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A Weekend of Great Racing – Iron Hill and Bob Rodale

Iron Hill: My goal for this race was to help get Sam the win as she was going into the race as PA BAR leader. This was a new course that neither of us were able to pre-ride and didn’t know many of the riders signed-up. The suggestion from racers who had done this course in the past was to do lots of attacks to tire the field out and that is exactly what I did on pretty much every lap. The finish was a downhill and I knew that if Sam was 2nd or 3rd wheel at the top just before the downhill, she’d win. Her, myself and 2 other riders were able to form a break on the uphill and Sam was 2nd wheel at the top of the climb so I knew my job was done and sat up a little at the start of the downhill and then thought to myself “maybe I can get 2nd” so I sprinted my heart out and came in 3rd. I was ecstatic that our plan worked so well and that Sam took the win and am really happy with how I felt during the race.

Bob Rodale: This was a 3/4 filed with some strong riders. My legs definitely didn’t feel as fresh while I was warming-up so I went into the race with a “lets see how I feel and go from there attitude.” I felt confident knowing that I had 3 teammates there with me but unfortunately two of them were both involved in a crash about 1/2 way through. The pace was painfully slow at the beginning, so much so that I actually did a full lap pull early on to get the pace going a bit. Surprisingly, there weren’t a lot of attacks during the race so I new it would come down to a sprint finish. About 500m from the finish I was second or 3rd wheel and suddenly saw a very strong rider sprint by me on the right I also new that she went way too early and jumped on her wheel and used her as a lead out which was perfect because with 250m to go her matches had burned out and I was able to sprint past her for my very 1st win! 🙂 

This weekend taught me a lot:

*Riding harder the day before a race seems to really help

* Long warm-ups are a must (I warmed up for 45-60 min before each race)

* Pre-race hydration/food: I have a hearty breakfast, drink 2 bottles with osmo while warming-up, and 3 shot blocks before the race. During the race, I have 1 osmo bottle 

* Post-race: immediate 15-30 min cool-down along with shot-blocks and cliff bar and lots of water

*Overall, I’m just getting more and more comfortable with my bike handling, close group riding, and not letting a crash that happens right beside me frazzle me – my mantra: “keep calm and cycle on” 😉

Things to work-on:

*Need to practice sprinting out of the saddle

*Need to prep for riding longer distances 

*Need to keep working on getting stronger on hills as they continue to be my nemesis and there are some great stage races with intense climbing that I’d love to go to next year 

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