Pro MTB Team Spices up Mt Snow

July 30, 2007 · Print This Article

By Boa Boy

Dawn broke over the North Carolina hills to reveal a gorgous valley below our rented house. Shannon Gibson, Barb Howe, Jennifer Tilley, Natascha Cowie and Erika Krumpelman journeyed to Banner Elk, NC contesting the sixth round of the NMBS this past weekend. Morgan Styer and his family joined to support the team and do a little racing over their own.

The XC race began under threatening skies but relented long enough for the girls to complete three laps with an average time of about 42 minutes per lap. Shannon had to withdraw after taking a flying leap off her bike during a tricky decent. Fortunately, her ballet skills came into full use and while ending up spread across a large boulder, walked away from the race with minor injuries to race the following day.

Barb Howe continues to improve her fitness and competitiveness on the circuit with a season high 23rd placing in XC and a strong showing at the Short Track on Sunday.

After finishing 3rd in the U23 Nationals race, Natascha “Clunk” Cowie suffered a bit during the XC race, but recovered well enough to post a fantastic first national-level pro Short Track race on Sunday. Natascha is one to watch for the future. In the meantime, anyone know of any jobs in the Boulder, CO area?

Jen Tilley returned to racing after a long month of illness and no training to post a respectable 33rd placing in XC. Jen has begun transitioning to cross and looks forward to a strong season this year after sitting out last year with a severe collar bone injury.

Erika Krumpelman exemplifies all that a Bella can be. This was her first year as a pro and at the experienced age of, well, older than most of her competitors, Erika battled through adversity and injury to complete a successful season. While her results were never to her liking, Erika is one tough competitor and an excellent role model for all of us reading this blog. Battered, bruised, scarred and perhaps even broken, Erika never quit, never gave in to the second thoughts or the doubts so common amongst bike racers and perservered to finish her season this past weekend with a solid showing in the XC. Barely able to move Sunday morning after a close encounter with a tree on Thursday during practice, Erika cheered her teammates on from the side lines and I am proud she elevated her status to pro. Thanks Erika and CONGRATULATIONS on a fine season.

The final round of the NMBS is in two weeks in Snowmass, CO and I invite ALL VBs in attendance to use our tents as their own and enjoy yourselves while preparing for the races.

Till then

Have fun,


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