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Tales out of the Peloton

Nicole Reinhart Foundation Dinner Dance

Hand-to-hand combat of a different kind

Holiday Inn Conference Center, Fogelsville, PA, November 18, 2002

Becky Conzelman (L) and Laura Van Gilder (R)
Photo: © Michael Tamayo
Click for larger image

It was all for a good cause, but when you've got the top two crit riders in the US going head to head in an arm wrestle, you're in for a good show, as Michael Tamayo writes.

Last Saturday evening, on November 16, 2002, the 2nd annual Nicole Reinhart Foundation Dinner Dance was held. The event brought out the best garb in all of us cyclists, and on this particular night, Laura Van Guilder (Team Saturn) and Becky Conzelman (US National Track Team Member) proved that "you can take the girl out of the bike race, but you can't take the bike racer out of the girl".

As Team Director of the Amoroso's Women's Cycling Team, I got the two women to agree to a duel of a different kind - in the form of an arm wrestle - to raise money for the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Foundation. And with the crowd in full support, cheers and dollar bills being passed around, the match was set to go.

Just one problem: Laura is right-handed and Becky's a lefty.

Dressed to kill
Photo: © Michael Tamayo
Click for larger image

So they had to go at each other twice (so to speak). The first match was a clash of the rights, and for over a minute, the top two criterium riders in the US were locked in battle, with the crowd going beserk, chanting for their woman.

Dressed in evening wear, you could see the winter lifting physique on both riders. Becky finally gave in, with Laura the victor in round one. A shift to the left for the second round duel proved just as exciting. Both riders displayed their ferociously competitive nature, and showed they can compete on or off the bike. Becky came in over the top, taking Laura after an equally hard-fought battle.

Thank you to the two exceptional athletes for their good spirits and assistance in raising money for a great cause.

Click here to visit the Nicole Reinhart Memorial Fund website


Images by Michael Tamayo

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