Syracuse Race Weekend – a Bella success! May 26 & 27

May 28, 2007 · Print This Article

It was a busy weekend – NY Bellas Jenn, Sue A, LiLynn and Kate took part in the omnium event known as The Syracuse Race Weekend this Memorial holiday – Bella Gaetane also raced the crit, and Michelle was there to support the team and, of course, J-Bird. Meanwhile, Jano raced the new Navarino Road Race and got 2nd in her category – “lots of plaques”
Many of the Bellas of NY enjoyed a raucous spaghetti and wine dinner to stoke up on carbos and ease the anxiety of the first stage race of the year. Saturday’s start was at a civilized 11:00 am (while Jano’s was at a beastly 8:00 am!) and LiLynn and I managed to arrive to Song Mountain Ski Hill at a very unusually early time for me. (Didn’t hurt that LiLynn was grinding her coffee at 5:30. I could hear her being quiet.) We got a moment to pose for pictures, as you can see here.
The road race was 30 miles for the Cat 4s and 60 for the 1-2-3s with a 10 minute gap between the fields. My group (Kate) left first and knowing that I’d only ridden 60 miles once this year so far, my goals were not high: I wanted to not be last, and I also wanted to not have the 4s catch me. I managed to accomplish both (aim low, and you’ll succeed!) though, I was just 2nd to last. If the race had been shorter, I would have been better off, because my first climb up Oak Hill had me in a much better spot. My second climb was a success only because the gruppetto I was riding with actually waited for me at the top, for which I was immensely grateful. The rest for me was a matter of dealing with the wind and the pace set by Margaret Thompson, a 53+ national champion time trialist who was driving us like cattle to get going. I hobbled pitifully up the last horrid climb, happy to see my pal Jano cheering me on at the top after finishing her own race at another location.
The other three Bellas had better than “just not last” finishes in their race – (well, Jenn had the same placing as I did..) LiLynn and Sue were within 7 seconds of each other and were not too many minutes behind the leaders. They had a group to ride with though there was a moment of exasperation when an unnecessarily paranoid racer kept trying to shake LiLynn off her wheel on a climb when our Bella was perfectly willing to work together.

Part II was the Inner Harbor One Mile Time Trial. A painfully short loop that was on city streets as well as a paved walking path and after a chance to get air off a ramp through a parking lot and around a tight turn back onto the road. What a hoot! Both Sue and LiLynn report riding “brain dead” and being not completely cognizant of the area. Nonetheless this tactic seemed to work for them, possibly after Jenn’s powerful ride and her tips on how to take the jerky turns on the course. Jenn’s previous life as a down hill ski racer provided us with the secret weapon to extra speed. All the Bellas were within 2 seconds of each other! This was very helpful in the overall GC standings and moved Jenn from 22nd up to 9th place!

Finally the crit was our last chance to move up – The Syracuse Crit is the best for crit-haters, those new to criteriums, and anyone afraid of potential crashes. Unfortunately, even a mellow course can have its hazards, as the road was very broken up and Sue found herself edged against the curb on the short climb and she experienced her first race crash. Thankfully it wasn’t one that caused her a lot of physical injury, though she broke her saddle and was very disappointed not to have the opportunity to work in a pack finish, where she would surely have been if it hadn’t been for one overzealous cornerer in her group. LiLynn did have terrific success in her first crit, and finished in 5th place, bringing her up to 6th overall. Jenn’s endurance trained legs just didn’t have it for the speedwork of the crit but thanks to her sprinting skills during the one mile TT, her overall placing was 12th while Sue’s was 13th of a field of 23, not too shabby!
In the women’s 1-2-3 crit, we were happy not to have the Austrailian national champion and T-Mobile team member racing that event – Gaetane unsurprisingly won not only a prime for a tire, but was 3rd. She loves crits. I was satisfied with 8th and was able to move up to 9th overall in the GC.
Here’s a shot of Michelle at the Inner Harbor, hoping to race as soon as her PT gives her the green light. Thanks for reading and ’till next time…

This fabulous post was written by one of our awesome bella volunteers ~ To change this standard text, you have to enter some information about your self in the Dashboard -> Users -> Your Profile box.


Got something to say?