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Race Reports Archive

July 2004
(...well, really these are June but posted late.)

06/28/04 - Fabulous 5 at Pescadero
By Tracy Lillig

Fella Bella girls: I think we just experienced the perfect race. (Especially for me since y'all let me win it!). I can't tell you the rush I got when I looked over my shoulder as we crested our second climb of the race to confirm what I was hoping was true: Bellas 5, Competition 0! Nothing but blue and pink. Five teammates to work with for the rest of the race.

Thank you Melodie, Sarah, Barb, and Jen for providing me with the race of a lifetime. Thank you for letting me go on for the win. The only thing left to do now is to upgrade. I can't wait to race with all of you again. Hopefully I have enough points. Unfortunately my best performances are kind of scattered and may not fall neatly into a consecutive 12 month period. I need 18 months!

Enough for now, I must get busy counting my points. Wow, that race really motivated me.

06/20/04 – Tour of Nevada City
by Barbarella

You got a brief preview of the race from Mel and I will try not to turn my version into a novel.

After getting one entire lap on the course Mel and I went to a friend's nearby house to warm up. It was HOT and STICKY and I was soon dripping all over the place while sitting on the trainer. We had an entertaining crowd to chat with while warming up. Folks from Tahoe, Village Peddler men, Sierra Nevada guys and more were all hanging out watching Mel and I suffer and sweat. It felt good to finally go to staging and have a chance to dry off. I was really nervous going into the race and had asked Josh thousands of speculative and inane questions about positioning (this was the first Nevada City for him also so he had no idea).

From the start I knew that I didn't want to be my normal position of
caboose, it could be really dangerous through the bottom corners. Penny from McGuire led off the first lap and a half at a blistering pace and then cracked. I pushed up to the front to keep the pace
high and after a few corners looked back and there was no one around. Being off the front in the first two laps seemed like a bad idea. It was a relief when the field caught me, Mel took off on the next lap and unknowingly won a prime.

A few laps later Cindy from Dewars took off the front and Mel and I took chase. I caught her wheel but got gapped on the bottom turns and never got back. The race then became a two person TT grinding up the hill, flying down the other side and not getting too
loose in the high speed corners. I made the mistake of looking at my clock and saw that the race had been going on for only twenty minutes-----less than half-----what had I brought upon myself? Christine was in the chase group, she had said earlier that her month of kick ass racing on the east coast had taken its toll. She did a fantastic job of constipating and demoralizing the chase group.

As the bell lap finally came around, Mel and I weren't sure what to do. Are we supposed to sprint each other? We had a discussion at the top of the climb and after zipping the skinsuits up (I know it is sexy to show cleavage, but a flapping skinsuit and sportsbra just looks silly across the finish line) and decided to sprint it out. To be fair, we sprinted next to, not drafting behind and spring out front of each other. The downhill finish made for a very fast sprint and I spun out my 12 (mental note, next year run and 11 tooth) and crossed the finish line at 43mph. Christine beat the crap out of her group and finished fourth.

The race was really fun, the crowds were awesome and Nevada City is super cute. Cindy rode a fantastic race and kept us about 20 seconds behind her. Good job to Jen C and Erin both finishing the brutal race. Next year, I recommend that more Bellas show up and have some fun.

06/17/04 – Bella Loca
by Sarah Kerlin

Riding Crazy in Vermont - warning, you may need to warm up your coffee and settle into a comfy chair, I've got some tales to tell.

The story begins the weekend before last, at the Napa Skyline Park MTB race. Warming up for the event left me longing to settle into the shade with a cold beer. A half hour before the race, I was screwing around in the gravel parking lot, playing chicken with a friend on our bikes. But he didn't know I was playing chicken, and I hit the ground. I tried to play it cool, with blood streaming down my leg and my knee swelling to double in size. I cleaned up, and ventured out onto the trails to complete the warm up. Ten minutes later, I'm thumping back to the van to fix a flat. I search my car for a beer, but I find only spare tubes so I fix my bike and go line up for the race.

There was a handful of expert women, and the only other pro was Abby Leuders. Abby and I rode away off the start, but it was a Sunday ride sort of pace. I got a gap on the early climbs, but rode really conservative, with my pre-race "preparations" fresh on my mind. Abby came screaming up on me on the super technical second half of lap one. I put some more effort into lap two, once again rode away from Abby, and even tried to get some speed on the rocky descents. But with less than a mile to go, there she was on my wheel again. It came down to a sprint, which is always a fine way to end a race, and I took the win.

A few hours later I was chillin' with PB Steve at his friend's BBQ, my long awaited cold beer finally in my hand. I took notice of a fine bike parked on the patio, a sweeet 8" purple rig with butterfly decals, streamers, a basket, and training wheels. It belonged to a little angel named Camille. She was a talented rider, tearing around the yard, knocking over chairs, basketball hoops, and small pets. She had Bella style, pulling fixed gear skids and getting up on three wheels through the corners with pigtails flying. "How old are you?" I asked. She proudly replied "Four and a half!"

"Wow!" I was impressed. "You ride your bike pretty good!"

"I don't want to ride my bike pretty good," she announced to everyone. "I want to ride it CRAZY!"

I took note, and with renewed enthusiasm headed off to Vermont for the NORBA Nationals. It was dry when I arrived, but by the time Sami raced on Friday it had rained and the singletrack was slick as snot. Sami has some serious East Coast skills, and rode her way to another podium finish. She's got those upgrade credentials now........

We had more than 50 women on the line for the Pro XC, and I started in the back. With some quick cyclocross manuevering I ran my way through the cattle herd on the early singletrack, settling into a group about 20 - 25th place. The climbs felt great, but with 3 laps on a brutal course I decided to suck wheel and save the passing for later.

The first dangerous descent of the race found our train stuck behind a girl who was frozen with fear. I wanted to tell her to move out of our way, but AnneMarie was talking her through it, saying very nice and encouraging things. I would've felt like an ass if I'd told her to pull over, so I kept my mouth shut. But riding too slow can be much more dangerous than riding CRAZY, and I took a slow motion spill and landed hard on my shoulder. It popped out of place left me paralyzed on the side of the trail while the pack went by. Once my eyeballs came back to center, I got the arm back into the socket and went on my way.

A short while later, as I bounced down a rocky descent lined with
spectators, my shoulder bumped out of the joint once again. I flew down the rocks screaming in agony barely keeping myself upright. The spectators thought I was having a lot of fun, or they thought I had gone insane. Either way, they cheered extra loud for me. I imagined I was my hero, Tyler, riding in a grand tour. Phil and Paul were mocking me from the sidelines "Oh, look Paul, here we see a rider who has clearly lost her mind!" "Yes, Phil, she appears to be really enjoying her ride here in Vermont."

I continued on with the race, after all, climbing didn't hurt much compared to descending. I had to run down most of the bumpy trails, and just when I thought I was in the clear, I slipped on one bastard of a slimy root, landed on the bad shoulder and layed on the ground screaming while one more rider passed me. I got up just as another girl came into sight, shoved the shoulder back into place and started my final half mile all out sprint to the finish line. I finished 30th, at least 20 riders ahead of the DNF list.

A heavy dose of Ibuprofen and a good night sleep, and my legs were ready to go for the Short Track. At breakfast my shoulder groaned and popped while I buttered my toast. I had a good long talk with my bike, and we agreed that the only way I would feel better would be to go for a ride. Lined up for the Short Track, I got to compare bruises with the other girls.

We were all feeling beat up, but in a good way. Off the start I avoided a early pile up, powered over the bumpy upper traverse, passed Jimena and sat in a comfortable cruising pace in about 9th place! Still one lap one, I hit a bump funny and my shoulder buckled backwards into the socket. Oh Damn, that one really really hurt. Oh F%#@!!! This was truly CRAZY, my shoulder was stuck like that! I soft pedaled while coaxing my arm back into place with a few excruciating shoulder shrugs. I got back on it and found myself in 20th place. Both I and my shoulder maintained our positions for the remainder of the event. I was really glad that I raced, since that was my highest placing so far in a short track.

Now I'm resting up, taking full advantage of the gimpy shoulder to get extra TLC from my PB, and working on my denial skills so that I can be ready to come play with the Bellas at Pesky.


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\Allie ducks into a steeper grade of muck at SnowshoeAllie ducks into a steeper grade of muck at Snowshoe
















Super D racer gals on podium @ SnowshoeSuper D racer gals on podium @ Snowshoe

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