Uhl in Eagle, ID – This afternoon was the last stage of the Treasure Valley Stage Race, the Nampa downtown criterium. Heather went off before me and it was an interesting race to watch with only six women. Heather was on the front a lot, but that was the plan. Heather really wanted to get a workout in as the Mt Hood Cycling Classic is only a week and a half away! Heather and her teammate had a plan for the finish, but it didn’t unfold as they wanted so neither of them won today’s stage. But Heather still won overall, in addition to racking up a bunch of cash primes.
My race also had a small field; only 11 starters today. That was fine as this was a pretty technical course; lots of turns and bumpy pavement all around. We started out steady with Team Bob’s Bicycles setting tempo. From time to time, there’d be a surge in the pace, but then it would settle down again. The first few of them, my legs were really feeling yesterday’s road race.
It got better after the first 20 minutes, so then I decided to attack. Well, “attack” may be too strong of a word. I just rolled off the front as the pack slowed on the back stretch. Since I was so far down on GC, no one chased so I quickly got a good-sized gap. I put it in TT-mode and just rode the corners as smoothly as possible. Riding solo and picking your own lines, you can pedal through every corner.
At one point when I crossed the start/finish line, I heard “twenty-five” and “prime” at the same time, so I thought maybe it was a $25 dollar prime! I picked up the pace a bit, afraid that I’d be caught from behind. I could see a solo Bob’s rider chasing. I managed to stay off for the next lap and came across in front again. Not until after the race did I find out that it was time bonus prime, which really didn’t do me any good since I was minutes down on the next rider. Oh well!
When I was finally caught, I settled back in to the group, but not for long. The pack slowed down again on the back stretch and I figured I needed to make this a workout and “sort of” attacked again. Well, this time it didn’t last nearly as long. I think I only was off for a lap that time.
So from that point I just got back into the pack and settled in second to last position, while I watched the race unfold. Chris went off solo and so the Utah boys had to chase. It was fun watching Bob’s cover their attacks and by the end, Chris was far enough ahead that the rest of the Bob’s riders were attacking the Utah boys.
But that didn't happen so we went into the last lap, sprinting for second place. I ended sprinting okay and managed to get 5th! Not bad for my first criterium since last year’s Boise Twilight. Sweet! With another no-show today, I moved up to 7th overall. That’s one place out of the money! But that’s okay, I learned long ago that shouldn’t race for the money…you just end up disappointed.
Full results on Spondoro: