This would also be the debut of the Arrivee Cycling club where we all raced together in a stage race. This was going to be fun. This stage race consisted of a criterium, time trial, and road race. It was all based on time so the more time you finished ahead of people, or "time bonuses" you got, the further ahead you would get. Since there was a time trial in this race, I really liked it being based on time.
Stage one was the criterium. It would be 45 minutes around a 1k 6 cornered course in downtown Whitefish. It has been quite some time since I had raced a crit, but I was racing with some of the best team mates ever. I knew we'd have a blast and make the best of it. From the start, I took off. I ended up getting a little gap so I kept going. The pack stopped chasing and the gap grew to be about 25 seconds. But that was about as far as it ever got. I was working my ass off and I knew this would hurt my time trial which would be about 2 hours after the conclusion of this event. I was not too sure what this was taking out of me, but I was well above threshold, and was hurting. But I also knew that my team was back there doing what they could to slow things down so we would get the win. I ended up soloing for the entire 45 minutes at a hard effort, but also ended up winning the stage and becoming the race leader with about a 30 second lead with the time bonuses and primes. But would I lose over 30 seconds in the TT because of this? We would soon find out.
Jessi was there giving me all the support you could ask for including taking all these great pics and helping me through the crit with her words of encouragement. But she was also going to race today. She signed up for the TT that would be shortly too. So we wolfed down some food and got her ready and off she went to the race site. I was able to get there before she took off and I was able to give her a few cheers and take a couple pics. The TT venue did not really lend itself to spectators, but it was a TT. Jessi ended up riding really well and ended up 3rd in her category for the TT. Impressive. For not riding her bike more than 4 times in the last 3 weeks, she flew.
I took off and quickly settled in to an anaerobic pace. I caught my 30 second man (giy who started 30 seconds before me) within the first mile...only 10+ to go. The course was bumpy and had some pretty tough hills. Ones that required me to be in my 39x23 and working pretty hard. On the way out I saw Jessi coming back and yelled at her...might have sounded more like a wheeze, but I think she heard. She looked comfortable and was moving well. I finally hit the turnaround and saw that my avg speed was good, but had no clue what others were doing. I continued back and maintained a great effort to roll off the 11.4 miles in 25:55 and to win the TT by over a minute. Whew, I did not blow it. I would now go into stage 3 with about a 2 minute lead. That felt good. I was a little disappointed that our group had such a minimal time between the crit and TT, but that's the way it goes. Some of the men in the other categories had about 5-6 hours. I would have got 12th in the 1/2 Pro category, but did not feel that my time was reflective of what I was capable of. My effort was great though.
Big thanks to Jessi for all the pics and support through the weekend as well as a great result in the "last minute" TT. Also thank to Michelle (Pat's wife) and Lisha for their cheers and help through the weekend with entertaining Emma and wanting to come in the first place.