Thursday, July 17, 2008

New York NMBS race report

I wasn't exactly feeling snappy after the BC7, even after taking most of the week off  the bike. Surprisingly enough I had gained a few pounds after 7 days of racing. I would like to think it was a few pounds of pure muscle but I dont have the documents to back that up.  I knew all those hours (and extra weight in gold) would come into form at some point, I just wasn't sure when....Flat or not, I knew I had to get some efforts into my legs to make all those hours worth something so I took off for New York.

Check out those pipes! Maybe all that BC singletrack made me a wee bit top heavy?
photo by Dave McElwayne

Even though I had a 3rd place finish at the Fontana NMBS, I had flatted in AZ and missed the last 2 races so I had a pretty rookie call up position. Lets just say there were only a few girls behind me when the gun went off. The jist of the course was that it criss crossed UP Windham ski hill and then criss crossed back DOWN. It was a really fun course but had a good chunk of climbing so I didn't want to blow what shred of form I might have in my legs off the start line so I took it a bit easy to feel it out. At the first bottleneck into the singletrack I wondered if that was such a smart plan. But my legs felt OK so I started to move forward and pick people off. The leaders were long gone but I was warming up and moving forward. I burnt a few matches to get by gals but I think my legs needed it. My third lap was a bit flat as I lost my 8th place position to Emily Batty (Trek VW) on the climb but all in all not as painful as I had expected. More importantly, my legs felt better than when I had started. A good sign for the STX.

The standard STX "pain face" had not shown up yet
photo Dave McElwayne

The short track course wasn't much to look at but it made for one of the best STX races I have ever done. Although I had another mediocre start position, this time I chewed up the rhubarb in my big ring to move into top 5 off the line. As per usual, the Luna gals jumped off the front but on this course, they could not seem to open a very big gap. We had about 7 gals in the chase group that could taste the blue train. Heather Irmiger (Subaru Gary Fisher) lead the chase for the first chunk of the race. It always amazes me how much power that wee body can churn out. After the race, she complained that I gave off a crappy draft because I was too skinny, uhhhhm how much draft do you think I get, a saquatch behind a bunch of midgets? I felt great but I didn't know how long my legs would last so I played it smart and resisted my own impatience and let the wee one work.  We caught Georgia Gould (Luna) then Katerina Nash (Luna) charged ahead. We caught Katerina and then Georgia took off. Damn team tactics. Even Catharine Pendrel (Luna) bridged up and tried to work us over but we were too many and too strong for them to get away for very long. We were actually making them work pretty hard for their podiums. Finally the chase group lost a bit of steam so I decided to take my fresh legs to the front. But I was torn. I didnt want to tow the group up and get spit out the back but they were so close! I made a push on the second last lap and got a bit of a gap. I wondered if it was too early but had to go for it. I was closing in on Georgia in 2nd when Micaal bridged up and then I made my first error. I tucked behind her to get a bit of rest for the final sprint but there wasnt much room for sprinting. So I ended up 4th. But my legs felt great so maybe those extra few pounds from BC7 had gone to the right place. 

After the race I went to grab my vest and the men were getting ready to start. A voice in the start blocks sheepishly said "Hi Wendy, uhm I am your stalker". Awesome! I finally get to meet my stalkers. Even Joy was there. I think they were a little nervous at first but once they knew I wasn't creeped out we were all BFFs.

Super D
I decided to sign up for the super D at the last minute. I had my plush Hei Hei Supreme and the XC descent was a blast so I figured the super D would dish out more of the same. The fact that the course was being described as "terrifying" and "unsafe" just spurred me on. Unfortunately those reports meant that a lot of girls decided not to race because nationals was the next weekend and they were playing it safe. Barry and I prerode the course right after the mens STX race and it was fine. I would have liked to have had a bit more tread as it was pretty DH oriented but no time for that. I lost the Lemans start to a DHer. Ouch that hurt the ego! So I pedalled my sticks off to get ahead. The plan was to try to work the upper portion that required a bit of fitness and get into the tight singletrack first then try to hold on for as long as possible. I figured the DHers would catch me on the fast open run into the finish. But things went better than planned and I rolled into the finish with over a minute buffer. I even beat Barry by 5 seconds! As tim.goater would say, he got "bloused". No financial gain, no glory, just bragging rights. 


erikv said...

haha that's a good one!

he got bloused...

1 pound each leg, .5 pounds each arm. Your guns are huge. First thing that came to mind is how you'd crush Trebon in an arm wrestling rematch (from Transitions). He cheated anyway. Yeah, it's all there to see on DVD.

You can be Kona Arm Wrestling Champion! Think about it. Bring on the blousings!

hjurenka said...

Congratulations on a strong finish in the STXC at Windham. You may see a short video of the start here:

Matt said...

You got there just in time. I was about to steal your vest and add it to my Wendy Simms skinsuit collection.