Who doesn’t like a sea otter?

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By:

Alison M. Tetrick

TWENTY16 Pro Cycling

Who doesn’t like a sea otter?  My favorite part about the Sea Otter Classic, is the fact that it revolves around a cuddle craving mammal known for its playful nature.  Sure, I have heard the race referred to as the Sea Slaughter, but of course that interpretation depends on how you are feeling when racing.  Me?  I prefer playful and cuddly.

 

The Sea Otter Classic continues to be one of my favorite races on the calendar because it gives me the opportunity to feel mildly uncool when compared to the mountain bikers and other dirt trick riders.  I love immersing myself within the different disciplines and appreciating what a wide range of talent and skill our sport contains.  Anything that you dare to dream of within the cycling industry is there.  If you like bikes, you will feel like you are a kid in a candy shop.  And then the best part is, you can then go race your bike!

 

As a road racer on the panel of Rebecca Rusch’s Gold Rusch Tour presented by SRAM, I realized how the diversity of the sport is inspiring and the options are endless.  Especially for women!  I may not be able to do a backflip on my bike like one of the other women on the panel, but we all can inspire to get more women out on bikes and enjoying the sense of freedom and empowerment that only a bike can give.  I am happy to give back to a sport that I love, and that has given me so much growth and learning opportunities.

 

Team TWENTY16 was happy to attend another year of the Sea Otter Classic with a contingency of our elite team as well as our junior roster.  Our juniors were on the podium every day, which left a tall order for our professional team!  Fortunately, we also were able to secure a great team race and hold up our side of the podium pendulum.  Cycling is a team sport, and although this is often stated, it is always more gratifying when a good team plan sorts itself according to expectations.  After a quick and dirty crit, where our token Canadian rider, Lex, got 3rd place out of break, we entered the road race that always proves to be challenging.  There is something about Fort Ord that leaves you feeling a bit more reflective, perhaps morose, yet somehow stronger, which I can only attribute to the Steinbeck terrain.  The team raced cohesively and hard, which allowed me to take a late solo flyer on the final lap in order to secure the win.  Lex finished with a brilliant kick the bunch uphill sprint for 2nd place.

 

Podiums are always fun, but they are more fun after your pain brings champagne, and of course a fluffy little sea otter.  Like I said, who doesn’t love a sea otter?  And who doesn’t like winning?  In life if you don’t risk something, you risk everything.  And that holds true in bike racing.  Bike racing is always hard, and late moves don’t always work, but that is what a team is for.  And when those late attacks work, they prove to turn that pain into champagne.  We finished the circuit with more podiums and more fun to celebrate a great team race with not only the women on my team, but also our sponsors and team of supporters at the Sea Otter Classic.

 

 

 

Teams Finalized For The 2014 Amgen Tour Of California Women’s Races

 

Circuit Race and Time Trial Poised to Bring

Unparalleled Women’s Racing to the U.S.

 

LOS ANGELES (April 9, 2014) – In what is shaping up as the most competitive women’s cycling series ever staged in the U.S., the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will welcome 20 high-caliber teams from around the world to compete in a women’s circuit race on May 11, followed by a time trial with nearly two dozen of the sport’s best on May 12. This is the first time in race history the Amgen Tour of California will host both a women’s time trial and a circuit race, bringing fans more women’s competition than any other event of its kind. The events are presented by SRAM.

 

For the circuit race, World and National Champions, Olympic medalists, and women from the top professional, national and composite teams will face off in Sacramento with the State Capitol as the backdrop following the start of the men’s eight-day stage race.

The U.S. professional teams selected for the circuit race include Team Specialized-lululemon, UCI’s second-ranked women’s team and World Team Time Trial Champions for two years running; UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, which has earned overall victories at the Tour de San Luis and the Tour of El Salvador in their debut year as a team; TWENTY16 Pro Cycling presented by Breakaway from Cancer®, the only U.S. women’s road team to earn medals in the London Olympic Games; Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, whose roster includes several riders for the U.S. national team as part of a Spring Classics campaign in Europe; and Team TIBCO, the top NRC-ranked team in the U.S in 2013, and the longest running women’s team in North America.

 

“Our thanks go to the race organizers for including women’s racing over two days this year,” said two-time Olympic time trial gold medalist Kristin Armstrong, who serves as the high performance director for the TWENTY16. “This is an incredible time to showcase the sport and an opportunity for women riders and teams to introduce the sport to the incredible viewership that the Amgen Tour of California generates. The next generation may be out there and inspired!”

 

The circuit race will be capped at 115 riders, a massive field that will add to the excitement as these stellar athletes race around California’s State Capitol building along a four-corner, 1.25-mile circuit course. The top three finishers will secure their team a coveted individual time trial position, allowing those teams to put their best time trial specialists in the mix the following day.

 

“We are thrilled to up the ante for women cyclists with two days of world-class racing at the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, and proud to provide powerful platform to promote women’s cycling,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “The fields feature the top women cyclists in the sport today, and we know the excitement of hosting both events will be shared by cycling fans around the world.”

 

With team rosters yet to be announced, the complete list of teams participating in the 2014 Amgen Tour of California women’s circuit race includes:

 

· BMW Development Team

· Canada National Team

· China Chongming-Giant-Champion System Pro Cycling

· Colavita/Fine Cooking Women’s Pro Cycling Team

· CRCA: Stan’s NoTubes presented by enduranceWERX

· DNA Cycling presented by K4

· FCS|Zngine presented by Mr. Restore

· Folsom Bike/Cervélo

· JETCycling

· Metromint Cycling

· Monster Media Racing Team

· Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

· Pinnacle-Reactor Racing Team presented by JL Velo

· SPY GIANT RIDE Elite Cycling Team

· Team Specialized-lululemon

· Team TIBCO

· TWENTY16 Pro Cycling presented by Breakaway from Cancer

· Threshold Sports powered by Leadout Endurance Coaching

· UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

· Vanderkitten Racing

“We’re obviously very proud to be a part of these events, and we anticipate two very fast and seriously exciting days of women’s racing. We hope the trend of more women’s events continues,” said Michael Zellmann, SRAM’s road public relations manager.

 

In what will be a thrilling time trial in Folsom on May 12, covering the same fast and flat 12.6-mile course the men will race later in the day, the invitation-only women’s individual event will feature some of the best time trialists in the world racing against the clock: returning champion Evelyn Stevens of Specialized-lululemon; top-ranked time trialists Alison Powers of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team and Carmen Small of Specialized-lululemon; Amber Neben, who recently returned to competition riding for FCS|Zngine presented by Mr. Restore after a season-ending injury last year; and Paralympian and UCI Paracycling World Champion Greta Neimanas of the U.S. Paracycling Team.

 

“This will be my third time racing the Amgen Tour of California Time Trial, and I am thrilled. It is wonderful to have the chance to partake in part of one of the big U.S. stage races – the fans are always great, and the courses are always challenging,” said 2013 Amgen Tour of California Time Trial champion Evelyn Stevens.

 

“After a horrific crash at last year’s race, the first cycling goal I set was to be healthy enough to race in the 2014 version of the Amgen Tour of California Time Trial,” said Amber Neben, a world time trial and national road race champion. “I am very excited to

 

be able to accept the invitation to compete in both the time trial and the new circuit race. It is special for me to make it back to this level, and it is important for the sport of women’s cycling to have opportunities like the Amgen Tour of California.”

 

The start list for the May 12 Folsom time trial follows:

 

1. Evelyn Stevens, Team Specialized-lululemon

2. Carmen Small, Team Specialized-lululemon

3. Jasmin Glaesser, Team TIBCO

4. Anika Todd, Team TIBCO

5. Laura Brown, Colavita/Fine Cooking Women’s Pro Cycling Team

6. Annie Ewart, Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

7. Brianna Walle, Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies

8. Kristin McGrath, TWENTY16 Pro Cycling presented by Breakaway from Cancer

9. Alison Tetrick, TWENTY16 Pro Cycling presented by Breakaway from Cancer

10. Gillian Carleton, Vanderkitten Racing

11. Amber Neben, FCS|Zngine presented by Mr. Restore

12. Hong Yu Liang, China Chongming-Giant-Champion System Pro Cycling

13. Greta Neimanas, U.S. Paracycling Team

14. Robin Farina, SPY GIANT RIDE Elite Cycling Team

15. Alison Powers, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

16. Mara Abbott, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team

17. Kathryn Bertine, Saint Kitts and Nevis National Team

 

The final three spots will go to the top three finishers of the May 11 circuit race.

 

“I’m super excited to be racing the Amgen Tour of California Time Trial this year. It’s one of the highest profile events for women’s cycling in the U.S., and being invited to compete is an honor,” said Paralympian Greta Neimanas. “Hopefully by racing in Folsom, it will bring a bit more attention to paracycling and show that we’re serious athletes, just like the able-bodied pros. I’d like to thank the race organizers, sponsors and SRAM – I can’t wait to race!”

 

The cyclists will compete for a combined prize of $20,000 over the two races, one of the highest payouts in domestic women’s cycling. Both women’s races will be streamed live via the Amgen Tour of California Tour Tracker, available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com, and will be featured in the race’s television broadcast later in the day.

Wiles And Rosskopf Steal Yellow In Stage Five

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Joseph Rosskopf makes a move that pays off.

 

Redlands California – The 30th annual Redlands Bicycle Classic presented by San Manuel band of Mission Indians came to an exciting end on the streets of Redlands Sunday. The final day of the Classic featured the Sunset Road Race, and if the past has taught us anything being the race leader in the Yellow Jersey isn’t a guarantee of success going into Sunset.

 

Travis McCabe of Team Smart Shop had the slimmest of margins leading to the final stage. He and his Smart Stop team had only a 27 second margin on the top 10 in the field. The warmer temperatures and winds on Sunset set up a game of attrition and when the moment was right Joseph Rosskopf of Hincapie Sportswear Development got in a break of four. Travis McCabe and the Smart Shop team fought to the end but Rosskopf took the virtual yellow and won the stage and the classic.

 

Joseph Rosskopf move paid off and he finished ahead of the field. That gap was more than enough time to take the yellow Jersey from Travis McCabe. The stage victory on Citrus Avenue in front of the cheering crowds was the cherry on top.

 

The final stage GC results were Joseph Rosskopf of Hincapie Sportswear Development, James Oram Bissell Development Team and Travis McCabe Smart Shop in 3rd place.

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Mara Abbott Taking the stage win.

 

On the Women’s side Leah Kirchmann yellow jersey was holding 10 second lead over Alison Powers of UnitedHealthcare going into Sunday’s stage. Tayler Wiles of Specialized-Lululemon was the aggressive rider of the afternoon as she was able to make a move that got her in a move with Mara Abbott and ended up finishing second in the stage. The yellow jersey group of Leah Kirchmann couldn’t reel back the move. Mara Abbott UnitedHealthcare ended up with the stage win and Tayler Wiles took second but with it sealed the GC victory.

 

The final women podium finished Tayler Wiles Specialized Lululemon, Mara Abbott UnitedHealthcare and Leah Kirchmann Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies.

Fearless Femme Returns To The United States

FF Mural

Fearless Femme returns to the United States race scene with a team poised to uphold the success and spirit of their inaugural 2013 season, where the squad achieved over 45 podium spots and 16 victories. Fearless Femme maintains a solid but limited roster, with 4 returning racers and the addition of Tina Pic (6-Time United States Criterium National Champion). The National Criterium Calender, select USA Crits, and Parx Casino Philadelphia races will be the target events on the 2014 schedule.

The Mission

In 2013, Fearless Femme catapulted from the start with a victory, paving the way for tremendous and successive podium results, and concluding with a victory by Kimberley Wells at Elk Grove, against world class competition. Unity was the ethos of the team and produced unprecedented results where wins were shared and each member of Fearless Femme either won a race(s) or achieved podium spots. Fearless Femme earned fans, respect, and created a contagious new sense of fun, that seemed defunct from the current competitive scene. The battle cry was always to have fun, race safe, and create a strong and positive voice on behalf of women’s cycling and their sponsors.

With a successful rookie season, Fearless Femme maintains their mission of partnering experienced racers with small business sponsors, to create active marketing visibility that spotlights women’s cycling and encourage the growth of female participation in cycling and financial sponsorship of the sport.

Furthermore, Fearless Femme will operate as a branch of Pure Energy Velo LLC, a Non-Profit entity chartered to advocate the benefits of healthy living through cycling and promotion of youth cycling in the local communities.

Fearless Femme Future

About the Team

Fearless Femme returns with Theresa Cliff-Ryan as the team captain after a season where she sprinted towards 7 victories and 20 overall podium appearances, including 3rd at the 2013 Criterium Nationals in High Point, NC. Kelly Fisher-Goodwin maintains her role as critical lead-out and story teller, after a season where she soloed to victory at the Wilmington Grand Prix and Prairie States. Erin Silliman joins the core team after a breakthrough season and earning her crown achievement with a 2nd place at Tybee Island-Speed Week. Colleen Hayduk also joins the team after playing an incredible support role in 2013 and being the first team member to deliver a victory for Fearless Femme. But perhaps the biggest news is the addition of Tina Pic! Arguably one of the most decorated women in professional cycling history as a 6-time US Criterium National Champion (2002-2005, 2007, 2009) and 4-time NRC points champion (2000, 2004-2006), and a bevy of other significant race wins, Tina Pic brings her race experience and amazing energy to the Fearless Femme. Beloved, Kimberley Wells moved onto race in Europe and left a significant vacancy that was characterized not only by speed and experience, but also a fun-loving spirit. “Tina Pic was an obvious choice to fill Kimberley’s vacancy because she knows how to race, knows what it takes to win, knows how to encourage others to win, fits into our fun team chemistry, and she is fearless!” – Arounkone Sananikone, Team Owner/Mechanic. Gary Ryan resumes his leadership role as Director Sportif after engineering a remarkable season of victories and podiums. When asked how he was able to develop the winning plan, despite an abbreviated team, sparse budget, and limited resources, Gary Ryan responded with “It’s the girls! They love each other and they will do anything for each other. They follow through and they make me look good!”

About the Sponsors

Fearless Femme is proud to renew sponsorships with several tremendous small companies, who support the growth and advocacy of women’s competitive cycling. The new sponsors include TayganPoint Consulting Group, a company who has health and fitness as a core value and a business focus aimed at improving efficiency, execution, communication, and project management of their clients, who range from pharmaceutical to finance. TayganPoint is located in Lambertville, NJ and majority owned by Joy Taylor, herself a recreational cyclist. Tattle Tea brand loose leaf teas come on board as a sponsor and shares an abundance of support and enthusiasm to the Fearless Femme. Tattle Tea’s goal is to demystify teas, making gourmet blends that are accessible and easy to steep. Tattle Tea is owned by Andrew Esserman, who also enjoys cycling with his friends and family. Vie13 Kustom Apparel continues to provide the innovative cycling kits for the team. With attention to the finest details and state of the art cycling fabrics, Vie13’s advantage is due in part to Theresa Cliff-Ryan, team captain and majority owner. “It just makes perfect sense to partner with sponsors who share an attitude of success, winning results, and healthy living through cycling.” – Arounkone Sananikone

Fearless Femme is also proud to be riding Scott Foil bicycles in 2014! The team believes this is the perfect criterium bicycle. Combining lightweight, aerodynamics and stiffness this is a bike that truly offers the best all round performance for a race bike in any situation, and the wins at Australian nationals and the Tour Down Under prove it.

Nics Sims, head of Cycling Marketing at Scott Sports quoted: “We at SCOTT are proud to support cycling from our involvement with kids at the high school level, to the opportunity to work with this great program. We really appreciate the chance to help grow the involvement in women’s cycling, Arounkone and the Fearless Femme team have done an amazing job in a short period of time and their eagerness and passion for the sport mirrors ours at SCOTT, so this partnership was an easy decision.”

Other distinguished sponsors include:

Other distinguished sponsors include:

• Kit Order

• Coffee Bean Direct

• River Horse Brewing

• CMJ Medical

• Echelon Asset Management

• Defeet Socks

• Pure Energy Cycling

● Hutchinson Tires

● Rocket 7 Shoes

● ROL Wheels

● Custom Velo

Enjoy the ride with us:

• www.fearlessfemmeracing.com

• info@fearlessfemmeracing.com

• Twitter: fearlessPEC_V13

• Facebook: Fearless Femme p/b Pure Energy Cycling-Vie13

 

 



San Dimas Stage Race Team Effort

Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (Team TIBCO)

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SDSR was my season opener and Team TIBCO’s first race together in the US. We knew it would take a great team effort to get any results, and this was perfect because one of the main goals of our team right now is to get to know each other so we can harness our strengths and continue to improve as a team throughout the season. For me, coming off a fractured trochanter in December and dealing with compensation injuries that halted my training the last three weeks, I wouldn’t have made it through the weekend without incredible support in so many forms. Standout physical therapist Mark Payares, my director, mechanic, teammates, Coach Peterson, mentors and family are what made SDSR such a positive experience despite some disappointments.

 

Stage 1: 4.25 mile TT

I think I expended more nervous energy leading up to this TT than I did during the effort itself. Climbing is my strength, and this TT climbs 1257 ft. I was excited and hopeful for a great result, and then totally disappointed. Of course, when you don’t perform as well as expected, you look at what factors may have contributed so you can do better next time. But, honestly, I can’t pinpoint or blame one thing, I just didn’t have it in me that day. My lungs, legs, and heart rate said I gave it my all, and that’s what I would need to continue to do in the next two stages. Because, as my teammate told me, even when you aren’t performing at the level you would like, you still have to go out there and be the best you can be “in the moment” because that’s how you keep improving and how you give the most you possibly can for your team. With no top TT times, we would not be going for a GC result, but we would be aiming to race hard and smart as a team with our eyes on a stage win.

 

Stage 2: road race

As our director always reminds us, racing is unpredictable. Our start was delayed as they checked that the dam was safe given the earthquake the night before, and then we were off for 49 miles. On the fourth lap, QOM jersey and stud climber Karol-Ann Canuel of Specialized-lululemon attacked on the QOM climb. As she was off the front solo, the mottos stopped our chase group of about 20 so the Cat 4 men could pass and finish. Again, racing proved to be unpredictable. We executed our race strategy as best we could, but we were unable to bring back Karol-Ann who crossed the line solo with Leah Kirchmann of Optum winning the field sprint and Sara Headley coming up with 7th for us. Of course we were hoping to place higher, but given that we all raced our hearts out and followed our race plan, we walked away proud of our effort.

 

Stage 3: crit

Time to put any frustrations behind us, and go race for a win. This was my first crit and real taste of high speed since August, so my initial goal was just to get comfortable in a position where I could eventually help the team. To my surprise, I actually found the 55 minute crit pretty fun and was able to follow some attacks. With our team and others attacking and covering, it was all together with 2.5 laps to go when Patricia attacked and got away solo. Specialized-lululemon and Optum chased and formed a small gap that Scotti Wilborne closed followed by Sara Headley and Kendall Ryan. With one lap remaining, the field bunched and Sara led Kendall to the front, dropping her off at the top of the climb. Going through the finish, Kendall was second wheel and threw her bike to come oh so close to the win as Leah Kirchmann of Optum took the win hot off the strong Optum lead out. We were again proud of how we came together and how Kendall who went for it despite some tough luck (flat) the day before.

 

Sometimes you don’t have your best results individually or as a team, and sometimes you can still walk away proud of your effort. Team TIBCO, including myself, is building and excited for the upcoming races.

 

 

 

 

Results:San Dimas Stage Race 2014

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Amber Neben (USA/FCS) wins TT and will defend the yellow tomorrow in stage two of the San Dimas Stage Race. She has 6 seconds on favorite Tayler Wiles from (USA/ Specialized-lululemon). Should be a great day of racing tomorrow in the women’s field.

 

In the Pro Men -pro-1_men tt (1)

1796790_10201736275350859_2133844972_oJames Oram (USA Bissell Development) defends yellow tomorrow with a 1 second lead on Greg Brenes (Jamis Hagans Berman). Then there is a 10 second gap between James and the third rider William Barta ( BRYDS). Should be a slug fest tomorrow.

USA Bissell Development Team

A Big Win:Chuck Pontius W P123

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Emily Georgeson – Chuck Pontius W P123

By: Emily Georgeson – Chuck Pontius W P123

The 2014 Chuck Pontius Memorial criterium, presented by Santa Clarita Velo, grew in significance over a matter of days.  In SoCal, women racers have been rallying this year and showing up in bigger numbers than in years prior. The force of the Chuck Pontius criterium exploded when another local race promoter threatened the 2015 women’s race calendar if women chose this race over theirs. In response to this threat, Robb Mesecher of Break Away from Cancer, rallied the bike industry and racing fans to raise a “Ladies Bonus Industry Purse” of $3000.  Needless to say, the ladies showed up to support two days of racing; a hard State Championship Road Race on Saturday and the criterium on Sunday.  I’m confident every woman who lined up to race over the weekend was grateful for the support and the momentum this weekend held for women’s racing.

I remember this race from last year, and all I could recall was how brutally hot it was. I was happy the forecast wasn’t for triple digits again.  My team, Monster Media Elite Women, showed up in full force to support this race because of its importance, but also because we love racing crits. There to represent was Dara Rogers, Michelle Ignash, Shelby Reynolds, PC Calderon, Suzanne Sonye, Caitlin Laroche, Rachelle Jorgensen and two women from our 3/4 squad, Peta Takai and Trudi Schindler. Another quality I love about our team is that we don’t just race for one or two girls on the team, we rotate and give everyone a chance to cross that line first. We have really great team dynamics, and all of us have confidence in each other’s abilities.

As the race took off I lead out the first lap to get a little effort into my legs to warm them up a bit, and to see how they felt after yesterday’s State Championship Road Race. Then I tucked into the pack and let some teammates go with some moves and watch how this race might go down. It might have been 3 or 4 laps in and there was a move up the road with some key players including PC and Joy McCulloch (KHS-Maxxis p/b JAKROO) and I thought to myself, that could work, but it was brought back. The next lull in the race, I attacked and looked over my left and Dara was attacking up the left side too. I eased off to let her go, and she yelled, “Come on!”  I jumped on her wheel and she made a relentless Rogers’ effort and when I pulled through and looked back, we had a gap with three other women with us. Joining us was Pam Schuster (Incycle Racing p/b Full Circle), Alicia Silvera (Michelob Ultra – La Grange +21) and Karen Meske (Holliday Rock p/b Zoca).  We settled into working together and rotating through as we were consistently holding a gap of 15 seconds. Looking over my shoulder, I see Rebecca Seigel (Ritte Women’s Team) bridging across, and knew she’d be a good add to the break knowing she would contribute.

Now, about half way through the race, I felt confident this was going to be the winning move. There was one point when Dara said she wasn’t sure about the mix of women.  I responded with the most confidence I’ve felt so far this season, telling her I can win this.  Dara said, “Okay, let’s work.”  This confidence crept up on me with a welcoming surprise. There have definitely been times during this season where I started to question my ability, my training, and my mental strength.  I believe some of this comfort also came from having Dara’s race wisdom, and I rolled with it.

My boyfriend Aaron Wimberley was on the side of course giving me the time gap, and for a while the gap was stagnant between 15-20 seconds. I knew Joy was going to be chasing hard, but I also knew our team would be controlling the field from successfully closing that gap. All of a sudden, the chase ended as the gap grew to 40 seconds and the fate of the race ending in a break became apparent.  As the laps wound down, I knew I needed to watch for Pam’s surprise move and Rebecca’s attacks.  In my head I kept going back and forth about how to best approach the final sprint. Make a move early, or stay in the draft since there is a headwind to the finish?  On the last lap, Dara was driving it through the third corner, as she pulled off Pam attacked over my left, and Rebecca took off on the right and all three of us funneled into the last corner which pushed me over into the curb. I backed out, and moved to the right and hid in the draft for a second until I launched my sprint for the win.  This win would not have been possible without the great team of support.

Chuck-Pontius-Crit-17Many thanks to my teammates who controlled the field to allow the break to get established, to Dara for sharing her confidence with me and to Aaron for continued enthusiasm and who has gone through this and other race scenarios with me. And, to top off the day, for Aaron to win his Masters 35+ race too!  Thank you to all of Monster Media Elite Women sponsors including Monster Media, Masi Bikes, Mercury Wheels, Cytomax, Muscle Milk, Forze, JL Velo, Kask, Fight Meso, (The Johnson Family), SPY Optics, Ritchey, Osiris, Bonk Breaker, Autism 360 and Kenda Tires.

2014 Women’s Prestige Series Adds Gateway Cup

 

Series will be a partnership with the Women’s Cycling Association

Claudia_Hausler WPCS_Jersey

Minneapolis, March 26, 2014 – The 11th Annual Women’s Prestige Cycling Series has added The Staenber Group Gateway Cup, a four-criterium omnium that will be the Series grand finale on Labor Day Weekend, August 28 – September 1. This is the first criterium omnium to become part of the Series and will give criterium-focused teams and chance to shine.   It will also extend the Series into September, encompassing the full cycling season, instead of ending in the middle of July, as it has the past few years.

 

“The four-day Staenberg Group Gateway Cup criterium-based omnium is an exciting event,” said Mike Weiss,  Staenber Group Gateway Cup Promoter. “We are honored to showcase the women’s field as the grand finale event of the Women’s Prestige Series.”

 

The full 2014 Women’s Prestige Cycling Series will be:

 

Redlands Bicycle Classic, April 2-6

North Star Grand Prix (formerly Nature Valley Grand Prix), June 11-15

Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Class, July 11-15

The Staenberg Group Gateway Cup, August 28 – September 1

 

Redlands, North Star and Cascade are part of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar while the Gateway Cup is part of the USA Cycling National Criteirum Calendar.

 

The Series will partner with the newly formed Women’s Cycling Association. Together they seek to showcase women’s racing and generate greater media coverage by giving women a spotlight they don’t have to share with the men.

 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Women’s Prestige Series to support the growth of women’s cycling through this dedicated women’s series,” said Robin Farina, President Women’s Cycling Association.

 

The Series is entering its 11th year.  It includes competitions for individuals, best young riders (age 25 and under), sprinters and teams.  Leader’s jerseys for the first three classifications will be provided by Podiumwear.  The Series offers cash prizes and travel subsidies.  There is no entry fee, but teams must register before they can start accumulating points.  Teams that miss one Series event will remain eligible for the cash prizes, but will not receive the travel stipends.  Teams that miss two Series events will be disqualified.

 

For more information about the Women’s Prestige Cycling Series, visit the official website, www.WomenCyclists.com, or send an e-mail to: 2014wpcs@gmail.com

I SPY A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP

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Jessica Cerra winning the California State Championship

By Jessica Cerra 

The California Elite State Road Race Championship, also Chuck Pontius Memorial Road Race, was changed for the better this season.  Usually held in June, in Bakersfield where the temperatures can easily be triple digit, the race was moved to March.   For the rest of the country, this might seem early, but for us it’s a great time of season as the elite fields are peaking for upcoming stage races.  The location was also changed to Castaic Lake, a very scenic area with views of the lake and a road that snakes through hills and trees.   In my opinion by far one of the best areas I’ve raced in southern California.

 

People were calling the course a “true road race course.”  Each 28-mile lap was an out-and-back with approximately 2,800 feet of climbing.  The elite women’s field had to tackle two laps.  As the field settled in on the first lap, I got a chance to take in the views and the surroundings on the rolling road.  We had four ladies, myself included, representing SPY GIANT RIDE p/b MRI Endurance Elite Women’s Team.  Our plan was to keep the pace fast before initiating a break on the main climb, with hope that we could stack the break.   This would ensure we could work together to stay away from the field, get as many of us on the podium as possible, and hopefully guarantee a championship title for the team.

 

 

The wild card in the mix was Twenty16 pro-rider Katie Donovan, who I would call one of the best climbers in the pro peloton.   When I saw Katie was racing I was happy because I knew she would make the race hard and fast and bring a unique element of challenge to the race, exactly how a state championship should be.  And I was right.  After the turn-around on the first lap we approached the main climb, a ten-minute full out effort due to the steep grade.  I made my way to the front anticipating what was about to happen.  Katie attacks and opens a huge gap in an instant, to which I immediately respond and jump on her wheel.   In moments like this you have to shut off your brain and every instinct in your body that is crying out for you to stop.  I see that we have a pretty good gap, but the field is chasing hard, so I take a pull through to try to keep the pace up.   My teammate Tracy Tilton is able to bridge to us, along with Athena Countouriotis from Sisterhood of Cycling.

 

We are charging up the climb into a relentless headwind as Katie launches attack after attack on the three of us, to which I’m first to respond.  Then Tracy takes a dig, followed by Athena, where I get a moment of reprieve fourth wheel.  This is when Katie makes a move.  The morning air is so crisp, the legs are cold and I feel like I’m about to go into total body failure, but no one else is responding so we must all be feeling the same way.  We have a quick, gasping conversation that we will catch her on the upcoming descent.  We start to reel her in on the descent as we approach the rolling section of the course, where the wind seems to pick up even more.  We decide to let her dangle a bit, but after a couple of minutes look back and see the field has made up significant time on the descent.

 

We bridge to Katie as we approach the last 300 meters of the lap, a nasty 12-13% pitch up to the turn-around and what will be the finish on the next lap.  Katie is still attacking as we sprint up the grade.  I take inventory of how everyone looks, their cadence, their breathing, how Katie is attacking and where her weakness may be.  I store this information, knowing it will take a strong, but also smart sprint to win this race.

 

As we make the turn-around we only have about 25 seconds on the field.  We all work together back through the rollers.   As we approach the climb before the main descent Katie starts attacking again.  I go with every one, knowing that it might wear me down a bit, but it’s also good training and prep for the hard stage races coming up.  We hit the descent with Athena on the front, and at this point it’s clear that Athena and Katie are working together to try to shake off either Tracy or me.   We make the final turn-around and by this time we have minutes on the field.  I try to be conservative on the next section preparing the beast climb.  As we hit the climb Katie accelerates over and over again.  My legs are warming up now and it’s not quite as hard to respond.

 

As we crest the climb, I pull through and take a long pull down the descent and into the rollers.  I figure this will give me immunity from being on the front for a bit, as I float to the back.  As we come across the 5k sign, Katie is on the front, followed by Tracy, Athena and me.  There are several attempts to shuffle the deck, but I’m not budging from fourth wheel.  Tracy and I had decided at the finish if we could help each other we would, but that we would both be aggressive and go for the win.

Castaic-Road-Race-16

Approaching the 12-13% pitch, I’m still fourth wheel and being patient.  Katie starts to go and Tracy reacts immediately with an attack.  Unfortunately it’s a little too early and I see Athena jump way to her left.  I know Athena has got her, so I have to do the hard thing and sprint past my teammate.  Katie comes off and I go way to her right and get a clear gap on Athena.  The last 200 meters feel like a mile and the line can’t come soon enough.   I can hear the spectators, who have lined the road, shouting around me, and I know Athena is right on my tail.  I dig so hard, and so intensely with every fiber in my body because I know that I am not letting this one go.  I come across the line with only seconds on Athena.  Tracy follows in third and then Katie in fourth.  I spin around and catch my breath so I can get back to the line and watch the field sprint.  And guess who has attacked the field for a clear gap, winning the field sprint for the 5th and final podium spot? Our teammate Jen Whalen!  The SPY GIANT RIDE p/b MRI Endurance team finishes with three ladies on the state championship podium!

 

Thanks to our amazing sponsors! MRI (Medical Research Institute), Liv/giant USA, Ride Cyclery, SPY Performance, SRAM, Zipp wheels, Stageone Custom Sportswear, Giro, Harmony Bar, Razer, Skins