In Minneapolis the Southside Sprint has a special place in the heart of every crit champion and hill climbing queen. The 3/4 mile course on the south end of Chicago Ave is known for its tight curves and tree-lined thrills. This past Sunday four Koochella racers rolled out of bed early to compete in Southside’s Category 4 women’s race.
Always ready to pounce, Koochella took a quick lap around the course after the conclusion of the Juniors race and lined up just behind the start finish while officials readied the road.
While she couldn’t compete, June “Tiny Terror” Osaki came in her best dress and cape for moral and mechanical support.
When officials gave the go-ahead, the team was quick to grab as many front-row seats as they could.
Tiana “T-Bits” Johnson set herself up for early success with a prime position in the pack. While a a minor crash in the final laps threw a wrench in this mechanic-messenger’s game, she quickly jumped back in the saddle earning herself a 9th place finish.
Beth “Treasure” Franklin fought her way to a 5th place finish proving her calves could carry her through a crit almost as well as a chariot race at the track.
For Rachel “Lazer” Zaidman, Southside marked the one year anniversary of her first sanctioned race and the day she decided she wanted to be on Koochella (that’s Lazer in the back on the right).
Rachel finished the race stoked to see just how much she improved over the past year.
Rookie racer Emily Wade paced with a well-organized chase group, making new friends on the Birchwood and Omnium teams.
Of course, no bike race is complete without Lilah “Fratboy” Guertin. Also unable to race, Lilah made it to Chicago & 48th in plenty of time to cheer her face off for fellow trackie Heidi “Game Face” Goodson as she #yolosolo’d her way to the state championship title in the elite women’s race later that afternoon.