Celebrity Sightings at Owasco Stage Race

July 16, 2007

June 14 & 15, 2007

Not only did we have visiting CA Bella, Liz Beneshin, we also had Pro Ana Milkowski riding (and winning the entire thing) in a Bella kit. But the best is depicted below…Kerry Litka, Team Terry and her Gal Pal Geraldine (who has been on the hands of many a famous bike racing personality – Mario Cippolini, Greg Lemonde, etc.)

The NY Bellas’ mascot, Flat Eric…who now maybe has a girlfriend?

Papillion Twilight Criterium

July 16, 2007

by Reagan

Papillion Twilight Criterium
July 14, 2007
Papillion, Nebraska
Reagan Osborne
Iowa Bella

More Photos Here

First off, it’s pronounced “PUH – PIL – YUN”, not “PAH – PI – YON” like most of the world pronounces the French word for butterfly. Weird, I know, but we are in Nebraska. Too much corn in our diets? You decide.

Got to the venue about 2 hours beforehand. My husband’s Cat 5 race started at 4pm, mine started at 4:50pm. It was HOT HOT HOT. About 94+ degrees and the typical midwest humidity. The only thing that made the trainer warmup bearable was the breeze coming from the north. Oh yes, that will come back to bite me, won’t it?

Standing in line at the registration tent, we heard someone say, “Hey, there’s a Velo Bella here!” Turns out, he’s a Webcor rider (Ben) from California who is staying with family in Nebraska right now. Nice to be noticed. I feel like a rock star!

The warm up laps went well. Half the course was uphill, with the back side being a fast descent into a fast corner and finally a tight corner. I took the first warm up laps slow to gauge the lines I needed to make the turns. The last turn was the diciest. You had to swing wide over a soft seam in the road, then back to the curb to make it without whanging the telephone pole. The leader from the masters race had already tested the hay bale in front of the pole. Definitely do-able.

This was a 40 minute Women’s Open race. Separate awards for the different Cats, but we all raced together. The start was uphill and I was in a bad gear. Duh! Didn’t think to check that!

The women quickly split into several groups. Then those groups splintered even more by the 3rd and 4th laps. The fast group of women seemed to hang out and work together. I soon realized, that the Cat 4 gals I was racing with weren’t going for that.

I was able to hold my own on the descent taking the corners tight and fast. I wanted to lose as little momentum as possible going into the hill. I lapped a few gals, got lapped a few times. I was just waiting to get pulled, about 10 minutes in I was in pain and wishing to get pulled. However, there weren’t that many women, so they let us all finish.

I got in my groove about 20 minutes in. My husband said I got “that stubborn look” on my face again. That meant that, barring catastrophic body or bike failure, I was finishing this race. I would gain a ton of ground on the downhill, but lose it on the uphill.

2nd Place in Cat 4! Okay there were only 4 of us, but I was pretty jazzed. Plus I won the unofficial award for “Best Bar Tape”

When I came in my husband was talking about how impressed one of the Corner Marshalls was with my cornering and handling. Tight, fast, perfect lines. Sweet!

On the way back to the car, a different corner marshall (from the dicey corner), stopped me and complimented me on my cornering.

I feel my first crit went well. I realize I have a long way to go, but it was an encouraging start.

BTW: Catherine Walberg (2006 National Masters Cross Champion) was the winner of the Pro women class. Even after testing out the hay bale on the first lap, she went on to win – just like the Masters race. Maybe that’s the secret, the hay bale bounces you up hill faster?!

Owasco Discombogolated Better Late than Never Stage Race – July 14 & 15

July 16, 2007

Report from LiLynn:
Just like the name of the race sounds, thats basically how it went for
anyone who entered.

The icing on the cake was the Auburn newspaper TT
results with our own Bella Sue Atwood averaging close to 60 miles per
hour in her time trial. We had her hidden in a duffle bag in the trunk
of my car a block away so they couldn’t do a pee test. We succeeded in
gettting away clean without any testing and she held her first place
position. You know Sue, you could share.

Here she is cracking up at how she blew away the rest of the field…

Our visiting Bella Liz Beneshin from Cal took a more serious approach to the TT and spent about 2 hrs warming up on her trainer
while the NY Bellas were warming up their yapping muscles -very important for time-trialing. After making fun of my clam shell/world war 2 helmet and attaching our aero fluff we ‘thought’ we had 45 minutes to warm up. Got back with 10 minutes to pee and collect ourselves. NOT. I missed my start. Stuck behind some van with a bike on the back that I couldn’t get past, they kept calling out my number (which I didn’t even know was my number) to see if I had shown up. Gosh darnet all to heck. Missed my start. Jersey unzipped, gloves in hand, computer not set, they told me to just go. In disbelief, I asked him, “…did you say just go?” and he said, “…just go!” With tail between my legs I stuffed my gloves up my jersey and tried to zip it up while trying to clip in. Someone was taking photos of the woman ‘sprinting’ out of the start. I looked at him an just said “shit!”

Got it together, but no other women were out there. All by myself… don’t wanna be… All by myself, anymore. Sure enough, here comes some pro woman terrorist on a red fast bike, like a whirlwind. That woke me up. I chased her until she was so nano tiny I couldn’t see her anymore. Then the turn around. Fun, fun, fun, I got to see all my Bellas. First Sue A rippin it up at just under 60 miles per hour. Then my mate, Kate Stewart, then Sue Kahler, then the well warmed up Liz from Cal. I was passed of course by two more woman but tried to stay close all the way back to the finish. Sue Atwood with her speed of almost 60 mph didn’t even see me waiting at the finish as she was passing all the traffic. This is a comfortable pace for her being a semi truck driver. Puts her right in the zone. Ruler of the road. Then came Kate, Sue K and Liz. We were ready to go chill with Flat Eric.

Another 30 minute delay for the crit. NOT. Kate and I are signing in with our street clothes on and the woman says, “you know the women’s race is starting on time.” Oh shit! Here we go again. Kate and I are running through alleys trying to get to the car to get changed so we can get a little warm up and pee. Although I opted to pee in the alley and a postal woman came walking through with her hands full of mail and I jumped up from behind a truck and she dropped her mail so I had to go
back and help her pick it up. A Bella good deed moment. Kate and I stripped down in the parking lot in down town Auburn. No one was impressed. Then we headed out for our warm up. We were warning women hanging out in cars that the race was on time. yikes.

The open women lined up and Gaetane showed up with hubby to cheer us on and of course our main cheerleader ‘Madonna’ as always was there belting out the motivational cheers. It was so exciting to be lined up with such awesome women riders. I looked around me and wished I had a camera to take pictures of me lined up to ride a crit with these girls. Not the crit itself. Just the start line. That was my moment of glory. My goal for the whole weekend was to ride with the big girls, (not talking butts) the pros, for as long as I could hold on, 2 minutes… 1 minute… Well I hung on for 2 laps and learned so much. I watched every move they made but the pace was above and beyond any level I could ride for 25 minutes straight. Liz and Kate (my mate) hung in there the entire time. You two rock. The rest of us Bellas were lapped 1 time but hung in there and golly gee, we did not get pulled.

Kate used up all her legs for the weekend hanging with the big girls that night and she is my hero. I got to cheer her on when she lapped me. Thats the fun part of being in the back. Sue A and I got to ride the rest of the crit together and at one part heard some church bells. We almost bagged it and went to church to pray for our slow sorry asses. But we figured we had a duty to hold on to our places in this race and that we did. We motivated each other the entire time and finished strong and together.

The road race started late. REALLY. They even switched the order so the women started even later. It was great. We rolled out very fast, of course, because these girls’ easy pace is my race pace and about 1 mile into it made a wrong turn. yup. I went the right way and was in the lead. So I waited for everyone to regroup. Where was the camera dammit! Well we rode down Rockefeller along the lake to the first hill which I wasn’t even thinking would be a factor. Forgot who I was riding with. This was their first attempt to drop people and it only dropped the baby cat 4’s.

Me and Sue. All by ourselves…. don’t wanna be…. All by ourselves, anymore. Sue’s optimism was at a 10 at that point. I’m like, sure sue, we can catch them. Thinking she must be in serious oxygen debt. So we started working together and we actually were doing pretty good but not catching them. Finally she said to me, “we’re not going to catch them.” I said, “no Sue, we’ve been dumped.” So we decided to have a fun day and not blow up but try to stay in the race. It’s hard when there’s no one around. You just start riding like its a fun ride and forget to race pace. We did a lot of that. Sometimes that makes you more tired than having people around to keep you focused. We finally made it to Moravia and we were getting mixed signals from the marshals but went the correct way. whew. Started up Dresserville and I started feeling good. Before we headed back down to the highway Sue was feeling a little wasted and told me to go ahead. Bad idea because 2 minutes later it started hailing and down pouring and I was a little freaked about riding on the highway. Made it to Murphy hill and it was so wet and greasy that my rear tire was slipping so I had to ‘tiptoe’ up it. Going at a snail pace made my butt cheeks a perfect target for the horse flies. Between trying not to slip and slapping my ass it was quite a site for sore eyes. Once out of the trees the flies split and I was ready to ride hard again.

Everything was going just fine but then I suddenly started thinking I had been on this road for a long time and didn’t really recognize anything. My mind started racing. I started slowing down looking back to see if Sue was coming. Though I should go back to see if she was even on this road. Started sweating. I don’t even sweat. Started sweating more. Started thinking I might get shot. (Looked a little like Wellsville, where I grew up, they shoot at any moving target) Then I decided I would
ride forward and pick up a highway and find the course again. I had it all figured out and then I came to a little rise in the road, just over the rise were these stupid little arrows, 3 inches long, the official markers for the course and voilĂ , I was still in the race. So now I had to get my head back together and pound it out again up the last big hill and then the turn on Baptist. I got to the turn and yelled to the corner marshal to wake up from his nap in his car as I made my turn that I knew about from a previous race. I yelled “Thank you, I got it!” “Don’t get up on my account.” Now to the finish. I only had the 3 hail mary’s is what the catholic girls call those hills, but I’m sorry, I know that’s not what you are saying when you get to them girls. Actually there are 4 and my mate Kate and I call them, more appropriately the 4 [email protected]#$%^*. And thats just what they are at that point in the race.

The best part of the day was coming to the finish and having Sue K’s Bella Fella orchestrate a cheering squad of about 20 people as I came through. In my mind the pros were way behind me by the sound of the cheering. Sue A came in right behind me so I think we hammered those pros Sue! I never saw them, did you? Sue Kahler, alias “Mighty Mouse” had the ride of her life on her home turf and faired very well in the end. Liz came in a little after and Kate behind her. Sue and I did our important job of picking up the rear as we were the brave cat 4 babies that dared to enter. All in all the Bellas had a topsy, turvy day and we all traded places a little but ended up with big smiles on our faces and celebrated with Flat Eric at the end of the day that we all survived without injuries and just some tired, worn out bodies. But still in awe of Super Sue’s TT time.

July 16, 2007

White Rock Hillclimb, Canada
24th, Ryan Hostetter, Women

Utica, NY area Tour de France Prologue Time Trial, July 7

July 15, 2007

Report from “M like Madonna”

Sue represented the Bellas in Utica last weekend for a Mohawk Valley Celebration of the Opening Prologue Event in the Tour de France.

Sue Atwood is the grrrrreatest!

July 15, 2007

Lafayette Criterium, CA
4th, Tracy Loper, Women 4

White Rock Road Race, Canada
24th, Stella Carey, Women
32nd, Ryan Hostetter, Women

July 14-15
Owasco Stage Race, NY
Stage 1–Time Trial
1st, Anna Milkowski, Women
7th, Liz Benishin, Women
16th, Kate Stewart, Women
20th, Sue Kahler, Women
23rd, Sue Atwood, Women
24th, LiLynn Graves, Women

Stage 2–Criterium
1st, Anna Milkowski, Women
13th, Kate Stewart, Women
14th, Liz Benishin, Women
22nd, Sue Kahler, Women
23rd, LiLynn Graves, Women
24th, Sue Atwood, Women

Stage 3–Road Race
1st, Anna Milkowski, Women
12th, Sue Kahler, Women
13th, Liz Benishin, Women
21st, Kate Stewart, Women
23rd, LiLynn Graves, Women
24th, Sue Atwood, Women

Overall General Classication
1st, Anna Milkowski, Women
8th, Liz Benishin, Women
18th, Sue Kahler, Women
22nd, Kate Stewart, Women
23rd, LiLynn Graves, Womem
24th, Sue Atwood, Women

July 11, 2007

Bellas Take Win at Coyote Creek

July 10, 2007

Carrera de San Rafael

July 9, 2007

Coyote Creek Race in the morningby Monica

Saturday night 6:35pm start time
W 1/2/3
Downtown crit, $1500 purse for women

This was the second race of the day for Stella, Sarah, Natasha & I having done Coyote Creek in the AM. I arrived at the starting line a bit nervous as the crowd was huge and I was staring at some pretty impressive, much younger riders.
At first I was feeling a bit intimidated on the line than I thought “what the ____? what other sport can someone like me, at 47 yrs old, be on the starting line with chicks racing as pros?” just have fun. Then the, very loud gun went off.

The first third of the race I sat on the back, timid and not riding with confidence at all. I decided I needed to get my ass up there as I was in danger of being the victim of an accident. I moved up and I was swallowed up and in the back again. Then I decided, dammit, get your ass up there so I moved up to the front third about half way thru the hour long crit

Soon a chick went off the front a Jazz (Y) Apple rider and everyone was pretty content in letting her dangle out there for a bit. Then Rachel Lloyd of Proman jumped, she was on the outside with a decent jump and I knew that was the move to go on so I went. I managed to get myself up to her and we worked together for a few laps to pull that other chick in. It was really exciting hearing the cheers of the crowd and many people all over the course crying out my name. Rachel, Jazz Apple & I were out there with a decent gap. At one point I heard the bell for a prime but the crowd was so loud I wasn’t sure what was happening. As we came around to the finish line I heard something about who was going to win this $200 prime. Jazz Apple was sitting on the front with me second wheel, so I went for it and got it. Yeah!

Not too long after that Martina Patella of Value Act bridged up to us, so now our little break had 4. It wasn’t organized, there was some trading of pulls but nothing with a concentrated effort. I really wanted to not over work as Proman and Value Act had the numbers in the field yet, I also didn’t want our little foursome to get caught. Everything was going great and I thought we might make it until i looked at the lap count and it said 9 …shit, that was way more laps than I wanted. Yikes! I decided then there was no way they were gonna lose me. I gotta say here, thank you to all of you in the crowd cheering my on, it was really sweet and so HELPFUL!

We got caught by the field with 2 laps to go. As we got caught a Tibco rider, Stacy Marple (not sure …all those girls look the same to me) jumped, I latched on to her wheel. She immediatedly sat up. The entire field swarmed, I settlled in mid pack. We came around for the last lap and on the hill there was a crash, unfortunately, I had to go around it and then it was too late. I came in at the end of the finishing field. I believe Sarah got up there for some of the purse money….nice going girlie!

It was a great race. Nice to hear Michael on the microphone and some good publicity for VB Kona.

Once again, thank you everyone for all your yelling, cheers of encouragment…it really does make a difference!

July 8, 2007

July 5-17
USA Cycling National Festival, PA
National Championship Time Trial
2nd, Elizabeth Benishin, Women 50-54
3rd, Barbara Grabowski, Women 50-54
3rd, Michelle Collins & Renee Coppock, Women Tandem, 90+

National Championship Criterium
7th, Barbara Grabowski, Women 50-54

National Championship Road Race
4th, Barbara Grabowski, Women 50-54
8th, Elizabeth Benishin, Women 50-54
2nd, Eliabeth Benishin & Julie Kaplan, Women Tandem 90+

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