Australian climber Miranda Griffiths signs with California based team Vanderkitten.

 

Australian climber Miranda Griffiths signs with California based team Vanderkitten.

Vanderkitten wins Tour de Delta 2013

Vanderkitten.

 

After winning two stages and the Overall General Classification of last weekend’s Tour of Bright, Holden Cycling rider Miranda Griffiths will be headed for her 2nd US stint, this time as a full time member of Vanderkitten.

 

Miranda caught the eye of Vanderkitten Director Jono Coulter in 2012 whilst racing Cascade Classic with Optum Pro Cycling. “We are happy to give Miranda a chance to show her abilities in North American UCI & NRC races, as well as Vuelta El Salvador where we will be returning in 2014. She is a well liked rider, everyone I have spoken to- from (former Optum Director) Rachel Heal to Miranda’s coach David Betts- gives her a glowing report and we feel she will integrate into our team nicely”.

 

Miranda’s early season goals include Australian Road Cycling Championships in Buninyong, where she finished a gutsy 4th in 2013, before heading abroad to kick start the US season. ”I am thrilled to be racing for Vanderkitten in 2014.  The Vanderkitten name is an internationally renowned brand in women’s cycling and I’m proud to represent that brand and everything it stands for.  I can’t wait to get out on the road with my new team mates and start working towards a stellar season in 2014.”

 

Vanderkitten, based out of Berkeley California and sponsored by the Women’s Apparel company of the same name, will enter its 8th consecutive year of competition in 2014. The team has a history of hiring Australian & New Zealand athletes, with two Kiwi athletes to be announced for next year. Vanderkitten will commence it’s 2014 season at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Australia.

 

8th Annual Velo Girls Menlo Park Grand Prix (Women’s Elite and Women’s Masters Criterium NCNCA State Championship)

 

Menlo Park Grand Prix

Menlo Park Grand Prix

By Starla Teddergreen (Vanderkitten)

The Velo Girls 8th Annual Menlo Park Grand Prix was this year’s Women’s Elite & Women’s Masters Criterium NCNCA State Championship event. This has always been one of my favorite local races. Lorri Lee Lown of Velo Girls goes to great lengths to make this a standout race. I’ve also had the honor of designing the race logo for the past two years, so winning a jersey with my design on it was one more motivating factor to win this race. I had also been predicted to win this race by the USA Cycling Race Predictor, so there was no pressure…

Last year I finished in 2nd place, so I wanted to take a step up to the top of the podium this year and grab the State Championship title as well. After racing the San Rafael Twilight crit the night before MPGP where I placed 4th after leading out my Vanderkitten teammate, Ruth Winder for 2nd place, I was feeling strong. But knew this would not be an easy race to win.

Looking around before the race start I was seeing spots, or should I say blue dots? They were everywhere: Metromint blue dots, that is.  Metromint is a strong local women’s team, and they had over a dozen women warming up for this race. Someone told me the team was 15 including their Cat 3’s. Allison Tetrick and Kimberly Wells of Exergy Twenty16 were also there, and they had tag teamed the previous night’s race for the win. Folsom Bike/Cervelo, Red Racing, Leopard-Sapporo, Pacific Crush, and a handful of other teams and individual riders made up the rest of the field.

Going into this race my strategy was simple: don’t do anything stupid, and be careful with my book of matches because Metromint was going to work hard to burn them all. I knew they would launch attack after attack because they wouldn’t want it to come down to a sprint due to the presence of several strong sprinters, including Exergy Twenty 16′s Kimberly Wells the Australian National Crit champ, there to contest it. Metromint also had Katie Hall, the masters UCI World TT Champion, who would be keen for a breakaway. My best bet was for it to come down to a sprint because even if I was bested by Wells I could still take home the State title.

The race unfolded as I predicted. Metromint unleashed their arsenal, attack after attack; sending both single and multiple riders up the road, then sitting up to help establish a bigger gap, with other riders moving to the front to block, control the pace and be ready for the next move. I stuck to the wheels of the dangerous riders and conserved my efforts best I could. I let the teams make the major digs to get to the threatening breakaways, and stayed close to those who were my biggest threats. I couldn’t have the right combo of riders to get away and me not be with them.

The field was active and aggressive, maybe a little too aggressive. At one point another rider was trying to push me off a wheel, and when I would not budge we locked bars and came close to crashing – but I stayed calm, leaned in to her, and eased out of it. Mid-race I heard a crash from behind that took down several riders. I continued to focus on staying near the front, out of danger and ready to go with moves.

Even though I didn’t have any formal teammates racing with me, recent Cat 3 upgrade and VK development rider Elizabeth Caldwell made her one big effort count by chasing down a potentially dangerous break that gave me one less move to worry about. More than once, friend and fellow solo rider Jacqueline McClure of NY-based Farm Team took huge pulls to keep me safe, and move me up when I may have dug a little too deep to chase down breaks by Exergy Twenty 16′s Tetrick and Metromint.

Though many hard efforts were made by Metromint, Folsom, and Exergy for a breakaway to stick, it ultimately came down to a sprint. In the final laps Metromint made an effort to keep the pace fast, and they tried to form a leadout. Exergy took control with Tetrick leading out Wells. I locked onto Wells’ wheel, but then Tetrick peeled off the front, looking to get back into Wells’ slipstream, but I was there. We were side by side and there was a crash behind us.

I could feel the nerves in the air. Tetrick again moved to the front, and I thought, “Is she now leading out Wells?” Tetrick jumped, and as she did Wells let up just enough that as we came to the final right hand turn we were being swarmed. Wells accelerated out of the turn, and as I went with her she let up and I almost plowed in to the back of her. She jumped again when Amy Chandos of Folsom Bike/Cervelo went on the right, and I had to regain myself and go again but the gap was opened and it was a long sprint to the finish. In the end, I placed 4th overall and 3rd for the State championship. Wells, who came in 2nd, could not contest the state title.

In the end I was bested by great teamwork, and have now taken 2nd and 3rd in the State Championships so there is only one more medal to win next year.

Vanderkitten Rider Starla Teddergreen lives in San Francisco

 

 

 

 

 

Vanderkitten rider Elle Anderson clinched the Tour de Delta

 

images-1

Vanderkitten rider Elle Anderson clinched the Tour de Delta


Vanderkitten rider Elle Anderson clinched the Tour de Delta Overall Title yesterday in Tsawwassen, BC Columbia.

Anderson won after placing 3rd in the Delta and Brenco Crits, and 2nd in the final Road Race with Optum-Kelly Benefits riders Denise Ramsden and Leah Kirchmann in 2nd and 3rd.

Anderson, who works full time for Strava in San Francisco, has had a breakout summer with Vanderkitten after winning Nevada City Classic a few weeks ago. On Sunday she credited her overall victory to her teammates

 

“I’m extremely happy and I just want to send a big thank you to my team because they were so awesome over the last three days,” a beaming Anderson said. “Especially today they did amazing work and I thank them all so much.”

Knowing that just being on the podium would sew up the overall Tour de Delta title, Anderson’s focus was specific over the last few kilometres of the race.

“I was paying really close attention to where everyone was, making sure where the other top overall riders were and looking for my teammates and just trying to be aware of that second-to-fifth field because that was the best place to be for those twisty turns right before the finish,” Anderson reflected. “I made it through there okay with good positioning and that really helped.”

Vanderkitten team at Tour de Delta consisted of Elle Anderson (USA), Kate Chilcott (NZL, 7th Overall), Liza Rachetto (USA), Sophie Williamson (NZL) and Rhae Shaw (CAN)

Over the weekend, Vanderkitten Ruth Winder played a strong role in helping USA Cycling National Team member Mara Abbott win the Giro Rosa in Italy.

In Chicago, Jeannie Kuhajek notched up win at the Homewood Criterium.

Vanderkitten rides Team Issue Wilier Triestina Zero.9 bikes with Psimet LLC Carbon Tubulars, MicroShift Components, Williams Cycling Cockpit, TRP Brakes and Sella SMP Saddles. Technical wear by Vanderkitten.com, Pactimo, KASK Helmets, Vittoria, Smith Optics and Defeet. With support from Enzos Buttonhole, OSMO Nutrition, Mikes Bikes, Thule and Yiftee.

Vanderkitten will ride the September 28 Canary Challenge to raise money for Early Detection of Cancer at Stanford Cancer Center.

Look for Vanderkitten to continue their hot summer with remaining races Burnaby GP, UBC Grand Prix and Gastown GP before heading to Oregon for Cascade Classic.

 

Everyday Women Achieving Extraordinary Things.

 

 

Burlingame Criterium

Words by Mary Maroon (SBRacing)

Maroon Maroon (SBRacing) and Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing) on the podium at the Burlingame Criterium

Maroon Maroon (SBRacing) and Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing) on the podium at the Burlingame Criterium
Photo Credit: Rachel Olmstead
http://www.rachaelolmstead.com/

The Burlingame Criterium has been one of those races in the NCNCA that I have wanted to win for a long time. This past Sunday I had the chance to finally cross it off the list. I came into the race confident having won the Downtown Salinas Criterium the day before thanks to some great help from my SBRacing teammate Lisa James, but I knew the competition would be steeper at Burlingame. This race has a good payout, is part of the NCNCA Women’s Series, and a favorite Norcal race that always draws good competition.
This year the race had four riders from Metromint, three from Vanderkitten, three from UCDavis, two from Fremont Bank and two from Folsom Bike; as well as lots of other strong competitors from in and out of the district. Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten) had won this race last season, and looked strong and confident after her performance last week at Nevada City. I knew I would need to make all the right moves to get the win and without any teammates in this race I couldn’t afford to make any wrong moves. Adding to the tension was the fact that some close family friends, who’d hosted me the night before at their house a few blocks from the course, came to watch me race. I was certainly well-rested and well-fed thanks to them, but having them there made me want to win even more.
The race started hot. Elle got to the hairpin first and pinned it. I moved up and countered her. We both worked hard to keep the pressure on. Fremont Bank and the other Vanderkitten riders threw a couple of punches that helped the race take shape. About halfway through, Elle and I broke away. It was sweet relief. She is so strong and we knew we could trust each other to work to make the break stick. We cautiously lapped several riders and groups of riders, making sure to always come back together after the separation. At one lap to go the race was neutralized due to a crash in the main bunch. After the course was clear, we were restarted with a gap on the field and three laps to go. Elle has a background in cyclocross, and I knew that she had the power to win a short race from a start line. There isn’t much you can do against a rider that strong except sprint hard.
I started my sprint with Elle on my wheel and drove straight for the line. I could see her wheel behind creeping up, as she pulled even we both threw our bikes. My throw was just a little quicker and I managed to win the race by less than a wheel. I was proud to be able to take the top step of the podium for SBRacing and all the folks who make racing possible. Thanks to all the women for showing up and racing really hard and to the organizers for putting on this great event. And thank you for reading.

Nevada City Classic

by Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing)

Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing) Leading Up the Climb  photo credit: Alex Chiu http://acaurora.smugmug.com/

Elle Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing) Leading Up the Climb
photo credit: Alex Chiu
http://acaurora.smugmug.com/

This year was my second time racing the Nevada City Classic, which is easily among my top three favorite races of the season. Although the three hour drive each way from San Francisco is not getting any shorter, I love this race. The narrow, twisting streets closely lined with brick buildings remind me of scenes from Europe. The crowds are large and loud, especially for a regional race. The brutal climb each lap is followed by a harrowing decent where I easily spin out my 53×11. Besides the finish line existing half-way down the decent, the most challenging aspect of the course has to be the sweeping, 180-degree, off-camber turn after the finish line. Sound fun? Definitely.

At last year’s race, I was still new to the Bay Area (having recently moved from New Hampshire) and I finished in 4th place, respectively in awe of 2012′s winner Katerina Nash who has a history of lining up at Nevada City. A full year later, I arrived with hopes to better my placing. I was joined on the line by some great NorCal racers: My Vanderkitten teammate Emily Kachorek, Ali Tetrick (Team Exergy), Amy Chandos (Folsom Bike), Mary Maroon (SB Racing) and Amy Thornquist (Pinnacle Training Systems), among others.

Just the week before, I had raced a very similar course at Tulsa Tough’s  River Parks Criterium which features the aptly named-Cry Baby Hill. Both courses feature a difficult power climb and technical decent, and I was coming off of a solid 8th place result at the final day of Tulsa’s NCC crit series.

Nevada City was a far cry from the boisterous mayhem and costume-clad spectators of the infamous Cry Baby Hill, but there was a lone water sprinkler at the top of the climb at Nevada City, which I thankfully targeted many of the laps. It was a small reminder of the tunnel of noise and yelling and water guns that I had raced through the previous week in Tulsa (it’s worth googling for video coverage).

Unlike most criteriums, the Nevada City Classic is often a race of attrition: There is less emphasis on positioning or tactics for the finish and more emphasis on power climbing and technical cornering. The first lap is neutral to the top of the climb, after which it was announced that there would be a $100 prime on the next full lap, the Beth Donnelly Memorial award. Going into the first lap I positioned myself to be first through the 180-degree turn, and with an aggressive line opened a gap of a few seconds on the other side, into the climb.

Carrying the gap up the climb and down around to the finish line got me the prime and set the stage for a similar situation halfway through the race, or at about 10 laps to go. Leading up to that halfway point, the first half of the race saw the field slowly whittled in half as racers fell off on the climb; the pace pushed at a steady threshold, often by either me or my Vanderkitten teammate, Emily. There were a few good attacks, but the front group stayed together more or less.

At about 10 laps to go, there was another prime, after which I found myself on the climb with another gap of a few seconds on the field, again taking a tight line through the corner. With my legs feeling good at that point, and not feeling too overheated in the 90-degree temps, I decided to keep going to see if I could grow the gap. With the twisting and turning of the course, I knew it would set up well to get out of sight quickly.

After a few hard laps I was able to stay out of sight of the chase group and with about 5 laps to go settled into a stiff pace, and maintained a gap of little less than a minute all the way to the finish line. Joanna Dahl (Metromint) and Cristina Hughes (Hub Coffee) finished off the podium, with Susanna Breen (Folsom Bike) , Amy Chandos and Emily Kachorek rounding out the top six.

This race is surely a classic, well organized and fun to race. Many thanks to the promoter, and to sponsors: Vanderkitten.com, Osmo, Wilier, Smith and Pactimo. I look forward to returning for next year’s race!

San Francisco-based Elle Anderson is a Cat 1 rider with Vanderkitten Racing

Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing) on the Attack Photo Credit: Alex Chiu http://acaurora.smugmug.com/

Anderson (Vanderkitten Racing) on the Attack
Photo Credit: Alex Chiu
http://acaurora.smugmug.com/

 

 

Ruth Winder Wins Best Young Rider at Parx Casino Philadelphia Cycling Classic

 

Philadelphia Cycling Classic

Philadelphia Cycling Classic

Ruth Winder Wins Best Young Rider at Parx Casino Philadelphia Cycling Classic

 

Ruth Winder (20, Lafeyette, CA) raced the toughest and most prestigious race in the USA this Sunday, winning the Best Young Rider Jersey atop the famed Manayunk Wall in a hard fought UCI 1.2 event.

Vanderkitten’s history with the Philly race is rich in history. Vanderkitten founder Dave Verrecchia is a Philly native, and even though the Vanderkitten brand originated in California, this UCI event has always been a highlight of the Vanderkitten Athletics season, with Liz Hatch leading the original charge in 2008 against some of the best teams in the world.  [Read more...]

A Reflection on Gila by Amy Charity (Vanderkitten)

A Reflection on Gila by Amy Charity (Vanderkitten)

A Reflection on Gila by Amy Charity (Vanderkitten)

 

Amy Charity

Vanderkitten Racing

May 6, 2013

A Reflection on Gila

Another attack.  I can barely see it.  It must be a mile in front of me.  Perhaps I have one more gear.  I tap my right shifter– nothing.  I need water.  When is the last time I had a sip of water?  I’m sure it’s been over an hour.  I reach down to my bottle.  I know it’s empty as I lift it, but I try anyway, in vain.  I’m on the wheel of the Columbian National Champion.  Just stay on her wheel, just stay on her wheel, I tell myself.  She takes a sip of water, and a few drops splash back to me.  I open my mouth to see if I can catch just one drop, thinking it might buy me 30 seconds of survival.   I can’t believe how hot it is, wasn’t I just in the snow at home in Steamboat?  My legs are screaming at me, I think I’m having an out of body experience… [Read more...]

Why I ride by Emily Kachorek (Vanderkitten)

(C) Image by Jason Perry

(C) Image by Jason Perry

Why I ride-

I ride because I was born an athlete and will always be an athlete.

I ride because the desire to push my body is hardwired in.

Because I am addicted to the endorphins and adrenaline.

I ride because no matter where in the world I go I will always have a family and a community that I feel a part of.

I ride because it takes me new places.

I ride because it challenges me to ride further, faster, smoother, safer, smarter.

I fear failure, and to some degree success. It allows me to explore and test my fears.

I ride because of the bonds I have built with teammates and friends. We share pain, success, failure, disappointment, laughter and life.

I ride because the second my legs start turning circles I become a happier person.

I ride because I love to be outside. To feel the wind on my face and listen to the birds and bugs.

I ride because it allows me to take out my aggression and anger.

I ride because it stabilizes my life and creates balance.

I ride because going downhill at 40mph is fun.

I ride because I get to eat more pastry and crave more salad.

I ride because I can’t cry and pedal and the same time.

I ride because it makes my mind and body strong.

I ride because I can; because it is a constant reminder of the value of health.

I ride because it allows me to play with the boys.

I ride because no matter how bad my day, pedaling puts my mind at easy and a smile on my face.

I ride because I can go alone.

Because even though I have ridden the route a 1000 times, I never know what is around the next bend.

 

Thanks for reading :) Emily

Energiewacht Tour by Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten)

Energiewacht Tour

Energiewacht Tour

Energiewacht Tour

By Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten)

The Energiewacht Tour is 5 days long with 6 stages. The racing is flat, windy, and hard. The last stage of Energiewacht Tour was 7 laps around a circuit for a total of 100k. The race started out quick with multiple attacks going. My teammates and I were throwing attacks out there as well as following moves. The first and second lap we were trying hard for a break, but it wasn’t until the third lap through that I got a gap. There was a lull just before a roundabout, and that’s where I jumped, getting a gap going around the turns that followed.

I was solo and gaining time, so I settled into a good pace. With 50k remaining in the race, I was sure either I’d get caught soon enough, or a group would come up to me. Luckily it was the latter. 7 girls came across and we quickly got a 2-minute gap. [Read more...]

Tour of Flanders by Emily Kachorek (Vanderkitten)

Tour of Flanders  by Emily Kachorek (Vanderkitten)

Tour of Flanders by Emily Kachorek (Vanderkitten)

Tour of Flanders

by Emily Kachorek (Vanderkitten)

 

Tour of Flanders is considered one of the toughest races of the year. Brutal weather, famous climbs including the Kwaremont and the Patterberg, relentless cobbles, and a large field filled with the fastest women in the world. This year was the 100th anniversary for the men and held the promise of being the biggest party of the year for the Belgian fans.  I was overjoyed when I got the invitation from USA Cycling.

 

Flanders was a race with a lot of firsts for me: my first World Cup, first famous spring classic, first time racing on cobbles, and first race in a field larger than 150. In the days and weeks leading up to race day I was a bundle of mixed emotions. I was thrilled and honored to get to the start of the race. As a California girl addicted to sunshine, I was nervous about the weather conditions.  Rumor has it that this is the coldest Belgian spring since the ‘50s and multiple races had been canceled due to snow. Without a full season of racing in my legs, I had been training extra hard in preparation and found extra motivation to ride longer and harder in the ubiquitous Central Valley winds. Because bike racing is riddled with uncontrollable variables, my goals focused on that which I could control: help my teammates as much as possible, never give up, and remember to enjoy the experience.

[Read more...]