Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Deer Valley NORBA report

The band is gettin’ back together!

It’s been 2 months since I have raced with my teammates so I was giddy about catching up with everyone at the Park City NORBA. Alex organized us, his mom Judy fed us and Jed & Jessie kept our sweet Kona Kula Lisa’s dialed. We stayed in a swank condo at the base of the hill which was amazing - HUGE thanks to Arleen Jouras! Although we got booted from the $2.4 million penthouse (the owner saw 6 bikes in the entrance), the first floor was still the nicest place I had ever stayed. Jed is still going off about the 3 headed shower in his bathroom. Five star. Just like Kona’s duck-eating-champagne-drinking Matt Madeson.

The XC crew had fun pre-riding the twisty course on Friday although the thin air was noticeable to us that live a few blocks from the beach. We cursed our mountain goat teammates Noel and Kristin who complained that “there wasn’t much climbing on this course”. I would continue to curse them every lap of the race on Saturday. After our pre-ride we watched Allie rip down the hill to 9th in the Super D on the Velo Bella Kona Dawg that had just been built up that day.

XC: Warming up in the hot midday sun is never great but its even worse when the start of your race gets delayed, three times. Its even crappier when you have timed your food intake to perfection and your empty stomach is suddenly starving. At times like these, you just have to abandon your “script” and deal with it. Everyone is in the same boat.

The start of the XC race was a bit of a gong show – a few hundred meters before 68 girls had to funnel into single file. I had a solid start but a lot of the other girls got caught behind a crash (or two...). I settled into climbing up the BIG opening hill at my own pace, worrying that the altitude might blow me up if I went out too hard. A blur of pink and blue passed me as Kristin rocketed ahead when the climb opened up. And then she was gone.

I should have made a push at the top to get ahead into the single track but I didn’t and got caught behind a couple of slower riders who obviously didn’t race BMX when they were kids. The downhill was really fun twisty singletrack but almost impossible to pass. Eventually I caught up to Kristin only to be passed by her again on the switchback climb. This time I was prepared and had enough time (and breath) to cheer her on. Lap two played out the same way but Kristin was still flying up the hills and picking up speed on the downhill so by the third lap I couldn’t catch up to her! We ended up 11th and 12th. Yeah Kristin! Both Kristin and Noel later admitted (a bit sheepishly) that there was in fact a fair amount of climbing on that course. No shit!

Kids race: The entire Velo Bella- Kona team was helping out with the kids race as they ripped around the course. There were crashes, laughter, tears, big smiles, totally chaos and a medal for everyone.

Short track: The short track course wasn’t much to write home about. Not very many features and really short so the bottlenecks at the start were pretty damaging. I got squeezed into the boards early on, and then tried to go wide but got my bar end caught in the tape. I know, I know, serves me right for running a flat bar with bar ends, geeky XC racer…..I played catch up for most of the race, picking people off but then dropped my chain on the bumpy descent and had to stop so I was pulled at 17th position. I was a bit pissed off at first because I was feeling pretty good but when I saw that Kristin was still going strong I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started cheering her on. She looked focused and strong pulling in for 11th place.

The coolest part of the short track race was that the team got to unveil the new Hincapie skinsuits! We all looked and felt fast in the super “toit” one piece (as Jen Tilley would say).

Thanks to Alex, Jed, Judy and Jessie for taking such great care of us this weekend. It was a lot of fun and the blueberry pancakes rocked! Thanks to Arleen for getting us hooked up with such a sweet condo on the hill. And thanks to our sponsors for providing us with such great rides and gear: Kona, SRAM, Easton, Schwalbe, Fox, San Marco, ZEAL, Vanderkitten, SIDI, Hincapie. Last but not least thanks to my long time sponsors Helly Hansen and Frontrunners


At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hy wendy

the season is going fine i see. The best for the rest of the mtb season and you and norm can stay a few day at our house in holland this winter.

Seeya mechanic Pim (netherlands)


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