Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Land of the Cold and Crazy Wind

By Lula

I've decided to write a little race report about Zamora RR "the land of the cold and crazy wind", regardless of my disappointing 22nd place...that's right! Whoever said Lula wanted to upgrade and be a cat 2 is insane....believe me! I can barely keep up with the 4s, most of the 3s, and not even with one of my team-mates to make part of the racing plans, how can I upgrade?!

Oh, I know, maybe after I get a job and have some kids .... Like the gals who finish on the top 10.... what I learned during the warmup. Great!!!

Thank God I had no expectations coming to this race. Besides expecting a warmer weather...which for my early disappointment it wouldn't happen...But wait a minute, the Bellas is not all about placing and upgrading, right?The Bella world is all about flair, and fun, and friendship, and flair, and fun, and flair....you got the picture.

And my Bella friends, "flair and fun"I do know about. I've been training my whole life for this moment. It is a beautiful discovery...Back to the race report.

Before the race we all gathered at Sabine's car to talk about race tactics. Thank God, Monica and the gals decided NOT TO ride for 1.5 hrs before the race.... I can tell you that Lula appreciated!

Michael was there and gave us some really good tips on what to do and not to do; later you will see that the gals did a good job following Mike's what to do and I did a beautiful job following Mike's not to dos. What can I say...It was too windy and cold for me to concentrate.. I could barely pin my number on the jersey...seriously. If wasn't for Sabine I would be there until now..

Ok, Monica, you said you wanted to separate yourself from the 4s but you forgot to mention some of the 3s too, including me:)

Once the race started, I kept thinking on what Mike told us: "no matter where you are in the field, you will be working. So don't panic and work. Get your face into the wind on that long stretch so you are well positioned after the turn"...wait a minute, put your face into the windy? Did he really said that? Nooo.

Here we go... come on Lula, move up, up, up, up, move, come on, everybody is suffering, up, up, it is windy, and cold, ... (this is me talking to myself) up, good job, keep going, I see Sabine, look, she is going, wait a minute, she is not into the windy, she is protected, she is going, and going, and gone....

Come on lula, move up, oh, look....a paintball field? That looks fun, maybe I should be there...wait more fun, but I don't like guns, Oops... The right turn, little hill, S*%#, focus Lula, focus....oh, I remember, after this roller, there is a small down hill and then a turn and then it will get crazy, so focus, NOW..... There is the turn....and wow...it is windy. I will let these people go, and these too, you too, i will get protected and rest....right.... I see Monica up front, Sabine with her and here comes Kim...hi Kim! She is gone....

Up hill andthere they went...gone with the wind...wait a minute.. COME ON LULA....WORK..PADDLE PADDLE PADDLE....I can't breath.....

I looked back, and saw a small group way behind and like Mike said "you don't want to be in the wind by yourself" so I waited for that group instead of chasing down the group in front of me. For a long time, almost the full lap, the gals were so disorganized... Some inexperienced but quite strong riders. I even tried to get them going but one gal finally said "I'm wondering if they don't want to work because they have team-mates up there"and I said "I have 3" and smiled :)

We were about 10 gals with only me and another 2 gals with no team-mates; so I did the "wuss" (just learned that :) thing...I just didn't work too hard at all. I would do my part of the work, but not my best. Some times, we could see a group in front of us and they would work harder but sometimes they would give up.

Oh well.... The paintball field....Oh I wish I was there...

After the 2nd lap, I mean, right before passing by the finish line at the 2nd time I started getting really bored...and was planning on just stopping.That's it! I'm a quitter... But then, something happened, something magical happened: I see Mike jumping up and down yelling: Good job Lula, you're look great (or something like it) .... Oh Sabine, he said I look great!

So... I kept on going....but at this point we were about 6 don't know how. And I started thinking that we were the last group of the race...I was cold and tired and bored. I kept thinking of Kim who just raced in the snow the weekend before and she was way up in the front...crazy Bella!

So, we actually caught up with 3 other gals who got dropped from the group in front and before the KOM we caught Jana who was exhausted. Then, after the last right turn we saw the crash (3 gals down) and two gals in front of me decided to just stop...seriously, they stopped in front of me ... Another crash?! So I yelled: hey hey hey...I always do that :) and 3 gals on my group took off and I stayed behind with jackie to the end.

At this point, I just wanted to finish...I forgot to mention that at lap 3 I had cramps in my legs... but since I imagined this was a silly excuse to avoid working, I told my fellow group riders that something was wrong with my bike....yeah...that was even sillier... Do you think they believed on my excuse?!

Anyhow, I managed to stay at the back to the group for a couple of minutes until the cramps were gone. But then, my "piriquita" started yelling.... "that's it! I'm done!" I was soooooo cold....you are all too good for me! Kim, you were my moto:"if Kim can ride in the snow so can I ride in the cold" :)

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