Road Nationals were held in Augusta, GA last week. In addition to being an opportunity to claim the title of National Champion, the time trial served as the selection event for the 2011 UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark. A total of eight spots for the men and four spots for the women were available for automatic selection to the team.
Matt picked Nadia and me up in Colorado Springs and we drove out to Augusta from there. We saw snow in eastern Colorado and then the rain came. Of the 27 hours we drove, 26.5 were in the rain- over 1000 miles of rain. The rain ended as soon as we arrived at our hotel in Augusta and was traded for heat and humidity. It was quite nice to have some moisture in the air.
Originally, my plan was to race the three Para races- Time trial, crit and road race- and the elite crit and road race. Plans changed after the broken collarbone so it was only a time trial for me. The TT was held along the Strom Thurmond dam on a straight out and back, 19.6km course. Who knew that Strom had his own dam?! The course was made for power riders. It rolled with hills that could all be taken in the aerobars. This was especially good for me because I could get settled in the clip-ons- I ran clip-ons because I couldn’t get into real aerobars- and stay in the bars the whole time. Despite rain for the race it was fast course. Pair that with riders on top form and you get some quick times. The top riders were all considerably faster than the National Team time standard. I finished up fourth overall in the women’s two wheeled bike classification- there is also a classification for the three wheeled cycles. Normally I would be very disappointed with a fourth place but with a broken collarbone, I’m quite pleased.
After the TT there was still the crit and road race to be fought. I did my training rides in the morning and was a spectator for the races in the afternoon. While frustrating, it was actually kind of fun to be a spectator at the races. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely wanted to race but it’s always fun to watch bike racing.
The week was filled with great racing by everyone. The team has just been named and it’s filled with tremendous athletes. I look forward to racing with everyone!