Post Tour of Willamette -- Resting in Albuquerque
April 18, 2001
The race reports from Tour of Willamette were short and told little about
what I was doing or how I was feeling. Mostly, I blame that on the
difficulty of the race. The terrain was extreme - narrow roads with yellow
line rule strictly enforced, moss covered tarmac, dirt, gravel, steep pitches
both up and down. The weather was extreme - cold and very wet every day.
Each of us, including the staff had reached our limit by the end. Even early
on, the stages took lots out of me. Sunday after the race, I began to pack
up my two bikes, and a fatigue of unbelievable proportions swept over my
body. I began to ache. I got chills. We went out for a team dinner and I
felt worse and worse. I knew sickness was coming to get me. I begged to be
taken back to hotel with no stops at Starbucks, where I immediately cranked
up the heat, put on all my poly pro clothing - hat, turtleneck, undershirt,
pants, socks --, and huddled under the covers where I sweat out all the bad
stuff. The next morning the bed sheets were wet, all my teammates had left
me -- big surprise! --, and I felt like a real human again. I flew home. The
next day, Tuesday, I again did almost nothing.
My personal race in Willamette turned out quite well. I didn't expect much
because of the weather, and because of the steepness and frequency of the
climbs. I had targeted the time trial as a day for me but team tactics
changed that. Being in the break with Erin was as awful as it was fun. I
felt good working out there and received comments that I was strong. Chasing
back to the field after a climb, I felt fast for the first time in a very,
very long time. This is all nice and reassuring after way too many months of
struggling at the back of the pack with little dudes swirling in my gut.
Two new riders joined the old crew in Willamette. Caroline Alexander, the
mountain biker, will be with us for some big road races like HP. You can see
her on the current cover of VeloNews in her mountain bike gear. Jessica
Phillips is a youngish rider who will be with us here and there. She is
quite strong on the hills though not yet a covergirl.
More than anything, at this race, and at all the racing so far this year, I
am totally loving the team riding. It is wonderful to be part of this team
that rides so well together. This means not only the riders on the road, but
David, our manager, in the car or on the sidelines, Eva, our mechanic, and
Marc, our lovable, though not full-time soigneur. I'm impressed with how
everyone knows where to be when, with little or no prodding. So frequently,
Anne has looked over at me to do something, or raised her hand for me to do
something and I am already in the process of doing just that thing. The same
is true with the other riders and the support people.
For those of you who didn't get reports from Willamette, my computer crashed
the morning before I flew to Eugene. So, for the last week, I was using an
old address list. Thanks to Mom, who sent me a copy of those I sent reports
to, I'm now up to date. The www.goyoee.com web site is up and running, so
you can look and the Willamette reports there.
Much of the Intersports team is off to Europe. Caroline Alexander goes back
home to England for some training before the next mt. bike World Cup in
Italy. Anne and Sandy will be racing at the Tour de L'Aude in France. Erin
went back to Canada to train for the track - pursuit and points race. The
rest of us (Cathy, Chloe, Jessica, and me) will do Bisbee in Arizona and Tour
de Gila in New Mexico (Do you think, any of them will find there way here?).