Newell the Crusher and Winder the Phenom
The 2013 Pan American Championships are in early February, and NorCal has two representatives for the USofA – triple medalist from the 2012 PanAm’s, Beth Newell, and Vanderkitten Uber-Star and multi-national champion, Ruth Winder.
Winder is strangely giving up her title defense of the 2012 CherryPie Crit this year to go international and try and bring home some hardware from the PanAms.
harumpf … kids these days have no priorities.
And, Newell was forced into racing the Pan Ams because her sissy-coach was tired of getting dropped on weekend rides and felt he needed a rest from her humiliating him on group rides and geezer-races … so, he booted her down south.
Winder and Newell were selected for the Pan American Championship team based on their stellar performances at the first USA Cycling Talent Identification camp of 2013, held in Los Angeles early this January. These camps are run by US National Team Coach, Ben Sharp – who is channeling a big investment of resources by USA Cycling into women’s track racing … with the goal of starting early to find and guide American talent to the 2016 Olympics.
Also at that January talent ID camp were NorCal’s Korina Huizar and Amanda Seigle, both members of the silver medal team from the 2012 US National Team Pursuit Championships – and all four riders are participants in the Hellyer Women’s Team Pursuit Program – NorCal’s development program for identifying, training, and supporting women track racers. Hellyer Velodrome is where it’s at … so, check www.facebook.com/hwtpp for more information.
Winder is finally no longer a teenager … well, at least according to her USAC racing-age – but she has been on the cycling scene for so many years, it’s hard to think she’s not a gray-haired veteran. Winder excels at reading races and finding the right times to attack. She’s whipfast, saavy and smart, and has just enough wickedness buried inside to make her a knockout artist in any race situation. Tactically, the woman has superb instincts and it will be very interesting to see if she can handle the larger workloads of the senior ranks now that she is fully committed to professional-level cycling. Her newly expanded VK-Wilier team will be a force this year, and Winder will be at the center of it.
For the Pan Am Championships, she’ll be racing the Individual Pursuit, the Team Pursuit, and the Points Race. It’s a good race schedule for her, as she’ll be able to open her legs and lungs up in the IP, then go for broke with Newell and Olympic Silver Medalist Lauren Tamayo in the Team Pursuit. Later in the week, Winder will be nice and recovered for the Points Race, and with Tamayo joining her in the event … Winder could be a surprise darkhorse for a medal, in any color. She’s got the guts, she’s got the intellect, and she’s got an exceptional teammate with her – so, anything’s possible.
Newell is the new hammer of NorCal … already taking 2013 wins at the San Bruno Hillclimb – where she was seconds from breaking the course record – and the Cal Aggie Criterium, where she doubled-up in back-to-back races with the 35+1/2/3 and Women’s race.
A fierce sprinter, Newell has also proven herself to be a big stage-racing talent with top results at races from Redlands to Exergy to Cascade last year. Both Newell and Winder hope to make appearances with the US National Road Team later this year in Europe, but the first hurdle is the Pan American Championships for track racing.
Last year Newell medaled in the IP, TP, and Omnium at the Pan Ams in Argentina – and this year she’ll be repeating those events. She was the 2011 US National Champion in the Omnium and Points Race, but her 2012 title defenses were derailed by a serious hip injury from a crash at the US Criterium Championships in June. She’s hungry for some redemption, but it will be an excellent field at this year’s PanAm’s … and a fierce battle every lap, of every race.
Stay tuned for updates and stories from this year’s Pan American Championships – and be sure to keep an eye out for more NorCal talent on the rise.
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