We repeated our Bella 2012 Madera County Stage Race GC win with an added bonus result, but it was a squeaker, and not without drama in the RR!
Criterium - the usual course, temperatures and time bonuses. The usual plan, too, except I could not resist trying a breakaway move following the final time bonus prime. Waited for all the contenders to slow up and then hit it, got off the front for only one lap before getting reeled in and settling in for the remainder of the race. Linda and Adrea strung out the group on the last lap to keep it safe and Sue shepherded Liz and me to line with the front group. Chapeau to Amy Russo for a beautiful sprint win and to Andi Smith who kept the race animated and exciting.
Won the TT by 11.5 seconds over Kim - obviously she had a super ride. Very grateful that none of us were nailed by the big fuzzy bees in the air. Liz close behind along with a number of ladies who have clearly been working on their TT! Bad luck for national record holder MaryAnn Levinson who flatted a solid kilo or so into the race - she was running back to the start - if it had been me I would not have had the legs to restart.
I probably shocked the field by actually riding smart (for a change) in the and RR - thanks to all the Bellas for their strategizing and support. The Bellas were indeed superb in the RR - and there was a fair amount of action. Andrea, Linda and Sue chased the right moves and led through key sections and giving me no reason to put my nose in the wind. With ~10K to go on the broken pavement section Liz shot to the front, cranked up and maintained such a high pace that no attacks could go. And it went on... and on... and on... I sat on her wheel wondering how she could possibly last for another second and the watts just kept pouring out of her. I was well rested for the final 2K, and now at the front accelerating over the final rollers. Then the inevitable - the sound of acceleration to the left; I was watching the riders in 2nd and 3rd place GC like a hawk and marking them versus risking a move for the stage placing that could have cost the GC win if it had gone wrong. Sue got the right wheel - Jennie Phillips - and sprinted around for the win, nabbing the 30 sec time bonus - what a fabulous result! Jennie took second and then Jen Jordan third. I was on Kim's wheel and the GC was in the bag. Liz held on to the tail of the now fractured peloton to grab 6th place GC - the rest of the field finished 52 sec back of our little lead group.
So very proud of the Bellas! It was a terrific day!