Thursday, May 04, 2006

Tour of The Gila Day 1 and 2

This week at the Gila we have 6 riders attending from Velo Bella-Kona.
Jane Ziegler
Kele Murdin
Jen Chapman
Hiroko Shimada
Jen Joynt
Noel Weddle (Guest riding)

Someone once told me, "stage racing is a series of dramas. Each drama leads you closer to the finish, so you remember each drama is just a part of the whole picture and ride on".

Yesterday was the 15 mile out and back over a mountain time trial. Proved to be much harder for Bellas this year.
The teams TT bikes were not here so we had to use clip ons and standard wheels.
Results were not what we expected but the TT was not a focal point for us all.

Today was the 60+ mile point to point through the desert 59 miles and hang a right.. right into the mountains.

This year the temp was nicer and the wind was lighter.

About 25 miles in the race there was a Massive pile up, 3 VBs got tangled in pretty bad. Jen Joynt and Hiroko were able to get back on and out in time to get in a chase back group. Jane on the other hand took the blunt of the fall and turned her bars, stem, shifters, brakes tweaked... So it took us a few minutes to get her back together again.

She had to go it solo as the peleton containing only 3 riders with 2 already struggling to get back in were WAY too far to send anyone back for. It was a super tough decision. Kele, Jen, and Noel did what they could to help encourage the slow down. And slow it did. After a few miles we could see Janes helmet coming over the crest behind us and I went back to check on her. "This race isn't over yet" were the words from her mouth.

I drove back up to the caravan and planned on calling Kele back out when the got closer to the hills, but I looked in the mirror and I saw 2 Diet Cheerwine riders with Jane chasing hard. From there we knew she was ok and she could get some rest before the climb. Jane proved she was a tough cookie.

At the turn, yet another dramatic moment... Keles chain dropped while shifting and wrapped around the crankarm. For the life of Tony (mechanic) and I, we could not get it off.
Then to make matters worse, we could not get the backup bike off Noels car! So we broke the chain and pulled the one off the backup bike and put it on Keles.... poor thing it really sucked. She did manage to scrape some time together in the end, but rode super well and smart today.

When the gals headed up hill, Jane who was pooped from her endless time trial today popped off the group right at the last climb. She rode strong for as long as she could. Then Jen C and Jen J. But further up we came across Noel, who was climbing really well. But low and behold the rider we never caught up to (who was so afraid of altitude ), none other than Hiroko did excellent!

Unsure of results, but I will post them as soon as I get them. After such a terrible pile up and so much work the gals did pull together a pretty good result.

Well off to the shop, Tony and I have a lot of work to do for the gals bikes tonight....


At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Lula said...

Wow! That's Drama! I couldn't stop readin it. These Bella are the toughest.
Keep us posted...and tell them we are cheering for them.

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Lula said...

Wow! That's Drama! I couldn't stop reading it. These Bella are the toughest.
Keep us posted...and tell them we are cheering for them.

At 6:32 PM, Anonymous brennabella said...

Good Job Everyone! Way to hang tough. Better Luck to come!

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