View Full Version : TEAM Fuji goes to the US Nationals Olympic Selection Race

06-22-2004, 10:25 AM
TeamEstrogen.com is proud to be a sponsor of TEAM Fuji. Here is an update from one of their riders:

Team Fuji just returned from a very busy weekend of racing on both sides of the coast. Four members of TEAM Fuji participated in the US Nationals Olympic Selection Race in Redlands, California while two Fujiettes participated in the Mayor's Race in Union City, Georgia.

Participating in the Olympic Selection Race was such an honor. Just to get the chance to be on the starting line and race against the best women in the United States was worth the all the training miles logged this year. There were 125 women on the line from a wide variety of teams, represting sponsors and cycling clubs from all over the US. TEAM Fuji had four members in red, white and blue- Kathleen Billington (KB), Myself, Gina Voci, and Jen Stern. The course had over 7,000 feet of climbing, and the winner wins an expense paid trip to Athens, Greece as a member of the 2004 US Olympic Team. I knew the race wasn't going to come down to a field sprint, but I had hopes of finishing in some sort of group, because there was no way I was going to finish this race solo. Kathleen has been climbing like a machine this year and we were all eager to see how she could place among the most elite climbers in North America.

Kristin Thronburg of Webcor had just won the women's Time Trial two days earlier. She just earned her spot on the US Olympic Team. Many people were surprised when Kristin won the time trial. It created quite a stir. She was a long shot in the event, and lacking in international experience. She has never raced outside the US and people wondered if it was a fluke she won? or is she really that good? Everyone knew T-Mobile and their team of 7 women were going to be gunning for the last spot left on the Olympic team. Dede Barry, of T-Mobile, had already qualified and everyone knew she wanted a teammate to go with her to Athens.

The first lap was suppose to be some sort of neutral lap around the town of Redlands. I dare call a 2 mile warm-up lap at 25 mph 'neutral'. My heart was pounding from the gun and then that was it. After the 'neutral' lap, we shot up the first hill and my heartrate never went below 185 for the next hour until I was finally dropped from the main group. I was so glad I didn't eat a big breakfast becuase I knew it would have been all over my handlebars. I lasted two laps with the main group.

When I got dropped off, I saw a break go off the front. Kristin Thornberg of Webcor attacked on the main climb and went with Kristin Armstrong of T- Mobile on the second lap. We had to do six laps for a total of 65 miles. Team Genesis tried to chase the break in order to get their best rider, Tina Mayola-Pic, back to the leaders. This wasn't a race for second place. They couldn't do it, the Genesis riders were dropping like flies. Every time I went around, I saw more cyclists sitting beside the road cheering. The cheering section was definitely bigger than my little chase group of 10 riders.

The two riders stayed off the front of the pack. Kristin Armstrong of T-Mobile won the race. She earned the last spot on the US Olympic Team, while Kristin Thronberg proved herself worthy to wear the US jersey in Athens. She is an amazing athlete and I can't wait to watch her race in August. Tina Mayola-Pic won what was left of a 'field' sprint for third place from her nemesis, Lynne Gaggioli, who got fourth. Those two just keep duking it out.

Kathleen Billington finished a very respectible 33rd place, while I finished 51st place. Only 62 women fnished the race out of the 125 starters. It was a race to remember...

Meanwhile back in Union City, Georgia, Cass Perkins and Nicole Bossie participated in the TT and Criterium. Cass got in a break in the criterium and placed third in her first Pro 1,2,3 women race, while Nicole placed 13 in the crit and 22 in the time trial.

06-22-2004, 06:22 PM
Wow! Exciting race! And well-related. I could see and feel the action through your words. As close as I'll ever get to real pro racing! Thanks for the report.


06-30-2004, 07:19 AM

- cathy