Friday night’s final race…the men’s 8000m was going to make or break the California Wave sweeping the first session of the TeamTrack Premier. Alissa, Korina, Nate, and I were jumping up and down on the home straight, kindly staying off the apron to please the officials, to see if Andreas, Zack, and Zane can give us the points we needed to take home the win. When the race finished, we froze, all eyes glued on the scoreboard on the back straight to see if we could overtake the PA Lightening, after some incredible performances by our guys. We waited what seemed like forever, all members of the same team, trying to achieve the same goal. It didn’t matter that we ended up finishing 2nd, just 4 points behind the team of PA Lightening, we were all smiles, congratulating each other on an incredible night of racing. We all had tasks ahead of us, races we had committed to racing, and a team riding on our backs, something that track cycling hasn’t exactly seen before. We were only together for two days, racing three sessions, but by the end of the last session, we were all family. I’ve been part of many “teams” who have traveled together for well over a week, and I have never left feeling like I’ve become part of something. There is something magical about this particular league that’s going to change track cycling, not only in america, but across the world.
The spectators who came were impressed, excited, and supportive of the event, the exact energy track cycling needs in this country. The positive energy that was buzzing inside that velodrome was something that needed to be experienced, from the competitiveness of the athletes, to the cheer from the crowd, to the music. The live feed replay gives a good impression, but it doesn’t compare to what I felt riding around the velodrome. When the Velo Sports Center becomes a packed house, I can only imagine the feeling, because even with a few seats full, its left an imprint in my mind I’ll never forget.
Throughout this whole process, the passion that came through Dave Chauner and his partners was unparalleled. Not only does he want this league to be sustainable, but he wants the riders to be taken care of, enjoy themselves, and for each person who walks through the doors to be proud to be part of the event. I felt the passion during each session, in the riders meeting, and every time I saw them all running around the center of the track making sure everything ran as smoothly as possible. It’s easy to sit back and criticize an event that you had nothing to do with, something you know nothing about, because you were neither there, nor took the time to experience or get to know. But from the perspective of the riders, this was one for the memory books, and I for one will make sure I am first in line when the league starts up in full force this fall.
While I could have been part of the Colorado Cyclones, PA Lightening, or the California Wave, I was happy to wear the “flying pea” colors as my tribute to all my CA fans and supporters, for one last time, on my home track. My team was full of characters, a little bit of crazy, and a whole lot of talent. We raced our hearts out, became a team over the course of that short time, and road to multiple wins, breakaways, crashes, and charisma. While I am moving away from California, and making PA my new home, I will always remember the people and events that have made me the rider I am today, and I will always have a special place in my heart for California. ❤
The last event, of the last night, all the ladies of the WCL were standing on the ramp of the back straight screaming our lungs out for our teams. Every single one of us. That is what this event has created. It’s not about individual victories, it was about the point accumulation on the board and a true team movement. I had more fun on my bike during this two day event, than I’ve had over my career. The racing was tough, challenging, and exciting. And I couldn’t be more proud to have been part of it’s introduction to the world.
Much thanks to all who made the WCL everything that is was, and thank you for letting me be part of it. This event couldn’t have come to me at a better time, and has renewed my love for this sport. I can’t wait to come back in the fall.
Link to post race interview : https://youtu.be/gCUY5Ew3lxg
Huffington Post Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jorge-newbery/world-cycling-leagues-mis_b_9459614.html