Last weekend we headed south of the border for the 22nd annual Mutual of Enucmlaw Stage Race - a Pacific Northwest classic. The women's squad was rolling five riders deep with Anna, Callie, Erin, Holly, and myself.
Stage 1: Merckx-style TT
Callie had an awesome ride coming in with the second fastest time of the day. The rest of us were close behind and having us all well positioned and in numbers was a great way to start off the weekend.
Stage 2: Eight-cornered crit
This course is something special. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it is extremely technical with eight corners per lap. It becomes even more challenging when coupled with poor weather, given the numerous manhole covers, cat eyes, etc. on course.
Our plan was to ride aggressively and get a rider up the road solo and we were successful in getting our breakaway specialist, Callie, out in front. However, not long after she established her lead a torrential downpour ensued. We all knew Callie was still out there, but we honestly could not see her… we could barely see each other! Glasses were fogged up, the ground was flooded and the lead vehicle (a flashy yellow Corvette) started to submerge. With five laps to go the officials called the race for safety concerns and awarded all of the riders the same time.
I am still amazed and grateful that the entire field kept it upright. A slightly incoherent video log is available for your viewing pleasure on Instagram. Thank you to Brian and Jamie for braving the elements to support us - this was definitely one for everyone involved. Also a massive shout-out to the Simonson family for pre-ordering us dinner from the famous pie shop in town to help us refuel. Both pies were delicious and consumed in record time ;)
Stage 3: Road race with a distinguishing climb
Good thing we have plenty of practice riding in the rain over the winter in Vancouver, because it was another rainy race day for us. In times like these our disc-brake equipped Trek bikes really shine as well. Anna was by far the most selfless and aggressive rider of the day. She attacked at the start of Lap 1 to set the tone for the race and fought hard to stay away for nearly the entire lap. She was caught by a reduced peloton at the top of the climb, but attacked yet again shortly after the start of Lap 2. She managed to stay away for nearly the entire lap (again!) until a rider bridged to at the top of the climb. The two of them stuck together until the third and final time up the hill where Anna was reabsorbed. Unfortunately we chased hard but could not catch the rider that was still up the road. We re-organized ourselves to setup Callie for the bunch sprint and finished the day off with a spot for her on the podium.
Overall, the weekend was a success with three TRT riders in the top five GC. As always, thank you to our team management and all of our sponsors for supporting us in our endeavors. Some new Bontrager Circuit MIPS helmets, Clif Bar food and swag, and First Endurance hydration and recovery products had us feeling extra pro at this event.
Up next is Provincial Road Championships next weekend in Langley. If you are in BC, please feel free to join us at the course! We would love to see and hear you out there.