Beth Newell came home from the Pan Am Championships with three medals. Bronze in the overall women’s ominium, bronze in the individual pursuit and a proud gold medal in the 10K scratch race. Beth won three of the six medals won by the USA team at the Pan Am Championships in Mexico.
Going into the 2013, Beth Newell quit her job at the first of the year to focus on racing. She started the year with a bang winning San Bruno Hill Climb on January 1st. She then proceeded to win at Cal Aggie Criterium, attended the USA track camp then headed to the Pan Am Championships. Newell is moving into the 2013 road racing season with a strong start and confidence.
Newell is a great reminder that every professional racer was once a beginner and that big dreams come true with hard work and dedication.
Newell started out racing at the Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose, CA. Just like everyone else who wants to race at the track, she attended three Saturday beginner’s training required before racing. Newell is a believer in learning to race on the track since it is safe due to the fact that riders ‘just go one way.’ Newell is such a big advocate of women learning to ride a track bike that she and her fiance Michael Hernandez created a successful program called Hellyer’s Women Team Pursuit Program. The program is in it’s second year and it has attracted many talented riders from NorCal. HWTPP teams from the program went to Nationals last year and demonstrated what they learned and brought home several medals in their first year.
Newell, just like everyone who wanted to start doing road races, has attended the Early Bird Training Criterium held at Fremont, CA every January since she got into bike racing. The Early Birds are a series of training races for beginners, and tune up races for seasoned riders, to help riders get their feet dirty after the winter break. Unfortunately, her first experience in 2007 wasn’t such a great one. Beth suffered a severe crash in the Early Bird and pretty much got 12 stitches on her face. Newell didn’t stop there, she just continued her journey in racing her bike.
Newell continued to pursue bike racing with a careful calculated plan. She attended every clinic she could find, like the Fremont sprint clinic with Larry Nolan held in Fremont, CA. It was clear to riders and coaches that Newell wanted to learn because she made sure to complete a day’s training before it got dark. She commuted from Oakland to Fremont to train every Thursday. Newell proved to many that she had the dedication and work ethic to make it.
Ed Note: I will never forget the time my husband and I hosted Beth at our home so that she didn’t have to drive home to the East Bay late at night and then return the next day for a multi-day race at Hellyer Velodrome. We know Beth as a very humble person with a big heart. It was her first big track race against some big top teams at that time. There was to be no stopping her from learning and racing against big names. It was just something she had to do. It was an unforgettable night for me, I was at the track helping out and saw Beth being punked by big named racers as if she didn’t have the right to race in such a big race. Beth stood her ground and raced like she’d never raced before, just for experience. She truly inspired me that night. Beth showed me her tenacity and ability to overcome powerful challenges. To me, she was already a champion and when I look at her today I understood what she is trying to do for the sport through programs like HWTPP.
As the year’s progressed, it has been a Cinderalla kind of story, but with a lot of hard work. Two years ago, Newell entered into the road racing world and has shown that she belongs in the elite level. Michael Hernandez, her fiance and coach, has helped Newell progress to the next level giving her greater confidence to succeed as a professional racer. Although Newell’s main focus is track, she has blossomed in road racing and continue to progress. Newell’s NorCal fan base continues to grow and eagerly awaits the next chapter of this story.
To hear more about Beth Newells major goals Listen to NorCal CyclingNews podcast interview with Beth!
Also, check out Newell’s guest hosting gig for NorCal CyclingNews and interviewed Molly Vanhouweling so check it out.
Check out her funny blog at Beth Bikes.
Learn more about Newell’s team, Now Novartis Women’s Cycling Team.
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