This weekend was the Tour de Grove race weekend in St. Louis, MO. I had planned on going to this, but while I was away at Speedweek I had decided to stay home because I was homesick for the family. Then a couple days out, my friend Tim emailed saying I'd be welcome to come down, bring Jason and the kids, and stay with his family for the weekend. It's a relatively easy drive, and I was able to talk Jason into it fairly easily so we were set to go!
The weekend consisted of the main event, the Tour de Grove with $7200 prize money for the women on Saturday, a night race on Friday and a Sunday afternoon race, both with nice prize lists of around $1200. All three races would have big strong fields and great racing.
I ended up pulling myself out of the Friday night race. I just didn't like the bumpy back side of the course. Sometimes you've got to listen to those feelings....as long as it's not too often.
On Saturday I had a hard time getting my head in the game, and almost didn't go to the line. But I'm sure glad I did because once I got in the race I felt amazing! The course was really long with nice wide corners until the final turn is a hairpin. Not a super sharp hairpin, but a hairpin nonetheless. Vanderkitten was throwing down consistent attacks, and a few other individuals as well, but nothing stuck. At 3 to go I moved up into perfect position! I was really excited. I was surfing the front really well and eyeing the other sprinters; Sam Shneider, LVG, Erica Allar, Sarah Fader. I was right there!! At the second to last corner I was in third position, on Laura Van Gilder's wheel who was on the Vanderkitten lead out. This was it! Then somehow in the long straightaway leading up to the hairpin I chickened out completely and lost about 25 spots ending up in 25th place. On one hand I was very disappointed. But on the other hand I was happy to have raced a good race and put myself in the right position. I was super mad at myself for choking, but it happens.
I decided to call it a weekend and we spend Sunday being tourists and hanging out at the St. Louis arch. The weekend was kind of a bust for bike racing, but we had a great time with our friends and hanging out as a family.