as I would have liked, but it was a confidence booster anyway!
March 8-9, 2008: Tour de Murrieta in Murrieta California
Criterium = 6th
Road race = 6th
GC = 5th
Comments: I felt really good about my placing because the field was so large and the girls were tough!
March 22, 2008: Del Mar Criterium Series in Del Mar, California
Criterium = 2nd
Comments = I really suffered in this one to get away from the field to catch the first place girl who was off the front in the final lap-couldn't have been happier with 2nd!
March 23, 2008: Easter Sunday Grand Prix in Ontario, California
GP Grand Prix = 13th
Comments = Largest field I've raced in yet-tough race, and I made a mistake during the sprint that cost me about 5 placings.
April 5th, 2008: Tucson Crit Series in Tucson Arizona
Criterium = Crashed! (It happens to everyone eventually)
April 6th, 2008: Colossal Cave Road Race in Tucson Arizona
Road race = 2nd
Comments = This was one of the toughest days spent on a bike yet. I had crashed the day before, was soar, bandaged, felt like S$%# and was exhausted because we had to get up at 4:00 am. I really suffered and had to 'dig deep,' as they say in cycling, and I was really proud of the second place that I got. Bob says that cycling is about learning to suffer. I proved that I could this day!
April 19-20, 2008: Copper Valley Classic in Globe, Arizona
Criterium = 1st!!! My first 1st place (yes, I cried)
Road race = 4th
Comments = I flatted in the first kilometer of the road race - which was 60 miles with 3,000 feet of climbing. I had to race most of it by myself-tough day!
May 10, 2008: Utah State Criterium Champs: RMR Salt Lake City, Utah
Criterium = Don't know yet, it was yesterday. I think I got 5th or 6th.
Comments = I was really upset with myself because I attacked too early and it didn't work - I couldn't get away. So I used valuable energy that I should have used in the last lap to get away. I also got 'boxed in' during the sprint and lost 1-2 places. My family - Audrey, Rachel, Dad and my step-mom Margaret were there and they said that they really enjoyed watching it, which really excited me. I was so glad that they enjoyed the sport! Thanks for coming to support me guys!
OK, wow, that's enough from me for awhile! I hope you are all doing well and that you are 'chasing your dreams' as well. Love you and keep in touch,