Northern California/Nevada State Criterium Championship–Minden Criterium, NV

July 27, 2008

Northern California/Nevada State Criterium Championship–Minden Criterium, NV
6th, Andrea Monroe, Women 35-39
9th, April Hamlin, Women 35-39
10th, Katie Norton, Women 35-39
1st, Soni Andreini Poulsen, Women 40-44

Solana Beach Triathlon, CA

July 27, 2008

Solana Beach Triathlon, CA

3/81,  Julia Uhlendorf, Women 25-29
7/23, CZ O’Grady, Women 50-54

Roslyn Mountain Bike Festival, WA

July 27, 2008


Roslyn Mountain Bike Festival, WA

4th, Erika Krumpelman, Open Women 19+
1st, Kari Studley, Expert Women 34 & Under

Indie Series Overall
3rd, Erika Krumpelman, Open Women 19+
1st, Kari Studley, Expert Women 34 & Under

Chisago 1/2 Ironman, Paradise Park, MN

July 27, 2008

Chisago 1/2 Ironman, Paradise Park, MN

10/17 Kristy Powell, Women 30-34

Northern California/Nevada State Road Race Championship–Diamond Valley Road Race, CA

July 26, 2008

Northern California/Nevada State Road Race Championship–Diamond Valley Road Race, CA

4th, April Hamlin, Women 35-39
3rd, Andi Smith, Women 40-44
6th, Sherri Lehman, Women 50-54

The Vermonter Or, Psyched in the XC

July 23, 2008

By Shannon Edson
Berkeley, California

Well, Mount Snow, VT is a very long way from California. 

shannon in the xc On Wednesday morning, I embarked on what seemed like an epic adventure: I have a horrible sense of direction and I am a very nervous flyer.  Luckily, the first flight into Denver and the second into LaGuardia were relatively painless.  After six hours in the air, I was glad to be on solid ground and pointed in the direction of Allie’s house in Patterson, NY.  (Allie was nice enough to put me up for the night).

Amazingly, I made it to her house without too getting lost; although, I do have one complaint about  It would behoove the driver to know that he or she is going to cross a bridge.  This is kind of important information., just add a line that says, “Hey, you are going to drive over a bridge.”  As an English teacher, I have an interpretive mind, but for things like directions, I am pretty literal. 

But, I digress.  After a night at Allie’s, the downhillers and I packed up to drive to Vermont.  Inexplicably, Connie and I lost Allie and Kimber in the space of about thirty seconds and managed to drive an extra hour to the same location.  We were in good spirits though and decided that it was a good thing we were with each other and not with our husbands.  Unfortunately, by the time we arrived, we had missed Super D practice and Allie and Kimber were out walking the course, so we decided to get a bite to eat.  And so began the love affair with the Vermonter – the official sandwich of the US National Championships.  The sandwich is comprised of two slices of French toast, ham, cheddar cheese, apple, and maple dipping syrup.  Now, I ask you: How could this be bad? 

Anyway, after the sandwich, I was ready for a nap, but I needed to pre-ride.  The course was easily my favorite cross-country course of the season.  The climb was steep; the descent was rooty and rocky.  It hadn’t rained for a few days, so it was in great shape and my Maxxis Crossmarks felt great.  I rode the tricky sections a couple of times to figure out my lines.  Overall, I felt pretty confident on the course, but my body was pretty tired from the long travel days, so I decided against doing a second lap. 

The next day, I met up with Jen, and we rode the climb to the first singletrack.  My legs felt snappy, and my bike, thanks to Morgan Styer, our mechanic, looked and felt brand new.  Later, we went to watch Alicia Styer, an up and coming Velo Bella and Morgan’s daughter, race.  I’m so impressed with her.  As an eleven year old, she has a long and successful career of racing before her. 

Oh, somewhere between my spin with Jen and Alicia’s race, I had another Vermonter. 

Later that night, we had dinner at the condo and talked about the course and our goals.  Since I had traveled so far, I really wanted to have a good race.  I tried to tell myself that I should focus on having fun and not the result.  However, this is easy to say, but hard to believe.  I knew that I had done all the right things to have a good result, but I didn’t know how I would respond to the travel, the humidity, the national field, etc.  I spent a fitful night of sleep only to be awakened by the sound of thunder and rain outside.  This did not help to calm my nerves, but only increased my anxiety.  The course was going to be totally different now that it was wet. 

After a few hours of staring at the ceiling, Jen and I headed down to the venue.  Morgan quickly changed out my front Crossmark for a Maxxis Advantage, and I started my warm-up.  This turned out to be the perfect choice for the conditions.  I had decided not to wear my heart rate monitor.  Although I’ve worn it all season, I sometimes talk myself out of going harder if I see a number that seems too high. 

At 10:45, I was on the line.  I knew I had my work cut out of me.   Looking at field, I was glad that I didn’t have my HR monitor on because I knew my heart was racing just standing there.  The official went through the instructions, and we were off.  Up the first climb, I passed a couple of women and then encountered some traffic on the first singletrack section.  Women were off their bikes, and thus, so was I.  Finally, it loosened up on the long fire road and I started passing.  When we ducked back into the woods, I made a few mistakes, and a couple racers squeezed around me.  On the descent though, I started picking them off. 

Through the feed zone, I told myself that I just needed to make fewer mistakes each lap, and I would gain time.  The second lap was better than the first, but I still needed to concentrate on being smooth.  Into the final lap, I felt good and I was able to push it up the steep climbs.  My Kona Kula Lisa really is a mountain goat.  I cleaned the sections I had missed in the woods on the uphill and rode the descent more smoothly.  It only took me three laps to figure out that loop.  Before the course opened up out of the woods, I came within five seconds of Theresa Richardson.  On the flats into the finish, I gave everything I had to catch her, but I didn’t have the juice.  She ended up nine seconds in front. 

Overall, I’m totally psyched.  I ended up 25th of 36.  This is my best finish in a pro field.  As Johanna and I later discussed, it felt like we had people to race.  It was the first race of the season where I didn’t feel like I was hanging onto the bottom rung. 

Unfortunately, the next day did not go as well.  Instead of hanging onto the bottom rung, I slipped off.  I got pulled after six minutes in short track.  I guess this means that I left it all out on the XC course.  I didn’t feel too bad about it since I consoled myself with another Vermonter before I left. 

The Velo Bellas had a fantastic showing at Nationals, and I am proud to be part of such a talented, positive, and supportive team.   A big thank you goes to Alex and Morgan for fearless leadership and impeccable mechanic skills. 

Roots and Rocks

July 23, 2008

By Connie Misket
Salt Lake City, Utah

downhillerzAllie pretty much told the tale of missing Super D practice on Thursday – oops. I’d like to say we should have gotten up earlier but good grief. I got 2.5 hours of sleep after getting in to Allie’s house and then getting up at 5am to build my bike…

Anyway – Shannon was a fun driving buddy and we cheered each other up on the longer than expected, somewhat circuitous drive to Mt. Snow. I figured I would just walk the course Thursday and then practice the next two days. I had planned to just race Super D – that’s the only bike I brought. I was looking at an extra $250 each way to bring the DH bike – which just wasn’t happening. So I figured I’ve been doing better in Super D, so I’d just go with that. And Kimber is injured and supposed to be “taking it easy” so she was just going to do the SD too on Allie’s Nomad. Went to register and looked at the practice schedule…. no Super D practice until the race on Sunday. WHAT??? We asked, we complained, we kept complaining until we got to the race director… no luck. Too bad, no practice for you. AND – you can’t buy a lift ticket and ride elsewhere – the mountain is closed except for formal race practice. Well that’s sweet…

So we registered for the DH. We figured at least that way we can ride something, and we’d check it out and if we couldn’t race it, so be it, but at least we’d be out riding, having fun, and getting a feel for the terrain and staying fresh on our bikes. Practice Friday went really well. I was cleaning the DH course no problem on my 6″ trail bike. Not very fast at the top – there are all these weird holes, but I felt good on the rest. The top just flew down the ski run and if you had any speed you’d get air – right into an off camber hole with rocks here and there.. I’m not sure what to compare it to, other than it looked innocent enough to ride slowly, but at speed looked terrifying. And then Friday night it rained… And then I started wrecking my guts out. The ski run stuff was slippery as hell on the wet grass, and then you got into the woods and got to ride all over the wet roots. Most of it was fine but there were 2 sections that had really off camber roots that just wanted to throw you off the side of the trail. And Saturday night it rained more…

Anyway – back to the Super D – that course was looking FUN!!! 3 climbs, which I wasn’t psyched about, but they looked okay except for the last climb which had a steep part at the very end. Bleh, but I’ve held my own on SD courses with 3 climbs before (in Angel Fire). And the rest was rocky, rooty fun and fire road descents with water bar jumps. Anyway – traditional SD – they don’t tell you what the deal is with the start until 10 min before the race. And this one sucked. Like 100 yards of running with your bike straight up the ski run. The other major event ones I’ve done were literally like 20 steps of running, then jump on your bike. This was LONG and steep, through tall weeds and loose rocks. I got smoked at the start. I don’t think I’ve run a step other than for Super D’s in like 5 years with all my knee surgeries. So starting from about last, I start picking people off through the woods. So far, so good. 2nd climb I got passed by 1 person but passed another. Then I got stuck behind 4 girls all trying to pass each other in the woods. No go, and I had to ride that whole section at a crawl, stuck behind the traffic jam – ugh. Passed someone else when it opened up, but got passed once again by 2 people on the 3rd nasty climb. I passed one more person in the woods, and another on the top speed/off camber descent down the ski run to the fire road, which was fun. I got to do that last pass in the air as we hit a water bar and blew by an XC girl just flying, and then nailed the flat gravel road corners as well as I’ve ever imagined I could… and pedaled like hell, but just missed catching Jen Tilley – who totally destroyed me on the climbs 😀 . (We totally need to do a Bella clinic where we can trade some climbing skills for some descending skills, huh? :D)

So anyway – I ended up 11th of 16. With the long running start it wasn’t a DH friendly course by any means, but I had a lot of fun on the course and had a blast racing it (well… not so much as I was running up the hill wanting to puke, but the rest of it was sweet!)

So then it was time to move on to the DH. The thunderstorms were lurking in the distance, but it held off for the race, which was great. I was really nervous about the top of the course, as on Saturday when it was wet I was wrecking left and right and ended up just walking a whole slippery off camber section up top that I just couldn’t stay upright on when it was wet. Luckily qualifying was at 11am and that’s when our practice had ended the day before so I had my fingers crossed that it dried out a bit. And it did – at least somewhat. I went slow, but made it down the top totally clean…. and then I slid out on the corner before you get into the woods. Got up and wrecked again. And got into the woods, which had been totally fun the previous two days, but I think I was trying to go too fast and just kept on wrecking. I think there were a total of 6 wrecks in my qualifying run. Good God. Luckily my bike suffered no damage (bent derailleur hanger that our mechanic fixed – OMG do I love having a team mechanic!!!) and I just wound up with a good bruise on my calf and a jammed index finger. No big deal. I qualified 13th (of 15).

Went back up for the race run and tried to tell myself to go slower and ride clean. Which totally worked…. for 3/4 of the course. And then I hit those dang off camber roots and flipped over my bike. That one hurt. Jammed my saddle into my inner thigh. Got up as fast as I could and kept going. Slid off a second time and I could hear the whistle of a rider coming behind me as I got on my bike so I pulled off to one side of the course to let her go. But just as I was expecting her to pass, she wrecked along side me, so I took off and rode as fast as I could to get out of the trees to give her space in the open in case she needed to pass again. The bottom of the course was clean – I was flying through the rocky section (wow do I love rocks compared to wet roots) and stayed loose and smooth through the mud bog (not a straight line in sight – all the ruts dead ended into roots and rocks criscrossing this field of mud). Actually – I was really pleased with that section – it’s so counter-intuitive to let off the brakes, totally relax and quit trying to steer and just let the bike find it’s own line through that kind of stuff. I know that’s what I need to do in my head and I didn’t let fear get the best of me and just did it – and what do you know, it worked every time. Anyway – I got through that and then pedalled my butt off to the finish line for a 14th place finish.

Well, it was a moral victory, if nothing else. It’s not like I expected to do well on a 6″ trail bike. I was only 3 seconds away from 13th place. And I had a blast riding and racing, and walked away with my bike and body intact (well minus some spectacular bruises on my legs). And then we got to watch Allie completely kill it on the DH course and it was so great to be there and celebrate her amazing finish.

Anyway – we all had a really great time – and not just with the riding – with the awesome host housing, swimming in the river, unbelievably good food… I’d love to do more riding on the East Coast. And I’m gradually getting the hang of this riding wet slimy stuff…

Lessons learned:

1. I just love to ride. Period. Right bike, wrong bike, wet roots, slimy off camber grass… I love it. And while I was nervous about how poor my results would be on the smaller bike – I made the decision to just go for it and have fun and it all worked out fine. :) But having the right bike would have been a LOT better! And speaking of having the right bike, I think I’ll be looking at getting more of a FS XC race bike for Super D’s for next year… That would probably help too when it comes to improving the climbing.

2. I really need to be even more careful about picking lines and not braking through those wet, off angle roots. I wish we had more of those to practice on around here, but wow do those suckers get you fast…

3. I need to work on longer running starts and sprinting up climbs. You get so stuck on mass start Super D courses when you can’t get out front first. So Kimber and I are going to try some cyclocross this winter to see if it helps with all of that.

Head Up! Allie Fifth at Nationals

July 22, 2008

By Allie Burch
Patterson, New York

Mike and I have recently moved to NY and thankfully it’s in a spot where I can start giving back some host housing. 

Kimber, Connie and Shannon Edson all arrived Wednesday evening, however Kimber and Connie were not allowed out of the plane until early Thursday morning.  I picked them up from the airport and around 1am the three of us rolled in to my driveway exhausted.

We started out the next morning building bikes and loading cars.  Shannon and Connie were to follow Kimber and me out, however when I pulled out of the driveway and made a right onto the road they were nowhere to be seen.  I swore they were right behind us.  There is no cell service where I live so we circled back around to the house retracing our 500-yard gain in search of them, but no dice.  They had disappeared.  That’s gotta be a record!

Shannon and Connie made their way to Vermont using her directions and a rental car map while Kimber and I relied on my impeccable sense of direction.  (HA!)  Surprisingly we made pretty good time, that is, until we got to the Mass/Vermont Border.

A good day starts with a good breakfast:

…Or brunch, or lunch and a snack, or gorging on impulse boutique foods at the Vermont state line.

Kimber and I made our way through the last bits of Mass and into Vermont as our tummies started to get a little grumbly.  Right at the state line, you know, where the road narrows and you can almost knock on someone’s front door while driving by, there sat an innocuous looking little country store with “pastries and deli” painted in the window.

We weren’t even all the way through the door yet and we both had our hands on freshly baked cookies the size of our heads.  There was every type of Vermonty maple delight one could imagine.  Maple smoked mozzarella, maple sugar, maple syrup, maple-fried-maple…it went on and on.  We grabbed a sandwich, I couldn’t resist a sampling of the maple pulled pork and we tugged each other the hell out of there before any more damage was done.   

Down low, two slow!

We arrived, but not in time for Kimber’s Super D practice.  Downhill practice was later in the day, so after registering, we took the chairlift up to walk the course.  It took longer than I thought an my legs started to ache already so I bailed out ¼ way down and hiked the fire road the rest of the way.  

I suited up for practice and I was so tired I nearly fell asleep on the chairlift ride up.  I took two slow runs in order to look the course over since I was just too exhausted to walk it and pick out lines this day.


Friday’s practice was spent on two timed cruiser runs.  My arms were still ok, but I could feel the fatigue setting in.  I knew I was riding better and able to conserve energy by letting the brakes go in certain sections, including a very fast section of boney, pocked shale slab that was just a tad off camber.  This is usually not my style, as I don’t relish high-speed sections.

The bike bucked and skipped as my suspension soaked up all of the hits.  I felt the bike leave the ground and land again, only to skip over more shale-bone.  With every hit I thanked God for the Stan’s NoTubes guys and their strong wheel-building prowess. Clang!…Clang!…KAPOW! ……CLANG!  “ooh.  That sounded like a big hit I should probably check my air pressure when I get back to the pits.”

I headed down for a breather and to check over my bike.  I went to pump up my front tire, to which it’s response was, “HISSSSssssss.”  What the hell?  I looked down and saw the side of rim was basically folded in, however the Stan’s had sealed it enough to allow me to finish my run without realizing it was slowly going flat.

A couple of other good side dings made my eyes well up with sadness for my pretty new ZTR Flow wheels.  Upon further investigation moments later, Alex found that I had actually cracked the rim right in half.  At that time Mike from Stan’s walked up to our tent and had thankfully brought an extra set of rims I ordered.   “I guess this means that I’ve been going faster.”  And in an odd sense, the fact I was going fast and hard enough to break one of their wheels kinda made me feel validated as a racer.

I noticed later, there were dead rims all over the place.  I only cracked one where other people were going through two and three sets of wheels.  I guess they should have been riding NoTubes.  

Ice, Ice, Baby:

Saturday we were all feeling the effects of the rough long course.  We were bumped, bruised, sore and tired.  Since practice was held in the morning, we had the rest of the day to do what we wanted, which quite honestly for me was to sleep.  Kimber suggested that we head over to the condo for ice baths.  So, that’s what we did, each of us taking turns in the tub with our own bag of ice for seven to ten minutes of soaking in excruciatingly cold water.  YOW!

It’s a little ironic, a downhill team taking ice baths and foregoing a party (Vermont’s institution of the “naked crit”) to head out early to offsite host housing.  We then went for a relaxing swim with the dogs and friends in the Connecticut River.   The swim was not, however without the obligatory “stand on an inner tube in the middle of the river” contest.

For the Record:

allieAfter Friday’s…well, let’s face it, disaster in the slalom qualifier, and an incapacitating uphill footrace in the Super D, we, on the Velo Bella Downhill team were faced with the very real possibility that for the first time this year there might not be a podium appearance for us at a race.  It would have been so good to have a showing at the National Championships.  

I guess what “They” say about momentum carrying a rider or team because I don’t know what the hell happened during downhill qualifiers, but as I was laying on the ground at the tent wallowing in what I thought was a joke of a run, Alicia runs up to the tent with the shocking news: “HOLY CRAP!!! ALLIE, you qualified 4th!!!”  I was in no way prepared for this information so I let out my default response while rolling on the ground: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!”  But, there it was.  My name, in print right in between 3, Dawn Bourque and 5, Marla Streb.  Talk about a hero sandwich!  (They are two of my favorite riders from when I started racing)

At two-o-clock we lined up for the final in reverse order of our qualifying run with the fastest qualifiers in the back.  Marla looked back at me and gave me a “good luck!”  I cracked back, probably a little too eagerly and loudly, “You too!” It was obvious that I was nervous.  On a side note, I NEVER EVER thought that I would see the back of Marla’s jersey from the start block.  Usually, when I look back at the line of riders to follow me, she’s a little speck off in the distance of top three qualifiers.  Something horrific must have happened to her in qualifying, or she was just setting the bait with a slower time.

This time, I looked back and saw only three.  The very fast, very aggressive and very hungry Bourque, Pruitt and Buhl.  Holy Shit.  Remember the “Rabbit Chase” scene from the movie “Snatch”?  (Queue the music)

Marla rolled up onto the starting block but not before she said to me in low voice, “head up.”  We had spoken earlier and I explained that I had worked with her old coach Blair Lombardi this past spring.  “Head up” is one of the fundamental keys.  Just little things she does like that keeps Marla up on a pedestal as a class act.  (I still wanna grow up to be like her)

Then there were four.  I loaded into the start gate and to calm myself tried to make small talk with the official and give a big cheesy full-face grin to a guy taking snapshots, all without fogging up my goggles.  Well, it worked and I was off.  Down the right of the pocked ski run, staying loose over the steppy-steps, letting my bike work and flow under me while I hung on for dear life over my desired lines.  I knew my speed was good, yet I was confident – an incredible combination that I hadn’t yet been completely able to put together.  I tried to gauge my run by the spectator’s cheers.  When I nailed a difficult off camber  section, I heard a guy give a surprised “yeAH!”  I thought to myself, “Hell yes that was good!  You’re actually nailing this!”  I was then on to the high-speed “Wheel Crusher” section which I tried to stay loose and flow over, but somehow I got sucked into the weeds.  I thought I was going over but managed to pull the bike out and still carry a bit of momentum, but not enough to where I didn’t have to pedal like crazy into the woods.

I dove in as the course spotter blew her whistle.  (course spotters communicate via whistle blows, one blow=rider through, two blows=rider down, etc) Over the rooty places that caused me a bit of trouble, then as I passed another course spotter who blew his whistle, I heard another whistle blast from behind me.  “Oh my God!” I thought, “Dawn’s RIGHT THERE! She’s caught up already!!” New strategy – pedal like hell.  .  I had to basically do standing two-minute sprint intervals while maneuvering a nearly forty-pound bike.  Oh, it hurt so badly.  I forced myself to pedal in every single straight.  Up and over the rock-drop, landing with an “OOF!” pedaling through the woods where I could and then through the last wooded section where my smarty-pants husband was yelling, “C’mon!! GO!  Pedal! GO!”    “I’m going, I’m going!!!” I tried to huff back, but it probably came out more like “IGUuuuuunn..BAAARF!”  

The end was near.  The light at the end of the tunnel of trees to the glorious finish line where bottles of water and a nice place to lie down awaited me.  

“UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGG…whimper” I’m sure I sounded like a hippo in labor as I pedaled through the fire road chicanes, but damnit I charged.  I gave 100% as I came through the finish line and I was spent.  That was a successful run and I was happy with it.  Although I could improve on my lines and some technical aspects, I gave it everything and that’s what I had expected of myself.  What I was not expecting was to hear “Allegra Burch with a time of blah blah blah sitting in third place!”  My brain was doing back flips while my body fell off the bike.  I tried to do the math. let’s see, I’m in third, there are three faster riders, that means the lowest placing I could get today = blue.  I decided just to sit there and see what happened.

Dawn came tearing through the finish, then Melissa Buhl lit it on fire.  There was now only the defending Pruitt who had taken the Stars and Stripes home last year…and she came down on a flat.  Just because Kathy had a flat, however doesn’t mean she still didn’t have a smoking time.  She could still claim a podium spot, however it was not to be.  She must have flatted at the very top, and there we had it.  The 2008 Pro Women’s National Championship podium:  Buhl (KHS), Streb (Luna), Borque (Rhino), Harvey (Sobe/Cannondale) and Burch (Velo Bella)!  As I’m writing this a day later I’m still kinda stunned.

Thus, we have continued to uphold our 2008 record.  Every single venue that one of the DH team members has participated in during 2008 has seen one of us on the podium for at least one of the events. 


My goal in the beginning of the year, before I knew we were moving across the country, was to accumulate enough UCI points to be able to race some World Cups.  Specifically, I wanted to attend the two in Canada, Monte Sainte-Anne and Bromont which followed the week after.  Since moving and buying a house put the financial damper on travel, training and racing, I scrapped it and focused on local stuff, which started going really well.

The podium spot at Nationals in itself gave me all the points I needed for the Monte Sainte-Ann and Bromont races the weekends after!  I could go!!!  Or so I thought. 

The reality is, the cutoff date for all points to be accumulated for either of these two events was July 8, 2008.  this means that the only US event where a gravity racer could gain UCI points was at Angel Fire, and since it was an E2 event, only a modest amount of points were granted.  Basically, you had to win in order to get enough points.  I could go to the last two World Cups in Australia or Austria, but I’m afraid with the price of gas, my car just won’t make it there.  😉

I’m not exactly sure how it all works, if points carry over or if I’ve just got to do more races in Canada.  I’m new to this World Cup thing, but now it’s a solid goal for 2009 and I’ve got a lot of time to ask questions, learn, plan…and get faster.

You can’t do it alone:

The support was awesome and so very very helpful.  Just knowing that I could bring my bike in and someone would actually help me fix it, or wash it or tell me to sit and put my feet up was invaluable.  Having a place to just sit for a while was key.

Morgan was our amazing and valued mechanic and Alex did the running, figuring out and cat-herding that is just mentally exhausting.  Thank you so very very much!

Video of Race for Sight Finish “A” Race!

July 22, 2008

Check out #16 crossing the line!  Less than a minute behind leader Glen… 😛 

Winning in Watsonville!

July 21, 2008

By Natasha Perry
Santa Cruz, California

It’s hard to pass up a crit that’s basically in your backyard and my hubby said that it was a fun course, so we packed up the truck and drove all 12 miles to the crit. This race has been going on for something like 31 years! It’s in a little neighborhood in Watsonville – it has a small, big-ring hill, then a short down hill, sharp right, zig-zag – harrrrrd left (avoiding the two cars they couldn’t move off the course), hard right, hard right, hard right…and back up the hill. No snoozing on this course for sure!

Who was racing: All of the prosies were off to SLO or some other destination – phew. A crew of about 16 or so of us were at the start line. Jenny Philips – Wells Fargo, Amanda – Code 3, Lauraleen – Walthour, Village Pedler, couple of Eastons, a Mintie and some others. So no team tactics were going to be seen today, but I knew Amanda and some of the others were feisty riders so figured it should be entertaining.

Off we went for our 28 laps – Amanda was just killing it for the first 5 or so laps. She wanted a frisky race and was determined to get it. About three of us played cat and mouse – throwing out some attacks the head wind before the final right corner made it tough. Prime bell!!! The Villiage Pedler and Mintie, previously quiet, put in some impressive sprints. I was starting to see who the competition was – and was working on just maintaining a good pack position w/o just leading everyone around (favorite old trick of mine).

With three laps to go there were some good efforts and then with one to go Lauraleen took a huge jump on the hill. That’s it I thought – my wheel to the finish. I have to say that Laureleen and I do the Berkeley TT together so I said, go, go, goooooo!!! The course design strings out the course and Laureleen kept the pedal down and no one could pass. Final right hand turn and I jumped as hard as I could….and won! I was so worried about going hard enough to the top that I couldn’t even dare think about the winning salute thing (but don’t worry, LillyBelly was there and she’s getting me straightened out;)).

All in all – this crit is a little charmer. Totally entertaining, low-key, great practise for cornering and pack position. It would be fun to have a bunch Bellas out there next year!

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