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Race Reports Archive

May 2002

05/18-19/02 - 24 Hours of Adrenalin
NORBA National Championships

Velo Bella won the NORBA Open Women Category at the 24 Hours of Adrenalin with a four-woman team consisting of Captain Sabine Dukes, Shelly Whisenhant, Alexandria Fabbro, and Dana Lookadoo.

Velo Bella showed up to race the NORBA All female category. Shelly
and Sabine raced together on a winning All-female team since the
event came to Laguna Seca in 1997. When they first started in '97, there were only 20 or so other teams and perhaps 100
riders. This year there were 200 teams and 1,000 riders.

Alex raced on our winning team last year, and Dana was a new victim. Several laps into the race, it became apparent that barring a disaster, we would clinch the title, but that didn't stop us from racing tough. As Dana said, "you never know..anything could happen." Near the end of the race we were two laps ahead of our competition. Shelly was due to come in at 11:30, and we had to make the choice of going out for another lap or calling it a day. Sabine and Shelly decided to ride like champs for one more lap! It seemed fitting that the two of them completed the last lap together since we were the two surviving members from the original team in 97. In the end we completed 22 laps and 264 miles. Whew!

Talk about a winning campsite...Three local teams shared campsites. We shared resources (brownies and cookies), and it made for one-stop action for all those that visited to cheer us on. Whatever it was, it worked as all three teams won their respective categories! Our fellow winning campers were:

Winning Wheels
4-Man Master's NORBA National Championship
Tim Thompson
Steve Gile
Alan Coats
Eric Squires

Pack Sand Racing
5 Person Coed

Dietrich from the Netherlands
Jim Rocha
Snot Rocket
Rob "Wizz" Whisenhant
Dean Knudsen

Just when you think your team is badass, a corporate team called Team Cyclops shows up. This team was made up entirely of riders on Unicycles. Yes, I said UNIcyles. Not only can they ride them, but they ride them on Laguna Seca trails (they were spotted riding all the downhills) and they can ride them at night. They completed 16 laps. Amazing.

I can't say enough about the volunteers and visitors who came to
cheer us on. When they talk about a home course advantage, its not
just the trails that benefit us, its all the local support we
received. Here's a list, I apologize if I miss anyone...

Alyson Lowery - Official Velo Bella volunteer and cheerleader

Laura Sanchez - brought us veggie soup in a crock pot at night and
Starbucks in a big ol thermos thingie in the morning. Need I say more!

Janet Lowery - brought us her famous blondies and brownies. This is
the secret to winning. Believe me, she's been doing this since 97 for

Hector Chavez - Official Winning Wheels volunteer. I don't think he
slept at all between keeping the bikes in good order and checking on
the results.

Amy Chavez - Kept us company and I don't think she slept much either.

Chris Marsiguerra - Official Pack Sand volunteer. It helps to have a
big strong guy around to move stuff.

Jody Hutchinson - Past Tense Sports Massage is a Velo Bella sponsor, and Jody came out Saturday night and Sunday morning to give us much-needed recovery massages. He was joined by Tim Doyle, and they were both lifesavers!

Buddy - Who lent the Winning Wheels team his camper, which gave them a nice place to sleep, change and fart in.

Bobby Nunes - For loaning us his propane heaters. These were a
necessity. Bobby, Don Byrd and other hillbillies also showed up at
night with a Bob full of beer in-tow to cheer us all on.

Other visitors, helpers and food bringers:

Don Hendricks
Tom and Kristin Minnich
Ken Calendar
Larry Hampson
Angela Brantley
Linda O'Daly
Matthew Sundt
Martin Gorriti
Stephanie Saylor
Kathy Lenno
Scott and Tam Hennessey
Amber Ilari & Grant
Eric Chavez
Sabine's mom

05/10-12/02 - Big Bear NORBA National Mountain Bike Series
We promised big things in our inaugural season, and we delivered! Velo Bella made the pro podium at Big Bear Mountain Bike Nationals! Velo Bellan, Susy Pryde, overcame a back-of-the-pack staging to score a 5th place finish in the cross country and a dramatic 3rd place finish in the short track. Shelly Whisenhant had a fantastic race and finished 17th in her first Nationals race since upgrading to Pro.

And the excitement didn't stop with Susy. Other Big Bear Happenings:

Super Shelly had a fantastic pro race. She finished with some of the top women in the country to take 17th. Go Shelly Belly! Anyone notice how fast she's gotten?

Local Petra Rocha also raced the pro race for Team Trek and gave a fine performance to finish in 40th place. Shelly and Petra also raced the short track the next day and managed to finish 5-6 laps before being two of the 50 women lapped by Alison Dunlap.

We hope that the attention Susy provides us will help us to grow our
own local team of women riders and racers and we look forward to some development clinics led by Susy for area riders. Women's racing has never looked better in our area and we are proud to be a part of it.


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