Mar 11, 2014

Tour de Murrieta

Murietta Stage Race began with an all-out 4 mile time trial, and a spicy finish. The spice : at 1-mile-to-go, the road transformed into a sandy path littered with rocks. During camp we worked on dialing in our positions on Felt DA time trial bikes. My position was getting close to perfection, and I was eager to try it out in a race situation. Allie Dragoo finished in 2nd place, and I used my Quarq powermeter gauge my effort, scoring my first podium finish of the season for TWENTY16 in 3rd position. TWENTY16 would go into the next two stages with great cards to play. 4 of us were in the top 10.

Lex Albrecht at Tour de Murrieta time trial.  Photo Credit: Rob Baine
Stage two was a speedy criterium. Our goal was to take over the GC (general classifcation) and get a stage win with our superstar sprinter, Mary Maroon. Some riders were given the task of covering attacks, others to protect teammates who were saving their matches for the final sprint. Mary overcame unforeseen trouble in the final corner coming into the sprint-finish. Like a champ, Mary kept cool, adapted, and sprinted to a podium finish. Thanks to the help from my teammates during the race, my legs were fresh enough to punch into 4th position, earning enough points to take over the GC for TWENTY16.

The final day of Murietta Stage Race was where the « double BANG » came in; the circuit race. (A circuit race is a cross between a criterium and a road race. Laps are longer than a criterium, in this case 3 miles each. We went around 13 times). By this time I was representing TWENTY16 in the leader's jersey. TWENTY16 set the pace controlling the front of the peloton. My job was to keep the overall general classification, and TWENTY16 wanted to win a stage.

Some riders were given the task of pulling back riders who had broken away from the pack. Katie Donovan, TWENTY16's climber showed just how well she can lay down power on the flats, pulling dangerous riders back in. Others had to jump on moves that we didn't mind allowing leave the peloton.
Photo Credit: Brian Hodes, Velo Images.
Coming into the final lap, I called out to my teammates to help pick up the pace. I wanted them to bring me to the line at top-speed, and launch me to score enough points to comfortably win the overall classification. I sprinted hard and threw my hands up with a WHOOOP to celebrate TWENTY16's first stage race victory of 2014. BANG #1. The peloton flew by me. There was one lap left. I pedaled my FELT hard back into the peloton, and slowly worked my way back up to the front. I only had 3 miles left to recharge my batteries and do the same thing over again. I appologized to my teammates. No time for polite chit-chat in the pack though. Team leader Amber was confident that I had it in me to repeat the sprint, and win for real. We did repeat what I had « practiced » on the penultimate lap, winning not only the stage, but the overall at Murreita Stage Race. BANG #2. (Phewf!)

TWENTY16 won the final stage, the overall general classification, and the team classification at Tour de Murrieta!
Photo Credit: Danny Munson
It feels great to be a part of TWENTY16's first stage race victory of 2014. I am so excited about the chemistry of our team and the exceptional mix of talent on the roster. This is going to be a special year, I just know it.
SRAM: "Relentless since 1987" ...just like me! ;)

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious ending! Very impressed that you were able to regain momentum for that final lap and win!