A Great Weekend for Racing Bikes

Leah Halloran and John Willse both saddled up for the Races at the Lake (RATL) and Covered Bridges training series.

John raced both the Men’s Cat 4 and the Masters race at RATL, marking his first road race ever. Needless to say, he loved it. He finished in the field in the Cat 4 race, and got himself involved in the Masters race to take 7th place in a typically strong field. Nice job, John!

Leah has been bitten by the bike racing bug this year, and raced on Saturday at RATL and Sunday at the Covered Bridges race. By being patient and choosing her efforts carefully, she ended up in a breakaway of 6 riders at RATL. Leah is, shall we say, not built like a sprinter, and knows it. So, she tried to attack her break with 800 meters to go, but got caught in a blaze of glory with 100m to the line. Next time, Leah!

For anyone thinking of trying bike racing, there is one more RATL race next Saturday. Both Leah and John have fun race reports below.

Also, Brian Stern returned from Duathlon Nationals last weekend and raced a 5-miler in Chardon called the Maple Sap Run, where he finished 2nd. He said, “The course is an out and back through the hills of Chardon Ohio with a steep quarter mile to finish. I had not run this race since High School and could not remember why… until pushing my tired body up that finishing hill.”

John:

My first road bike race. Great learning experience. Pretty happy with overall race, should have bolted from the main group earlier! 1st race of the day, as I followed this up with the Masters (II, III, IV) race immediately afterward.

I followed the Cat. IV race up with the Masters (II, III, IV) race. The pace was markedly more evenly paced (and much faster) but also more to my liking. Great circuit, multi-loop course, with some techinical sections. My goal was to stay near the front, and go with anyone chasing a break. I was well-positioned on the final lap to be near the front for the last sprint. Again, a great way to get my feet wet with road racing, esp. on a nice circuit course. All in all, a great day of racing! And very happy with a top 10 (7th) finish) in the CAT II, III, IV’s Masters feild.

Leah:

This was the third Race at the Lakes in the series and my first one this year. The course is a 15 lap, 1.2 mile circuit with a little “climb” right before the finish. I was really excited (and nervous) when the race began because we had what I would call a “big” women’s field…..20 or so riders. We stayed neutral for the first half lap and pretty much for a lap after that. Two laps in and I was already telling myself I had to be patient. Three laps in and I was telling myself to be really patient. The pace was slowing and I just wanted to race. I have to remember, this isn’t an individual time trail. The next few laps went by with a gradual increase in speed and a few little attacks.

About 7 laps in a Carbon Racing rider (Sam House) went off the front and I had to put in a huge effort to cover her break. I finally brought the field up with her on the only hill and was spent. So I tucked in behind the pack and recovered for 1/2 a lap or so before another break tried to go again. I managed to stay with the leaders and once we got back above the hills there was a break of 5. At this point, I was about 15 meters behind so I closed the gap as quickly as I could and got with the break. We rode the following laps together and once we were about 1/2 mile from the finish, I found myself in the front. This is not where I wanted to be. So, I just decided to go for it. I put the hammer down (well at least as best as I could). I could hear them all behind me and with 100 meters to go, I got passed by everyone and finished 6th. I guess I was a good lead out! Overall, it was a great race and tons of fun.

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3 Responses

  1. more PBR and you woulda raced faster 🙂

  2. Nice effort guys. Leah, we gotta find you a race with some more hills!

  3. Way to go both! Leah – maybe you should have gone sooner – like 2laps to go…. I’ll think I’ll be there in the Master’s race this Saturday fot he last-chance race. C’mon everyone, join the fun!

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