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Race Reports Archive

March 2004

03/21/04 - Madera Report
by Jessie "Sarah Lee CEO" Hickel

I showed up to Madera with my bike shoes so I was already doing better than last year. At the start of the Crit. it was confusion time, the official said "You race together but start separately". That did not go over well with the us old hags, heaven forbid we ride with the 4's. The wise officials had us start behind the 4's by 30 seconds. The boss in me took over and I wanted say to the officials "you are setting you're self up for failure" but I caught myself.

In 10 minutes we caught the 4's and more yelling chaos, god I love crits. The last lap my new best Bella bud Andi asked if I was a sprinter because she wasn't. Well what a big fat liar Andi is she came into that final lap so fast I couldn't get around her. She rocks.

The TT last year I thought in my mind I was a legend in Madera only to find out I was second to last. This year I was going to kill myself, I was going to crush last years time. About half through my new arch enemy Bella Andi came whizzing by me like butter. I kept happy thoughts and the beat of Outcast in my head "shake it shake it like a Polaroid picture". I crushed my time from last year by a minute twenty.

I've never had a desire to upgrade to a Cat'2 but at the end of the TT the SAT girls went chatting by, go Dutch girls go. I've found my motivation to upgrade but that is a whole other story.

I must have gotten a wee bit of heat stroke because I puked a bit when I got back to the fabulous Best Western in Madera. Hey if you're not puking you're not trying.

The road race was a tea party and gave me some time to meet my new tri athlete buddy bella Andi. She gets the Wooden Spoon Award at Madera because she likes to stir things up. With 9 girls from Left Coast in the pack I knew none of us were going anywhere but it did not stop Andi from giving it a try. It came down to the uphill sprint and I tried to give Andi a lead out but I was so in the red zone I could not see who finished where.

It looks like a good showing by the Velo Bella's in Madera even without
Pirate Ball fuel. Laura where were you?

03/21/04 - Cool
by Andi Smith
First race back in a while...I was thrilled to see my teammates at
Madera, especially Monica with my new Sidi shoes -yah! And Jessie, who was the studette racing my race. Things I did NOT do for my teammates this weekend:

  1. Lead Jessie out for the points prime at the crit. Damn, that
    was another team's sprinter, now I'm 10 bike lengths off the front with a sprinter from another team who won't work in a break with me, and wants to wait for the final sprint. #[email protected]#%*)*%!!!! Field sprint. Really, I will get that lead out right. Just give me a couple races...
  2. Cheer for my teammates in the 123 crit. I was too busy trying
    to get all my crap that I brought around for the TT stage. I have to remember to bring less stuff, it would make my racing life much more fun.
  3. Get any team or individual to work with me to get a break going
    during the RR, despite my diplomatic initiatives during the race.

I loved the race, had fun in the master's RR, and was pleased with how
friendly everyone in my field was. During my #3 diplomatic efforts, I
met a bunch of really nice women, especially because the pack decided to do a rotating or double pace line for the entire race, so we had a lot
of time to socialize. Very civilized. At first I was a little upset that
no one was interested in getting a break going or even countering my
attacks. BUT today I'm happier about the RR pace, because I'm not
drooling on my keyboard, exhausted from the weekend, and my boss isn't giving me the hairy eyeball for snoring. Wow, am I glad I didn't do the 1 & 2 race--I would be sleeping under my desk right now, b/c it would have been way too hard for me.

And the best part of the race was that I got a wonderful lead out from
Jessie for the RR, and finished 3rd! :-) So I would LOVE to do more
master's racing and get a chance to return the favor! Copperopolis,

03/21/04 - Madera Revisited
By Jen "JJ" Chapman
I can't say enough how awesome it feels to be on the Velo Bella racing team. The positive energy and good attitudes from everyone is incredible. I learned so much from Brenna and Christine over the past few days and can't wait to race with them again and learn even more.

The crit was so full of SATS attacks I can't even remember how many there were. None of the attacks stuck so they just kept coming and coming. That team worked really well together and the blocking was incredible to watch, and very hard to get around. They had control over the race and made it look easy. Watch and learn, I kept telling myself. I can't believe there were only 6 of them, they were everywhere! Well, they were everywhere they needed to be. I ripped the sidewall of my new Tufo tubeless front tire at about 3 laps to go. The sealant allowed me to finish the race with about 30 psi or so and I felt like I was riding through mud the last few laps. I was excited to see Monica sprint past me at the finish and take 6th place I believe.

The TT was just a pure suffer fest and I was so happy to have it over with.

Nancy and Monica were incredible fast. That's all I have to say about that.

Finally, my favorite event, the road race. About half way through the race I started to get a negative attitude and caught myself thinking about just quitting as I was tired and baking in the sun. It's funny because when I get that attitude in the middle of a race I usually end up doing well in the finish. Once the SATS break stuck Brenna and Christine tried their hardest to bring it back. Heck, Brenna pulled so hard at the front I was almost dropped.

Monica and I started to try to help Christine to pull the 2 breakaways back but I realized it was going to burn up a lot of my energy and they were Cat 1,2's out there so it wouldn't effect my race or Monica's. It was difficult to pull out of the chase efforts of Christine as I felt obligated to help out my teammate, but Monica and I need those upgrade points. I explained to Christine and she was totally understanding. Thanks Christine!

Monica and I settled back in the group and rested until the last climb. Christine offered to lead out on the left side and bring Monica up to the front of the group. I said I could help and got on Christine's wheel with Monica behind me. It was pretty well executed as Christine pulled really hard to get us up to the front, then I leaped around Christine and started going as hard as I could with about 2 rollers to go. I just kept going hard through the finish and ended up 2nd place out of the 3's. Monica rolled in at 4th place with Nancy right after Monica.

03/14/04 - McPain and Teamwork
Inspired by Nicole Freedman who said, "after every race, you should have 3 things you can list that you did for a teammate", we bella's got all kumbaya on each other after McClane Pacific:

What I did for my teammates this weekend:

  1. called Laura a lame-o
  2. called Laura a bitch
  3. crashed myself out of the crit so I didn't have to sprint

I was off to a bad start but I was determined to make it up so I: 1. told Jessica that she looked stunning 2. let Laura eat my favorite cereal 3. Gave Monica a ride home

At least I broke even.

I could list 500 things that all my teammates did for me this weekend. You guys are great. I really appreciated everything you all did for me, even if it was just asking me how I felt. And it was great to meet all of the new bella's. I love Velo Bella!


Just so everyone knows why Tracie called Laura a lameo, then a bitch... She just got very jealous at the fact that Sabine and I were collecting points before we started the crit. Sabine got points for bringing matching nail polish. I innocently asked her if there was something I could do for her and she said I was lameo. Can you believe that?

Then I told her she will have to do 4 things for her team now and she called me a bitch. I am not a bitch, I am a wonderful sweet bella.

6 things I did for my teammates: (3 for each day)

  1. told Sabine she looked slim and trim and voluptuous
  2. helped Tracie get out of the parking lot
  3. lent my lucky bad ass bella jersey with a hole in it to Melodie
  4. helped Sarah with her three things (no Sarah, its not what you don't do that counts) some bella's take longer with some concepts
  5. helped set up the Bella train
  6. protected my teammates in the RR until I got a suntan helmet mark on my neck. prrrretty

I am not a "Bitch"
I am a sweet sweet bella made of sugar

Thank you for everyone's hard work in the crit yesterday and for the
positive attitude.

Barb: you rock girl...way to go on the pull in the front, I definitely got a
warm up right away.
If is was not for the AWESOME lead out and team support, I would not have done so well. The team deserves a big kudos.

Sabine: Way to go for planning a nice team dinner, it was good to hang out and relax with everyone, and for some people that I did not get to hang out with before.

My three things I did for my teammates:

  1. Cheered Brenna in the Pro CAT 1/2 race.
  2. Shared food for Bella's.
  3. Congratulated everyone on all their hard work.


I've been racing long enough to know enough but racing just keeps the
lessons coming.

Way under trained and overworked, I decided NOT to race McLane, knowing my competition would be the likes of Lynne Bessette and company. Then I changed my mind, scolding myself for being a wuss. Then I refused to go, afraid of the damage to my ego. This tug of war continued until I was on the start line. (I don't recommend this tactic, as is consumes a lot of much needed energy).

My coach, the mellowest dude ever, ignored my hysteria and calmly stated that it would be good speed work and of course I can suffer for an hour.

I procrastinated. Packed late, left home late, arrived late, and SOOO
nervous. Here I was going to battle with an army, armed with heavy military automatic weapons and bombs and with dread I was wielding a stick a few extra pounds (on my rear end) and some VB crystal-flowers.

I was parking when I was welcomed by the triumphant Bella's who were glowing from their race. Laura noticed the earrings! I got to vent my nerves and show her my quivering hands. Good mojo.

Jed, Sue (glowing for she had recently been given to opportunity to
demonstrate she's a bad ass) and svelt me on the trainer and pinned my number on.

The race was fast and furious. The course, pavement, holes, and bot- dots made it kinda scary. I loved it!

A break got off with Lynne Bessette in it. I wasn't sure which team wasn't represented in the break...but I figured they would identify themselves by going to the front to bring it back. Dasani. I heard Lynne's teammate on the radio to her..."Lynne, your making time, go now". Motivated, I made an effort to help Dasani... Then I realized I might get dropped after that I traveled to the back of the field. I looked back to see how far I was from getting spit out the back...then I heard it..."GOOOO Brenna!"
I think that was Jed and Sabine...keeping me from getting dropped.

Then I noticed at almost every section of the course, there was a pink
voice, "GO BRENNA!. I think I was the most popular gal out there! I had a suffering face on, but I was laughing inside.

I made it to the finish and the final sprint. I didn't place all that well,
but I was pleased all the same.

Three things I did for my teammates...I will keep working on that, but you all did much more for me...all those pink voices...
1. I put the stingie stuff on Tracie's broken bottom and elbow, to make it stop stinging.
2. I got to talk w/Sue about her racing.
3. I got to talk w/Laura and Sabine about bra sizes.



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