to say i was a tad stressed when i showed up is an understatement....was running late...and i was quite anxious about all the beginner women doing their races. bow bow track gods, everything went great and the women rode totally awesome. shit, i got tired mentoring they went so fast! the turnout was so big that they broke the beginner women's group into two. i think like 15 or 16 (out of 20) of the clinic women showed up-- along with some others-- so that was awesome. there were something like 22 women between the two beginner groups...so that definitely exceeded my expectations. but, i wasn't really surprised. i mean, track is so much fun! people naturally get hooked on it.
in the first group, leah ricci lead out...like, every sprint in the points race, and most often held on for points. that girl is a power house and isn't afraid to take some mean risks and put her self out there--i am super excited to see her race this year. and loren uscilowski- the awesome tri-greek- is just going to put the hurt down all year, for sure. she rode awesome on friday night, winning the win 'n out-- and also awesome at the tuesday points race the week before. i think one of my favorite parts of the night was when morgan leigh (my o-town homegirl, who i've been trying to get out to the track a whole year now) totally went all out for a sprint in the win 'n out- when there was someone way up track. i gave her a cookie on the way home for that one. there are a ton of other strong notables, who i am pumped to see racing this year- alissa maglaty, kimi sudbrink, carol hockridge, lisa tepper....will be fun to see this group be duking it out all year for sure.
the second group was equally as awesome. it has been sweet seeing things come together so well for lala this year. the floodgate has opened full force and her sprint is totally something to be reckoned with. she laid down an awesome sprint at the wente crit, and was looking really good on friday night too. annabell got some of her SJBC women out there, which has been awesome to see. i also cannot be happier to see rubi ramirez racing-- it has been a real pleasure to get to know her more and i have mad love for that girl. but, if there is one person i am most most happy about coming out to the track, it is alicia halpern (tienni duro). alicia and i started riding bikes right at the same time, and we met on a group ride at the end of 2006. yes, it accidently was a juniors group ride... and yes alicia was the one who asked me what high school i went to.... on friday night, we had a good laugh about that day we met, and then i confessed to her about my subsequent hemorrhoid because of that ride with her team. anyway, alicia is just too awesome to do justice here... awesome bike handler, so smart, interested in food justice, totally interesting person, just downright really awesome girl ... and i am so stoked she is liking track and even more stoked when she says something on the drive home like: "yeah, i think track is what i need right now to focus on...it isn't about power-to-weight ratio...it's just about raw power!" hells yeah, girl!
so, as for my races, now that i've blabbed forever.... well, hats off to hanan who was a total rockstar all night, for sure! some crazy speed was coming out of her legs, and there was nothing i could do about it. trust me, i tried. in that points race i tried sprinting from the back, from the front, slowing the pace down, speeding the pace up...and nothing really mattered. it was totally impressive to see her utter domination all night! it definitely was a blast to sprinting balls-out against her so many times in one night-- fun stuff! while hanan pretty much schooled me in seven sprints throughout the night, i will say i won two...one being for the "cookie preme"-- good to know i can always find the extra motivation to go fast when it *really* matters.... two being the forty dollars in the miss 'n out-- of which, right before the race i hear my roommates start yelling at me: "newell-- you better win that--we need groceries--you are eating too much food" so, out of the fear of roommate backlash, i did all i could to get my shit together and win it. when we got down to three, i channelled my inner-annabell and attempted to not be a dumb match sprinter, like i normally am.
anyway, friday night was a total blast. bummed i am missing the next one, but i am heading down south for the encino far west race-- but i'll be thinking of y'all for sure! so happy the real biking racing season has finally started!
***and thanks garret lau for the totally awesome pictures! you alway make me feel pro, even though i am soooo amateur.***