Saturday, October 25, 2008

Viva La France

After racing in Portland, I headed directly to the east coast to spend a few days with family before heading to Lorient France for a world cup race. I have never been to France and was excited for the trip and ready to have a good race after the frustrating mechanical issues in Portland.
The town of Lorient was a very friendly seaside town in south Brittany. The people were very nice and welcoming. The race course pleasantly surprised me again as both the bike and run were quite hilly. I stayed the first night at a hostel and moved into a hotel downtown as the hostel wasn't quite the ideal place to stay. The karaoke the night I arrived along with constant opening and closing of the doors kept me up most of the night not to mention being on a top bunk. Luckily, Katie one of the USAT coaches let me stay with her a few nights in a normal hotel. The team and coaches for the race had a few dinners together, and I was impressed with the food though I am sure the waiters were annoyed with our antics and string of questions about the menu. It is always nice to spend some time bonding with the other team USA athletes at the world cup races.
Race morning came quickly; the day was gorgeous sunny but not hot and windy but not too bad. I had breakfast at the hotel, opting not to have the football size croissant race morning. The race went well. In the swim, I found myself at the front of the main pack behind a small breakaway group. I was fourth out of the water and happy that I was able to stay out of the mayhem that seems to be worse when there are wetsuit swims. On the bike, I worked with my pack to bring in the riders ahead Sarah Groff came back to us first then the small breakaway came back. When they were reeled in, I knew everyone would sit back so I threw in a surge and managed to get a gap on the group. It was early for a breakaway, and I knew I would only stay away if the pack let me go. Unfortunately, they chased a bit and reeled me in about three quarters of a lap later. I then sat back and worked through on the bike but didn't try to take on too much of the work at the front. Unfortunately like every world cup, so many of the girls just sit back for the whole ride it is a frustrating experience. Once off the bike, I tried to focus on having a steady run. It wasn't great but I was happy to run a 37 and finish 16th overall. While I was happy with the race overall, I definitely want to keep improving and move up to finish in the top ten consistently next year.

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