French Broad is a 3 day race with a flat time trial, hilly with climbs road race and a rolling criterium. I was glad to know that the race was a cat 1-3 womens race instead of a 3/4 race so that I could get more experience and learn the different tactics that are in the women 1/2 field. The first day was a time trial and I cut it close arriving to the race because there was a big accident on the interstate which equals a lot of traffic. Only having 20 minutes to warm up and get myself ready, and showing up to the line having a mechanical almost missing my start, I thought this TT was going to be disastrous. When I started I felt better than I thought I would. I finished 10th in the time trial and I was really shocked to finish that well.
The next day was a climbing road race. It had 3 climbs and hilly in between. I was very shocked to see at the line that there were 55 women! I was very happy to race in such a large number of girls, It has been a while when I have raced with that many gals so I was excited and nervous. The race was not too hard there were attacks in which every one was pulled back. The middle climb came an it was about 3-4 miles long. It was on a highway-type road so there were no switchbacks to gain speed or recover, it was just a no ending up hill. At this point there was no womens field left, we were all spread apart like peanut butter and sooner or later we all got picked up by the 50+ masters and the Cat 4 men. As all the women sat on the back of their race and got a free ride to the final climb, I was just trying to stay on my teammates wheel. We were flying though the mountains downhill for like 8 miles. The last climb came as an uphill finish, this climb was about 3 miles, I got 13th and yet again, I shocked myself with how I finished. I was very happy!
This was at the start of the road race with all of the women. Huge field!!!
The last day was the criterium, this time not as many women showed up like in the road race, but there was still a fair amount of women there. It had just finished raining at the start of our race and luckily the 2 main corners were dry. It was fast right at the start with attacks and counter attacks and very good team tactics. Halfway in the announcer called for a $100 prime and I am pretty sure everyone heard it because everyone was sprinting for the line as if it were the finish. Luckily there was no head butting in this race but it was an aggressive finish. On the last day, I surprised myself again and finished 12th in the womens 1,2,3. The start of the Womens 123 race:
I went to Moe's and enjoyed myself a Moo Moo Mr. Cow off the kids menu for a perfect job well done lunch for the weekend! Good job to the Kenda Kool Kids, Jackie Blackwell, Nicole Johnson, and not pictured but Catherine James!!