August 20, 2004 – Lauren Franges took the Espoir National Time Trial Championships on Antelope Island in Utah yesterday making it her fifth national title to date. Racing since a very young age, Franges won her first title when she was 13 in the pursuit going on to place eight in the world as a junior and first in the Pan American Championships. Since then Franges has decided to race purely on the road and now races with the successful Victory Brewing Team on the National Road Circuit.
Only eight riders contested the women’s event that was held over the same 36km that the men and masters raced on last year. Through rolling terrain in very hot conditions, riders faced a tough climb on the wide open highway, followed by a long fast descent that curved back down to the lake and continued on rolling terrain and false flats to the turnaround. Perhaps the toughest section of the course was the effort back over the final climb before the 3km descent to the finish.
The women raced in the early morning escaping the heat and wind that is common on the island at this time of year, however riders did have a tailwind on the way out and a distinct headwind on the ride back in. Franges posted a time of just over 50 minutes, beating out second placed Magen Long by 15 seconds, with Megan Esmonde taking third place.
Franges was excited after the race. “It’s been a while since I’ve won a national title,” she said. Franges has been concentrating on preparing on this time trial for the past few weeks. “In June I was in Colorado Springs and the altitude really affected me, so I decided to really work on the time trial as I thought it would be my best shot. We planned it perfectly. As for the road race, I’ll give it my best shot.”
Franges explained that she was nervous about her pacing on the time trial because of the distance. “I passed two girls in the first 10km and I was a bit worried because there was still a long way to go. It’s the longest time trial I have ever done, but it was good. It wasn’t too long.”
“When I reached the turn around I could see that Magen Long was pretty close, so I was concerned, but I just kept my rhythm and went has hard as I could.”