level mountain bike racer Sarah Kaufmann is the newest edition to the Stan’s
NoTubes Elite women’s mountain bike team. Now in it’s second year the Stan’s
NoTubes team is stacked with some of the fastest dirt-shredding women in the
part of their team launch, the ladies gathered to turn some laps at the 24
Hours in the Old Pueblo. The highlight of the weekend was the 4-person female
team that featured Kaufmann, Sue Haywood, Jenny Smith, and Susan DeMattei.
Sarah’s report about the women’s race and spending a weekend racing with true
mountain bike royalty.
felt like I had waited forever to meet my new teammates and get to race with
my team. I was
SO_EXCITED. Not to mention the chance to get out of the (admittedly mild)
Utah winter and onto Tucson desert singletrack. Standing in the pick up
line at the airport waiting for Shannon, I was positively giddy to play around
on the Epic Rides pump-track style course.
Shannon andJenny picked me up, we made the
mandatory TJ’s stop and rolled out to the desert where we met Sue (!),Susan (!!) and the rest of
our little crew. As an aside – is it wrong that I’m star-struck by my
teammates? We set up camp, set off a gear explosion and headed to the
dedication dinner in Susan’s honor. After Kaila got
sick, Susan had been subbed on to our team. I think she was a little wary
because she wanted the weekend to be super chill and to race on a team
where she could just ride a couple mellow laps. She hasn’t been riding
much and she claimed to feel some (unnecessary) pressure on our
team. That was crap though, as we were all just incredibly honored
to have her. And as it turned out, she went out and ‘toodled’ along her
first lap to rip a 1:11. Go figure. The dedication dinner was
really special – the highlight was hearing Sue H speaking about her idol, Susan
D. Oh, and Barry Wicks‘s
comments were a highlight too…let’s just say, you had to be there
was cold in the tent at night but once I wised up to putting mittens on my
feet, I stayed warm. I woke up super early and headed out to ride a little.
By my count, between my two and a half solos (two complete and one dnf), one
team race and other pre-rides, I had done 49 laps on the course. So I
don’t think a pre-ride was really necessary. But a singletrack fix
definitely was. When I got back, people were starting to stir and we
finished getting stuff ready, took some photos and Jenny got ready to roll lap
1. Since Jenny can run like the wind, we sent her first. It paid
too, she was the first chick on the bike after the chaotic LeMans start.
ripped a super fast lap and Sue took off. I got ready, spun around a bit
and waited for Sue.
she got in, I headed out for my first. It was really good/terrible to
ride that hard again. Traffic is a bitch at that race but I tried to keep my head
on straight and be patient and nice. I think I only pissed off one
person. Okay, maybe two. The rest of the race unfolded without too
much drama (except when a certain unnamed teammate lit the table on fire – good
eat, shower, rest, rinse and repeat. This was on my way to the showers
after a night lap. (And, yes, it is a HUGE luxury to have showers at a
race in the middle of the desert. Epic Rides goes ALL_OUT.
Full stop. Their events are top-notch).
had some stomach issues, which I suppose shouldn’t be much of a shock with the
amount of candy I consumed. Bad, Sarah.
Jimmy (team mechanic) was awesome. And a huge adjustment for me – it was
pretty rad that the only thing I needed to concentrate on was riding
fast. Everything else was already done.
of catching up with people, lots of impressive and super fast riding and lots
of having a blast. Got to race with my idols, got to pedal hard for
the first time in a while and got a *little bit* of sunshine and a singletrack
fix that should hold me over until Austin. Oh, and we won
for the cheesy part… I am super stoked for the year. I am on a team
of incredible people and athletes. Huge thanks to Shannon and our sponsors,Stan’s NoTubes, elete, Alpine Orthopedics, Light & Motion, Gu, ProLink, fizik,Cannondale, Crankbrothers, Ergon, Lazer, Kenda and Jetblack.