Festival of Speed, Atlanta, GA

June 17, 2008

Track Cats Rock! More: continued here

Tennessee Bellas Get Dirty!

May 19, 2008

The mountain bike chicks of Velo Bella-KONA Tennessee are several events into the season and gaining major momentum!

The season-opening Chickasaw Trace Classic was March 30. The already muddy course received several inches of rain right before the race, turning the entire course into a mud-covered 9-mile loop about the consistency of peanut butter. The sloppy mess didn’t deter our Bellas from starting the course and bringing home results, with many finishing the race despite spills, cuts, and (for one) stitches.

Chickasaw Trace Classic Results:
Amber Favorite: 3rd Beginner
Angela Brown: 10th Sport
Jennifer Morehead: 6th Expert

Next on the TBRA calendar was a weekend of racing in Kentucky. The White Lightning TT and XC races landed on April 19 and 20. Keeping in consistency with what seems to be a theme of this years’ races, it flooded rain the night before Saturday’s time trial. The Bellas used their mud expertise gained at Chickasaw to steer their way to wins!

White Lightning TT and XC Results:
Jennifer Morehead: 2nd TT Expert Women, 3rd XC Pro/Expert Women
(pic of Jen above, crossing the street on the race course. Photo courtesy Kim Lilley)
Angela Brown: 1st TT Sport Women 30-39, 1st XC Sport Women 30-39
(pic of Angela on the TT course in the Vanderkitten jersey, Photo courtesy Dustin Greer)

We’re looking for sponsors for our co-sponsored race with the Jackson Spokes on June 8 at Mousetail Landing in Linden, TN. If you’d like to be a sponsor, contact Angela at angela@companyzero.com. More details coming soon to mousetailchallenge.com!

Track Cats

May 16, 2008

By Jamie France
Clemson, South Carolina

Ladies with team logos featuring cats took 3 of the top 5 places on Saturday, 10 May at the Dick Lane Velodrome! Is it a coincidence? I think not! I think it’s because cats rule the track! Meow!

1. Leigh Valletti — Vanderkitten

2. Olga weeks — Velo Bella

3. Lesli Meadows

4. Robin Pace

5. Jamie France — Velo Bella

There were five races and a field of 13 women. First we had Scratch Heats to qualify for a Handicap race later in the evening with the men. Olga was one of the four who qualified. That was followed by a 15-lap Snowball in which Olga got 3rd. Next was a 30-lap points race which didn’t go so well… in lap 5, a wreck took out 3 women. Luckily Olga and I were in front of the crash, so didn’t get tangled up in it. (It was a pretty bad wreck — an ambulance had to come for one woman who had a broken collarbone.) Instead of restarting the 30-lap, they had us do an Unknown Distance. Olga took 2nd and Jamie took 3rd in that. Last open women’s race was the Miss-n-Out; Olga again took 2nd and Jamie took 4th. In the Handicap, Olga picked up another 2nd.

Dirt, Sweat, and Gears 12-Hour race report :: Angela Brown

May 6, 2008

 

 

(The Muddy Sisters on the podium, minus one member. All photos courtesy Clay, except bottom, courtesy Gary Collins )
 


 



(above: Angela talks with Sandra Tomlinson before the race start)
 

Wow! What a party and what a weekend! I signed up for the Dirt Sweat and Gears 12 Hour race back in December, suckering Hope Hayes of Team Wood n Wave into a two-woman amateur team. In good weather, this would have been a decent idea on the 10-mile loop. Exhausting for two people riding 12 hours, but doable. After the deluge of rain Friday night and Saturday morning, it turned into downright silly. So, after a quick conference with the other two-woman team we knew at the race, we instigated a merger. The Mud Bunnies and the Twisted Sister teams became the Muddy Sisters…..saving our sanity and our bodies.

The race began with a shotgun start and a run-up to the bikes. Since I had been giving Hope lip a few weeks earlier about how she needed to consider adding running into her training, that made me a shoe-in to do the run up. BLAM! Off we went. I had tied a pink bandana to my bike and went straight for it, and the line of racers wound around the field and into the woods….

…and then came to a screeching halt. What in the world?
 

(This is what the first few miles of the first lap looked like…hike a bike!)
 

Evidently, the soil around the course in Fayetteville, TN, has a good bit of clay in it, as I came to realize. The line stopped because people had mud-packed wheels grinding to a halt in the thick mud. This was beyond Chickasaw and Canal Loop mud, the two other XC mud races I had just completed. This was PLAY DOUGH. I mean, for crying out loud, kids were making fake turds out of the stuff later in the day and throwing them at each other. When packed, it hung together like nothing I’ve ever seen.
 

(me, after the first lap, on my way to a short nap)
 

The lap that should have been 1.5 hours or less stretched into 2 hours and 17 minutes of pep talk and mechanical discoveries. The routine became: hop on, roll until your wheels clog, get off, find a good stick, dig the mud out of your cleats, pedals fork and tires, get rolling again, repeat. I saw a few who had both wheels that wouldn’t turn, and one guy with his bike on his shoulders. My loop eventually turned into hike-a-bike, with about 4 miles of the hilly 10 being me walking my bike with the front wheel off the ground because the back wouldn’t clog as often.

Finally, I made it out and tagged the next team member, washed my bike and stuff, changed clothes and napped on a hay bale.

When my next lap came around, it was right at 1:33. That’s more like it. The first one cooked me so bad that there was no hope for another in the window we had left to complete the race. Our team completed a total of 6 laps on the course….not as high as I had hoped, but high enough to place 20 out of 25…and we were the only all-woman team at Dirt, Sweat and Gears!

After I completed my lap, I went back to talk to Paul, the Ellsworth rep who had approached me earlier because I had on my Velo Bella kit. He invited me over to hang out at Monique "Pua" Sawicki’s tent and watch her pit change. The woman is an animal! She completed 9 laps on the course to win the women’s Solo Pro division. I didn’t get a pic with her later because I was too shy. I really should have.
 

(Me, in shock, accepting my signed Gary Fisher frame from the man himself!)
 

After the race, the podium and prizes started. I walked away with one of the biggies…a Gary Fisher frame signed by the man himself! I accepted my frame and shook hands with the legend. Our team also got called up on the podium for a special box o’ goodies. We registered thinking there would be a 4 woman team division, but 20 out of 25 in the 4 person team division wasn’t bad, considering that one team member left early and our strongest one couldn’t make it because of a family emergency.

Interested in coming next year? Check out DirtSweatandGears.com.

The Dirty Girls of Tennessee

April 30, 2008

The mountain bike chicks of Velo Bella-KONA Tennessee are several events into the season and gaining major momentum!

The season-opening Chickasaw Trace Classic was March 30. The already muddy course received several inches of rain right before the race, turning the entire course into a mud-covered 9-mile loop about the consistency of peanut butter. The sloppy mess didn’t deter our Bellas from starting the course and bringing home results, with many finishing the race despite spills, cuts, and (for one) stitches.

Chickasaw Trace Classic Results:
Amber Favorite: 3rd Beginner
Angela Brown: 10th Sport
Jennifer Morehead: 6th Expert

Next on the TBRA calendar was a weekend of racing in Kentucky. The White Lightning TT and XC races landed on April 19 and 20. Keeping in consistency with what seems to be a theme of this years’ races, it flooded rain the night before Saturday’s time trial. The Bellas used their mud expertise gained at Chickasaw to steer their way to wins!

White Lightning TT and XC Results:
Jennifer Morehead: 2nd TT Expert Women, 3rd XC Pro/Expert Women
(pic of Jen above, crossing the street on the race course. Photo courtesy Kim Lilley)

Angela Brown: 1st TT Sport Women 30-39, 1st XC Sport Women 30-39
(pic of Angela on the TT course in the Vanderkitten jersey, Photo courtesy Dustin Greer)

We’re looking for sponsors for our co-sponsored race with the Jackson Spokes on June 8 at Mousetail Landing in Linden, TN. If you’d like to be a sponsor, contact Angela at angela@companyzero.com. More details coming soon to mousetailchallenge.com!

Tip Top Sprint

March 10, 2008

By Jamie France
Clemson, South Carolina

Sunday, 9 March, was our old faithful course of 35 miles at Donaldson Center. The field of women was smaller than usual — only 30 of us, all Categories raced together. The cold was excruciating. I heard on the weather that it was 28 degrees with wind chill. It felt every bit of the 28 degrees. Everyone dressed for the cold, but still — we were miserable for the first two laps. It took us 14 miles to warm-up to where I could feel my fingertips. My brain was frozen for those two laps as well. Luckily, everyone was in the same boat — cold muscles, cold face, runny noses.

I really started to feel good in lap 3. I was feeling like I really wanted to stretch my legs, but I stayed imbedded in the pack. I followed a few attacks, but the pack always got us reeled back in. The bigger teams were really controlling things, and I had no teammates. (I had started the race with a brand-new-Bella, Kim Turpin, who I knew was super-strong, but she broke a cable in lap 1 so she was out.)

Before I knew it, we were approaching the 200m-to-the-finish mark, and the sprint began. I finally got a chance to open up and go for it. It was crowded and I had to hold back until I found a gap, powered through, and passed a bunch of gals with only 10m to go. It felt great!

I ended up 11th out of all 30 women, my best finish ever — but wait! Here’s the best part: I was 1st among Cat 4 women, my prevoius best being 5th. And since they scored the Cat 4 women separately from the 1/2/3’s, I’ve got that warm & fuzzy feeling of a job well done when I see the results posted with “1. Jamie France – VeloBella – Clemson, SC” at the very tippity top of the list!

Oh La La!

March 5, 2008


Race Report from Jamie France – Greenville Training Series Weekend #2

Saturday — Fork Shoals — 45 miles: It was sunny & windy. Our 11:20 AM start was delayed 45 minutes due to the races before us being delayed (women were set to start last). About 30 women lined up for the start, mostly all experienced racers (no squirrels). I didn’t know the course at all, having never ridden or even driven it. I had no idea where any of the turns were. It was three 15 mile laps. After rolling out at the tail-end of the pack (to see whichway we were going), I was up in the front third by mile 2. Attacks started in mile 3 and they never let up. It was attack/surge, followed by regroup/recover. I stayed up in the front third, which was good thing because there is a steep hill in mile 8. I did great on that hill, and I finished the first lap with an average mph of 21.9, thinking "this is tough riding, but I think I can hang!" Yeah, well, I was being naive. I got dropped when the pack surged up a small incline in mile 17. Three of us got dropped, one of which took off before I could ask her to work with us. The other gal (Erica) and I decided to hang together for the rest of the race (33 painful miles). With the wind, we had no hope of catching the pack again, unless they got neutralized due to the Pro 1/2 Men’s lapping them or a traffic problem. So we didn’t give up hope, but went as fast as we could. It got really hot; we ran out of water at mile 40; I got a sunburned face, arms, & thighs. I had nothing left to give at the finish (uphill, into the wind finish). So Erica beat me over the line by a foot or so.
The Cat 4 women’s results only listed results 4 deep, but they have Erica as 4th. That would make me 5th since we were together. (https://www.pre-reg.com/Users/RacerMain.aspx)
Sunday — Donaldson Center — 35 miles: It was cold at first, but it warmed up. I was tired from the day before. The normal huge field of women were there, including some squirrels (boo, hiss!). Even though I was tired, I was racing well. The first 4 laps went splendidly. I am definitely stronger on the hills. I went into the 5th lap in good mid-pack position, but… me and two other ladies got caught behind some squirrels and got gapped. I had to sprint once I got around them to catch the pack, which put me at the back of the pack starting up the hill at the golf course with already toasted legs & lungs. I fell off and finished the last 4 miles alone. I ended up 14th out of the 20 Cat 4’s, and 29th out of all the Women. That is two better than the 16th that I got the previous weekend. I am pleased with that, given the hell-race I had done the day before.

Tennessee Bellas ‘Cross It Up!

January 22, 2008

Top to Bottom: Laura, Jennifer, Angela, Abby, Dina





Tennessee Bellas have been sharpening their cyclocross skills in the in the ’07-’08 season.

The fun began with the Nashville Cyclocross series. Races 1 and 2 were held in October ‘07, and races 3 and 4 were held in November ’07. Dina Pezzimenti (who has since moved back to NC….we miss you!) went on to win the Category 4 Women’s series, with Bellas Angela Brown, Laura Sweeney, and Abby Olson making appearances at the races in Category 4.

Next, the Tennessee Bellas conquered the Columbia series. The Columbia Cyclocross series consists of four races held over two weekends each January at Chickasaw Trace Park in Columbia, Tennessee. Weather was rainy with decent temperatures the first weekend, with things dipping sharply below freezing with a bone-chilling wind to boot on the second weekend. Bellas Angela Brown and Laura Sweeney raced the entire ’08 series, with Angela claiming the title of Category 4 Women’s Champion in the 30-minute races. Expert MTB racer Jennifer Morehead raced in the first race of the series in the Category 1/2/3 Women’s 45-minute long race.

Angela also raced the 2007/2008 TN State Cyclocross Championship in Nashville, TN on January 13.

Great job, ladies! The cyclocross series in Tennessee isn’t over yet. For more races and links to results, visit the TBRA race schedule.

Newly formed FL bellas Oooh la laaaa ride

November 5, 2007


On October 27th, at 7:30am, a portion of the FL Bellas gathered to have their first flare ride. Weekends we ride with another group called SBW, but in this large group we had our own little secret dressup party. We showed up in fishnet stockings, our bella jerseys, and our choice halloween outfits.

<–Just arrived – getting my outfit on.

Pin the tail on the kitty: I work hard for once on NOT poking a teammate 😉

Olga’s 2007 Track Debut

October 10, 2007

 

 

 

Here’s a little update on what our new Ukrainian Track Racer has been up to this year! What a busy bee!

 

 

 

General info about my racing for bellas this season (track only)
1. Track clinic with Cathy in March, Cat 4 trackie
2. Mayor Taylor velodrome (Indianapolis)
· Indianapolis, Major Taylor Velodrome: July 6th, 2007, Friday Night racing: Time Trials: 200m: 2nd, 500m: 5th
· Indianapolis, Major Taylor Velodrome: June 15, 2007 Friday Night racing,: 5 lap scratch: 2nd place, elimination: 4th place, 15 lap points: 3rd place
· Indianapolis, Major Taylor Velodrome: June 08, 2007 Friday Night racing, 5 lap scratch race: 6th, Elimination 7th, 24 lap point 9th;
· Indianapolis, Major Taylor Velodrome, May 17th, 2007: Thursday night, intro racing: Points race
3. Atlanta, Dick Lane Velodrome, :
· June 30th, 2007: Festival of Speeds #2: 200m TT : 14.76 (5th place), Points race: 3rd place, Miss-and-Out: 3rd place, Snowball: 3rd place, Overall: 4th place (7points)
· September 22nd, 2007, Festival of Speed #3: Miss-and-Out: 3rd, Points race 4th
4. Masters Nationals in Trexlertown, PA: Points race 4th

Somewhere in between July and August I was upgraded to track Cat 3.

Besides the track racing, I’m gonna race with VeloBellas on road next season as well. We will have fun, ladies.
 

 

Olga

 

 

 

 

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