Tuesday, June 29, 2010

U23 Nationals RR

Race Report: Nationals Road Race
W Elite and U23 (combined fields)
Teammates: Maura Kinsella
Placing: Maura (5th U23 I think)

Course: An 18 mile circuit (4 laps total) with three short but kicker-type climbs. The hardest one Archie Briggs which has a short cork-screw steep section (maybe 250 meters) which turns into a false flat and then another short, fast stair-step climb (which is the part that REALLY hurts).

We lined up bright and early at 8:15am for what we knew would be a VERY tough day (as we looked around and saw super-stud-mo’s like Evelyn Stevens, Kim Anderson, Mara Abbott, Shelly Evans etc. etc. etc.). Up around 3,000 feet, my lungs weren’t feeling so hot. We had ridden the course several times and knew exactly what was coming when. The first riser was straight and a little heavy but definitely just a power climb. I was trying to stay relaxed as we came down the descent into the hill. As I switched from my big ring to my small ring, I felt my feet suddenly go weightless. Crap. Already. The first hill and I drop my chain. Of course. As I try not to panic and fiddle with my shifters, riders fly past me as I come to a stop. Then the com 1 car rolls by and hear the lead official speak into the radio, “and Webcor is getting dropped”. I am NOT. I jumped off my bike, threw the chain on and sprinted to the top of the hill, making contact just as the peloton started gaining speed on the following descent. Way to go, Lauren. Great start. At least I got a good warm-up effort in : )

I hit the front a couple of times on the first lap just to take a break from the nervous energy running through the peloton. It was relatively low key and there was no feed to cause problems. I made it up the infamous (ok so maybe it’s only infamous to me...) Archie Briggs climb with the group only to nearly avoid a crash early in the second lap. Sometime soon after this accident Maura took a flyer to try to bridge to a group of three off the front. From what I hear she came within about a minute but never closed it before we caught her again.

As we descended into the start of the feed zone climb I saw the Peanut Butter gals stacking up at the front. Greeeaaatt. Here comes the pain. Sure enough, they hit it into the feed zone and I was on the rivet trying to stay on after grabbing a bottle. Unfortunately this effort continued into the Archie Briggs climb and I lost my hold on the group in the transition from the steep section into the false flat section. I found myself with two other riders and felt very unmotivated to finish. But, before I knew it I turned my head and saw maybe 15 other girls who had gotten shelled just before me (Maura being one of them, after her solo effort off the front). A few girls took long hard pulls in attempt to catch the front group, which I knew was fruitless. We settled into a kind of rhythm for the next lap.

During the final lap Ally Stacher (Webcor Builders) rode up next to me and offered her help in trying to get Maura the best placing she could in our group. There were only four other U23 riders in the front group so Maura was still racing for podium. (against several U23 riders now in our group). As we hit the bottom of the descent before the feed zone climb I went to the front and started setting tempo up the climb. I continued on the front through the feed zone all the way to the bottom of the Archie Briggs climb (mostly rolling and false flat terrain) where I blew up and let Ally take over for the next 5km or so. My intention was to keep in smooth and hard enough to discourage any attacks and maybe even drop some girls to make it easier on Maura at the finish. She finished first of the U23 girls in our group, which was great! It was a long day and a mentally tough one. We did the best with what we could do so that’s something to be proud of.


Follow the Webcor/Alto Velo Bridge Team:

– http://facebook.com/avbridge
– http://avbridge.blogspot.com/

Monday, June 28, 2010

Consolidated Nationals Report - Maura

The Bridge Team had a successful Nationals in Bend last weekend, with Maura taking 3rd in the U23 TT and 5th in the U23 crit, and Lauren doing well in the RR. Here is Maura's race report:

NATIONALS (TT – 6/24; Crit – 6/25; RR – 6/27)
Thankfully, Nationals went better than Nature Valley. After frantically taking my bike to the nearest bike shop only to find out that I had several broken links on my chain (yes, I had replaced it recently - only two weeks beforehand), I flew straight to Bend, Oregon for the USACycling Road Nationals. I had gotten speed in my legs from the fast crits at Nature Valley which put me in great form for Nationals. The time trial was on Thursday – the pinnacle of this year for me. The course was long– 35 km, with 1000 feet of climbing at the beginning, then the same 1000 feet of decent and then through a hilly circuit. Again, I kind of went a little too hard on the opening climb. I was able to recover a bit on the downhill and felt decent through the circuit. I wound up finishing 3rd in U23 which I was pleased with.

The following day was a nighttime criterium in downtown Bend. After positioning poorly in the last row, I quickly was able to move my way to the front. I was top 10 for the first 50 minutes or so. Then with 1 to go, Brooke Miller and a few other heavy-hitters went down in front of me. I was able to go around them but I could never really catch up the front of the peloton that had not been delayed by the crash. I still had a solid finish – 21st overall, and 5th in U23. (https://www.usacycling.org/results/index.php?year=2010&id=1521&info_id=25850)

For Sunday’s RR, I was really beginning to feel all the racing I had been doing and thought I was going to have a pretty terrible race – my muscles were burning. But the first lap (of four), I felt pretty good and the peloton stayed together. At the beginning of the second lap, there was a group of three racers off the front and impromptu-ly I decided to go hard at the front up this steep little kicker. I turned around and realized that I and a TIBCO rider on my wheel had split off from the rest of the peloton. For some unknown reason (since I was racing U23 and she was Elite), the TIBCO rider wouldn’t pull through and eventually attacked me about 10 minutes later. Because she hadn’t done any work for the past 15 minutes, she was able to catch the front break-away. However hard I tried, I never seemed to be able to make the bridge. It was cool having a motorcycle riding next to me though – giving me splits to the front group and peloton; at one point – 50 seconds to the front, 2 minutes to the back. I couldn’t believe that I had gotten 2 minutes by myself on the pro peloton – that was pretty stellar. I made it up the first (mile 10) of the two big, significant climbs by myself and passing through the feed zone solo (almost famous... haha http://www.cyclingnews.com/races/usa-cycling-junior-u23-elite-road-national-championships-cn-1/day-6/photos/128040).

Then, before the second climb at mile 14 (RR course map), the peloton caught me… and I all but exploded. I was so gone by then. I wound up finishing the last two laps of the circuit race with a nice chase group of about 15 riders. The last time up that mile 14 climb, I was suffering big time but was able to hold on and eventually get 2nd in our field sprint to take 5th in U23 category. Although I couldn’t finish in the lead group, I was still happy with how I had raced, aggressively instead of pack-fill. Although, hopefully next year, it’ll stick.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dead Dog Classic

Dead Dog Classic
26-27th of June
Laramie, Wyoming
Team mates: solo mission

Results: 12th on GC
This weekend was tough. A three stage race in two days consisting of a 52-mile hilly race on the Saturday, and a 40min Pancake Flat 5 corner Crit followed by a 10-mile Rolling TT. All completed at 7,000 feet upwards to 11,000 feet.

Road race
Today was very windy and hot. The field stayed together before the climb where it all broke up. I was in the group of 8ish that were off the front. Towards peaking to hill for the turnaround back into town I got dropped. Finding my favourite place “middle of no man’s land” with four up the road and a chasing peloton behind, I was chasing hard to catch the group in front. After the solo mission in the wind, I was caught by the second group on the road with 3miles to go. Knowing I had down a far chunk racing by myself, I wasn’t going to let that work go down the drain at attacked to hold on to 5th or 6th final results not yet released. Megan Hoffman taking line honours.

40min of pain I was expecting lived up to the expectation. The gun went a so did two girls of the front on the pack. The two riders stayed away all day, with a positive group chasing for the first 10minutes, slowing become less hopeful as the race went on. Megan Hoffman won the sprint.

Eddy Merckx style was my theme. Apparently Colorado people aren’t short on the old piece of TT equipment! Nevertheless I gave it everything of the 10mile gusty wind field course.

To sum up the weekend was great for training at altitude, higher then i have currently been at in Boulder. With results as mentioned still not posted, I was satisfied that I raced hard and happy with some form that may be coming! Megan Hoffman was clearly the strongest rider this weekend. I will be a guest rider for her team at Cascade in July, which I’m looking forward too!!

I would also like to congratulate Maura ‘Kinsey’ Kinsella on a solid 3rd u/23 at TT Nationals!

Till next time where the race report will be coming from Canada!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Nature Valley Grand Prix

Race Report: Nature Valley Grand Prix

Stage 1: TT (short, fast -for some- and Merckx style
I definitely liked doing this on a TT bike last year. I think I ride faster with that set-up. Must be something mental. I had an ok ride. These types of efforts are definitely specialized and I have NO practice.

Stage 2: Downtown St. Paul Crit (bricks and a massive corner pile up)
Wow. I have so much respect for professional female cyclists. I just cannot believe how fast these women are. The big teams (Columbia HTC, Peanut Butter and Tibco) hit it from the gun. Honestly I cannot even tell you what happened at the front because the field was so stretched out. There was a MASSIVE pile-up in turn 1 sometime in the first half of the race. I was so blundered I didn’t have the intelligence to take a free lap and ended up chasing. That ended my race. I still managed to make time to cut and live another day...

Stage 3: Canon Falls Road Race (Tornado sirens)
Record number of touch-downs (of tornadoes, that is) in a single day for Minnesota. Good thing they called our race AFTER we warmed up and sat on the start line for 20 minutes. Glad I wasn’t out there to see those funnels...

Stage 4: Downtown Minneapolis Crit (turn R, turn R, turn L, turn R, turn R, turn R <1km)
Tough day. Very fast. Some bad positioning on my part got me stuck behind a rider who decided to quit just at time cut. I chased for a bit but to no avail. Began to think that making it 75% of these stages is all I can manage and yet I keep moving on to the next stage... ?

Stage 5: Monomonie Road Race (ouch)
The newest addition to NVGP. About 6 kickers. I was all prepared with my tape notes on my top-tube. So much good it did. Come the second QOM (a 900 meter 20ish% grade straight up climb) the lower screw of my rear water bottle cage decides it doesn’t want to be a part of the pain-fest anymore and dislodges sending the LARGE water bottle (still in the cage) swinging sideways as I stood up to suffer the climb. My legs actually got STOPPED by the bottle and I had to sit down, ditch the bottle (in front of the com car which had made it very clear that water bottle ditchage was strictly prohibited) and then attempt to catch everyone 100 meters ahead of me with the bottle cage swinging to and fro. No luck. Turns out the QOM line wasn’t the end of the climb...

Stage 6: Stillwater Crit (kind of...)
And the fun continues. I caught a cold from a certain unnamed teammate : ) and went into Stillwater just hoping to last longer than last year. Goal accomplished. I lasted 7 laps (over half-way) and finished the day sniffling and sneezing by the van. Tough week. Would have been tough no matter what... but luck definitely was not on my side. Great learning, fantastic teammates and an even better sponsor and team of staff!


Follow the Webcor/Alto Velo Bridge Team:

– http://facebook.com/avbridge
– http://avbridge.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Niwot Criterium, Boulder Co

Niwot Criterium
20th June
Teammates: one (me)
Placing: 10ish out of 30-35ish

As I sat at a Boulder Cafe Saturday afternoon enjoying the sun and good coffee I overheard two cyclists talking about a C\criterium race on Sunday, which brought a lot of riders and good prize money. Naturally I went over and asked them all the details, and before they could ask me if I wanted to join them for a coffee...which I assume they would have, I was off on my way home to suss it out on the internet. I saw on the flyer ‘same day registration’, and thought “giddy up!”

So that brought me to today. The Niwot Criterum , a 8 point crit, with two corners over 90 degrees, flat and fast. With a bit of unexpected lead up (two weeks of long k’s in the Colorado hills) my legs were in for 50minutes of pure fast twitch muscle fibre enjoyment....

I’ll cut to the chase and say it was actually a good race. The gun went and so did my first attack to set the scene. The next 20minutes there was a flurry of attacks between me and the Treads Women’s Team. After two prime sprints my tactic of trying to get away after the sprint was unsuccessful on both occasions. The third prime sprint saw me in the bunch when a Treads rider and another woman (unsure of team) went off the front after the sprint. Straight away I thought they would come back. Then quickly realised no one was chasing! I jumped and was in “no man’s land” for a good three laps. Two riders ahead of me and a chasing peloton behind me. Unfortunately I was gobbled up by the later. With still 20minutes to race I was trying to keep the extremely negative peloton at this point positive and chasing. A few more bridge attempts all being chased down by Treads team ended my day in the peloton. Also surprised to see some faces that I hadn’t seen the whole day whip past me at the finish!

Above all else it was a good work out, and to see where the legs are at after a pretty tough two weeks. I know have some intensity training to look forward in the bid to be fully prepared for Cascade. My last tour before I leave the states home bound!

Until that point I do have another local race in boulder next week, before I head to Canada for a bit of ‘spark up racing’ before Bend, Organ.

Till next time


Nature Valley Grand Prix - Maura

NATURE VALLEY (6/16-6/20)

For Nature Valley, I was feeling really fresh for the opening TT on that Monday morning. This year aero gear was prohibited in order to curb costs and level the playing field. I was nervous to ride Eddy Merckx style because I usually have a different focus on my TT bike but it wound up being alright. The TT was a 6 mile course along the river, starting flat and then ending with a steep 5ish-minute climb. I got way too excited and went out a little too hard. Wound up finishing 55th, which I was still pretty pleased with that extremely stacked field (For complete results).

The rest of the week didn’t go as well. That night was a very technical 5 corner criterium with over 90° turns. I was positioned poorly from the start and was basically sprinting out of every corner. The next day the Cannon Falls RR was cancelled due to tornado warnings. On Friday, the nighttime criterium in the heart of Minneapolis was also fast and hard. The field was completely strung out the entire 60 minutes. Then, on Saturday, my drivetrain completely fell apart during the Menomonie RR. On the first hill about 3 miles in, my chain came off for completely no reason – I hadn’t even touched the shift levers. I had to get off my bike to put it back on and watched as the whole caravan passed me. I hopped back on my bike and time trialed my way to the field, but my chain kept skipping – in the front and back. So after about 5 minutes back in the field, I was having to work a lot harder than everyone else with my gears changing every pedal stroke. Pros around me started to tell me to go back to my car… little did they know that non-pros do not have cars. Nevertheless, I went back to the neutral support car. After about 3 minutes of trying to get a neutral bike from the car, I hopped on the new bike but after about 15 minutes of trying to catch back on, I saw the peloton going further and further away in the distance. That’s when I realized that I was going to dig a hole right before Nationals if I continued. So, I hopped in the sag vehicle and that was the end of my first attempt at a NRC race.


Monday, June 14, 2010

District TT Championship

Here is the District TT race report from Haley Juno-Galdes, of the Bridge Team. Haley got 2nd in the Elite district TT...then got hit by a car in Menlo Park and broke her collarbone. Here's her report:

Race: CA/NV District Time Trial Championships
Place: 2nd Elite Women
Date: June 13, 2010

Andi and I drove part way to Sattley the night before the race and stayed in a nice little hotel with friends from Los Gatos, Jane and Jose.
The morning of the race we drove an hour or so to Sattley. Sattley is up at elevation hence the plan to stay low then go to the race as close to the start as possible so the altitude effects are lessened.

Andi brought a trainer and I started a nice warm up 45 minutes before my start. Everything was going well: calories consumed at the right time and nice warm up with some spin ups. The weather was cool and it was the perfect day.

I started out easy and brought the power up to where I thought I could hold it but at 40 minutes I cracked a bit. Not training for or doing any TTs over 10 miles may have contributed :)
I came in 2nd to Molly Van Houweling, who has won this race multiple times.

As an aside, two days after the race I was hit by a truck on Santa Cruz street in Menlo Park after a ride and got a concussion and broken collarbone. I was out for Nationals a week later up in Bend Oregon that I had been planning on. But now, collarbone is healing, I have been riding the trainer, and I should be ready to race again in August.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

New Rider: Haley Juno-Galdes & Butterfly Crit

We are happy to welcome Haley Juno-Galdes to the Webcor/Alto Velo Bridge Team. Not only is Haley a strong crit rider and time trialist, but she also kills it at cyclocross. She’s gutsy, too: Her first event with the Bridge Team was volunteer work at the Ladies Day at the Bicycle Outfitter, and her first race with us was Mt Hamilton!

Here is Haley's race report for last weekend:
Race: Butterfly Pacific Grove Criterium Women 1/2
Place: 2nd
Date: June 6, 2010
Teammate: Lauren (4th)

Lauren and I drove to Pacific Grove after some awesome blueberry banana pancakes at Lauren's house.

We arrived an hour before, got our numbers, changed and started to warm up. There weren't any flat roads so our warmup was short and just looped around the start area on some hills. At the start there were a group of Dolce Vita girls, Metromint, Touchstone, a girl from Navy, Third Pillar, Roaring Mouse, Los Gatos and others. We were told there were 10 primes but after yesterday's Dash for Cash success, we were lukewarm about sprinting every lap again.

The group started and there were attacks from the get go. Lauren and I took turns covering moves or launching attacks of our own. One of us was always in the break with the other blocking. Once Lauren was in a short break but it got pulled back in.

Eventually after a prime sprint, I attacked and got a gap. Jasmine from Thrid Pillar bridged with a Touchstone girl who dropped back after a couple laps. Jasmine and I time trialled and with Lauren blocking in the field, we got a gap of over 30 seconds. On the last lap, we were watching each other to see who was going to make a move but finally it came down to us taking opposite sides of the road and drag race sprinting it to the line. Jasmine won and I got second. Lauren was close behind with 4th.

Overall a good fun race.


Liberty Classic RR


This weekend has been one of the best weekends racing I’ve had yet in the states.

Their website explains the race well:
“Over 100 professional, international women cyclists will compete in the 16th annual Liberty Classic, one of the longest-running, most prestigious women’s races in the country. The Liberty Classic race consists of four laps of a 14.4-mile circuit through Philadelphia with four steep climbs up the gruelling Manayunk Wall.”

It was just crazy! It was a lot of fun! The Manayunk wall was as close as I could imagine to the crowds that the Tour De France draws on the pointy end of major climbs. For this race I was very proud to be racing for Team Colleen, a non- profit Cancer support and fund raising organisation, who sent a onetime team to race Philly. The group was absolutely amazing, and everyone was an extreme pleasure to work with. Jeannie Longo, a 52-year old multiple World Champion and Olympic medalist, was on the team, with such a rich experience in bike racing--my brain was a sponge absorbing everything she had to say! (Note: Jeannie finished 15th overall and 2nd in the QOM.)

The race went well. It was certainly a race of position with so many girls racing around streets that were narrow and with frequent turns when in the hilly sections. The weather also made the race interesting with temperatures in the 90s, making hydration fundamental. I was dropped the last time up Manayunk. I found myself in a couple of 10ish and we arrived 2min behind race winner HTC’s Columbia’s Ina.

Till next time


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dash for Cash Crit

Race Report: Dash for Cash Crit

W 1,2,3
Teammates: Haley Juno Galdes
Place: Lauren (1st), Haley (5th)
Primes: Lauren (5), Haley (3)

I have never done Dash for Cash before. It is a great idea to shake things up a bit, especially when it’s nearing the middle of the season and crits are in high supply. Haley and I drove over to Pleasanton on that fine Saturday morning. We had planned to get there an hour ahead so that we weren’t sitting around a long while in the sun. But, thanks to my excellent driving skills, we arrived with almost double that amount of time. We took our time getting ready and then formed our own crit course to warm up on.

When the time came we gathered with our fellow race mates at the line and were given our (somewhat confusing) pre-race instructions. We were only going to have 15 sprint laps because our field size did not make some threshold. Sprint laps would start on the second lap and would end, no matter whether we had actually done 15 or not, with three to go. Oh and, if we didn’t hear a bell each lap, we were still supposed to sprint... ?

The race started off somewhat smoothly. Most of the riders in the peloton were not used to this format of racing. I decided to think about it at as a points race because, really, that’s what it was. I didn’t go for the first two primes because I wanted to check out who was sprinting and where the sprinting was starting etc. Plus we had 15 of these to do. AND there were two very strong time-trialist type riders that I had to keep an eye on. The middle of the race was somewhat the same thing over and over again. Haley would either lead me out for sprint laps or I would jump on someone else who committed to going out of the last turn. I took five of the sprints in total. Each time I sprinted I would gap the field and a Wells Fargo rider would be on my wheel. She was determined to get off the front but I was more inclined to stay in what was left of the field to practice my bunch sprinting and set-up.

Haley attacked after one of my last sprints and ended up gapping the field and drawing another strong rider out of the group. Luckily Billy Crane was on the sidelines and told Haley that she had the gap and encouraged her to keep going. She stayed off solo for three or four laps, giving me a break and taking three sprints. She out-rode her chaser but eventually sat up and let the field catch her.

With three laps to go I finally ended up in a break with the two strong riders I had been concerned about. I was not willing to work so close to the finish (knowing that I had a good chance in a bunch kick) but took a check of my body and realized that I could contribute to the break staying off and not jeopardize my sprint. With one lap to go though, I sat on. One of the riders pulled a smart move and attacked me with two turns to go (with the last two lengths being into pretty big head winds). She managed to time it perfectly with me taking a drink of water. She and the other rider gapped me but I was not going to let that happen. I put in a good effort and caught back on before the last turn. I stayed in third position where I could see everyone, knowing that one of the riders would jump early. She did and I was right there to counter her. It was a tough sprint and I was definitely feeling all the earlier sprints but I managed to pull away from her to take the win. Haley did an awesome job monitoring the field behind us and then taking second in the field sprint. What a day!

As always, thanks for reading!