Beaufort Crit

Last night was the second race in the Southeast Crit Series. Nikki and Iona flew in to join the squad this week. We weren't super offensive, it was more just being attentive on the front and that worked out well as moves were covered and finally one move contained Tina in it that was trying to stick. It was Tina with Rebecca Larson (Aarons) and Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine) so that gave the peloton pause as 3 big teams were represented. The hesitation was enough to get them a little space and from there the 3 teams monitored to see who would try to bridge across, just to be ready to go with a move and make sure numbers were always in our favour. The race was pretty mellow overall. In the final laps, the speed picked up a bit and the gap was coming down, but the trio managed to get to the line before the field did and Tina got the upper hand over Laura and then Rebecca.

The goal was to get the win and start moving riders into the overall lead as well as placing in the top 5 overall.

We poached on the Cheerwine train and tried to get as many of us over the line in the top 10 as possible, which worked out. So we have Tina now first in the overall, as well as Tiff in the best young rider jersey.

We also had a chance to get a picture of the mens podium, where Kyle Wamsley took second. From what we could see of the mens race, the boys worked well together and set up the train at the front with Davide, Luca, Anibal rotating on the front protecting Sebastian and Kyle. It worked out perfectly, as Seba took 4th and Kyle's second place was very close, he sprinted on the right side whereas Hilton Clarke of Toyota sprinted left and as it happened, the left side worked out better.

Athen's Twilight Crit!!!!!!!!!!

Athen's Twilight well what can I say.... CRAZY to say the least and the first crit in the US crit series, also known as speed week!

The squad for Athen's was Tina, Shontell, Tiffany, and guest rider Sam Schnider who also rode with us in Redlands. Shontell, Tiffany and Jack flew in to Atlanta on the day of the race after avoiding storms then finally landing collecting baggage hit traffic then finally arrived at the race 45 mins before the start meet up with Sam and Tina and ready to roll!!!!

Collage town the sun is setting and it was party time, they had the standard call up's everybody pushing for front row start then 3-2-1 goooooooo! Preme on the next lap! great way to warm up and get going it felt like there were preme's almost every lap and as it got darker the crowd grew larger and the atmosphere was builing and it was insane. Tina covered a number of things early then Shontell got across in a break and it was a perfect break all the strong teams were represented and Shontell has a good finish so we were happy but coming around for the mid-way 5 deep preme a crash happened in the break-away and Shontell went down!! That break was brought back then counters went and Tiffany got into a break of 5 girls and the field almost sat up at that point and the gap grew eventually getting half a lap on the field once again each of the strong teams were represented and as the laps counted down and more and more premes were thrown at us then at one point confusion happened as 3 girls who crashed a number of laps previous were put into the break and then nobody knew what was going on then the break kept working through and tried to ignore they were there however they raced hard got the count downs the race went super quick and one-lap to go the action started in the break with Catherine Cheatley (cheerwine) attacking with two corners to go with Rebecca Larson (Aarons) on her wheel and Tiffany was right there next however Tiffany was caught off guard and Larson and Cheatley were off sprinting and Tiffany tried to hold on but ended up 5th then Tina took out the bunch sprint on the flood light lit crazy streets of Athen's Georgia!

The result was ok for the team however we always like to get onto the podium, lesson were learnt, lungs were opened, craziness was achieved on the short 1km 4 corner course and it was lots of fun with an amazing atmosphere!!!

Now the girls have two days rest to chill at Tina's house as we say goodbye to Sam and Say hello to Iona and Nikki in a couple of days for the next race of Speedweek, Beaufort, SC in the deep south!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until next time keep it rubber side down!

P.S sorry for the lack of photo's we were a bit slack with the camera however next time promise to have plenty more!!!!

Next up........

Tour of the Gila, New Mexico
featuring: Andrea and Kristin

Conditions: dry, windy, altitude

Terrain: Muy hilly

South East Criterium Series, all over the South
featuring: Tina, Shontelle, Tiffany, Nikki & Iona

Conditions: hot, humid, sweltering
Terrain: flat and bumpy

Sea Otter 2008 Races

This was Dotsie on the podium after winning the road race. It was on dead chip and seal road with some punchy climbs and descents and she toughed it out until the end, after an acceleration by Tiffany up the final 2.4 mile climb back to the Laguna Seca circuit, Dotsie launched an attack and stayed off to get the win.

The next day was the Laguna Seca circuit race. There were Queen of the Mountain sprints as well as Sprinter points sprints throughout the race in addition to going for the race win. We weren't concerned with any of those except to be aware of when they were coming to watch for accelerations and possible gaps forming in the bunch. After a few breaks forming and then getting re-absorbed because the combination wasn't right, a group finally got a gap that contained a member from almost every team racing. This made for a bit of a pause in the main field as the gap grew and teams were sizing up their representatives in the break versus the other teams'. We were happy with our representation as we had Dotsie and Tiffany in there and they were climbing very well.

Our only concern was that Cheerwine had managed to get 3 in there and one of them was Laura Van Gilder who would be tough to outsprint if she made it to the end. Fortunately, she was struggling a bit on the climb so our director got Tiffany to go harder over the climb and that succeeded in having Laura and a few others drop off. The breakaway group of 10 riders were now in 2 groups of 5. Then Tiffany later accelerated away from her group while Dotsie stayed in watching for a reaction from the others - NONE! Tiffany continued to build her lead and we got word that we could now chase the faltering third group of that breakaway....which meant that we already had the win locked up with Tiff, Dotsie was in the next group of 4 and if we caught the next group after that we had a shot to set Tina up for sprinting for 7th Iona drilled it on the front for 2 laps and caught the group on the last lap, then Nikki and Tina finished off the job by Tina taking the field sprint and Nikki a few spots behind her.

Happy team riders and staff

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Monterey's 17 Mile Drive

Beautiful ride.

Seals and Sea Lions,

and one VERY friendly human-savvy squirrel.

As Dots said, he probably said to his buddies years ago "you guys go on and stick with foraging for the acorns and stuff, I'm gonna just kick it right here on 17 mile.....with the humans....i'll be eating Luna bars or some such"

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Training in Monterey

So, this is the scenery that Tiffany and Iona have to put up with while training in Monterey. This is the best part of being on the road for the sport. There are places you get to go to that are simply stunning and you make a mental note of the places you really liked. These are a few snaps from the house we are staying in which is near the Laguna Seca raceway.
We took a few laps around the course yesterday. The festival is set to start today, we could see all the tents and stalls being set up with all the best names in the bike industry. We had a little visit with the Jamis Bikes staff at their location within the festival.
Today Tina, Dotsie and Nikki get in to join us. Then the racing begins tomorrow and finishes on the Laguna Seca circuit on Saturday.
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Monterey and Sea Otter

Beautiful drive up to Monterey. We arrive at the host housing and WHO-AH as Dre would say. The house, sorry, mansion, is up for sale for some millions (i won't say how many) and we have it to ourselves for the week. Crazy. As we were driving into the sanctuary where all these types of houses are situated, Tiff remarked that we could just about do a training ride on the grounds.

Pictures to follow, but we are chilling and enjoying the scenery until race time. On the roster for this weekend: Tina! Back from Europe, Nikki, Dotsie, Iona and Tiffany.


After Redlands and Hollywood, we had a decision to make: were we still going to do the Garrett Lemire Memorial race in Ojai, CA? The race promoter sent out word while we were in Redlands that sponsorship had not been secured to guarantee the NRC status on the women's side and many teams were upset as arrangements had already been made to be there; flights, etc. After final reflection, we decided to race as we were already here, we wanted to race, and it was after all, a memorial race. It is upsetting when things get pulled last minute like that, but there are a few things to consider also: if the promoter has a record of this type of behaviour, then obviously, he or she should not be supported. The reality is that times are tougher economically.

Roster: Shontelle, Nikki, Tiff, Iona and Dotsie joining us in her first race.

So, the race was pretty active right from the first lap thanks to an attack from Rebecca
Much (Webcor). After this, Tibco riders attacked seemingly one after the other. All of us covered these moves and it was in covering one such move that I got away, and then immediately Tiffany bridged up and passed me with Morgan Kapp (Southbay Wheelmen) in tow. This was about 6 laps into the race. It was such a hot day. We worked well together, but as we had the numerical advantage, it was pretty clear the moves would be coming from us. Tiff pulled away uncontested by Morgan on the hill with about 7 laps to go and I sat on Morgan for another 2 laps. I then had to go because it was getting near to pack sprinting time (inside of 5 laps to go) and we were in danger of being caught. So we got the win and second and met the mother of Garrett Lemire. Her reaction made it worthwhile, and we were very happy we came out to support the race. This is a pic of her posing with us riders.

Next stop: Monterey......

Redlands Classic + a bit of Hollywood

Redlands: first stage race for most of us. Tiff is flying as she is coming off of the Australian summer season, and has gotten in a world cup and a few hard stage races already before coming over here. Good news for us, as we were missing a few of our usual suspects for stage racing, Dots and Ali P and Tina. Tina and Ali were in Europe and Dots was still not ready to race after having been sick earlier this year. Racers for Redlands: Iona, Tiff, Andrea, McKenzie, Kristin, Shontelle, Nikki and a guest rider, Sam Schneider. We were hoping to get Tiff up there on GC as high as possible, with some back up from climbers Andrea and Kristin and the rest would help out where needed and aim for a podium in one of the stages. The end result was pretty much dead on: Tiff got 6th in GC, Andrea and Kristin were the next best climbers, Andrea managed to move up to 13th by the end and stay in there with Tiff to the end. We got 2 fourth places and a fifth missing the podium 2 near times. It was good to test the legs and get the feedback on where the form is, where we are with the climbing etc.

For those of us staying on for Ojai and Sea Otter, we took a little tourist trip down to LA and checked out Hollywood.

Bet you didn't know that Godzilla has his own star!!!!

Training Camp and Fresno

Our training camp was held in Yosemite National Park this year. It was spectacular for the views and the photos, but a tad chilly due to snow still being piled high. We got a little altitude fatigue, up and down riding and tons of photos. It was good to get to know the new girls and boys and catch up with the returning team members. After days of photos, we all rode down to Fresno where we would be getting our first races under our belts.

In Fresno, we stayed with awesome host
housing and thoroughly enjoyed being in the area.Lots of riding, a bit of racing, there was yoga, pilates, many yummy dinners, and even a birthday celebration.

Then it was time to go to our respective homes for a week or two, depending on who you were and what races were on your schedule, before the next round of races in California.

Meet the 2008 Team

Another year, another training camp, and new faces and personalities to meet and gel with.
The cast of characters this year have 2 foreigners, me from Jamaica and Tiff from Australia, and 8 Americans. As far as staff, we have two Jacks: Big Jack and Little Jack. To differentiate the two, I suggested referring to the mechanic as JT since his name is Jack Turner, but this met with some resistance from Andrea and Shontelle as in their minds, JT refers to none other than Justin Timberlake. Alrighty, was not aware that we grown women had such keen insight into the pop culture of America much less the fond attachment, so I am still the only one who refers to Big Jack as JT.
Little Jack is Jack Seehafer, our Director. He gets to be called Jack plain and straight.

So, in alphabetical order then, I shall introduce them:

Dotsie Bausch (Dots):
used to be Cowden until she married almost 3 years ago).This is Dotsie's 4th year on the team and she is the one that is decalled on the team car and van. What
always makes me giggle this year so far is that the men's team is using the van with her picture on it and I always find it funny to see them come piling out of the van with her picture on it. Anyway. So, Dots always gets the usual rap about her being a model previously etc, and I'm sure she is very over that, but its true that people always want to see her up close! I can always count on her to have a drop of red with me, and she is good for some great giggles while on the road. Her talents are at prologues and TT's and climbing races. She has two little munchkin dogs that are so tiny that they wouldn't even be a scooby snack for my cat Smushy. Great products. A girly girl that surprises people when they find out she is also down to earth.

Tiffany Cromwell (Tiff, Tiny Dancer, and yes, she will play the Elton John song): is our little
Ozzie recruit from last year. She does half the year with us and then goes to Europe in the summer to join her AIS team from Australia for some of the European circuit. She is a noted climber and has a pretty good finishing kick, but really she brings freshness to the team as she is not even 20 and forces us to remember what that was like. Except, nowadays, the technology these young things come with is INSANE....she does all of our IT. Quite a knowledgeable, worldly young thing this one - its VERY irritating that she should be so aware at this age as we are constantly reminded that we SO weren't this clued in when we were 19. Always up for "a bit of fun" as she puts makes us do the same. Loves pink. A girly-girl with a bit of grit.

Andrea Dvorak (Dre):
her second year on the team, she is a bar-passed lawyer, but doesn't
practice law, nor does it appear that she ever intends to. In fact, she possesses a mild disdain for the profession, and amuses herself making fun of it while enjoying the satisfaction of having attained the same education level. She and her husband Peter have a peculiar penchant for body-slamming type dancing, or maybe its the result of them loving the type of dance music that requires a certain amount of blackness, which they have not the slightest amount of, to be able to carry off that kind of skill. She keeps us amused with her neurotic funniness. Strengths on the bike: climbing, and LATELY... (Whoah!) criterium racing. An in between tomboyish-girly girl....she wants to be girly sometimes, but sometimes we have to force her out of her sweats.

Shontelle Gaultier (SG):
is a new team member this year. She is our second sprinter on the team behind Tina. She is always asking questions and checking and double-checking things. First impression: Dots and I were scared! ha! but, although she comes off as tough and all
business, she has a great sense of humour and we already found out she is a softie that covers it up well. I think she has uttered Jack's name ten million times already, (Jaaaaaaack!) as she always has questions; planning, organizing, etc. Constantly missing her magnet on the wheel that goes with the SRM, yep, she has the SRM-mania....She is from Louisiana, but home is Texas, and she helps people who can't manage their own finances, lives etc for various different reasons, through a company back in Austin. She is one of those "helpers" off the bike too, in the homestays, on the raod etc. Funny, Tina has the same trait...wouldn't think it normally of sprinters..... A definate tomboy girl, yet, has the kind of clothes that are understated cool quality.

Kristin McGrath (KMAC):
another newbie this year. She comes from a soccer and swimming background and still is young in this sport. Her strength is in climbing and obviously has a big engine that will continue to develop as the years go on. She hails from Colorado, but got the
Southern experience going to college in Tennessee. She is also another one that goes with the flow smoothly on the team, and actually feels almost as if she has been with us a longer time than just this year. Also loves pink. An enviro natural girly girl.

Tina Pic (Bobina):
Ok, I really don't even know where to start. She is the one that I will fall off my bike laughing with. And over really stupid stuff. The kind of stuff you can't repeat because people won't get it, and then they look at you weirdly. She cares about racing and the team members so much and is the anti-primadonna. She is a flapper. She is always flapping about, getting nervous over nothing as she always is more than fine in the races anyway. Always
gives her time to people at races: fans, sponsors, etc. The best person to work for a result, always gives credit when due to the team members that have helped her get the win and fights for them at contract time when people may be overlooked as they have no "impressive" results to show for their teamwork. Kind of the same as Andrea, a tomboyish, wants to be girly sometimes, have to force her out of her carpenter jeans type of girl.

Alison Powers (AliP/ AliWong):
Second year on the team, but she will be doing more stuff with the National Team based in Europe probably than stateside with us. She came over from
downhill skiing and has crazy descending skills as a result. She doesn't make note of the climbs on a course, she makes note of the descents as to when she can attack them and hopefully drop some people. She dreams of living and racing in Europe and is already on the right track to making that transition. Discovered coffee last year and loves the frothy milk, loves good cappuccinos in Italy, prone to having a cow if she doesn't get food in her almost immediately after training and racing......if this is satiated, she is a pretty happy person that likes to observe life and its funnies. A cross between tomboyish/natural girl. She likes to be comfortable, mostly always looks sporty.

Nicole Wangsgard (Wangsy / Nikki):
New to the team, but not to the peloton. She has I think
guest ridden for every team possible, but finally has her own home in a team where she is fitting in well. Very easy going, she loves racing and although she looks as skinny as a beanpole, she has a surprising kick! She has a job as a full-time university professor (special ed) in Utah, so she does that in the week and then joins us on weekends. I don't know whether her students know about her tattoos etc. They probably think she is some kind of nerd, not this double life she is leading. Tomboyish girl, definately, with a bit of a noir edge to her. Except, it looks feminine on her due to her lithe body....

McKenzie Woodring (Kenzie):
Tina and I plucked this one
out of the North Michigan woods last September when we happened to guestride for the then Priority Health team at a race in her home town. We literally went for a spin with her prrior to the race and just about croaked trying to keep up. She is a talented climber who also has power for criterium style courses. Very shy at first, but when you do get to know her she is so funny and easy going., She is an engineer and works full time, so she comes to select races according to her schedule, plus, she will be riding better later in the season as it isn't exactly warm in Traverse City during the winter time as we know! Another tomboyish girl, but this one has the classic JCrew-ish type of understatement.

Iona Wynter Parks:
and finally, me. I am the other foreigner, from Jamaica, but because I live in the US and have been around a fair bit, and my husband is American, I think people forget I
am not American. Especially when Downers Grove comes around, people expect I will be going to help Tina, when of course, non Americans are not allowed to do that race. So, lets see, I used to teach French full time at a private school while doing the cycling circuit, but this year will be the first I will be doing cycling with no teaching. Looking forward to being less tired this year. I haven't done any full-time training and racing since I was a full time triathlete (aeons ago). I went to the Olympics for triathlon and then quit it cold turkey, took the teaching position and switched to cycling. This is my 3rd year with the team. I would say that each of the girls i have described has something in their personality that satisfies all my personality aspects: you know, kind of like your regular have girly shopping type of friends, serious or professional friends, goober or goofy friends....I can be all these things with this team. Best of all, they all put up with (or laugh at) my morning grumpiness when I can't get a strong cup of coffee in my hands quickly enough.......I am a cross between tomboyish in the sense of the understated type clothes, but girly-ish with the maintenance....leaving the house without mascara is just NOT done.

Jack Seehafer:
Alright, experience as a bike racer, check. Experience as a bike racer in Europe, check. Experience managing a team before, check. Experience with the courses and races in the US, check. But probably the greatest asset Jack brings to the running of a women's team is that he is the husband of an American racer and he has felt the pain, the ups and downs, highs and lows and ins and outs of the women's peloton via his wife's experiences. He knows the players in this game, but even more importantly, he knows what is needed to
take care of us and ensure we don't fall into "cracking" mode. What he has seen work for his wife, he tries to apply to us as female racers too. He understands the equipment needed in the sport, understands the sport and can handle the quirks of many women operating in a close knit environment together. On the road. Different personalities and needs and modes of operating. He gets the job done and makes sure these aspects are taken care of. When the racing is finished and the riders are well fed, hydrated, happy and have a good place to sleep, he relaxes with his beer, before it all starts again the next day.

Jack Turner (JT):
Hails from Boulder, used to have a bike shop, sold that and the stress of it and keeps it all very low key on the road. Not a flapper. Definately is very chill and gets to it patiently and methodically. Can deal with all the personalities without ever losing his cool. Has lived in many places and always has a calm perspective to bring to any situation.