First, let me say that the cycling community here in Minnesota is super friendly and welcoming. It’s so much fun riding here. There are a lot of open roads with little traffic, plenty of group rides and a variety of racing from time trialing on Tuesdays to track on Thursdays and road races on the weekend.
Last Sunday, I raced the Minnesota State Road Championships – 54mi race – three laps à 18mi. The terrain was partly rolling, partly flat with a nice 0.6 mi climb at the finish. It was super windy.
For me, it was a race with a lot of unknowns. I did not know the course or the competition (I knew though there were very strong women out here). The battery of my bike computer died so I also did not know speed or distance.
The first two laps were rather uneventful. We all stayed together. There were a few solid attacks but nothing stuck. With one lap to go, we again climbed up the hill to the finish and I rode a little harder to see what the others would do.
I looked back and there was a substantial gap and then it was all about keeping it that way. Without a bike computer to look at speed or mileage, I just put my head down and went all out not knowing what was going on behind me.
It was another 18mi to go with a lot of wind from all directions. I looked back quite a few times trying to figure out if the peloton came closer. The motor ref told me 30 seconds after a while, then 42 seconds and then “I dont know I dont see anyone”. That got me worried because I had no time check anymore whether I go fast enough to stay away. Only on the last climb to the finish line I eased up just a little when I did not see anyone behind me. I could not believe that I held it. I couldnt ask for a better start for racing in Minnesota!
Next race will be in a month in Texas – collegiate Track Nationals. That will be interesting!