Tina missed the big Chicken!!!

The US 10 K race on Labor Day for the women goes by in a flash. It is a unique event as the organizers put up a lot of money for just 10 kilometers on our bikes. No, its not a track race, nor is it 10 laps of a 1k crit course - its in a straight line, over many rollers, the exact same course that the runners, roller bladers and wheelchair racers do. And the announcers call us cyclers.

She's a tricky one, this race. Its rollers are hard enough, the descent finish is tricky and has to be timed perfectly, usually windy, there are 2 primes along the way, and it is short, so you have to watch out if someone attacks.

Tina and Laura Van Gilder are the only ones that can win the NRC competition at this point in the season, so Tina kept an eye on her while I tried to control the attacks. As I brought one of the attacks in closer, they all gave up except Lauren Franges, who continued to dig. The result was that the hesitation of the rest of the field allowed her to stay ahead by 100 metres, which was enough for the win. Meanwhile, Tina missed the big chicken!!!

The big Chicken is the landmark on the course that signifies we are at the last roller, after cresting it, it is the downhill finish....you have to be in position or be fighting to set it up by then to have a good shot.....

Well, we were scrambling this time...didn't go as well aswe hit it last year, this year only 5th and 11th.

Andrea said she was having her morning coffee in her kitchen at the time we were racing and was thinking to herself: oh, they shouldbe starting about now...finished her cup and said to herself, they should be finished now.....

That about sums it up how quickly the race is over with.....

next up: Michigan and Tour of Missouri............

Stars and Stripes

While the cats away the mice will play they say.....looks like Ali P. got to be the lucky mouse that capitalized on the TT nationals course whilst 3 of USA's brightest TT players represent in Beijing.
But seriously, who is going to pretend that a Nationals Stars and Stripes jersey is not a handsome prize even if a few players were missing???? There were plenty of fantastic athletes that came prepared to do battle for it, just look at that podium....good work Ali P!!!!!Now its count down time until the Road Race.......

Charlotte Weekend

mmmmmm, big money crits, delicious!!! Well, we wanted the biggest piece of tthe money pie by taking first step on the podium as we had done the last 2 years, but this year we were put on a bit of a diet, or portion control, by Kat Carroll of Aaron's team.

What started out as fairly normal proceedings with expected attacks turned into a one woman getaway as Kat slipped off the front and we weren't able to reel her in. This race we just were a bit off and not as sharp and it also seemed that the help from other teams was a bit disjointed. Or maybe we were all disjointed together in the "chase" - anyway....Kat is one of those riders that if your own team can't win that day, you're happy she is the one that took it. She rode strongly in that heat and held everyone off for a deserved win.
The girls at the Giordana Tent signing posters.

Tour of Jamaica - mon

"It can neither be confirmed nor denied that certain males of the Jamaican persuasion chose to drop out of the final TT stage rather than be flogged by us females...."

Our hotel doorman testing the Jamis ride.

Yes, Jamaica has a Tour, and up until this year's edition, only men have ridden the Tour. This year, some crazy females decided to enter the tour with the men with the goal of completing the entire thing. I say"CRAZY" because, from the viewpoint of the Jamaican public, this was a preposterous idea indeed!!! What, women, on their bikes, with the men? All those miles?

The idea seemed even more implausible because it did not come from me, Iona the Olympian, who the Jamaican public is used to by now as not being a "normal" Jamaican female anyway. Which, from my standpoint, was a good thing that the idea was born of non-Olympic type females, regular fun loving individuals who like to ride their bikes, run or do triathlons as a partof their normal life of work and family.

Anyway, the news spread like wildfire...TV interviews, radio broadcasts, sponsorship for the female team to be trained, guided nutritionally, have support...basically all the things that are done in prep for a stage race that are taken for granted in other countries where the sport is much more developped for women.
The Team: Iona, Yolande, Rachel, Tina, Alex, Leslie, Andrea

In addition to my participation on the team, a teammate (or two) was invited to join. So the women's team was comprised of 4 Jamaicans, 1 German who resides in Jamaica and 2 Americans in Andrea and Tina as the guest riders. We all rode in Colavita colours.

Not your tupical resort reception area sight- prologue number pinning

The tour went well - the major highlight being that the local girls finished the epic toughest stage, one Spur Tree climb that came at the end of 80 miles in the blazing sun that was 8 miles long and up to 17 percent grades.......
There were some great moments:

-Jamaican public realizing that women can do this thang

- Jamaican male peloton (not the Americans and Argentineans that were competing, they already know girls can ride) waking up to the fact that some women can kick it better than they ever dreamed

- Being able to chill on the beach after stages with preferred icy beverage on hand

-Eating Jerk Chicken from the side of the road
We had a great time, the local girls did a fantastic job organizing the support details for the race and we even got to have our husbands with us racing in the race on other teams.
Until next year!!!!

Battles within battles etc.

So, stage 3 saw us doing the circuit race and this race is basically coming down to a chess match between Cheerwine and our team. Our attacks are covered by them and vice versa, and today was no exception: the race was active what with points for various jerseys on offer on different laps. With both teams taking a bit of a breather at almost the midway point in the race, there was an attack by a non Colavita/Cheerwine girl that both teams gave a little rope to.  Our super guest rider Anna covered the attack along with Robin Farina.  Anna and Robin dropped the third rider in the break and stayed away for the rest of the race.  Tina once again showed her super-power strength in winning the field sprint (which was up a steep hill).  On the day Colavita was second and third on the stage.  The top three on GC remain the same as we head into the criterium tomorrow.

**  We are currently having technical difficulties with loading the pictures, so those will come later. 

Fitchburg Longsjo Stage 1 and 2

We had a great day yesterday for stage 1's opening TT with Kristin taking the win albeit by a only 4 seconds, but it was certainly motivating to get into the leaders jersey right off the bat. 

Tina and Andrea had solid performances as well coming in 7th and 8th to put 3 of us in the top ten on GC.

Stage 2 brought the Wachusetts road race which ended up being a battle between us and Cheerwine. We knew they would try to put us on the defensive and they did a good job of it, coming out on top of that climb and moving into the leader's jersey. Kristin is now in second place and Tina and Andrea finished up 4th and 5th to hold their GC positions.

Pictures to follow, connection is always timing out when uploading them....

Nature Valley "Stage 1" and Stage 1 again

By now on the various cycling news websites it has been well documented that the first stage was a complete washout for both the men and the women. Thunderstorms and constant rain soaked the course and the officials decided to start the fields anyway. MANY crashes later, the races were neutralized and or discounted.

We had 2 casualties: Nikki and Iona. Nikki broke her frame and had to get a new one and came away with some road rash. Iona hit into the barricades which had hay bales on the OTHER side of them (good thing the barricades are being protected, not the riders crashing into them) and suffered a concussion. They decided that stage 1 would not count as too many women got taken out.

Fast forward to stage 2, ahem stage 1 again, and we started everyone minus Iona, just to rest her head. This stage was filled with attacks from the get-go. After a windy, rolling road race section, and a crash involving Tina and Shontell, the field entered the finishing circuits for 5.5 2mile laps. The girls all worked well to cover moves and stay up front and Tina did an especially good job with positioning and staying tough after the crash here to take the win.

We have no photos...boy do we miss Tiffy and her camera.....maybe we can score some later.....

Tina in yellow, Kristin in the best amateur jersey.