Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Superweek 2008-Wrap Up

First big highlight of Superweek was local Nor Cal phenom, Karla Kingsley (pictured above) winning on her first day racing!

Second big highlight of Superweek was Dolce Vita's awesome sprinter Starla getting 4th place on the last day of the series in Evanston!

I raced the last 5 of the 7 days of criterium racing for Pro 1/2/3 women. $1000 purse each day paying 20 deep. Dolce Vita teammate and sprinter, Starla, along for the Superweek experience. 50-60 women on the line each day. Teams to contend with were Verducci Breakaway Racing, Team Revolution, Kenda Tire, Hub Racing, Mesa Cycles, America's Dairyland, and a few strong independent riders such as Skylee Armstrong of Bicycle John's. 50K crits, that were taking about 90 minutes to do. Some days were hot, others were not. The racing was fast and strong, but also swarmy and sketchy too. So, not a whole lot of strung out fast racing, but certainly enough talent to be challenging.

Day 1: Bensenville Crit in a Park-on-a-bike-path-, up and down driveway aprons on two parts of the course, yukko.....Hot and humid, like breathing thick warm soup compared to 3ooo feet of high desert air in Bend, Oregon. Teammate Starla out due to pinched nerve causing her left arm to NOT WORK. I had not eaten enough in the morning, nor on my 3 hour drive to the race, and went into some debt about two thirds of the way into the race. Basically a bad day at the races for Miss Laurel. Hammer Gel was not cutting it. I dropped out with 7 laps to go. Hmmm, impressive, huh? Tomorrow's another day. I actually love long criteriums, so looking forward to it.

Day 2: Shorewood Criterium, finally a real crit course. Fast and somewhat technical. Very good course with a long sprint. Although they shortened our race significantly, which always sucks. Starla racing with me. We worked together well. The race was neutralized once, due to a horrible crash. Starla and I found each other with a few laps to go, worked together most of the last lap, then she found another wheel two thirds of the way through the last lap, to get 7th place. Sweet racing Starla. I was 30th, but pleased with our efforts together.

Day 3: Ripon criterium. Hot and windy. Starting on time, and keeping our race the normal distance, YES! Great, great, great course with 3 little power climbs in it. I was very much looking forward to it, as I love these kind of courses! It was mostly a race of attrition. Starla was in with me for awhile, then needed to bail due to her arm not working right...geesh, brave girl to get out there in the first place with a bum arm. I stayed in, sitting in about 15th with 2 laps to go...it was strung out pretty well, a few folks went down with a lap and a half to go, and I chased the main field for 12th place. I was very pleased.

Day 4: Waukesha Criterium-No Starla today, she was taking care of her back and her arm. A great fast course. I was sitting in about the top 15 with 11 laps to go, it was nice and fast, and strung out. Then, a Revolution rider attacked off the front to chase a small break, and crashed herself in a corner, breaking her hip in two places. The race was neutralized for about 40 minutes or so. We sat on the line passing the microphone around introducing ourselves, and telling jokes, because they would not let us ride around the course. Finally, they started us again. I have to admit, when they told us 8 laps to go, I had lost a little punch with the neutralization, and with the fact that I knew the crashed rider had really hurt herself. I finished mid field, 32nd place. A lesson in re-collecting focus when stuff like that happens.

Day 5: Evanston Criterium, great course, great weather, no crashes!! YES!! Starla racing with me again, YAY! We raced well. With 3 to go, Star and I were at the front, 2 to go, at the front, last lap swarmed a bit, we lost one another, but she stayed forward to get 4th place, and I was 19th place, just in the money. Overall, a good race.

Great Superweek, looking forward to next year.

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