Charm City CX – Baltimore, MD

September 25, 2006 · Print This Article

by Melanie and Dee-Dee

More podiums for Velo Bella/Kona…the cyclocross season is now upon us. Baltimore, MD hosted the kick-off event for the Mid-Atlantic region which brought out a record number of spectators and racers for the event. It’s really exciting to see how many
women came out for the event with 16 in the elite category race and 18 beginner women for the earlier race, impressive. Below is the race report from Melanie and Dee-Dee.

***** The start, from Melanie***
Dee-Dee and I lined up alongside local Washington DC area road-race standouts and another local talent, who like cyclocross natl champ Katie Compton has her roots
in the Mid-Atlantic region, 2005 US MTB champion Georgia Gould.

The whistle goes off and out of the fury of wheels and elbows from the mad dash to the top of the paved hill and toward the finish line area, Dee-Dee emerges with the whole-shot and leads us through the first set of tricky grass off-camber turn.

Georgia was on D’s wheel, and I was right behind waiting and watching. After navigating a tricky 90degree turn up and over an off-camber root and then having to
dig it in up over a little grunt of a rise, Georgia makes the pass and being on her wheel I came around as well.

With Georgia in the lead, I was wondering how this was all going to turn out. My thoughts started to wonder and then all of a sudden Georgia dropped right away into the first pit and I was in the driver’s seat. (Georgia had a crooked stem from a mishap in the Men’s B race which she led most of and went on to finish 3rd). I had
flashbacks of watching Christine and Barb work together as the Bella one-two punch of last year. I thought this is it, let’s go.

***** The rest of the race, from the Grasshopper*****
At this point I am still fumbling with my handling through the curves carrying about zero momentum as we head into the windy section of the course. On the long grassy straight, I pull through and Melanie hops on my wheel. We power up the long double barrier run/ride up with the heat glaring down on us.

The course takes us back towards the crowds with a fast and fun grassy decent, followed by a quick drop off a curb, cross the road, and a quick bunny hop up the other curb to proceed to the natural set of barriers. Clink! Chink! My chain is off and I can’t get it back on.

Melanie comes blazing by and starts hammering away. I managed to get the chain back on and worked back up to her and took over on the long windy grassy straight again. I didn’t want to look back for fear Georgia might be right on my wheel….Then the smoothness came. I remembered, this is what cross is all about. The pain, the feeling of nausea from exertion AND the energy, the pizzazz, that you get when you get in your rhythm.

If only every race you could always find it. I am still searching for that magic tool to be able to do so. It is great to be back and I was extremely pleased
with how the Bellas finished up.

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