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Thursday Night Lights 8/13/15

Well-rested from a rain out the week before, the Koochella Next Generation riders stepped into the infield a force to be reckoned with. An unusual line up and state championship race had the A field on their toes. Yet they weren’t the only ones feeling the heat with a jam-packed roster that included the NSC Velodrome’s annual corporate challenge.

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Rather than let the pressure get to them, the Koochella babes got straight to work stretching ther legs on the trainers.

 

In the B Field Tiana “T-Bits” Johnson continued her streak of strong performances with an impressive third place finish in the Cat 1/2/3 Miss & Out. Fresh from two Thursdays away from the velodrome, Beth “Treasure” Franklin made her presence known taking third in the Scratch 10 and finishing out the night just behind T-Bits in 6th overall.

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Energy was high in the Women’s A Cat 4 field. Sh!t Goose crusher Ash-slay Murray dominated the evening giving the baby ducks a run for their money.  But a first and second place finish for Sarah “Bee” Bonneville and Emily “Bullet-Heart” Wade in the Unknown Distance race made them want to shake a tail feather.

 

Lilah “Fratboy” Guertin rounded out her night by racing in the Men’s Cat 4 Miss & Out. By the time she left the infield, Fratboy earned her Cat 3 upgrade staging a stylish comeback after a few weeks out of the saddle.

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But the women saved the best for last. The final race of the night was the A’s State Championship 20 lap scratch race. Ash-slay Murray earned the gold with a break-out attack that set her several meters ahead of the field. After a hard-fought race filled with clever tactics and close quarters Renee “Dark Horse” Hoppe and Rachel “Lazer” Zaidman came across the finish line in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, with Sarah Bonneville right behind them.

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For Renee and Rachel, their results were a long-awaited symbol of their hard work and friendship. Earning a place on the podium was particularly sweet for Lazer who was racing her last night with her teammates at the NSC Velodrome before moving to Portland to pursue a Master’s degree and take the cycling scene by storm.

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Like most race nights, the evening ended with toothy grins and a group hug. There were even a few tears as the babes closed out their last night on the track with Rachel and plotted road trips to the Pacific Northwest. Fortunately Koochella’s training includes mastering texting, Facebook, and telepathy, so staying in touch will be a breeze. And with her new one-of-a-kind Koochella punk vest, Lazer will be able to feel the warmth of a team huddle from anywhere in the world.

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July 22 Thursday Night Lights

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June “Tiny Terror” Osaki started her winning streak early with a pre-race snack of raspberries and homemade rice rolls.

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Then she saw the races for the evening.  Two separate fields for women (A & B) with a Keirin for the Bs and a Miss & Out for the As.  What’s not to love.

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The first race of the night was a fast-paced point-a-lap with big moves across the field.  Just look at Monster Mash go.

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But nothing was as big as the roar of cheers coming from the infield as women in one field got to watch and cheer for women in another for the second time in the history of the NSC Velodrome.

High on lady-love, Koochella took five of the top six places in the Miss & Out.  For new rider Crisi “The Fox” Lee, fifth felt like first.

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While newbie Laura Schaefer may have been the first rider eliminated, she was the only lady to win the National Hot Dog Day prize.

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Next Anna “Momma Duck” Schwinn got back in the game after a few weeks of rest with her favorite event – the Keirin.

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But the night’s biggest come back came from Lin-zilla Hamilton who crushed the Keirin on her first night of racing since a shoulder surgery earlier this year.

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Rachel “Lazer” Zaidman also had a stellar night taking 2nd in the Omnium to Sh!t Goose’s Ash-slay Murray.

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By the end of the night, many of the ladies were taking breaks from jumping for joy only to hug each other.  And plan the Koochella Classic.  And dream of unicorns.