Jackie Reports from Sugarloaf Raod Races

Saturday I traveled to Clermont, Florida to compete in my long
anticipated and hard trained for event the Sugarloaf Road Race. This
is one of the most difficult road race courses in Florida. It
contains 900 feet of climbing per lap and the finish is on the
infamous Sugarloaf "mountain" which has an average grade of 12%. All
the women were combined and we were doing 42 miles around the
difficult 11 mile loop. Of course they had to torture us by setting
us off the last race of the day at 2:15 pm when the temperatures were
pushing 100 degrees! After sitting in the intense heat and roasting
like chickens in an oven for about twenty minutes they finally set us
off. The group stayed together for the first lap until we climbed
Sugarloaf. I stayed up in the top five as we kept a steady pace
driving up the hill. When we got up towards the top I looked back;
there was a gap with me and five other riders off the front. I went
up to the front and drove the pace over the hill then rotated back.
We then had a substantial lead over the pack where they were no
longer in sight. We kept a rotating pace line for the remainder of
the race. On the next two laps we dropped two more riders leaving us
with four for the finish. I felt relaxed and collective the whole
race until the final lap when I started to get horrible cramps in my
calves. I worked them out but when I stood up they would start to
tighten up again. Finally the finish approached up the final climb
which seemed longer since I knew the end of the race was at the top.
I was sitting in last position for the start of the hill. As we
continued up I moved to second position. When the finish line was in
sight I pushed my legs as hard as I could manage without them
literally falling off. I started to come around the lead lady when
she stood up and gave a few hard pedal strokes (a few harder than I
had). I came across the line second place only about a bike length
off of first.

Sunday was a flat, curvy, 2 mile circuit course only a mile
from the course the day before. Again we started late in the day at
1:30pm. We had a few attacks go off the front by Kristin Sanders of
Aaron's Furnishings but I chased them down and the group would catch
us. When there was about 25 minutes left in the 45min race Kristin
made a sneaky attack off the right side and I knew this was the
decisive one where she would stay and time trial to victory. I made
an explosive sprint out of my saddle and bridged up to her. When I
looked back the group was barely in sight. We worked together for
the remainder of the race staying away from the peleton. In the
sprint she beat me and again I placed second.

I had a great weekend with two consistent finishes.
Until the next race,


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