Petaluma, CA - Alison Starnes of Team TIBCO demonstrated yet again on Sunday that she is a rising star on the women's pro cycling scene.
Still showing good form after a five-race stint with the U.S. National Development Team in France in late April and early May, Starnes and teammate Alison Rosenthal took on a small but solid field at the Spring Hill Road Race near Petaluma, and Starnes left everyone in her wake.
"Our plan was to use the first lap to get to know the course and make sure we were warmed up, figure out the best places to attack and go from there," Starnes said of the 23-mile loop they would do three times.
However, she decided not to wait. "I started attacking at mile 17," she said. "I got caught, countered and got caught again. The third time, everyone seemed to sit up for a minute. I just put my head down and went as hard as I could."
That was at mile 19 of the 69-mile race. It was the last the field would see of her. She extended her gap out to 40 seconds, and when no chase organized behind her, the gap ballooned.
"I turned it into on long time trial," she said. "I put out 300 watts, by myself, for over two hours."
By the end of the race, her gap was well over eight minutes to the second place rider. In between, she had caught and passed the Men Masters 35+ Category 1/2/3 field, which started several minutes ahead of her, and even they couldn't catch her.
"I just kept telling myself to keep pedaling," she said.
Photo (c) Jason Mancebo