After a busy day at work on Friday, I hopped on my bike to get in my pre-race ride before Matt and I packed up the car and headed to Delaware. We booked a hotel close to the Granogue racecourse knowing we could sleep in a little the next morning and relax before the races began.
The drive to Delaware was pleasantly uneventful without too much traffic. The weather for the weekend was forecasted as beautiful and sunny. Not my favorite for racing, but the courses were technical enough to make for some challenging races.
This course is set on the grounds of an old Dupont Family estate and is really scenic and beautiful. The racecourse is technical and hilly and one of my favorites.
Off the line, three of us broke away from the rest of the field and pushed the pace in an effort to keep the other riders from catching us. I had decided to try tubular tires for the first time rather than my usual Michelin Mud 2 clinchers and was pleasantly surprised at how well they rode. It was fun to be experimenting with something new and hoping it would lead to a strong race.
I spent the entire race with two other women who were on the same team, so they were trying to work me over a bit. Each lap, I took the lead up the steepest hill and running the barriers and they would motor along the flat pavement and grass sections. We were unable to shake one another and it came down to a sprint finish. I ended up 3rd, acknowledging my need to learn how to actually sprint!
This course is on the grounds of a horse-training center and itís mostly flat, bumpy grass. Not a favorite of mine since it also tends to be windy out in the wide-open back sections. Itís very important to stick with other riders on this course or you end up all alone all day fighting the wind.
Off the line four of us broke away from the field. I was in the lead pushing the pace hard into the first few technical corners. I did not want to get stuck behind crashes on the first lap. I settled into the race in 3rd position hoping to see an opportunity to make a move to lead into the finishing sections, but the pace was high and there were very few places for me to take advantage of my strengths. The other riders were looking for the same opportunities and we all came into another sprint finish. Accidentally, I had shifted into too small a gear coming into the finishing straight away and was unable to hold onto a good position and came in 4th.
Overall, it was a great weekend of racing and I am feeling like my fitness and strengths are improving. My new Seven Cycles bikes have been amazing. They are super light and corner fast and smooth! Iím also expecting my new race clothing to arrive this week. I will debut the MM Racing team clothes next weekend in Louisville, KY, designed by Daniel from www.dadalu.net.
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Thanks again for your support,
Photo by Todd Leister
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