Stage 2 Nature Valley 06

June 16, 2006 · Print This Article

-by Kele Murdin

On the profile, and word on the street was this was a flat course….and for some stupid reason, we all take that as ‘easier’….WRONG-aroma!

So the first QOH (yes, not to be confused w/ the QOM) was at mile 2.7, and a 2 mile gravel section at mile 14, the second QOM at mile 17.3….what I’m getting at was this was gonna start fast and furious…

Imagine 133 girls, fighting for position going into the first QOH, then descending super tight….and add huge cross winds….what does that spell??? CRASHFEST….aw yea, we were obliged to the first crash about mile 10 right at the front…causing a huge split, well the split wasn’t that huge but in these cross winds the effort to close a gap like that was….then a few miles later we hit the dirt section. The radio said ‘hardpacked’, hmm I fishtailed pretty much the entire way, that sound ‘loose’ to me. It was 110%effort in that section, we had already been playing gutter-girl chasing after the crash, now it was powering through the gravel slush..lucky for me we ride Schawble tires NONE of us had flats, and many other teams were not as lucky…girls were sliding out left and right, but I managed to grab a good strong wheel, and made up several positions…by the time we came out of the gravel I could see the leaders about 100m…and knew my work had only begun…

We returned to the gutter-girl survival game…and I found Candice Blickem’s wheel and was happy….then someone on the front caught sight of the leaders again…another acceleration…on the nose of the saddle, eyes glued to the cassette in front, ‘keep fighting, keep fighting’…then it would ease up a little…short reprieve…then another acceleration…once w/ a corner, this time I cracked….dropped to the back of the group….Marissa Asplund (CPT) passes me and yell’s “Come on Kele, you can do it, come on!!”…so I stand and get on her wheel….’hold on Kele’ I tell myself. The hard effort is lasting a long time…once again I begin to drift back, I’m cracking, Kelly Bengamin (Cheerwine) offers another ‘Come on Kele’, I stand and go nowhere, rubber band is stretching again…Brooke Oraeda (CPT) yells, “You can do it Kele, come on’….my stand only lasted a few pedal strokes…the legs were cooked….

I’m alone, and hear Jen Joynt on the radio…’There’s a big group coming up behind you’…and she was right…Jane and Jen w/ about 30 other riders…I’m saved, or so I thought….so I sit in and try to recover…which is going well, until the next acceleration…guttered again…and my body is revolting, legs ache, head throbbing….’stay in the moment, each pedal stroke, this is your race..’, but the body wins, and I’m off the back again….

Jen J was an angle and wouldn’t listen to my whinning…’just go Jen’, ‘No Kele, just recover and stay on my wheel’…she was great.

Jane stayed w/ what became the 2nd group….we were all excluded from the 3 finishing circuits….but that day goes down as the hardest yet of the season! Wish my fitness was better…I was in a great spot, just couldn’t hold it…don’t worry, I can smell success, and I’m a fighter!!

Thanks so much to our local riders who have hooked us up w/ great feeders, who did an awesome job, and gave me the fluids I needed! It’s so awesome to be a part of this ‘sisterhood’…all over the country we have ‘family’ and they alway treat us like old friends, going out of thier way to see we are taken care of!! Thanks Lindsey and Laurel’s sister!!!!

We are also super greatful to our guest director/mechanic John Coleman….he has help us tremendiously….from driving us around, to getting discs, trainers, radios, coolers…he is a god send!! And one hell of a good mechanic….Thank you so much John! For an example of his exemplory help, yesterday he drives to our host house, works on the bikes, loads the car, drives us to the race, gets us radios, gets in the Caravan, after the race makes sure we have recovery, loads the car, drives us home, works on the bikes till almost midnight….Yea, WOW! Thanks, doesn’t even come close!!

Tonight….the CRIT! Yee-haw!

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