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How NOT to Prepare for a Big Race - Part II
By Staff
Date: 4/2/2003
How NOT to Prepare for a Big Race - Part II
- by Laura Weislo of Squadra Coppi

If you're on a team, and required to wear identical jerseys, don't neglect to bring matching jerseys. The Team Bike Doctor clothes didn't quite make it in time for this race, so we were left scrambling at the last minute to try and find four matching jerseys. We went to a few local shops, but small jerseys aren't a big stock item and no one had anything in stock. Fortunately for us, a very helpful and sympathetic soul at Don's Bike Shop in Rialto, Scott MacAffee, was able to swing four plain red jerseys from a dealer and had them shipped overnight to his shop. Phew! Scott just happens to be involved in the management of the Diet Rite and 7-Up teams, so he knew what we were going through. Thanks Scott!

The Prologue:
The Mt. Rubidoux Time Trial is a beautiful course that winds through some residential neighborhoods before turning onto a paved bike path that winds around and exposed hill with excellent views of the valley below. It's unfortunate that I wouldn't be able to enjoy these views as I gasped my way up the 5k climb. The starting ramp was on a flat section, and after nearly falling off the left side of the ramp on my start, I big-ringed the first little power climb before hitting a short downhill section. I'm sure the fast girls hammered through this, but I was too chicken of the first tight left curve to really let it rip.

The road then climbed slightly up to a sharp right turn, and I really appreciated the encouragement from the course marshalls and the huge unmistakeable sign that said "TIME TRIAL" with a arrow pointing the way because the lactic acid was already impeding higher brain functions at this point. A bit further up the road, my decision to big ring the lower portion of the climb proved unwise, and I got bogged down in my 53-23. A short fast downhill allowed some recovery, but then a 180 turn followed by a small ring section really got the heart rate up. I tried to keep accelerating into the bike path which was about the half-way point, but the legs wouldn't cooperate anymore. I was passed by a Canadian National Team woman on the first switchback and tried to keep her in sight as we wound around and around, up the exposed side of the hill.

The last kilometer wasn't too steep, but it had to be the longest kilo of my life. A dog came up on the path at one point and gave me an extra jolt of adrenaline, and as I crossed the line in a time of 11:52, I could barely keep from tossing my breakfast. That was a really painful ride for such a lousy time, 77th place out of 105. Blah. I'm down a little over two minutes on the lead, but things are sure to change over the next few days.

These women are so fast it just blows my mind. Genevieve won with a sub-10 minute time, Kim Bruckner was second, and her teammate Amber Neben was third. They are so out of my league, it's not even funny.

My teammates fared pretty well. Jen Scott did a 11:37 which was good for 55th place and faster than her time from last year, Kele Husler came in 63rd and Natalie Scott was really happy with her 89th place in her first ever big time stage race. She came in ahead of Ina Teutenberg :). Natalie has an especially great sense of humor, and I think we'll be needing a few good laughs in the coming days.

Tomorrow is a sick circuit race that will definitely hurt. If I'm still alive, I'll let you all know what it was like.

Until then...

Laura Weislo's on-line diary can be found here!

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How NOT to prepare for a big race

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