I'll be the first to admit I'm just slightly jealous of all this bad ass metal! But even more so, I am humbled and amazed by our amazing cycling community. Thank you for all your prayers and support last week!
7:30 am race start came pretty quickly, however one of the best things about the Lutsen 99er is our hotel was literally about 200 yards from the start line. Tom and I were able to sleep in a bit longer and have a low stress warm up to the start line. Race morning there was plenty of buzz in the air and I was soaking in all the energy and truly loving the chance to fist bump and reconnect with all my favorite racing buddies. It was also more than awesome to have my cute parents cheering me on from behind the starting gate, snapping photos, blowing kisses and such!
|Photo Credit: Jay Calhoun Photography|
The remainder of the race was a mixture of some gnarly, rocky double track and some fast flowing gravel roads. I enjoyed the constantly changing terrain, but was praying like crazy through each double track section, trying like mad to avoid every single rock. A last minute crisis left me needing to ride tubes for this race and with how many flats I saw I must admit I'm super proud myself for somehow managing to keep those tubes alive! No Bull in the China shop for this girl!!!
I spent most of the race alongside a pack of dudes, and it was a nice change of pace from The Dirty Kanza where I pretty much rode 200 miles by myself! Early on after the climb I had a blast chatting with some strong female racers Patti, Angie and Denise as we leap frogged one another. And then around mile 60 or so I met "Daniel" in a Ski Hut jersey. This is probably my favorite thing ever about racing bikes for 100+ miles. You always find yourself sharing in the suffering with someone... often times someone you just met. Last weekend it was Daniel and we rode together for the last 40 miles finishing just seconds away from each other. He pulled me when I suffered mid race, I waited for him to fill his bottles, he waited for me to fill my bottles and then when he dropped his water bottle in the pace line with 15 miles to go I told him "you'll be fine", even though deep down I thought "yikes, you might be screwed!"
|Daniel and I on the final climb!|
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Jay Calhoun Photography
|Eeek! That's me on a podium with Steve Tilford!|
Afterwards we celebrated with my cute little niece and nephew at the park. What an awesome race and what an awesome weekend. Huge props to Lifetime for putting on a first class event. After riding gravel all spring it was really amazing to have fully stocked aid stations ever 10-15 miles. Such amazing volunteers. Such a kick ass finish line and even better race awards....Since I also won my age group....I won two axes!!!! Time to go chop some stuff.
Meanwhile, as if there wasn't enough stoke....I'm pretty excited about the combination of these Hed Ardennes Plus Wheels and this custom Fulton Racing All-City Macho King Frame....let the bike building begin, eeek!