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(you might wanna see the movie before you read this report)
By Mari Holden – T-Mobile professional cycling team
So we awoke this morning to the sound of rain again.
Today (Saturday) was the 57-mile road race, held – not without some irony – in the desert of Casa Grande. The team was psyched and ready to start the day. We started with the normal team meeting where director Andrezj asked us all “so what are you going to do today team?” To which Brooke quickly replied “whatever we feel like, gosh.”
I don’t think she got enough sleep last night.
We decided that rain or shine we were going to race hard. Lesson Number 1 from the Rex Kwan Do School of fighting. We wanted to win and maintain our top-three GC.
The course was a 16-mile loop that we raced 3.5 times. There was a slight climb to the finish and the sprint was a false flat. Getting ready to race in the rain always causes a lot of pre race confusion. Tina, our soigneur, was all upset because she forgot to add the magic crystals. Ina, on the other hand, was still trying to figure out the diet coke phenomenon on our team.
“I see you’re drinking Diet, is that because you think you’re fat or something? Because you’re not, you could be drinking regular if you wanted.” I took a sip from my bottle and tasted the defect of bleach. But, no worries- we got on our bikes and started to race.
T-Mobile was lucky to have eight women in this race so we had the luxury to control the group with five on the front. Sweet!!
Kristin at one point was so happy with the race that she asked us “are you guys having a killer time?”
Ina was the driving force behind our team today. She reminds me of a liger. It’s just about my favorite animal. A cross between a lion and a tiger bred for skills and magic. She brought our organization and skill to a new level. Personally, I felt good at first, but started to fade toward the end. I told Kimberly, and she helped along by getting me to visualize. She told me to “imagine myself weightless, in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by little seahorses.”
I tried hard and it actually did helped me overcome my exhaustion.
Rebecca went off the front before the last climb. Ina yelled “Go for it!” I heard a faint “’kay…bye!” in the distance.
She and two other girls got a good gap, and I heard an amazed voice in the peloton ask, “is that a new kid or something”? A few minutes later we had to start the lead out for the sprint. Kristin went off like a freakin’ 12 gauge. She finished off an amazing lead-out for Ina who won the race. I was seeing stars but remembered Ina’s promise before the race. “Vote for me and all your wildest dreams will come true”.
It was a fun day for T-Mobile. We raced as a team and listened to our hearts.