Monday, April 03, 2006
Sunday's Koppenberg Climb in Louisville Colorado turned out to be a race of survival as 50-60mph winds scoured the parched landscape of the foothills. In her first appearance of 2006, Sandra Bloomer, showed her strong form from the 2005 season had carried over. A strong women's field lined up for their mid-day attack on the course, and the action came early and hard on the first of six assents on the Koppenberg. Sitting mid-pack, Sandi was forced off the bike on the first round, when the line she was in came to a screeching halt. Untangling herself from the carnage that found many women scrambling via foot to the top, a strong but small group of five made the first break of the day, leaving the rest of the field, exposed and strung out over the long dirt road, that was being raped by an unrelenting side wind. Outside the top ten, Sandi went to work, clawing her way back in to eighth, when on lap 3, she was literally blown off the road just after the climb by what must have been a 60+mph gust. Climbing out of the ditch, she lost contact with the small group she was in, but a lap later she had blown by them, and was chasing down 6th place. With a teammate up the road, a the 8th place rider was not working, Sandi pressed on. On the final climb, a strong gust made Sandi veer off course during the climb, relinquishing the spot, leaving Sandi to settle for 8th. It was a valiant effort, and Sandi showed not only great form, but great composure in the face of adversity. If this weeks road race result is any indication, Sandi looks to be on track to make her way to some top mountain bike finishes this season.