Kiersten wins again…and again!

February 27, 2006

11-year old Velo Bella, Kiersten Inserni was a busy girl this weekend.

On Saturday, she raced in the “Dirty Duathlon” off-road duathlon (trail run/ mountain bike/ trail run), made famous by that other Texan, Lance Armstrong, who raced (and won) it in 2002 and 2003.

Although she had never done a duathlon, let alone an off-road duathlon… as a two-time IronKids Triathlon National Champion (like Lance), and two-time USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Champion, an off-road duathlon was not too much of a stretch for her.

With temperatures in the low-fifties and strong winds and rain making the rocky trails slick and dangerous, many of the competitors opted out of the race, but Kiersten was undaunted and donned her thermal gear and soldiered on to become the youngest-ever woman to finish the event.

And not only did she finish… she won the women’s overall!

Afterwards almost all the competitors came by to meet her and find out who the “little fast girl” was. She was even invited to join a team and she replied: “thanks but I’m a Velo Bella”.
And only in Texas are bulls (not steers) and cow poop obstacles on the course!

On Sunday, she entered her first-ever road race: the Pure Austin Road Race, the first and largest road race of the year in Texas. Racing in the 12&U women’s division, but combined on the course with the 12&U men, Kiersten got a first-hand lesson in road racing tactics. She spent almost the whole race pulling five boys around the course until two of them broke away. She was able to catch their breakaway but, with legs worn from two days of racing and no one to pull for her, the tiny Texan couldn’t match their sprint for the finish line and finished third overall and, of course, first in the women’s.

Two days, two first-time events and two wins… what can’t this girl do?

And we couldn’t help but also post this cute picture of Kiersten’s “little” 9-year old brother Kees (also in his first-ever road race) outsprinting the competition for third place in the boy’s division… a little Tom Boonen in the making!

(Note to the flair/fashion police: temperatures at the start on both days were in the 50’s, and being as Kiersten considers anything under 80 degrees “cold”, and the only Velo Bella jersey she has is short-sleeved, she had no choice to wear her RLX gear.)

– from Robert (Kiersten’s Dad)

February 25-26

February 27, 2006

Dirty Duathlon, TX
1st, Kiersten Inserni, Women Overall

Pure Austin Road Race, TX
1st, Kiersten Inserni, Women 12&U

2nd, Kathleen Bortolussi, Pro/Expert Women
4th, Ryan Hostetter, Pro/Expert Women
7th, Laura Sanchez, Sport Women
8th, Julie Starling, Sport Women
10th, Daphne Hodgson, Sport Women
3rd, Elizabeth Cantu, Beginner Women
4th, Katy Kintz, Jr Women

Snelling Road Race, CA
14th, Kele Murdin, Women 1/2/Pro
21st, Monica Nielson, Women 1/2/Pro
29th, Jane Ziegler, Women 1/2/Pro
34th, Jen Joynt, Women 1/2/Pro
35th, Jennifer Chapman, Women 1/2/Pro
11th, Lula Vecchi, Women 3
15th, Sabine Dukes, Women 3
16th, Denise Ramirez, Women 4a
24th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 4a
3rd, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 4b
15th, Heidi Horton, Women 4b

Original Merced Criterium, CA
3rd, Kele Murdin, Women 1/2/Pro and Overall

February 18-20

February 21, 2006

Pine Flat Road Race, CA
3rd, Jane Ziegler, Women 1/2
4th, Kim Passafiume, Women 3
4th, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women 4
8th, Julie Porter, Women 4
9th, Kathie Reid, Women 4

Cantua Creek Road Race, CA
3rd Place, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 4

Dinuba Criterium, CA
3rd Place, Sabine Dukes, Women

Kristin’s Kona King (queen) Zing

February 21, 2006

2006 Velo Bella -Kona pro MTB and road racer Kristin Danielson, had the pleasure of getting her hands on a Kona King Zing full carbon steed earlier this year and spent many hours turning over the sweet pedals. Recently she stayed in the Santa Cruz area with her husband Tom Danielson while he prepped for the Tour of California. Alex Burgess (mtb team manager) and I (Brent road team manager) got to spend some time riding with Kristin on her sweet riding Kona and we watched in amazement at how comfortable and effortless it looked climbing on that bike. I asked her to let us in on her King Zing for all of you who are tempted to order one up for yourself.
*(The King Zing Kristin got is the mint green shade presented on the Kona site. Pictures of the special Velo Bella paint job available from Kona will be posted some time next week!)

“Since riding my new Kona King Zing I have decided this is going to be a keeper for a long time. Not only do I feel extremely comfortable on the bike, I like how well it handles. When I am climbing, I notice myself standing more without having my quadriceps screaming at me to sit back down on the saddle. The all carbon bike is obviously very light weight and great for those long climbs. I have never been the best at descending but since I have been riding on my new Kona I feel very confident and balanced. I find the snappy ten speed gearing to be right on when I am searching for the right gear for the terrain. Of course since I am female color matters; and this bike has a beautiful teal shade that, personally, I love. Needless to say I have enjoyed riding my new Kona and look forward to putting more miles on it around the globe.”

Krisitin Danielson
Velo Bella-Kona pro mtb racer

They’re racing in Texas too!

February 16, 2006

As she has for each of the last three years, two-time mountain bike national champion Kiersten Inserni opens her mountain bike season with a victory and a number one national ranking in her age group by USA Cycling.

Weekend Wrap Up Feb 11-12

February 15, 2006

The racing action has begun. At least in California. What else are you going to do when its 75 degrees in February?

Kudo kisses go to little Katy Kintz for doing one of her first mountain bike races. Read about her CCCX adventures, and Kathleen’s, in our Race Reports. Lots of mtb bellas showed up for this one!

And in the southern half, gravity bellas Judi and Virgina swept the downhill podium at Southridge.

And on the road, Sabine and Jessie went round and round in circles in search of pie. But there’s no report on that because that would be boring. All I can say is that Jessie is like some kind of Napa rock star.


Fontana Fun

February 15, 2006

By Judi Mumm

Dirt, yummy. Maybe that’s not the best way to begin a race report, but it is DH after all.

V and I raced the Sport class DH at Fontana on Sunday. It was a nice course, rocky, ruts, and a bit technical. During the practice runs I had a few good looks at the ground – note to self, keep feet on the pedals when you’re in the air.

V had great runs until race day. She bit it hard on the last practice run. She was forced into a bad line over a rocky section, her front wheel stuck between 2 rocks and sent her over the bars, smacked her head onto the rocks, then to add insult to injury the bike came over and hit her in the head again!

Did I mention that we love our body armor and full face helmets?

V had a clean run and got 1st and I came in 2nd. Velo Bella Swept the Podium!

But wait, that’s out of 2 people racing – there’s not very many of us 40+ gals out there doing DH. Which reminds me, come on out Bellas, do some DH! I started last year at 40, it’s never too late, and really, it’s fun. You get up close and personal with nature.

Next weekend is Bootleg Canyon – scary fun.

CCCX Junior Report

February 14, 2006

By Katy Kintz

It was long, the course was tough, but I finished it anyway. My second-ever mountain bike race was eleven miles long in Fort Ord last Sunday near the East Garrison gate. I trained only one and a half weeks for this, and I didn’t want to do it unless there was a thirteen-and-under category. Unfortunately, and to everyone’s surprise, the race directors didn’t listen. They made the category eighteen and under.

I borrowed my oldest sister’s Velo Bella jersey to race in. She never wears it anymore. In fact, she never rides anymore. When my mom and I got in the car I was nervous and shaking. When we arrived, my dad already there, I got even more nervous. I rode on the trainer until my other two friends arrived. Then it was time to start the race. We rode up to the start with my aunt, my aunt’s boyfriend, my oldest sister, my oldest sister’s boyfriend, my parents and my brother there to see me.

We lined up, not knowing exactly where to go. Then, they told us to move back farther and let the others come through. After we were all lined up and my mom helped me start in the right gear, the race director blew his whistle and the first group went off. After a few more groups went, it was our turn.

At the blow of the whistle, we went off all in one giant spring. Then we separated and the group expanded into an angry mob of riders. I eventually took the back, trying to conserve energy. I soon realized how little training I had and how much training my friends had. It was a road start, but soon we came to a sharp right turn, into the trees and onto the trails. I rode with the group for a while, and then they all kept getting farther and farther ahead–soon I rode alone. I wanted to die on my first lap. There were three really hard hills. One of the old mean ladies wouldn’t let me pass. She kept moving in front of me every time I told her I was going to pass.

Later in the race, but on the first lap, I was riding over on a really bumpy trail when I shifted up, right as I hit a bump, and I lost my chain. I was frantically pedaling when I realized it. I had never changed a chain before by myself, only watched my dad do it. I jumped off my bike, looked at it for about two seconds, I looked around seeing if anybody was coming, then I quickly, like a instinct I never knew I had, I pulled the chain and put it on half way. Next, I jumped on my bike and I was off again.

Most people were really nice and cheered me on, even the grown up racers. But some racers, like this one older teenager, were really rude. Still heavily breathing and recovering from a hill, a stinky rotten teenager (which is what our family calls some teenagers) came blazing down the trail, almost knocking off the trail and not saying anything. He had no trail etiquette. I would have yelled at him, but I had no breath to speak. I just swerved to the right. At least he knew to pass on the left.

On my second lap was surprisingly easier than my first. The hills were still hard, but once I finished the race I was really glad I did. Even though it wasn’t easy, it was worth it. But, I will not race it again if they don’t have a thirteen-and-under category!

CCCX Senior Report

February 14, 2006

By Kathleen Bortolussi

EVENT: CCCX race #1 of a 5 race series
LOCATION: East Garrison of Ft. Ord
WEATHER: 72F (those California Winters)
PLACE: 1st, Expert Women
BELLAS at the race: Julie Starting & Daphne (sport), Katrina (Beginner?), and a young gal wearing a Hawaiian lei…who are you?

I was really wondering why I was going to spend $10 in gas, and $30 entry to race in February for another training ride when my legs were already fried for the week. I decided to just sit-in and see how the race progressed.

There were 6 gals in the race: Bev Chaney, Janel Lodge, Amy Bowen, Melanie Dominguez, Paula from Fairfax, Gal from Santa Barbara whose name I forget. The whistle blew and Paula jumped and I settled into the chase pack withBev and SB-gal. We immediately dropped Janel and Mel, and Paula was way ahead.

On lap 1 it was clear that climbing was not SB-gals forte and I got in front of her and was happy to let Bev pull us around the course. At the beginning of the second lap she and I passed Bev to chase down Paula, I pushed the pace up a hill and we dropped Bev. At the end of lap2 we had Paula in sight and at start/finish I caught Paula for the start of lap 3. SB-gal disappeared from behind me and I really just put my head down and didn’t look back. Meanwhile there was some nice cheering going on and especially from the young Bella wearing the lei…thank you and please let us know your name?!

I let Paula drag me around for lap 3, and then passed her at the start finish hill and led her around for most of lap 4 (and 2 guys on singlespeeds who also wanted the draft). Paula would fall back on the climbs and then claw her way back. Tough gal (35-39 age group).

On the second half of the last lap I finally dropped her for good and hooked up with one of the single speed dudes who really should be in the Marines. He yelled at me to keep going, and ‘harder, harder’ for the last 2 miles. I thought he was trying to get me to kill myself. Dino from LGBRC who says he knows Liz Beneshin….nice guy and certainly motivating. I was happy just to pedal to the finish but apparently Dino the gym spin coach wouldnot have it.

Paula was second, Janel was 3rd, I think Bev was 4th, then Mel, andSB-gal dropped out of the race. She was “just here for a wedding and had ridden a bunch the day before”….oh well. I was super surprised at the win and am very happy and motivated. You never know how an early season training race will pan out, and it was just supposed to be another workout. Of course who knows who will show up at the next race and how things will end. One ride at a time, but for now…’s definitely all good.

Feb 11-12

February 13, 2006

1st Place, Kathleen Bortolussi, Pro/Expert Women
2nd Place, Sharon Osgood, Sport Women
9th Place, Julie Starling, Sport Women
10th Place, Daphne Hodgson, Sport Women
2nd Place, Katrina Loera, Beginner Women
3rd Place, Elizabeth Cantu, Beginner Women
7th Place, Katy Kintz, Junior Women

Southridge Downhill #3, CA
1st Place, Virgina Williams, Sport Women
2nd Place, Judi Mumm, Sport Women

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