I heard a nasty rumour that this is the hardest course in the series... and
going by the weather, the boys are going to be slogging it out in the pouring
rain, wet rolling hills with a 7 mile loop. Thinking we were racing in
Belgium...dark clouds swirling over head, the sky casting a spell of rain and
chilly temperatures.....the heavens opening up and bucket loads of rain come
thundering down. Welcome to the first round of the WACHOVIA assault!
The cream of the crop are here in Lancaster, riders from all over the earth,
from every continent. Drum roll please......GIVE IT UP FOR... Navigators,
Flanders Iteam Nova, Prime Alliance, Jelly Belly, US Postal, COLAVITA BOLLA....These
are just to name a few of the world class teams that have traveled near and far
to revel in the sweet rewards of the series.
Chookman (Nathan Russell), Roger, Greg, Sean, Carl, Mike, Tyler and
Gustavo...are our hungry team of Colavita riders and TODAY they have an
appetite. A buzz in the air of busy team mechanics, bike riders, spectators and
a whole smorgasbord of Wachovia helpers. Nothing is gonna rain on their parade!!
Sitting in the COLAVITA team car, funky house beats playin' on the wireless,
blood is pumping. A bit of motivation jives, smooth talkin' vibes.....steam up
the windows, heavy breathing and the rain making the team windows
misty.......It’s NO wonder I get the Hawaiian wave from fellow bike riders when
we jump out of the truck............(With 8 bike riders and myself), I mean, did
I have something hangin' out of my nose...OR was I ONE lucky woman, ha. None the
latter - the battle was about to begin.
Today, I’m one of the helpers in the feed zone. My partner in crime is
Marcela......our duties will be at the “zone”, the feed zone. This is where I’ll
mind my post and frantically write my report in the rain. We set off to set up
camp in the feed zone...the race course leads us through the towns centre, the
“hood,” rolling into the most luscious green park in Lancaster. The climbs are
tough, with slippery, wet roads..."careful Chook, the roads could be skiddy out
First lap, the caravan of teams drive through, the excitement in my belly is
Here comes the SOUL TRAIN of bike riders, a steady tempo. Henk Vogels, two
other Navigator machines in front, setting the pace. All riders tight and
Colavita holding snug. I can spot a bunch of Aussie riders scattered throughout
the field..."YOU BEAUTY!!!!"
The rain is pouring down, I hear a muffled sound of dodgy reggae music in the
back ground, geez...WHERE'S MY GATE CRASHER???? The peloton is rolling by
together.......this could get messy......
2nd lap...the feed zone road is covered with Saturn, Navigators, CSC...then a
string of blur follow...pedal strokes are crankin' faster...Ofoto off the
back....One Colavita rider, Carl, just holding on to the back of the train (the
3 weeks he’s had off with a broken elbow has taken it’s toll) - fitness is a
huge factor in this race and rollers just don’t cut the mustard. The field is
opening up...You can see the muddy agony already...grimacing on their faces.
12 laps to go."OH look, FREE hot dogs...SWEEEEEEEEET”!! Rain is pelting
Nathan O’Neill... putting more than a minute into the field. The Aussie
renegade master is BACK, Saturn colours...POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!! 30 seconds in
front and the Peloton is on the chase.
10 laps down and Nathan O’Neill is feeding it some chain...7Up on the
attack...pulling away from the peloton ......will he reel in the Saturn
beast?......Like swarm of bees the riders pound the wet pavement........Chookman
holding tight in the peloton...his jersey, knicks are painted a muddy brown with
sweat and rain. All bike riders are wet, dirty, sweaty..."is this a bike race or
a strip club?" Anywho....back to the story at hand............ha!
Gustavo, Greg - No legs...the pace... the race ...too furious....the terrain
is giving these riders some stick. Jittery Joe rider out the hoop.....blown
It looks as though these riders have got their reverse lights on....riders
getting spat out throughout the chase. Colavita is feeling the pressure to
perform, SO...does that mean there’s NO time for a fake orgasm........SLIP IT
INTO WET AND OVER DRIVE ...........(and I should stop reading my Cosmo).
KAPOW....9 laps to go...Mike, Greg, Gustavo, Sean, Roger, Nathan...out the
HOOP, the boys are sitting in the team car with me......Mudding bodies,
dissatisfied frowns.....then Carl opens the team door....to his surprise... here
we ALL sit....our spirits are drowned out by the nervous laugh of Carl.....CRIKEY.....Well
...as we Australians say, “SHIT HAPPENS”!!!!! Colavita on the bench.....HARK,
alas..but ONE bike rider, Tyler..the dark horse.......(high five)!
May the force be with you, Tyler...I see him crankin' past, in the top 10
riders...YOU ARE OUR YODA........our Jedi Knight.."Spin, BITCH spin....!!!!"
Sitting in the team truck...I feel this is not a Mentos Moment.......There’s
deafening silence of each individual ....Do you say the weather was shit? But
that’s what makes bike racers. Do you you say you didn’t have the legs? But
that’s NOT good enough. No justification or excuse...This is the price you pay
to be an elite athelete..THIS IS THE PACKAGE DEAL.......take it, make it and be
5 laps top go.........The horns are out on the CSC, 7Up, saturn riders...on
the chase of Nathan O’Neill...they have his shammy in sight...the teams are
making their moves..............The rain is thumping hard, like a good Paul
Oakenfold on a wicked track....Tyler tucked in tight. This is a vision of a mosh
pit on a “big day out”!......Jelly Belly..Ben Brooks on the war path, hanging on
the back of the 10 rider break away.....
Tyler..OUT..cramps.....my heart sinks......
With a truck full of wet sober riders....It was time to hit the road, with 5
laps to go- Colavita is OUT..and BOGGED!!!!!!ha ha CRIKEY
You know, it’s GREAT to make a loud ENTRANCE..BUT to make a REVVED UP, wheels
churnin', peoples heads were turnin' EXIT...Bitter sweet.....
Here’s to sunshine....STRONG coffee...and a NIGHT life in Trexlertown...sigh.....
Veronica (the naughty half of Le Chookman)