HeidiFranz

“It’s a fucking bike race so we’re bringing it” – Heidi Franz reports from VOS

"...it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it."   - photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

“…it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it.” – photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

 

Recovery Starts Immediately - so EAT UP!  -photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

Recovery Starts Immediately – so EAT UP!
-photo courtesy Jonathan Devich (@photogjono)

Bike Racing is Hard....

Bike Racing is Hard….

Tête de la Course athlete Heidi Franz opened her 2018 race account in Arizona this past weekend at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Here is her race report:

 

Valley of the Sun 2018 Race Report

For the first time, I wasn’t starting my road season with a of couple relaxed Collegiate road weekends with friends, or the classic Tour De Dung road races out in Sequim, WA. In the words of Rally Sport Director Zach Bell, we were now “100% Pro”, through and through, and that’s just how this season would start.


Sara Bergen, Gillian Ellsay, Summer Moak and I were sent to The Valley of the Sun Stage Race. Three of us had never done it before, just as three of us had never raced together as teammates. The purpose was to set a precedent for the rest of the season in terms of communication, coming up with a plan, and sticking to it. Using the weekend to get our race legs back on and get back into the road mindset allowed us to ease into the season with low pressure. But of course, when we line up at the start to race, it’s a fucking bike race, so we’re bringing it.

Stage one is a time trial, basically a flat 14 mile out-and-back. We set warm-up camp in our sweet VIP parking near some desert brush and Porta-Johns, and began the day. Gillian would go off first, Sara second, myself third, and Summer fourth. As the Phoenix/Scottsdale resident, Summer knew this race well. There was little wind to speak of, so it made for a less than complicated effort.


There were reports of Sara Bergen rocket-shipping herself around the course, absolutely steamrolling the competition and landing securely in 2nd, 13 seconds behind Leah Thomas. I…went a little slower, but that’s fine. Always critical at first, I had to remember that it was my third TT ever on an actual TT bike. So, I was content . Summer put down an absolutely amazing personal best time, putting her in 5th. Gillian put out a super strong showing in 10th. With me in 13th, the whole team was starting in the top 15 in GC. We could start to scheme our cards for the road race the next day.

Tibco missed out on the top 6 in the TT, so we expected a fireworks show from them to get something up the road. What we didn’t really expect (or count) was that 10 women would all go on the attack from that team. 10!!! We had planned for Gillian and I to cover moves early on that could be dangerous, but that meant following anything that had UHC and Tibco in it. Needless to say, we were busy! No breaks were sticking, and the pace was incredibly high. With one men’s field passing us left and right (literally) and our peloton catching some straggling men on the last lap, the finish was decided in a decent manner of chaos. We were setting up for a bunch sprint, and Sara and Summer were to follow wheels and help each other position in the last km. If Gillian and I had anything left, we would try to help. Little did we know, those weren’t just dudes up the road, but a break from our peloton. Lauren Hall ended up taking the win for UHC and Allison Jackson in 2nd for Tibco. Far enough down on GC, they didn’t change the top 15 very much. Sara was still solidly in 2nd. So, how to make up 13 seconds in a criterium….? Hmmm.

Spitting fire and getting Sara in a break was the goal for the crit. If not, set up Summer for the bunch sprint. The course was fast, 8 corners. Being the first crit of the season, I was pretty nervous, but just focusing on the plan would keep me from overthinking anything. The first half was great. We were riding safe, always towards the front and choosing our responses carefully, letting Tibco flyers go up the road if they wanted just to come back a couple laps later. We learned to save our matches for the really dangerous moves. Unfortunately, a serious crash 15 minutes in with a young 2020 rider neutralized the race for about 15 minutes. Starting us with 25 minutes to go, there was little time to get going. Each of us tried to move up and reshuffle the field with attacks and get Sara in position to take off. However, she was too marked to get away. Suddenly 4 then 2 laps to go, it was a rush to move Summer as far up as we could. Sara was in a decent spot and there was little more Gillian and I could do with such little time.
Stopping the clock at 35 minutes… Kendall Ryan took the win for Tibco in the sprint.

Overall, we came away feeling good. We raced well as a team for the first time, communicated well and knew when and where we needed it better. We raced hard and held our own, being a small squad of four against the powers-in-numbers. With a 2nd, top 15 for everyone, and Best Young Rider, we are happy and ready to do it again.

All our best goes to Zoe Ta-Perez’s recovery! Glad to hear she will be okay.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

– Heidi

Heidi Franz Reports From Rally Team Camp

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

Sport Director Zach Bell Giving Instructions Before a Ride

 

Tête de la Course Cycling athlete Heidi Franz is racing for the Rally Cycling Women’s Professional Cycling Team in 2018. She is currently attending team camp in Southern California and sent in this report and awesome photos. Enjoy!

 

Team Camp Report
January 26, 2018

 

It might officially be the end of day six at Rally Cycling team camp, but for me it’s going on day 24 of rolling on the roads of Ventura County in the sunshine. Sorry PNW folk, I made it one sentence before rubbing it in.

 

Rally Cycling was kind enough to put up myself and three of my teammates, Gillian Ellsay, Sara Bergen, and Abby Mickey, in a house in Oxnard before our team camp began on January 21st.

 
Eat, ride, sleep, and repeat was our mantra for the build up to camp, with some intermittent game nights with some of the Rally men’s team. To be honest it was quite heavenly, getting to spend the day climbing my pick of any canyon along the Pacific Coast Highway, and make my way back to the beach along “The Flats of Despair”-not so heavenly. The teammates eventually started rolling in and schedules got dialed, and before we knew it the whole team was dressed in kit outside Pedaler’s Fork in Calabasas, waiting to be introduced to sponsors and VIPs as Rally Cycling for 2018. Then the party really got started.

 

The first couple days of camp have all the glamor. Our media guys were leap frogging back and forth, getting every possible action shot with every possible angle. Our superb soigneur Kelly is busy preparing an amazing lunch for us when we get back, and Zane our wonderful mechanic is ready for anything we throw at him. Even a fender. (Because of course I brought my fender to California.) For us riders it’s just a fun time to get to know each other while we suffer up some canyons. Not everyone is present at camp (Kelly Caitlin and Allison Beveridge at their track World Cups/camps respectively, Emma White preparing for Cyclocross World Championships… I am happy to keep bragging about how awesome my teammates are) but the first couple days are nice for getting a sense for where people are in their training, as we do long steady tempo and go our own pace up the climbs.

 

On our third day, director extraordinaire Zach Bell put together some breakaway/chase drills, controlling and pacing the gap between a small break and then attempting a catch. Sometimes it’s not just about catching the break, but controlling the leash and playing the gap to your advantage. The infamous “Camp Champs” loop in Malibu is where this all plays out. It’s about 10 miles long, along the ridge where the top of Westlake meets Mulholland, around to the top of Encinal and back to Mulholland- if you’re familiar with the area. On our second go around, myself and breakaway buddy K. Maine (aka Peanut) successfully held off a raging chase group of Sara Bergen (Iceberg), Sara Poidevin (Tiny Dancer), and Gillian (you guessed it, Gilligan) for 1.5 laps of Camp Champs- 1,500ft of climbing in 45 minutes over 15 miles. It was a solid day.

 

At this point, we are 17 hours into the week. We hear there is money on the line at the top of a canyon tomorrow, and our legs are getting tired. However, we are busy editing team photo projects and watching lots of Netflix, so hopefully we’ll be well rested for the onslaught ahead of us.

 

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow along @rallycycling for all the fun.
Sending sunshine wherever you are,

Heidi

 

rallycats 2

RallyCats Roll

 

So many bikes.....

So many bikes…..

 

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

Super Mechanic Zane Getting All of Our Gear Ready to Roll

 

Another Canyon.....

Another Canyon…..

 

PCH Rally Cats

PCH Rally Cats