Elizabeth Emery Sport
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HP LaserJet Women's Challenge
Stage 9 -- 85 miles Burley to Buhl (trout capital of the world!)
Idaho, May 16, 1999

With the tail wind and a break of eight off the front, almost from the start, we were smoking along at 40 miles an hour. That's miles not kilometers. (The last two days we've shattered the course records.) Those without an 11 tooth cog were wishing they had one. A young German rider was in the break, causing some concern for the Neuremberger team (Barbara Heeb's team) since their young rider was in the best young rider jersey. At the front they chased. Petra Rossner, Ina and the rest of the German team worked on messing them up. Not surprisingly, the Germans won out and Barbara's team gave up.

We still cruised along at a good clip. The wind shifted from a tail wind to a cross wind bringing us all to the gutter. In wind as strong as yesterday's being well positioned becomes crucial. A small gap opening up can mean never recatching the cruising field. Also, being along the gutter is good. Being IN the gutter is not good. In the gutter there are parked cars, potholes, and other riders pushing and shoving. It's definitely a fine line of riding on the edge -- mentally and literally.

Searching for that 11
"Standing in the parking lot this morning in Burley the first thing we noticed was that we would have a ripping tail wind for most of the day. The second thing we noted was that everyone was looking raw, rooted, rocked and otherwise wasted. A good day for a break to get away and to stick.
And sure enough, as we left the parking lot there was an attack. Each one of us took turns being in breaks. Kim covered one, it was caught, I bridged to one and then attacked it, but the wrong mix of riders bridged to me, and there was a counter. Sarah was in that one -- and it stayed away for the rest of the 105 kilometers. Sarah had a "Kiwi teammate" in Susy Pryde (Saturn), Julie Young (Timex), Kathy Watt (Australia), Sue Palmer (Canada) and Tina Liebig (Germany) completed the mix of international riders.
As most of the teams had riders represented, there was a hesitation in the field and the break quickly gained time. The tail wind though picked up and soon the peloton was rolling along at 60 kilometers an hour. Again, I was clicking my left shifter searching for that 11 tooth cog. We all stayed at the front to keep the back door closed so that no one else would bridge to the front group. Kim and I decided this was a winning break for us and we would do all possible to make sure it stuck.." -- Giana Roberge
The break got oodles of time -- close to four minutes by the end. In the last 10k the climbing started and I discovered that, between attempting to take it easy and not having climbing legs, I dropped off. Giana and Pam were in my group along with others and we tried to catch on, never quite making it.

So far, I haven't talked much about how professional women's team racing is getting. Linda's team, Timex, did an amazing job setting her up for her incredible win two days ago on the hill top finish. The German National Team are always impressive. The day Ina won, Petra gave a leadout. I heard the Australian coach talk about the SRM information on the leadout. She, Petra, produced considerably more than 1000 watts setting Ina up. Ina, winning, produced just under 1000. Their young riders chased all the breaks early in the day so Petra and Ina could sprint to win. This is very cool for them since not more than two years ago Ina, who must now be a ripe old age of 26, was told my the them National coach, that she was too old. Now here she is leading them team to amazing victories. It's also so great to see Petra not hogging every win and enjoying a team position just as much. It's a payback for the help she's gotten and a gesture that keeps the team tight and smooth running. The young riders, Ina tells me, think they are just the smartest, coolest people.

I also haven't talked much about food this trip. We've all been going through periods of eating tons and not being able to eat. At this point in a stage race, the amount of calories we eat is phenomenal. For dinner two days ago I had three glasses of lemonade, steak and eggs, and three pancakes. (Breakfast served all day at Perkins.) After yesterday's race, Buhl, the trout capital of the world, treated us to a fish fry, where I had four pieces of trout. This is on top of the giant recovery drink Jeff hands us as soon as we finish each race. This morning I had trouble eating two pieces of french toast. On the 120 miles day the inside of my mouth started rotting from all the sports drinks I was consuming.

 © 2000
 Elizabeth Emery & Giana Roberge
 John Tomlinson
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