Winning in Watsonville!

July 21, 2008 · Print This Article

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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One Response to “Winning in Watsonville!”

  1. sabine on July 21st, 2008 7:28 pm

    way to go Natasha!

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