HITTING THE PAVEMENT
Woodring admitted as much Sunday after claiming the Pro Women’s Division of the Cherry Roubiax event in 3 hours, 13 minutes and 41 seconds. Schmidt was second, 15 seconds back.
“My teammate drug me up the hill, without her, it would have been a little bit trickier,” said the 33-yearold Woodring after completing the three- lap, 69.9- mile women’s course that started and finished at Sugar Loaf Resort.
The fact that the 38-year-old Schmidt even finished the race was somewhat of a miracle. Schmidt hit the pavement just five miles into the grueling cycling event.
She was leading Hagerty racer Susan Vigland and 13 others in the pro division when she failed to negotiate a downhill sharp right turn onto French Road. Schmidt hit the brakes and asphalt in the middle of French Road and bounced into a ditch on the east side of French. Vigland also went down on French Road, but picked herself up quicker. Vigland wound up third overall.
“I was crying for happiness over there when I finished, and then crying in pain over here,” said Schmidt while receiving first aid at the medical tent. “I didn’t break anything and that’s good. I just have some pretty deep wounds.
Schmidt’s right side, especially the leg and arm, looked like a severe case of road rash.
Woodring and the other women behind Schmidt and Vigland did not hit the pavement.
“They were kind of heading straight into the turn so I gave them some space, slowed down and went wide,” Woodring recalled.
The pack of women pulled away from the intersection and pedaled slowly to see if their fallen comrades would get up and ride again.
“You had two of the best women racers in the state down,” Woodring said. “It’s like in the Tour de France, if someone crashes or gets a flat, out of respect, you wait.
Schmidt didn’t realize the damage that was done.
“We had trained pretty hard for this one and I just wasn’t ready for my race to be over just yet,” she said. “It was just a couple of seconds that I was down.
“But they were waiting and my teammate helped me get back to the group and I went straight to the front and I started pulling. It was race back on.”
Schmidt said she erred on the turn onto French Road, even though she had been on the course many times before Sunday.
“In training we don’t take that corner hot because of there could be cars coming,” Schmidt said. “So we never took it hot before and we just took it too hot.
The women’s race wasn’t decided, however, until 60-plus miles later.
Woodring led a charge up Narlock Road on the third lap, then let up a bit on Lime Lake Road to save some strength for the climb up Mountain Road to Townline and to the finish line on Sugar Loaf Mountain Road.
“After racing the day before, you never really know how you are going to feel the next day, especially after 65 hilly miles,” Woodring said. “But I think Johanna and I both felt pretty good.
Woodring crashed and broke her bicycle in last year’s Old Town Crit and did not compete in the state road race.
“To win a state championship and go 1-2 as a team, is great,” Woodring said. “We worked hard and raced hard.
“Nobody from our team sits in and it’s good when it pays off.”
Schmidt said she was pulling for Woodring the whole way.
“She’s the strongest one,” Schmidt admitted. “Anytime she was in front, I would get up in front to get her off the front people so she could save herself.”