Race Report: French Fries and the Rolling Thunder….. – Dana Stryk

 In Race Reports

Race Report

The French Fry Crit (McDonald’s TriState Criterium), Saturday, May 29th, Huntington, WV:
Jenette William and Dana
after the race
Chuck’s hometown puts on a race every year.  The promoter, Jeff’s Bike Shop, does an excellent job and must have some incredible sponsors.  The course is a flat, 4 left turn rectangle with open corners and decent pavement. I have raced the past two year, finishing 5th and 8th.  In the past, I have tried to create break since the field has one woman in particular who is an amazing sprinter (by the name of Jenette Williams – who races in our area from time to time).  This year, with still-rebuilding-from-traveling-to-Mongolia status, my goal was to sit on her wheel, let her pull me to the line and then pray for divine intervention.  Jenette has a nice steady wheel ath – short of my goal of a podium but happy with most of my race.  I made enough to cover race fees and pay for dinner.  I only wish they would offer French Fry premes…..

nd I stuck to her like glue until she drifted to the back of the pack where, given the crashes in previous years, I did not want to be.  There were attacks but nothing stuck.  With 2 to go, I made mental notes as to where I needed to be on the final two turns.  Into the second to the last turn, I lost Jenette’s wheel but had a clear shot to the line.  I ended up 6

Millers School Age-Graded RR:
The 35+ and 45+ Masters women raced together.  As our start time neared, the skies darkened and thunder could be heard.  Chuck, my soigneur (what else should the newly retired do??), changed
VACA State Podium

wheels for me.  Two years ago, Mother Nature’s wrath was sent upon us and I promised that I would not race anything other than aluminum wheels when I could hear thunder.  Of course, switching from 303s to 101s ensured we were dry, a sacrifice about which I am joking but will take credit for the dry conditions.  Our race was shortened to 2 laps – I believe all the races in the afternoon were shortened. Normally, the shortened length would anger me since I fare better when the course is harder. However…this year I was happy that it was shorter.

I think the group stayed together until the first time past the finish line and slowly our numbers dwindled.  This year our races have become interesting in terms of who is willing to work and who sits in.  I was worried about having enough fitness to do work at the front, so I was among those hiding.  Sue and Amanda (ABRT) attacked the field multiple times as did Jenette (from the aforementioned French Fry crit), but everything was chased down.  By the time we hit the final stretch, we were a total of about 12 – with 4 (including me) in the 45+ category.  I knew where the attack would happen and it did – at that point, I honestly could not suffer anymore and watched the group ride away from me.  Janelle (Colavita), who won the 45+ race, was behind me at the time and I just let her go.  I can give a litany of excuses….off the bike due to family obligations last week, lots of stress from travel and other things….but at the moment when I needed to gut it out just a couple more meters, I could not.  Janelle and Patti (both Colavita) had a great race and congrats to them for the top two steps on the podium.  I ended up 4th for MABRA and 2nd for the VACA 45-49 age group.
Next up:
We will head down south for the Chesapeake Criterium (which is the VA State Championship) and the PLT TT, to get a little TT practice before ToWC.
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