Chinatown Challenge
Los Angeles, CA - June 27, 1999     T   P   S
San Diego Street Elite

The Chinatown Challenge 10k on 6/27 was part of big annual bicycle race produced by the L.A. Wings Bicycling Club. This year's course was the same as last year -- a rectangular criterium course around a few city blocks with a downhill on one side and an uphill on the opposite. The start/finish stretch is along one of the main drags in Chinatown, with lots of passers-by and spectators. This was a big event, with TV coverage.

Some of the area's best skaters competed at this event, including Dane Lewis (Hyper), Michelle Bizeau (Hyper), Troy Atwell (Sonic), Julie Glass (FILA/Verducci), and Helle Carlsen (Kryptonics). Additionally, the Samaki Bros. visiting from the Japanese World Team were there as well. It was sunny and 65 degrees when around 30 skaters lined up for the 11:00 pro/elite start.

The lead pack basically stuck together for the first few laps of the 13-lap race. Dane, who had been hanging in the back, made a break on the uphill on lap 4 or 5. The resulting high pace eventually skattered the skaters out. Those fortunate enough to remain in the lead pack witnessed Dane turn it on again with 2 laps to go, creating a gap which he sustained to the finish.

The pro/elite women at this race were skilled enough to compete head-on with the men, as some of them are medalists from the U.S. World Team. Helle Carlsen had an unfortunate collision with a lapped skater midway into the race which opened it up for Julie Glass for the win and Michelle Bizeau settling for second.

Just about everybody who dropped off the lead pack had extreme difficulty with lap counting. Even after the race we still were confused. Since only the top 3 finishers were recorded, many of us did not know where we placed. From SDSE, Wendy Holbert probably finished 4th and I probably placed 6th. No times were recorded, either.


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