Monday, April 21, 2008

Susie Willett's Sea Otter Race Report

Ladies and Fellow Ranchers-

I just want to add a few personal comments to Kim's well detailed race report.

The circuit race was definitely a lower than expected turn-out, but I believe that worked to our advantage as there weren't as many to compete against. We had several good climbers in the group which was the critical element for that race and ultimately the deciding factor in the finishing line-up.

The descending was fast, but not too much that you couldn't get back on down the back side.

After the first lap I noticed we had a brutally strong climber in the lead who decided to torture us on repeated laps. She would gently pull ahead as we would start to climb and then hammer it on the beginning of the steep climb just enough to put several of us at threshold. I saw her once actually turn her head and smile as she watched us agonize.

The wind at the top didn't help either as we were in our easy gears still only doing about a 55 cadence. I managed to stay in the front of the pack and was third going into the final stretch.

The woman behind me came around and the sprint was on. I was pushing too big a gear but managed to keep the rest at bay and took 4th.

Turns out the strong climber who took 1st is Sarah Maile, a pro cyclocross rider. At the podium she graciously mentioned she was headed to registration to upgrade to a 2 for the Sat RR.

Kim described the RR well and I would simply add that this is where having more women in the group (we started with 24) would have made a difference.

There were few attacks since no one wanted to be out in the wind for long and the race was all about the final climb.

After 45 miles, I was first coming around the final turn into the climb and stayed with the group of 5 until the last km when I started to feel the effect of the circuit race in my legs.

At that point the girl (junior girl) I was with had her cheering section about 100yds from the finish which is all it took for her to get a bike length ahead of me. I could see my daughter and husband at the top cheering me, but my legs had nothing left. I took 6th (although Sea Otter final results show only 5 finishers) and was glad to be done.

The best part about racing at Sea (Or is it a Beaver?) Otter is rolling into the campsite to hang out with other racers and friends. Thanks to all for cheering me on; we'll do it again next year!


Ps. A BIG thanks to Dave and Luke for dialing in my old bike. It descended and handled to perfection!!

1 comment:

Greg Knowles said...

Great Job Susie. You were representing the C Ranchers well.