or: of mishaps and mechanicals in a stage race…

Race report by Antje

The Mission Source Tour of Southern Highlands in Gainesville, GA offered equal payout for women’s and men’s field, and attracted a few pro women in the field for this stage race – it would be a great event! However, the lead-up to the race would be a good indicator of what was going to come. Magda got sick and couldn’t make the trip so it was only me, and I drove up with a friend on Thursday after work. A little spin on Friday morning to scout out the TT course and shake out the legs, and then it was street sprints in the evening. Being anything but a sprinter, I saved my legs and made sure I didn’t advance to the next round.

The TT on Saturday morning was mishap #1: I managed to miss my start time by a whopping 9 minutes (there is a difference between 11:14 and 11:40…). They let me start anyways but of course I got the 9 minute penalty that I was late. Ops. Lesson learned, I guess. On the plus side, I was dead-last on the GC and didn’t have to worry about bonus seconds during the circuit race in the afternoon. I made sure I was on time for that, but we actually started our race an hour late. Great, if it only had happened for the TT 😉 . The circuit race was uneventful save for the QOMs (every even lap) and bonus sprints (every odd lap). If you counted correctedly, that’s one sprint every lap. The attacks for the first QOM came very hard, and I got gapped but was able to chase back on with help of Julia (Stradalli). After that, I was fine and stayed in the pack but out of the mix for sprints, because why should I spend that energy?

Sunday morning had a frigid (temperature) start to our 5 lap, 75mile road race. The longest race for most of us amateur racers. My legs were tired, but I was able to stay with the group that became smaller and smaller. On lap 3, I noticed that one of the screws on my bottle cage had come lose (Mishap #2: If you know that your bottle cage has come loose before, check it before racing!). I had two options: Stop for a quick mechanical repair (and chase back), or take the risk that it might come off completely and I would have to rip it off. I decided to play it safe and had the neutral support fix it. I chased and got back on just before the start of the QOM. Great timing. Of course, as soon as the road turned uphill, I got gapped. Some more furious chasing for half a lap saw me get back just before that start/finish, but that hurt! And it cost me on the last lap. A small tempo increase on of the many rollers and I was done. Right there and then. I rode with Jennifer, later we caught Debbie but we didn’t go all out, our race was over. We rolled over the finish about 5 min later and were the last to actually finish the race around 17th place.

The event was great, and I’ll be back next year with bottle cages properly secured and sticky notes for TT starts 😉 .

The overall win went to Visit Dallas DNA Pro Cycling, who played a beautiful tactical game and just swapped the leader’s jersey in the team. Well done, it was fun to watch it!

TT results. I’ll just leave it as it is…