11, July 2006
Here is another RS 'Cross Team email introducing the supported racers and it's the last of the series which began several weeks ago. Am I saving the best for last? Well, it would be unkind for me to comment on that since I dearly love all the characters that make up Team Red, past and present. All of them have been the best! The greatest pleasure I have had has been to spend time with these folks, watch them grow and excel as racers, go on all the road trips with them, and see each of them mature into adulthood. Jeez - it sounds like a graduation speech yo! Anyway, of all the racers that have gone through the program, I definitely give both Pioneer and MVP status to Alicia Genest, now called Alicia Hamblen.
I met Alicia through her dad Dave, though I had already seen her prior to that racing in Walnut Park in New Britain, Connecticut as a five-foot-nothing 12 yearold. Long before Alicia ever raced in Red, I recall seeing her at every race venue, always pedaling the smallest racing bicycles available, and always with that infectious smile. As fate would have it, when Dave and I melded our efforts bringing two separate teams into one, Alicia was part of the deal - and finally in Red.
It seems like this all was about 10 years ago, and I know Alicia's text below addresses the time line. She's been part of my life all these years and it's an annual treat for me when 'cross season resumes each September and I get to hang out with Alicia and the crew. And without summoning up a bad rendition of Maurice Chevalier's Thank Heavens for Little Girls, I want to somehow add to this how beautiful it has been to watch Alicia tiptoe through all the teenage years, racing probably 100 events annually,leaving high school, graduating college, recently marrying Jon - and along the way maturing into a beautiful young woman. While Alicia's priorities have shifted abit, she's still out there racing 'cross with us every weekend.
I should note: Alicia is not only a life-er in the sport despite being barely 24, she has also rode at the front the entire time. In the summers she's done all the Montreal World Cups, the Wachovia Pro Championships in Philly, the Somervilles, Fitchburgs, Ore-Ida stage races, and hundreds of others in between. And, along the way, she's managed to snag 4 National Cyclocross Championships as part of Team Red. Through all my years of being involved at the support level, no single rider has been as determined, productive, and committed as Alicia has. It seems like yesterday that we began measuring her for red bicycles, yet a decade has passed, and it's been delightful. Can we get Streisand's The Way We Were on the speaker system yo? So, in her own words, here is what Alicia says about all this:
I started racing when I was 8 years old. I rode a Schwinn one speed bike. I did my first cross race when I was 12 years old in Hingham, Massachusetts, on a 30 pound mountain bike. I rode my first Richard Sachs when I was 16 and I have never looked back. I have now been a part of the Richard Sachs team for almost 8 years. Thanks to Richard and his unmatched support I have had my best days ever riding my bike, including winning three national championships. I remember the first one in San Francisco when I was 17.
My dad and I wished so much that Richard could have been there to celebrate with us. Maybe that was the push Richard needed as the very next year he made the trek, and I mean trek, to the coldest nationals in history(Kansas City) and one year after that he took to the scene fully, racing alongside the rest of us in fine style. This was the official beginning of the team escapades up and down the coasts and across the country. I am proud to have been a part of the nationals in Baltimore where the Red Squad cleaned up the medals! Richard and all of the sponsors that he puts together each year, are the reason that I am able to continue racing and I look forward to the cross season all year... this year is no different. I'm excited to be a part of the team as it continues to grow and change, this year adding my favorite person in the whole world, my husband Jon. There's nothing better than traveling and racing with your best friends and closest family members. Richard has provided such support that I have been able to continue racing with my dad, now going on 16 years. Although I miss stopping into the Wheat Market on our way to the UCI races in Delaware and riding as a big family in the infamous team van as work has moved me out of New England, I will always be truly honored to be a part of the Richard Sachs team. Some day I hope to win another national championship for Richard... it just may not be for a couple of years!
P.S. Just to note, I continue to race the road season down here in NC on my Richard Sachs cross bike. As I always like to say, any press is good press and I get at least 5 comments a day about how awesome my bike is!
Well - I am not sure what to add to this, except to say, "Thanks, Alicia!".
My emails wrt the RS 'Cross Team will resume as news occurs and we'll
be racing and winning in less than 90 days!
Thanks for reading!
Thank you for your interest and support.
The Richard Sachs Cyclocross Team is sponsored by
RGM Watches and Rex Chiu as well as by Cane Creek,
Crank Brothers, Rudy Project, Oval Concepts, Challenge
Tires, VergeSport, Selle San Marco, JB Custom Paint,
Pacenti Cycle Design, The Wheatmarket, and Nelly's Deli.
BLATANT TEAM BIKE PICS:
AWESOME 'CROSS PORN:
11, July 2006