“Climbing like a Billy Goat”
A Rainier Cyclocross production.
For today’s performance, the role of Pinky was played by the Tangerine Flame (Kona).
The roll of Whoosh was played by Sue Grandjean (Showers Pass).
I had very high expectations for this 2010 version of the 2009 classic. The program promised ‘RAIN, SHINE AND PLENTY OF CLIMBS!”
The show began with the arrival of over 1000 racers to the small river town of Rainier, OR.
The scene was set on a cool rainy October Sunday at Rainier H.S. Playing the role of Billy Goat is a relative new comer, Cyclisme darling, Mielle Blomberg.
She cut her teeth and paid her dues in productions like PIR Short Track and Albany Criterium Championships earlier this season and worked her way up to a new roll in the Master A’s. The last minute addition of a lighter bike made this a welcome change to last year, although Pinky will be missed. She watched the performance from the Pit.
Rain does not dampen the spirits of our hardy bunch of players in this outdoor venue. Like a band of wild horses waiting to be released from a corral, everyone was chomping at the bit and the performances were outstanding! The first Act included numbers like “Let’s crash into the barriers”, “Off Camber ” and “At Noon the Rain Stops”.
After the Kiddie Cross and Men’s fields completed their song and dance, the ladies chorus stepped up for a real show stopper. A slip up on the off camber section during the intermission sent one of the performers to the hospital just before the curtain went up. But the show must go on!
3rd row in the line up and a near miss crash with Ann Kennedy (unattached) at the start left our heroin chasing hard for the first lap. This venue proved perfect for her and she really showed what she had been working for all year. Clean lines delivered through the first half of the number gained rave reviews from audience and fellow racers alike who showed their appreciation with cheers of support and ringing cowbells.
A few slip up’s were forgivable in the sticky muddy tree section and the Tangerine Flame proved a very strong companion in tricky technical climbs. Where others walked through their lines, our Billy Goat and her Kona rode the un-ridable.
The final build up to the big finish came down to an outstanding cat and mouse chase between Sarah Eustis (Bike Attorney), Margi Bradway (Team S&M) and Mielle Blomberg (Word-RCB). Passing both Margi and Sarah in the rooted downhill that led to the infield barriers, it looked like this would be a fight to the finish.
This number had intensity and passion!
The “Hill” brought the crowd to their feet. With both Sarah and Margi chasing our Billy Goat leader hard up the final climb to the finish, it was exhilarating to watch them get out of the saddle and sprint, up hill, to the finish.
These ladies were very evenly matched and stole the show with a 5th place finish by Sarah, followed 14 seconds later by Mielle and Margi in 6th and 7th. A real standout this year was first place winner Sue Grandjean (Showers Pass).
A Cat 1 Mountain Biker who finished her performance 2 minutes and 81 seconds ahead of the pack. Special mention for Sarah Hunter who showed her grit and determination in her new “Women’s B’s” roll this year. I see big things for her in the future! Also, I enjoyed the new leading men played by Eric, Isacc, Dave and a real cutie, Shane.
What a show! It was worth every penny.