Sea Otter Amateur Road Race

Victoria Vallstrom

By Victoria Vallstrom
Date: April 8, 2006
Category: Women 4
Filed Size: About 50
Distance: 3 laps (About 35 Miles)
Teammates: None
Place: 1st for real, 3rd in results :(

Race Result Karma has again decided to punish me ;) but here is the story of my 1st (hmr.....3rd) placing in Seaotter RR.

A 4:30 PM start was a bit of an oddity for me; this had given me about 6 hours pre-race nervousness to build up.

We were about 50 ladies at the start line; the largest mass start I done so far. I decided right there that I have to stay in front the whole race for 2 reasons: avoid crashes, and not miss any breakaways.

The moment the race started, after quite a long neutral spin to start of course, I noticed that I had LEGS today. Nothing felt hard, not even hitting "the wall" climb in the beginning of each lap.

I stayed in front pack the whole race and it felt surprisingly easy. I knew that the most important part would be the final approximately 10 minute climb to finish line so I made sure never go to hard to make my legs tired.

As time went on more and more people dropped back -- in the end of the 3rd lap we were about 10 ladies left, and we went for the final climb.

I pushed a small attack and 2 ladies hung on. It was really windy, starting to understand the beauty of tactics in racing, I made sure to move to left pretty quickly so I exposed my drafters to the wind too, and then I pushed away a bit. Now I knew they had to work as hard as me in the wind.

I stepped it up one notch and the ladies fell back, I kept stomping on my pedals, legs burning, and my lungs were halfway out my mouth. Looked back a couple of times but my competitors were out of sight. I made it over the finish line a bit more than a minute before the 2nd lady.

After the finish (which was far away from the other festival things) Jesse asked the official where the results were posted, and the awards ceremony, he did not know and biking back from finish to the car lot the place was deserted. So we thought that between the timing chip, the bib number, and the standard procedure of double check the number and name at the registration, I would be good to go.

Excited and happy I collected the points for a CAT 3 upgrade and a 1st at Sea Otter; and that night I crashed in bed tired but with a smile on my face.

WRONG!!! Checking the results this morning I am listed as third (with incorrect bib number) the winning lady has the 146 bib number which is the bib so sadly lay next to me here at my desk.

This makes me 2 points short of an upgrade, since results are final and I was not smart enough to stay and really verify.

However, on the bright side, there are 2 ladies out there that are stoked to have gotten 7 and 6 points for 1st and 2nd (number 4, and 5 are the actual 2nd and 3rd so they are probably also pulling their hair out today on why they did not verify results)

N.B.: These results were later corrected, giving Victoria her win and her upgrade!