Thursday, April 26, 2007

A little report about the first race in Italy--

Well the Gp Liberazione was quite an adventure for us Lipton Ladies. The race allowed up to ten riders per team, but there was a minimum of six -- we had four and Nurnburger had five, so we mixed into one team. We didn't exactly race as a "team" --but it sure was nice to be able to start!
About the race: WAY sketchy...and not at all as fast as it needed to be. Sure we averaged 40kph, but it just never really got going and there really weren't any teams interested in creating a break for the day. What all of this really means is that it was just one big jumbled mess of over a hundred women for 75 miles! Not fast enough to make any of the numbers dwindle, and not tactical enough to make it challenging in another way. I ended up riding at the back until two laps to go just so that I wouldn't have to fight to hold a position for nothing (we raced 12 laps on a flat 10k ciircuit). By the time it was one lap to go... holy crap!...things got really dicey! --even dicey for me. I ended up continually jumping over the last 3k, so that i ended up sittting on the very front --just to be safe and hold my position.
By the time we dove into the last turn, I ended up sitting third wheel and I let Lara (my teammate) take the plunge into the final corner in front of me. Immediately, I blocked by easing off --and then directed her from behind to "go!" when I saw/felt the swarm start (it was a long 500 meter drag to the finish so there was definitely some momentum coming from behind). Ayway...Lara jumped when I said go. She made it with surge... and I got swarmed.
She managed to hold on in the sprint for a respectable 6th place finish, and I rolled in safely with the bunch somewhere around 20th.
BUT---let me tell you that I am just happy to have come out of that one in one peice.
Never have I felt so much like I might actually take my hand off the handlebar and clock somebody....that`s how dangerous it was. Really unnecessary and really ridiculous. There was some stupid crash that took out like a third of the field in the last couple of "k" --and I have no doubt as to how it happened based on the crazy (and I'm not overexaggerating!) way that some of these girls/women were racing....

Ahhh then... another notch in the belt.

GP Liberazione

Oh.... so Italians do make up their own way of racing!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

She`s on a mission

(check out the tire preesure..!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

The 42nd Ronde Van first European Road Race

That`s what they talk about when they say that racing in Europe is different from racing in the States! It really was everything that I`ve been told my first race in Europe would be like.

First off... on Lipton, we had five starters and the U.S. National Team had four -- that gave us at least nine people out of 200 that could and would speak English throughout the race! Seriously, I didn't understand one thing that was called out by the other riders or officials... not one thing for 140k! As a matter of fact...during the race I just started saying EH!... when I wanted somebody to either hold there line, or Yeah?!.. when somebody said who knows what to me.
Seems silly, but it worked! Two syllables is all it took. Who would have known ;-)

So the race was straight up fast and furious from the gun. Yep.... there were road obstacles that made me feel like I was navigating some kind of crazy video game. As a matter of fact, here were some obstacles (known to us racers as road furniture) that were so dangerous they put people up on them waving large orange flags to direct us around. I never did hit anything and at some point I decided that I could ride pretty damn close to those things with five riders tightly tucked in across the road....and we would all make it through! Actually, most of the crashes (and ...there were ALOT!) happened on fairly straight roads. The problem was not how technical the course was that caused all the crashes... it was more like these narrow roads (that would be narrow with a capital N!) that would be the real issue. Everyone wanted the same spot, or they all wanted to move up at the same time.... that doesn`t work so well when you have nearly 200 women shuffling along, and many of them already on the rivet! I have to admit... I was getting quite the thrill from it! And once I learned how to claim my own personal space with the bunch, things seemed to roll along pretty well.

Here in Europe... one thing that is definitely different... expect to brake constantly. That is a big difference from U.S. racing. And I mean "breaking" .... it`s not just slowing... it`s full on slam on the brakes --over and over and over again, or you will ride right up the "you know what" of the rider in front of you.
Let`s just say that fast reaction time is a much needed skill! for European racing...

I won`t go into the "race details" so much (go to for that), but I will tell you that ALL of the U.S. women raced well. Lipton and The U.S. National Team really made it clear that we can duke it out at this level. That was a cool feeling. Personally, my legs felt the effort at about 110k. I knew I would make it to the finish and I had figured out how how to be crafty enough to get myself in decent position (oh and yes we ride sidewalks and gutters here!), but when it came time to get going into the long 700 meter drag race to the finish out of the final turn.... I just hit my own little personal wall... I was right on Brooke`s wheel, but I got pinched, then gapped and then I suddenly lost my place to contest for a top ten finish!

It all happened so fast.

At the finish, I rolled across the line with a little last bit of umph (!), which earned me a top 25 for my European race --in a finish that did not really suit my strengths at all! (long drag race type ones you know).
Anyway, good enough for starters Hey....

And hats off to the other U.S. riders for their good finishes-- AND to Brooke Miller for sticking into the top ten.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Just before things get going. feeling good feeling calm... ready eddy freddy.

post race. everyone feeling good about the day.

brooke... all smiles.

cheers! all of us at dinner after the race :)

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Ok... so hold up and wait just a minute.... The Ronde Van Gelderland race report will have to wait.
The big news at the moment (in my world anyway) is that I am in Italy~!!!
I`m absolutely speechless... this place is beautiful.

Proof.... this is a view towards the house we are staying at.

All smiles....this is me out on a ride, taking in the scenery of Lucca.

Bmx'in... this was my "ride" for the day. Our bikes hadn't arrived yet, so I jumped on this baby and had a blast exploring my surroundings.... I wish all post-race recovery rides could be this cool.


Friday, April 20, 2007

One more thing...

Yep... wouldn`t you know it? Miss Particular is also Miss Sensitive. I'm the only one on the team that got such swollen legs. Yes I drank water. Yes I wore compression tights. Yes I got up and walked around on the plane--and Yes I even did Yoga in the aisle! Whatever. All that stuff is overrated!

This is what my legs looked like after the flight and all day on the day we got here.

Deflated on the second day. Thank God.


I`m a little too tired to post any stories...but here is a photo update from the last two days-enjoy.

After arriving, we went straight to a ret stop and had some good eats.

Good eats, thanks to Thomas

Our European mechanic - Denki (three hours in that van with him and now I am fluent in German... haha)

Our New Team Van -- Mercedes. that`s nice....

Our little home away from home hotel-- very quaint.

A typical site along the Dutch countryside (this was taken along what will be our race course).

Oh...and let us not forget that over here in Europe we race with road obstacles, more commonly known as "road furniture". And there will be plenty of this along the course tomorrow... wish us all good luck :)

We made it!

Hello from The Netherlands......stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

night vision

The trip to Europe begins with a 2 AM alarm and a 3AM airporter. yeah baby... here we go!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Races we are doing in Europe:

Ronde van Gelderland (Netherlands) 4/21
GP Liberazione (Italy) 4/25
Trofeo Guareschi (Italy) 4/29
GP GFM Meccanica (Italy) 5/01
Giro di San Marino (San Marino) 5/03-06

Monday, April 16, 2007

Pine Flat Challenge---Finally did it!

Santa Rosa Cycling Club Rocks!
I drove home Saturday after the fiasco at Sea Otter just so that I could jump into an epic group ride on Sunday --and epic it was! Santa Rosa Cycling Club put on a mass start challenge for an 11.2mile hill climb known to us locals as Pine Flat.
So...every Thanksgiving there is a ride to about mile marker seven and although I`ve ridden this climbs dozens of times, that`s actually as far as I a have ever ridden up it (it`s and out and back). My original plan was to go just that far again and then head on home with my iPod. I have to say though, that curiosity got the best of me. I had to go and see what all the hubub was about in those remaining 4 miles. Well..the last two miles truly are as epic as they say.

Did somebody say those pitches were 21% ??!!

AND...just to add to the whole thing... I swear there was a headwind on that hill. I also swear that I could not have been turning over any more than 15rpms there on some of those sections.....I was thinking to myself..."ok balance, balance...don`t fall over, don`t put your foot down....DO NOT put your foot down...

It was really that steep people.

How is it that we call that a good time?
But truth is -- it was awesome. I loved it. And there were cookies and soda and loads of smiling faces hanging out at the top. That was a damn good time.

Those of you who know me know that i totally loved descending all that too ..... :)

Thanks Santa Rosa Cycling Club!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Ha Ha Ha --- Did I say no rain??

Women's race canceled after deluge

By Steve Medcroft at Laguna Seca raceway in California

The elite women's circuit race at the 2007 Sea Otter classic was stopped mid-race when a broad low layer of dark clouds settled over the venue and began dumping dangerous volumes of water on the world famous Laguna-Seca International raceway. After more than an hour of racing, USA Cycling officials decided that conditions on the track, which included running water and some mud, were unsafe enough to call the race without declaring a winner.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Bring on the wind..

If my memory serves me correctly, this will be my eighth trip to Sea Otter...... love the corkscrew, hate the hill. Glad its not going to rain :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I wonder how it got there...

Saw this on the ground when I picked Ryan up after his flight home from the U.S. Open. Ever wonder how random things end up where they do? More random than this little cutout was the rather large muffler I saw hanging from a power line about 25 feet in the air. I`m sure there is a good story behind that one.....

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I leave for Europe in seven days!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Too Good

-- Savasana

I think I am finally feeling a bit recovered from all the California racing because I did NOT stop halfway through my ride yesterday and take a thirty minute savasana --- on a random sidewalk, in the sun, wearing my cycling clothes, helmet and all......
Nope, didn`t do that this week -- I did it last week. Taking Savasana in the middle of a ride was a first me me, but it was the best thing ever, I didn`t have a care in the world and I think I even fell asleep for a few minutes --then I got up, hopped back on the bike and pedaled home with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

T-shirt Heaven

Myles likes to talk about how much he loves all of his fifteen t-shirts, which are a main staple to his super hip teenage wardrobe. The two that crack me up the most are the "Very Nice ...How Much?" t-shirt, and the "I Love Hot Moms" t-shirt. ahem.....

In Action.... The Garrett Lemire Memorial Grand Prix last weekend.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

More on the weekend--

This is how I spent most of my time........driving driving driving.

About the racing though....The legs did not feel so good for Sunday`s race in Ojai......really bad actually. I wonder of it was the combination of racing Indio the day before, plus putting in a total of thirteen hours of driving between Friday and Saturday? (add to that seven more hours of driving on Monday!)
Regardless....I wasn`t feeling sprite and springy at all during the race! The race was aggressive from the gun, keeping everyone on their toes, but nothing got away. It became obvious that it would come down to a field sprint. My teammate Lara put in an incredible surge halfway through the last lap --I followed (so did Van Gilder and Mackenzie Dickey), but I just couldn`t get the legs to spring into action off of her wheel.
See the results below... I came in just shy of the podium for 4th place on the day. Then had a lovely visit with USADA-- dehydrated and all. Take note: Hats off to 14 year-old Coryn Rivera for sticking it into the finish for a good result. She`ll be one to watch throughout the years....very impressive.