Race Date: 3/2/2014
Race type: AZ Senior Olympics
Riders: Jo Johnson
Sunday was the AZ Senior Olympics 20k followed by the 40k on Pecos Rd where I have raced this race before. This day a whole bunch of Strada Racing teammates showed up. About 12 of them and 4 of the women were in the 50-59 group, none in my age group. One of the gals in this group I have raced against and we are fairly evenly matched.
We are called to the line really early and with a shortened warm up time this first race will be part of my warm up. Rider age groups start in waves, 2 minutes apart. The out leg has some downhill and a little tailwind, the return leg with uphills and about 5 mph head wind for first race, for second race, 40k, wind was more cross and slightly increased. My goal is to have fun and challenge myself to go for a podium place. In the past a group of 6+riders would stay together, sharing the lead then sprint for the finish. This day would be different.
First race, 20k, I led off line well, then started keeping steady pace rotating, with one other rider in the 60-64 age group, at 21.4 mph to the turn, then with the hills on return, she gradually rode away from me. Result 2nd OA and 1 in age group. Ok now I am warmed up, the temps are fine but I am getting really chilled as I cool down waiting for the next race. I put on arm warmers and jacket and sit in back of car in sunshine trying not to shiver. I finally warm up about 15 minutes later.
Ok now time for the second race, 40k. I took off working an 18.5 pace and feeling comfortable, then gradually upped it. Expecting one or several riders to join me. I looked around after a mile and saw no one so now I was on solo breakaway and wanted to keep it. My first ever breakaway. This was now a mental challenge exercise. I rode within myself seemed like I was just below AT levels, just like training.
Then coming to the timing truck at end of first loop, I saw the team of women, 50-59 age, that started 2 minutes ahead of me, I was able to catch them after the loop turn and kept going. My friend in the group yelled, something like "Go Jo, you Rock" . Fun to hear. I noticed I was doing 21 at the time. Stayed on pace on the way out to the turn for the last time. After the turn, I looked back across the road to see where the other women were, I finally spotted them and I thought they seemed to be closing. I stayed on pace, but then left ham started to cramp, gulped OSMO, reduced the pressure a bit on the stroke and spun more, gulped more, and able to keep going. Thank goodness I was fairly well hydrated going in. But need to keep drinking throughout. The wind is now a bit increased and more of a side wind. Just keep on a steady pace I told myself. Finally the timing truck is in sight, I knew no one was going to catch now. Made the last turn around to the line, stood up and sprinted up to the line and threw the bike across the line. FUN. Did IT!!! My first solo breakaway… I slowly go up the road encouraging some of the other riders as I gradually cool down and spin.
Results: 20k; 35.44.7, 20.9 pace 1st in age group, 2nd OA at 30 sec back
40k; 1:14.41.1, 20.0 pace 1st in age group, 1st OA, 6 min ahead of second place in age group, 5 min ahead of the first wave of women age 50-59.