By ALP Coach Alison Powers and photos by SnowyMountain Photography
Our new race team, ALP Cycles Racing, was lucky enough to race in the Colorado Classic- a 2 day event that raced through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs on Thursday and up Moonstone Climb, a 1km climb that has sections of 15% grade, on Friday in Breckenridge.
We had a team of 6 riders; Lynne Anderson, Kristie Arend, Rachel Plessing, Tracey Jacobs, Kristina Vrouwenvelder, and Cory Popovich. Chris Bondus, from team sponsor Tin Shed Sports, join us to help us as team mechanic and second staff member.
Things got going on Wednesday with team travel to Colorado Springs, rider check in, meetings, and the team presentation.
Thursday morning started early with coffee and breakfast at the house in Colorado Springs. The team rode their bikes to team parking where Chris and I had set up the team "compound"- Tin Shed tent, trainers, van, etc.
We had a team meeting to talk about the day's race, team tactics and strategy, what to expect and what and how to execute for a great race. Most importantly was positioning going into the hard right on Ridge Road that started the QOM climb. The team warmed up, signed in, and bikes were checked for motors. Start time was 10am and the team, along with 75 other racers, were on course and racing.
Though Thursday's race was a short 37miles it was hard both physically and mentally and each rider knew what she had to improve on for the second day of racing in Breckenridge.
Post race, we had a meeting, coffee, lunch, and drove to Frisco. Chris cleaned and fixed up everyone's bikes and we ate a great Italian dinner thanks to team sponsor RiverBound Blue Grass Band.
We were treated to blue sky's and good weather for Friday's race in Breckenridge. The team rode the 11 miles from Frisco to Breckenridge for warm-up. Then it was time for team meeting, course pre ride, sign in and an 11am start.
The Breckenridge course and Moonstone climb proved to be quite difficult with only 29 women finishing within the time limit (10% of the winners time). We knew the course, we were prepared, and the team rode their hearts out. It was hard and it was rewarding.
These 2 days of racing at a very high level were great for the team. All six riders finished the 2 days of racing with new respect for the sport and the kind of mental and physical preparation needed to compete at the next level. They bonded as a team, made new friends and fans, and experienced a life changing event. It was really cool and rewarding to be part of.