The excited feelings that lead up to the weekend. The double-, triple-, quadruple-checking of your race day bag before leaving for the course. The creeping jitters in your chest while warming up. The antsy scoping out of your competition at the start line. The hot pain in your throat when you cross the finish line. The lactic acid pooling in your thighs. The sighs of dread and the surprised gasps surrounding the results sheet. The sore body, the high-fives, the bruised egos, the shared smiles. The support from your closest friends that you never thought would actually become your closest friends. These feelings are what bike racing is and always will be about.
Our five women and six men from the newly-formed Santa Barbara-based team Stinner | Black Sheep Racing kicked off the USA road season this weekend with high spirits and high fives. These 11 Stinner Ambassadors had some serious and not-so-serious feedback after their performances at the Santa Barbara County Road Race and the Carlos Soto Memorial Criterium.
"There's a lot I can learn in the world of crit racing. Looking forward to the team tactics since we have the numbers in the women’s team. Cheers to more!"
"Happy to have raced again. Frustrated a bit with lack of detailed focus. Happy with fitness.
The travel with people is the best, racing with people I trust and healing each other and just riding with those whom I like. Lots of high fives."
"I have some work to do physically to become more explosive during the races. I am looking forward to becoming a more dynamic threat to the field. I am looking forward to getting to know the other ladies riding styles and strengths, to the point where we are a well functioning unit."
– Julia Gieschen
"I tend to enjoy bike racing."
– Danny Katz
"Sunday was rad because I was able to go through with my plan! I didn't get the results I wanted last year, so this time around I remembered that, I stayed patient, and got the W for the 4's!"
"I felt generally happy as I went through the old race routine and caught up with old friends at the races. I wrote this quote in my journal: 'Two things a man should never be angry at: what he can help, and what he cannot.' - Thomas Fuller"
After Sunday's race, when David Priest was asked about what he's excited for in the coming season:
"Developing that chemistry as a team where we hardly need to discuss tactics. We just race."