Contributor: Tom Lyons
The women had District and National champions to go with an assortment of regular season wins, but then topped it with a world TT champ! Presented with typically smaller fields than they’d like, a lot of race directors opt to combine various women’s groups into one race at their events. This didn’t faze our ladies as they typically raced women of all ages and came out on top anyway! True to ThirstyBear form, the Lady Bears competed over all types of terrain in the different disciplines – Road, Crit, TT, Stage Races, and Hill Climbs. They even moved over to mountain biking and running, making them the most versatile of all our TB groups. I’ll cover the road racing here (results taken from USAC):
The TB women started out quietly early on, but a trip to the Tucson desert in March saw a most dramatic 45+ stage race dual resulting in a 1 second GC margin of victory. Taking the TT by 8 seconds, but dropping 10 seconds in the road race set up the circuit race for all the marbles. The race for yellow would come down to the lunge for the tape at the end. It would require a “Coryn Rivera” type effort to take home the yellow jersey. No problem for TB on this day as we not only got the 2 seconds needed for the win, we took an extra second just for good measure. Big weekend for the team in Tucson with GC wins in the women’s 45+ to go with the men’s 45+ and 55+. Back home, TB got on the TT bike for the Red Kite 35+ and P12 titles. Finishing out the month, TB easily went 1-2 at Copperopolis in the 30+ classic.
Rain seems to hit at least one or two of our favorite races and that was the case again in our late spring season. After a win in the 35+ at Turlock, it was over to Berkeley in the rain-soaked local favorite. A few trips up and down the “Bears” of Berkeley Hills, these Bears ascended the final pitch off the front for a 1-2 finish setting up our ladies for a trip to Nationals. Unfortunately, the “crit disguised as a road race” didn’t have wind, rain, or even hills to cause selections at Nats. However, TB did take the national 45-49 TT title over the rollers in North Carolina. Why was the TT course hillier than the road race? A quick flight home to get back on the hills of Mt Hamilton saw TB on the top step of the 35+ race there.
Pescadero and Hamilton on back-to-back weekends are a climber’s favorite time of the year. TB sealed their 35+ domination of the mountains with a 1-2 finish at Pesky. The NCNCA District TT and Hill Climb followed in the month after Nationals. And the medals piled up with jerseys in the 45-49 TT, 50-54 TT, 45-49 HC, and 1-2 in the 50-54 HC. TB threw in the Calaveras 35+ TT and Fort Ord Circuit 35+ wins as well.
Patterson is another team favorite and certainly one of the most challenging races on our calendar due to the strong winds and steep climbs. A win the 35+ wrapped up the road haul for the ladies in 2017. Then it was more TT time with wins at the Altamont Tribute 35+ and Red Kite 35+. The year ended, fittingly, with a World title in the 45-49 TT.
The 21 “Wins”
1 Stage Race GC
8 RR/Circuit Races
Meredith Stowe-Christie, Annie Carrino, Tanya Fredricks, Leila Cavanaugh, Anne Valta, Christy Smith, Chris Lundy, Jenny Wong
New additions: Shelagh Fritz, Natalie Jackson