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This weekend's racing: the rundown by Heather Jones

posted Feb 25, 2013, 8:15 AM by Chris Burns
Did you ever get that nagging feeling when you were packing for a trip that you were forgetting something? this is the feeling i got when i was getting ready to leave for Richmond the night before the William and Mary Tidewater Winter Classic. i was fuuly aware that the forecast was an abomination, yet i somehow managed to forget my waterproof jacket, or any jacket at all-i remembered this at 4 in the morning the day of the race. i said to myself, "don't panic...what would Taylor Phinney do?" No sooner did i think that when i looked down and spotted the USA today newspaper and pictured those in the grand tours stuffing them down their shirts. well, if it's good enough for them, then it's good enough for me; the day is saved! little did i know just how important this would be as the forecast was false: it was not nearly 50 as promised, but instead 36 degrees and POURING rain. so at promptly 0820, a group of about 25 women lined up. as i looked around to size up the group, i noticed that i was the only one in the entire group that was not in my 20's...good grief. off we went and right at the beginning, crash right beside me. within the first 5 miles, another crash RIGHT in front of me but managed to avoid it. went with the pack but felt they were going entirely too slow on descents, so went in front but ended up staying there and pulling for nearly 10 minutes, this was a mistake. fell back to draft and managed to stay with the front pack (maybe 10 or twelve girls) until the second climb where i cracked; i wasn't able to recover enough to stay with them and was dropped with only about 4 or 5 miles left. that sucked. the good part is that 2 other girls fell from that pack and i was able to chase them down and overtake them. it probably didn't help that with no jacket, i was thoroughly soaked and was frozen the whole way to my soul. by the last mile, i couldn't feel or move my hands and could no longer shift gears or hold on to the handlebars...i had to steer with my wrists lol! was this safe? no. was it worth it? most definately. hence our mantra: "you're not hardcore, unless you live hardcore" i got this dope T-shirt as a prize!