Ah yes.....DSQ (disqualified). Gotta love it. This is a first for me for sure! I should know better than that to pick fights with the girls at the line though. But I was just in the fighten' mood!
What happened is that I turned myself in for an incident that happened out of the sight of everyone. I couldn't have finished the race, taken someones prize $ and taken points for the series knowing full well that I had technical help from somebody OUTSIDE of the tech zone which is not allowed at all. Last time I checked that would be called stealing and cheating.
That is not my style as I have integrity and wish to keep it. I wouldn't have been able to sleep at night knowing I had done something "illegal" if I had continued on with the race. Yes, it may cost me big in the way of final standing in the NACT series since I was sitting in the money in 5th overall but at least I have kept my honesty and didn't cheat. That is FAR FAR FAR more important to me more than anything else. Integrity will get you far in life, not coming in 3rd or so in some UCI race.
Here is how the race went down and what happened:
First of all, I felt way better today and my stomach was normal again - yes!! I guess the dinner of plain white rice worked last night.
Once the race started, right off the bat Georgia gets a gap and Rachel L is behind her fighting it alone. Then there is the chase group consisting of my teammate Amy D, me, Kerry B and eventually Rhonda M, Kelli E, and Heather I. We were duking it out for that 3rd place podium position for about 3-4 laps. Well, I can use the word "we" BEFORE I slipped out on some dry fresh cut grass on a corner going down pretty hard. Or hard enough that I wondered immediately if my bars had turned on me. I thought for sure that they would be sideways but to my surprise they weren't. But my chain was off which I didn't figure out until I went to go again and catch back on to my group. Dang it! Nothing like looking like a dork sitting on your bike trying to go and you are just spinning in one spot because your chain is off! So I do finally get going again and everything was fine and dandy as I made my way back up towards the chase group. I was feeling great today.
Oh yeah, and on a side note, today was dry, sunny and about 70 plus degrees out, one uphill barrier section, one stair step section, and there was volleyball sandpit that they had you ride the whole one side on, get a 3 second rest in on grass before u turning you back into the other side of the volleyball pit. So there was certainly enough to keep one busy on course today.
Alright, back to the story.....I am making my way back up to the group best I can and on the far side of the course where no one is my tubular tire decides that it has had enough fun being glued onto my Reynolds wheel and it rolls off the wheel in an off camber corner. I got all fudged up and couldn't figure out why as I came to a stop. I just couldn't pedal and it never occurred to me that the tubbie rolled off the wheel, fully inflated no less. Nice. So I start running towards the pit which is forever far away to get my second bike. It also never occurred to me that I could actually roll the thing back onto the rim until THE ONE spectator back there yelled at me to give it a whirl. You can guess how well THAT went with my weak a** left hand.....like NOT at all!
So I am struggling off the bike with the tire and before I know it, that spectator (who had extremely good intentions) runs over and pops it back on my wheel in about 1.5 seconds. Before he did I told him he/I wasn't allowed to do that but he did in a blink of an eye and it was fixed. I was slightly bummed about that because I would have liked to try to do it myself for more than 15 seconds to see if I could have gotten it to go back on (chances WERE indeed slim on that one though). So there went my race in my eyes because I had just received help outside the tech zone.
Yes, I could have rolled forward and raced my heart out until the very end, pretending I had done nothing wrong because no one saw what happened. But I wasn't about to do that, finish in the top 10 and then go to bed with a clear conscious. You gotta be kidding me?!
So I jumped back on my bike, raced to the tech zone, stopped and told a UCI official what happened and told him to DQ me. He asked if I wanted to finish the race and I said absolutely! So I got rolling again eventually, took the corners super easy and finished out the few laps we had left of the race
The other Bellas seemed to have similar fates today: Shannon G derailleurs broke, Kari S. snapped a chain and Maria was feeling the effects of 7000 feet vs Minnesota where she is from. But Amy D was able to pull through for the Bellas to finish the race and keep the NACT Leaders jersey thank heavens!!