Prinner Report: Superweek

Hey all,

There is nothing that fulfills a bike racer’s dream more than two weeks of nonstop racing on the most flat, hilly, dangerous, fast, tricky and exciting courses you might ever find in the U.S. against fiercest competitors and most torrential weather to contend with. One can just simply wake up in the morning and have the strongest urge to hurt themselves and decide to head on down the road to the race-of-the- day and find themselves in a whole world of pain beyond any masochist’s wildest dream. Welcome to Superweek.

The person who decided to call it Superweek is a horrible liar. It’s not as if one week of muscle-grinding, lung-wrenching pain is enough to send any cyclist off into Crazy World. Oh no, the title Superweek is beyond cruel in that it is actually over two weeks long, enough to drive a cyclist so insane they’re nearly three times as likely to be found singing their bicycles to sleep with lullabies or reading to it a happy little storybook. Not that I don’t do that already…

Anyway, my first race of the “week” started in Evanston, with the women’s Pro, cat. 1,2,3 race. To say that the race was “pretty fast” would be an understatement, because in truth it was so blazing fast that scorch marks could be seen on the road after our race. Or maybe that’s just how I viewed it. There were definitely some blazing fast women there, though, and even a squad of Australian women with names like Skye-Lee Armstrong and She-Man (or at least that’s what she should have been named). I clawed on for dear life but soon found myself at the back growing more and more cross-eyed with each lap, panting with dismay as I glanced at the speed-machine bl inking 27mph-29mph- 28mph with each lap. Hey, there’s a reason I don’t look at my own speedometer during a race. With two laps to go I pulled out as the pack disappeared in the far distance, waving my fist at the sky and swearing to be back next year.

Two days later I was hammering up a hill in the women’s 3/4 crit in Cedarburg. It was at this race that I finally trashed my old nickname of Crashzalot and earned a new one—the Attackanator. Of all the attacks that occurred in this race, I accounted for roughly half of them. After about the fifth or sixth attack my competitors were starting to comment in a bored tone, “ *sigh* There she goes again ladies”. By the end my competitors were calling me “That Crazy Girl”, but I prefer The Attackanator. It just seems to have a certain malicious ring to it, wouldn’t you agree? ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas- microsoft- com:office: office" />

In the end, none of my 184 attacks had prevailed, so it came down to a sprint where I took fourth place.

Another two days after that I was sitting on the line of the flat Kenosha course, or more commonly known as Fast Food Folks and Spokes. The race started at 48 laps. Would anybody like to guess when I attacked? That’s right! 45 laps to go! Now would anybody like to guess how many laps I was off the front with a small breakaway group? That’s right again! 45 laps! The next time I attack with 45 laps to go would somebody do me a huge favor and perhaps stick a metal rod in my spokes?

Anyway, it was roughly 15 laps to go that a chase group of two caught our break of three, making a breakaway of five in total. As it came down to the final laps of the race, the peloton came into view, and everyone in the break agreed not to catch the field because it would surely be extremely squirrelly one the last lap. There were two super strong sprinters in the break with me, so felt a daring move would be necessary for the win, and with 1.5 laps to go I attacked and gapped the four other riders. Victory was just in sight—one lap to go, half a lap to go

…I wish I could stop here where I sound like an absolute superstar, but I’ll make the ending as quick as possible…

but the group caught me and I got fifth. Better luck next time.

The next day I lined up for the Heritage square crit in Milwalkee, ambitious to succeed this time. So I’m racing along and bump handlebars with another lady; no problem, right? Wrong. She panicked and took us both down. So much for The Attackanator.

I’m not disappointed, though, it’s been a good week of racing, and now I’m on lucky helmet number seven (whoohoo!).

And this weekend I look forward to Greyslake and Elgin crits!


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