A team of two? Not enough this week.

Saturday: Volunteer Park Criterium
Women 1/2 Field: 16 racers
# HB women: 6-7?
# KR women: 1.5?

Tricia missed the break that ended up mattering, and the field was adamant about not letting anyone else go. She managed to outsprint the pack for a sweeeeet Clif drink mix prime, AND took 2nd in the pack sprint for 3rd place overall. Nice ride by TB. Tricia’s third place prize money covered gas for Sunday. And it’s a good thing, because…

Sunday: Olympic View Road Race
Course distance: 18 mile loop x 4 = 72 miles
Women’s 1/2/3 field: 30 racers
#HB racers: 1. Wheeler.
# Team Group Health: 7
# KR racers: 2!

Race begins. At mile 4, Tricia Sandstrom (TGH) kicks off the racing with a nice early attack. Christine covers it, and they make Wheeler bring it back. As Sandstrom goes back to the pack, her teammate Mindy counters, with Laura (bikesale.com) dangling on as well. Christine still feels feisty, and covers this too. They work together for a few miles, as Wheeler chases again. The break is caught on the backside of the course, with sufficient time for Xtine to recover before the short kicker climb. As the pack surges up the climb, Morgan’s (bikesale.com) rear wheel skewer rips off a spoke from Tricia’s front wheel.

# KR wheels in the wheel car: 0

Xtine takes a second to realize what has happened, then turns to help TB at the wheel car. At glacial pace, the wheel car personnel discuss the wheel situation. Meanwhile, Xtine takes off her front wheel and throws it at Tricia. A very, very kind person in the unofficial feed zone (“Scott”) gives Xtine a front wheel for her bike. Together, TB and Xtine attempt to chase back on to the pack. They chase for about 5 miles together, at which point Xtine tells TB to go on ahead. TB chases for another 15 miles, closes the gap to within 30 seconds, but then loses the pack and the gap grows to 2:30. At this point, she decides her race is over, and turns around to gather Xtine and return the borrowed wheels. Unfortunately, while riding the course a little while later as the race was still in progress, they realize the pack pace has slowed significantly, perhaps even enough that catching back on would have been possible. Oh, well.

Spoke is broken, but wheel should be salvagable for next week.

More tales to come from Walla Walla.

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