Takin’ it for the Team

November 27, 2007

Seattle Cross Series, Race 8

By Kari Studley
Bothell, Washington

I seriously feel like the Bad News Bella…

I really am an upbeat and optimistic person. But I’ve been put to the test, especially my perserverance, this cross season. It just keeps helping me become a better racer, which will hopefully come in handy someday….

After last week’s heartbreaking chain snap at the Washington State Championship, I was ready to start chasing Kristi Berg. I know I can hold my own consistently in the top 3. The cold foggy morning burned off into a cold sunny afternoon and it was a wonderful treat to feel the sun.

The course was nice and tacky as the dew had tamed the sandpit sections and I could really grip the fun windy twisty singletrack trail corners on the Challenge tubulars – love it! The course was TOUGH, too. There were TWO steep wall-like loose sand run ups and a couple of sand pits. There was no real chance to rest as I was always winding up, down and around on the trails when I wasn’t dismounting for barriers. I felt it was good nationals prep. It’s the hardest I’ve raced yet!

The race was going great. I had a decent start and had 3rd place secured with second in sight after the second lap. On the last lap to go, I was trying to reel her for a sprint finish. The corner before the pits (1/3 into the last lap), I rolled the tubular off the rim. See what I mean by Bad News Bella? I hope I’m taking all the bad luck for the team.

As I begged for a neutral bike or a spare wheel, the pit guy said the pit was closed on the last lap, further adding to my breaking and desperate heart. So back to running the rest of the race with the bike. At least I’m getting good at this. I was VERY thankful on how light the Kona is and ergonomically designed with the flat spot perfectly for one’s shoulder – that has been a blessing. So I got last place again.

But the good news is that I’m not sore like last week from the running and as we speak, the tires are being professionally glued (I hope with superglue – never again will we try to glue up our own tires). Watch out Portland, third time will be the charm in my attempts to race….

Mired in Cross

November 27, 2007

We are in knee deep in our favorite time of the year, cyclocross season. Check out the reports here and here

November 25, 2007

Bay Area Super Prestige Cyclocross #4–Golden Gate Park, CA
12th, Natasha Perry, Women A
13th, Katrina Loera, Women B
2nd, Andi Mackie, Women 35+ A
5th, Amy Abele, Women 35+ A
6th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+ A
13th, Rebecca Dyas, Women C

Northern California/Nevada Cycling Association Cup, CA
3rd, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 35+
4th, Andi Mackie, Women 35+
5th, Amy Abele, Women 35+

Jingle Cross Rock #2, IA
9th, Maria Stewart, Elite Women

Seattle Cyclocross Series #8–South Seatac Park, WA
7th, Kari Studley, Women 1/2

MABRA Cross Finals, MD
2nd, Melanie Swartz, Women 1/2/3

November 24, 2007

Bay State Cyclocross, Verge NECCS #5, MA
1st, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
7th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
12th, Stephanie White, Elite Women

Jingle Rock Cross #1, IA
10th, Maria Stewart, Women

Utah Cyclocross Series #8–Wheeler Farm, UT
1st, Kathy Sherwin, Women A

November 18, 2007

US Gran Prix of Cyclocross #4–Mercer Cup #2, NJ
7th, Amy Dombroski, Elite Women
13th, Barbara Howe, Elite Women
15th, Kathy Sherwin, Elite Women
26th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
28th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
29th, Jennifer Tilley, Elite Women
35th, Melody Chase, Elite Women
6th, Alicia Styer, Juniors 10-14

Sacramento Cyclocross Series #4–Granite Bay, CA
3rd, Marian Jamison, Women A
1st, Yvette Crockell, Women C

Peak Season Cyclocross #1–Watsonville, CA
2nd, Ann Fitzsimmons, Women A
1st, Niki Bumbaca, Women B
4th, Beth Welliver, Women B
5th, Katrina Loera, Women B

November 18, 2007

USGP of Cyclocross #3–Mercer Cup, NJ
7th, Amy Dombroski, Elite Women
10th, Barbara Howe, Elite Women
16th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
17th, Kathy Sherwin, Elite Women
24th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
27th, Jennifer Tilley, Elite Women
31st, Melody Chase, Elite Women

Minnesota State Cyclocross Championships, MN
13th, Manda Lo, Women 3/4
2nd, Maria Stewart, Women

Sacramento Cyclocross Series #4–Granite Bay, CA
5th, Marian Jamison, Women A
4th, Yvette Crockell, Women C

Beautiful Day

November 14, 2007

By Melody Chase
Plymouth, New Hampshire


17th Annual West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race
Putney Vermont

A beautiful Vermont Fall day was the perfect backdrop for the annual cross race put on by The West Hill Shop in Putney, VT. This venue is Vermont cross racing at its finest!

The course started right off on cross country ski trails with a fast barrier section then put us into the woods following mountain bike paths. My mountain bike skills came back; to put me in the top three right off the start. Coming out of the woods you had three steep birch tree run-ups that prepped your legs for the BMX course around the corner. Pumping the rollers you could get up speed for a fast decent to the “corn field velo-drome” dodging the dried corn stalks added to the challenge!

My zippy new Easton wheals and challenger tires responded great on the manure packed course and technical woods sections. Once you made it out of the corn field you hit pavement to finish on a very steep run-up that had a trough so deep that the little people had to take a less direct rout to the top.

Lap one and two I was leading out of the technical sections until I bobbled on a remount and was passed. Another rider bridged up to me, working together we tried to catch the leader. Final run-up I managed to hook my tire on a tree that spun my bike around hitting me in the head….now I have a nice shiner to show for my efforts.

I ended up finishing third, with a decent gap on the rest of the field. Awards where given in style huddled around a wood stove sipping hot apple cider. Good day!

Bella Party in Boulder!

November 12, 2007

By Amy Dombroski
Boulder, Colorado

It was an epic weekend of racing in Boulder, with two UCI races put on by DBC Events – Saturday at the Boulder Reservoir and Sunday at Fairview High school. The Velo Bella crew represented! Barb flew in from CA, and our Boulder team was in full force with Tash, Jen, and Monique. I think both days we had four of us in the top 15…not too shabby!

My legs didn’t feel too great on Saturday. I had a good first lap, but couldn’t hold onto the pace. It was my maiden voyage on the bling Easton wheels, and my first time riding tubulars. It was definitely different, and will take some time to get used to. I kept thinking I was rolling off the rim on the corners because the sidewalls are so supple, I guess?

Sunday was much better, my legs are coming back. I did have a rough start, which concerned me a bit, and a few bobbles on the first lap. Taking a corner a little too hot, I crashed and my bike landed on my head and I went through some of the fencing. You can see in the above picture that my left shifter is fairly broken. Luckily I have a single front chain ring, so I don’t need it to shift, but the brake doesn’t work (is that a bad thing?) After getting an ugly first lap out of the way, I was cruising. Barb and I got to work together a bit, which doesn’t happen too often in cross. It was so great to race in Boulder and have friends cheering my name, instead of the girl’s names in front of and behind me.

It was a very fun weekend. Thanks to Missy, Brother Dan, and Challenge Tires for your help in the pit!


Barbarella and me:

Tiara Tilley:
THE Barb:
Mo Hein:

Editor’s Note: Cyclingnews caught Barb and Jen in action, too!

November 11, 2007

Central Coast Cyclocross Series #4–Manzanita Park, CA
11th, Natasha Perry, Elite Women
10th, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women B
14th, Katrina Loera, Women B
1st, Beth Welliver, Women C
2nd, Amy Abele, Women 45+

Highland Park Cyclocross, NJ
3rd, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
5th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women
20th, Alicia Styer, Women B/U19/45+

Fort Lewis College Squawkercross, CO
1st, Amy Dombroski, Elite Women
3rd, Kristin Danielson, Elite Women
4th, Jennifer Tilley, Elite Women
6th, Natasha Cowie, Elite Women

MABRA ‘cross #6–Race Pace, MD
8th, Nicole Shue, Women 3/4

West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race, VT
3rd, Melody Chase, Women 1-3

Inland Northwest Cyclocross Series #7–Farragut State Park, ID
2nd, Erika Krumpelman, Women

November 10, 2007

Beacon Cycling & Fitness Cyclocross, NJ
4th, Anna Milkowski, Elite Women
5th, Melanie Swartz, Elite Women

Utah State Cyclocross Championship, UT
1st, Kathy Sherwin, Women A

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