Tour de 'Toona
Altoona, Pennsylvania, July 28, 1999
Tonight is the first stage, the Altoona Mirror Prologue, of the Tour de
'Toona. Here I am, back again to this race, where I have made many friends
since 1992 when the women's CRCA team came here. I'm excited to be back with
Celestial. Our team is Roz Reekie, Leah Toffolon, Kim Smith, Rene Marshman,
and Carmen Richardson. It's going to be great!
So, last night Sarah Ulmer (sprinter/pursuiter) of Elita took first place,
Nicole Freedman (sprinter) of Schwab 2nd and Erin Carter 3rd (pursuiter).
The course is the same it's been for the last few years - essentially one lap
of the crit course plus a short out and back section which includes a short
steep climb - for a total of three miles. I was 13th.
Today, the course was crazy hard. It was 2 laps (because they decided the
scheduled three would just be too much) of an 18 mile loop. There were many
climbs, one with a very steep finishing bit and one that went on and on.
Also making the loop hard were the potholes, rough road, gravel, hairpin
turns, and blind corners. It would have really Euro and fun if I had been
feeling even OK.
The first lap remained controlled and a group of 40 stayed together. Despite
hanging in that first group for the first lap, I suffered terribly with
unbelievably bad legs today. Carmen, Kim, Rene, Leah, and Roz all rode great
and were in the group. Elita gave a superb leadout for the hot spot point
through the start/finish. I think Erin Carter of the Canadian National Team
got the points though.
On the second lap, I got dropped on the steep climb,
at the halfway point, so I can't tell you what happened next, specifically.
I hear there was a group of ten from which Anke Erlank (Timex) got off solo
for the win. Kim Smith was in that group. Next, there was a group of about
the same number. Carmen and Roz were in that group. Then the group I was
in, again of about the same number. Rene was with me as well as Navigator's
own Laura Van Gilder.