Prinner Report: Wisconsin RR and Carrol County

Hello ABD,

The race options for the weekend of the 7^th were indeed quite sparse,
so I settled on the Wisconsin State Championship RR seeing as though it
was the only race that was remotely close. If I could have foreseen the
tragic outcome of this race, though, I would have definitely not gone at

The entirety of the women's cat. 1,2,3 race was 39 miles; six laps, each
totaling 6.5 miles each, with a long and severely steep climb to the
finish line. On arrival, I had expected to complete the entire six laps,
but little did I know that I would end up doing only about 1.5 laps
total, roughly adding up to a whopping 10 miles.

As I stood at the staging area of the course with the other 15 or so
ladies, the USCF official clearly explained to us the rules and
guidelines for our race. And just as she asked, "So, are there any
questions?" a very loud crack of lightening light the sky, and one lady
immediately inquired, "What do we do if it starts to thunderstorm?". The
USCF official replied that they would stop the race at the start/finish
line if deemed necessary. And, of course, being the teenager I am, I
scoffed at such a thought, because I happened to know that USCF wouldn't
stop a race even if a tornado came down and chucked the entire women's
field off to the land of Oz. They'd just put a lap counter on the yellow
brick road and tell us to keep racing.

So the race started out quite fine with a neutral start to the line, and
the race commenced as soon as we topped the hill. The field pretty much
stayed together for the first lap and as we began our second lap it
started to rain on us. Normally I don't mind rain at all whether it be
on a ride or in a race, but I soon started to question my indifference
as the rain quickly turned to fast, pelting drops, with qualities
similar to that of hail. And not only that, but by that time lightening
was crashing across the sky, officially making it a thunderstorm.
Nonetheless the women continued racing seemingly unbothered by the
abhorrent wind and rain, that is, until a colossal bolt of lightening
crashed not farther than a mile away followed by a tremendous boom of
thunder that literally shook the peloton. And in perfect unison we all
synchronically slammed on our brakes and came to a screeching halt,
refusing to race a second longer under the "conditions". The pacecar,
not knowing that t he women had quite suddenly stopped their race, drove

After a quick discussion on the situation at hand, the majority vote was
to go back to registration/staging and huddle under the nearest tent we
could find, so, indeed, we all turned around and peddled back to
registration and engaged in some serious huddling.

Roughly 45 minutes later, after we had plenty of time to stand freezing
in the pelting rain, and after about a third of the women's field left
to go home, the race officials finally decided to start the race again,
this time with only two laps to go. So we set off again into the harsh,
darkening clouds, like the lone survivors of a natural disaster. Not
more than two miles into the race, just as my legs were beginning to
warm up, I began to feel a distinguished bounciness with my bicycle that
makes every cycling veteran cringe, and knew I had a flat even before I
looked down to see my tire deflating like a sad balloon. So, for the
second time this year I got off my bike and stood by the side of the
road looking very much like a scrappy teenager, and weighing the option
of whether or not to knock on someone's door and ask to use their phone.
Luckily, a generous rider let me use his phone as he happened by so I
could call my dad and sadly abandon the race. And, to this day, I wond
er if some higher power such as God or Buddha was trying to send me a
message at the race, something like, "DON'T DO THE WISCONSIN STATE ROAD
RACE". I just wish they could have given me the flat in the first place
and saved me all the trouble.

The next weekend I showed up at the Carroll County Road Race with
brand-new, heavy-duty-thick, hard-case tires. Take THAT God/Buddha. I
wanna see you try to give me a flat NOW.

As we waited for the race to start at staging, the five other women and
me planned everything out. Since there was only one women in each
category, and we'd all technically won already, we decided we would stop
at Dairy Queen during the race, then perhaps go shopping a bit (maybe
get a new outfit), and then just before we reached the finish line we'd
pull over and apply our make-up so that we could look our best for the
finishing photo. That, of course, was all curbed when the race officials
decided to make us race with the 50+ men, because we all know that Jessi
Prinner switches into her beat-the-snot-out-of-everybody mode as soon as
any mention of competition arises. Not that I'm trying to demote the
women in any way, but racing really loses its competitive edge when
you've already won your category just by showing up.

The race started out fast and fierce with all the steep hills at the
beginning of the race, but it's exactly the kind of meat I feed on. The
50+ men's pack diminished quickly and all the other women but one soon
disappeared. The hills seemed to be the perfect spot for attacks, and
one break of two riders got away early on one of the climbs, leaving the
pack to be torn by several counterattacks that were all in attempt to
bridge the gap. One so rider who attacked about 45543214645646 times was
Richard Adamczckcksk (a Polish LOT rider who has one of those polish
last names that are impossible to spell, much less pronounce). In his
last attempt at a chase, he attacked again off the front, and because
everyone was so sick of chasing him down, they pretty much just let him
go. In seeing some potential at this break, I bridged up to
Adamczkzczszk, and our gap quickly grew from the field. Then, looking
back one more time to see how much ground we'd gained, I practically
fell off my sad dle at what I saw; the field was gone.

Now I know what you're all thinking, you're all asking, "How is it
possible to completely lose the field in just a matter of seconds?!?".
Well, it's actually quite simple. We missed a turn.

As soon as I noticed some stragglers off the back turning a few hundred
meters behind us I slammed on the breaks (cursing at such a misfortune)
and starting screaming at Adamzsckszszk to turn around. Later, as I
found out, there was actually no sign at the corner where we were
supposed to turn, and only the riders who had pre-driven the course knew
to turn there.

So by the time I got turned around and back on track I had already lost
sight of the pack, and soon lost Adamzcszkzk's wheel as he rode off like
a maniac determined to win the Tour de France. And so I pretty much rode
the last 40 miles by myself, battling mentally to keep going as I fought
with a fierce, relentless headwind. I could feel my
beat-the-snot-out-of-everyone mode quickly waning with every mile
because of the fact that there really wasn't anyone to beat the snot out
of. In one flat section near the end I was literally on the verge of
tears and was contemplating the option of pulling over and chucking my
bike in a ditch and calling for a ride. Frustrated and pissed off, I
screamed curses at the gusting winds as I inched along at 14 mph. The
end seemed impossibly far away as my legs and back cramped up to the
point where I could hardly shift in the saddle.

Finally, I rounded a turn and right smack dab before my eyes was the
finish line, sitting there so calm and intent as if it were just as
happy to greet me as I was to greet it. And better yet I didn't get a
flat tire. And it didn't thunderstorm. And I won my category and got
this super-cool looking trophy.

After I crossed the finish line I stopped and laid under a tree and
drooled all over the place like a scrappy teenager. Hey, not everything
in life is coated in gold.

'till next time,

-Jessi Prinner

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