Steamboat Springs Amy Charity became a good road bike racer thanks in large part to her physical gifts.
But by understanding biking is equal parts mental and physical, Charity is on her way to becoming a great racer.
Charity, without the help of a team, went three for three during the weekend at the Salida Classic, winning the time trial, criterium and road race.
“It was sort of a shock,” she said. “I really didn’t go in expecting to win all three.”
After winning the time trial Friday by more than 30 seconds, Charity had to battle in the other two races.
She won the criterium and road race in sprint finishes. The last two wins were all the more impressive considering Charity was racing alone and without a team supporting and protecting her.
In the criterium, her plan was to observe the race early and see how the other teams would react.
During the last lap, she caught up to the Natural Grocers team and sat on their wheel. Toward the sprint, she pulled around and did just enough to get the win.
“That is my favorite win of the summer,” she said. “That is me out of my comfort zone.”
Sunday’s road race, which also serves as the state championship, had been won by Charity the previous two years.
She knew teams would mark her and not let her get away.
Similar to the criterium, Charity sat in the middle of the pack and observed for the first half of the race.
In the fifth lap, she tested the field and broke away with four other riders.
Eventually, she pulled away with one other racer for the final two laps. In the final lap, Natural Grocers rider Heather Fischer took advantage of an S curve and took the lead. But Charity crushed the last stretch, winning by a tire length.
“I had to bury myself to catch her,” she said.
Charity will do the Lookout Mountain Hill Climb this weekend and the Aspen Pro Women’s Challenge later in August.
She still is focusing most of her efforts on September’s Steamboat Stage Race, which she hopes to win.
“That’s my goal,” she said. “You never know. Things can go a lot of different ways in biking. Stay focused and see if I can pull it off. I've never focused on anything like I have on cycling this year.”
Other Steamboat cyclists also provided top finishes.
In the time trial, Matt Charity was sixth in the SM 35 and older category. Vince Hooper was 16th in the SM 55 and older category. Jake Barker was second and Evan Weinman was fourth in the junior men’s 17 to 18 category. Susie Jones was ninth in the women’s Category 4 division.
In the criterium, Matt Charity was 20th in the men’s pro division and sixth in the 35 and older division. Hooper was 18th in the men’s 55 and older division, and Weinman was second in the junior men's 17 to 18 division. Jones was eighth in the Category 4 women’s division.
In the road race, Weinman was ninth in the men’s Category 4 division. Hooper was 14th in the men’s 55 and older division, and Jones was eighth in the women’s Category 4 division.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com