Double Podium Finish for Joann and Lee at Sylvan Races
It was a rainy, dreary day in Des Moines; the type that many folks don't even think about riding a bike. But two wild and crazy Pink Gals took off East to see what the mud looked like on Sylvan Island. Now to refresh your collective memory, it had rained all week...............torrential rains. Yes, the race is on an island (in dry conditions it means that it surrounded by water). So how crazy do you have to be to head over there to race? Pink crazy that is!
The first crazy Velo gal to take off and race was Lee. Joining her on this day was Ali whom sauntered over to check out dirt racing. Now it was a chilly 40 degrees at the start of the race, but it was dry and sunny. This island is only about 1/4 of a mile wide and one lap is around 4 miles long. That, folks, makes for tons of tight turns. Plus on this little island there used to be a factory and quite frankly, it looks like they blew it up to demolish it. There are random bricks, iron, walls, chunks of jagged concrete all over the trail. This made for a challenging race. Lee looked strong in her first lap and came out of the woods to the trail looking relieved to be done with one. Heading into her second lap, this became her longest mountain bike race. She used her road skills to pass several riders on the path and entered back into the less familiar land of roots and dirt. This lap was more torturous as it became greasy and she became fatigued. Numerous crashes happened but Lee was not deterred. With about one more section of the race left, she realized that another gal was on her wheel. Lee kept her cool and shot out of the woods. There was about a 100-yard trail sprint to the finish. Lee hit the trail like she was finishing a road race, took that Jamis and rode it like she stole it. A mere 2 second win! Lee finished second in the Cat 3 race overall! Plus she finished behind and ahead of gals about half her age. This lead to her winning her age group. Ali also finished first in her age group. A great pink showing!
The clouds cleared and the sun came out bringing a beautiful 70 degree day. Those were perfect conditions for Joann to take the course. She had four laps to get through for this day. She took the challenge and raced with abandon. She ran about 30 seconds off of the lead for the first two laps. Each time the pink jersey flashed around a corner, there was the face of determination. The gal racing in first expanded on her lead and looked like a little sprite that barely touched the ground. This was her home course and it showed in her expertise and maneuvering. Joann kept charging not knowing how close the third place racer was behind her. All of the mountain biking that she did over the spring showed in her true grit in getting across the line to the cheering of teammate Lee. Joann took second in consecutive mountain bike races.