Sponsored by Trek, Raley's, and California Family Fitness

Latest

2015-06-21 Nevada City Classic Race Report by Diane Moug

IMG_5301
Going to the start line of the Nevada City Classic, I was surprised (actually, incredibly intimidated) by two registrants, Shelly Olds and Katerina Nash. These two ladies, in addition to many other fast women, made it clear I was going to have to get near the front as soon as possible, and then just try to hang on.

The race selection happened very early, within 2 laps there was a lead group of 8 that I was able to get into. From that point on I just tried to ride as smart as possible, which meant making sure I was behind good wheels coming into the technical corners at the bottom of the descent. At one point I relaxed a little during the descent, and the wheel I was on opened a fairly large gap after the second corner going into the climb. After that, I knew I couldn’t let that happen again.

The ladies in this group continued to attack during the climb, but everything stayed together heading into the last lap. I was so buried from the effort, and having so much fun racing with these very fast ladies, that I was surprised to hear the announcer say we had less than a lap to go. At that point Katerina Nash attacked, but was matched, and the top three selection of Shelly Olds who finished first, Chloe Dygert in second, and Liza Rachetto in third, was made. I came across in sixth after a very fun race.

2015-06-26 Canada National Championships Race Report by Diane Moug

Diane Moug

Diane Moug

Canadian Nationals

I didn’t start racing my bike until I moved to California from Vancouver in 2012. Since then, I had only raced in the US. This year I decided to go to Saint Georges, Quebec for Canadian Nationals, which was my first time racing in Canada – and it was a blast.

Time Trial
Thursday was the first race, the time trial. I was the seventh racer off out of about 35 ladies. The course was two times over a 15km (9 mile) out and back course that started downhill, was flat for a bit and then climbed about 3km (1.5 miles) to a turn around. The course was made very challenging by the gusty winds; the weather reported steady winds at about 20km/hour (12miles/hour) and gusting up to 35km/hour (20miles/hour). Even though riding in Davis had me used to winds, I was very sketched out with the wind gusts on the very fast descents. I managed to keep hold of my bike and finish in 9th place. Carol-Ann Kanuel (Velocio-Sram) finished in first place, 1 minute ahead of 2nd.

Road Race
Friday afternoon about 55 ladies rolled out for the road race. The course set out for 30km of net uphill which led to a 14km circuit that we did 3 times, then turned off the circuit to head back to the start/finish. The circuit started with a 1km (half mile) climb, that pitched very steep before the crest, then continued along a mostly downhill/flat course before turning back into the climb.

Every time heading into the climb I made sure I was well positioned at the front where I could be on attacks made by Optum p/b Kelly Benefits who had 4 riders in the race. I managed to stay with the front group every time over the climb, however within a few kilometers additional riders would gradually catch on. Early in the second lap of the circuit, a Trek Red Truck rider (who a very large, strong team) went off the front. Optum riders put the chase onto the rider during the third lap and she was brought back as we exited the circuit to head back to the start/finish.

Coming out of the circuit was a long gradual climb. Heading up this Carol-Ann Kanuel (Velocio-Sram) attacked and set a very tough pace. Again, I stayed with this move that left 6 riders. I really thought this move would stick since it had all of the favourites, except Leah Kirchman Optum’s sprinter. The move was brought back by Optum after some time and gradually a reduced group came back together. Denise Ramsden went off the front and managed to get a gap of about 2 minutes. However, Optum again put the chase on and brought it back in the final kilometers.

The race came down to a sprint of a reduced group (maybe 20 ladies were left). The finish turns right into a 200m uphill sprint to the finish. I managed to pull off 8th in the finish. Joelle Numainville (Bigla Pro Cycling) became the new Canadian Road Champion.

Criterium
On Saturday I had the day off before the crit on Sunday. The crit was over a 1.3 km, four corner course that had the same start finish (including the 200m uphill) as the road race. The course crested after the start/finish, turned left to descend a bit, then there was a significant descent between turns 2 and 3.

I was slightly out of my element going into this race since it was raining before and during the crit – and given California’s drought conditions I was slightly worried about handling my bike in the rain. During some warm up laps over the course I took the corners with some speed and figured I could handle the rain just fine.

I started at the back of pack, so I worked hard to get to the front quickly, especially during the corners and the downhill. This paid off as the race became aggressive quickly and every time I looked behind me I could see gaps forming and the pack becoming smaller and smaller. Even though I told myself I was going to sit back and not get too excited during the race, I attacked at about the 5th lap and I stayed away long enough to collect a preme (my first preme in Canadian dollars!). After I was brought back I sat in and followed moves.

At about 10 laps to go, Allison Jackson (Twenty Sixteen) and Denise Ramsden (Trek Red Truck) attacked and got some separation. They stayed about 15 seconds away, but Leah Kirchmann (Optum’s sprinter and 2014’s Canadian crit cham) was with the remaining pack and no one wanted to bring her up. Heading into the 6 laps to go, my rear derailleur cable snapped – which made for a lot of standing low cadence work for the rest of the race. The two escapees stayed away and Allison Jackson won the crit. Despite not having rear gears, I managed to stay with the remaining pack until the finish, and came in seventh. Leah Kirchman sprinted from our group for third. The course and weather proved to be even more decisive than I realized; only 11 riders finished the race.

Being in Quebec made for a great week of racing, and exploring a part of Canada I had never been to before. I look forward to going back for more racing soon. One of the best parts – after the crit I got to enjoy something I rarely get in the States, Poutine!

2015-06-06 Pescadero Road Race Report by Diane Moug

Pescadero Road Race Report

I came into the race after a really good week of training that gave me the confidence, and built up frustration after several races that left me on the podium, but not in the top spot. So this time I was ready to improve on last year’s second place.

About 15 girls started the race, with the most representation from Metromint with 3 girls, and Mike’s Bikes with 4 girls. The first lap went without incident and we got to take in some of the beautiful course views. Marissa Axell (Metromint) put in some great attacks, that put us on our toes, however nothing was allowed to get far.

The second time up Pescadero climb (the beautiful, switchbacking, 2.5km climb), Jill McLaughlin set a very strong pace which reduced the group to 5, and Leah Thomas got on the front for the winding descent to keep the separation. The group of 5 (myself, Jill, Leah, Bethany Allen from Zoca, and Alessandra from ICE) rotated together to try and stay away. Knowing that Beth Hernandez (Jakroo) would be putting on a strong chase behind, we had to keep things fast to stay away. However, the pace eventually dwindled and we were joined by the remaining girls.

Once we got to the last miles of the race, heading down the flat section before the finishing climb, there were a lot of attacks. Beth Hernandez, Joanna Dahl, and Leah all made attacks that were covered, but made everyone hurt. Clarice Sayle (Zoca) put in an extraordinary amount of work watching attacks and keeping things together for her teammate Bethany. Going into the final climb, things were still all together.

Again, Jill set a high pace up the final climb and rode a lot of girls off her wheel. I stuck to her pace, and when I felt that we could go faster, I took over to try to ride away from even more girls. Finally I looked back, and only Jill was there. I kept climbing as hard as I could, hoping that she would drop off, and finally with 200m to go I went hard to the finish and she didn’t come around.champpodium

On top of the Pescadero win, which was my first this season, this was the NCNCA District Championships, which meant that I got this jersey:

champjersey

2015-05-23 Folsom Crit Women’s Race Report by Heather Lipana

Diane and I had a title to defend and we gave 110% to secure the win yesterday.

On the second lap I attacked on the backside and when I looked back I had two girls with me and we had a significant gap so we immediately started working together. It was Fiona Winder and a Metromint girl named Christina I think. We got into a really steady rhythm like clockwork and switched off at the same place every lap. After several laps my legs were a little fatigued but I was thinking I could win this if we stayed away. But we didn’t stay away and with 7-8 laps to go we got caught.

Diane immediately started trying to get in a break, when I was behind her and a few girls got off the front I would noodle to stall the peloton. Finally on her own volition she got up the road solo and I was absolutely sure she could stay away because she had a huge gap.

Mary Maroon decided with three to go to drill it as hard as she could to catch Diane, sacrificing her own Sprint and stretching it out single file the whole time. It felt like I was in a men’s race it was so fast and steady and very slowly we kept gaining on Diane, which is ridiculously impressive that Mary was having that hard of a time catching up, some girls were complaining they could barely hold Mary’s wheel.

We caught Diane with 3/4 of a lap to go and I wasn’t in a great position to sprint to with 1/2 lap I attacked and was hoping I could stay away but I’m just not able to do that yet, especially after being in a break for awhile. Tina Hughes got on my wheel and I blew up in 20 seconds. Diane and I crossed the line in 24th and 25th place. We didn’t win but we represented In the race WAY MORE than anyone else and we’re both happy with our effort, we were wrecked afterwards and Diane said she hasn’t gone that deep for a LONG time, she was AWESOME! Mary Ellen who sat in the whole time for her 10 second sprint, won.

2015-05-09 Berkeley Hills Road Race Report by Diane Moug

The race started with 13 NorCal girls, with good representation from ICE with three girls each, and Zoca with two girls. For Folsom, Dani, Susannah, and myself came out to race. The race was exactly 3.7 laps around the course to make a 71mile race.

Racing started when Beth Newell (Jakroo Racing) attacked up the Mama Bear climb and kept the pace high. This was enough to detach some girls. Unfortunately, in the second lab Beth got a flat and couldn’t finish the race. The pace was kept high by Jane Despas and Sara Bird from ICE. Dani watched any attacks, and threw down some counter-attacks. The moves on the field usually caused some separation, but girls were able to work to catch back on.

On the final lap, on a climb with 8 miles to go, a hard attack by Joanna (Metromint) was joined by Alessandra (ICE), Bethany (Zoca) and myself. We kept this move away to the end and even had fun attacking each other on the final climbs to keep the race hard. On the final finishing climb, Alessandra, Beth and me started the climb to the finish. Beth took off and I hesitated for a second hoping Alessandra would respond. When she didn’t I jumped as well but Bethany was climbing away too fast. Bethany finished first, me in second and Alessandra in third. Thanks to Berkeley Cycling club for putting on such a great race!

The final thrill of the race came from Susannah, who despite racing hard, still was able to do this for a half hour after the race:susannah

2015-05-02 Cat’s Hill Classic Race Report by Diane Moug

IMG_2516

IMG_2549This was the first year that Judy and I were able to do Cat’s Hill, in previous years we had been away for collegiate races. Even though had only heard about the craziness of the hill, and it did nothing to limit my shock when we took the third corner and faced a wall during the pre-ride. Not only does the 20% climb make an interesting course, so does the rough pavement and fast corners after the descent.

The race started fast, but then stopped after two laps for something very surprising; a police pursuit from a hit and run needed to access the course. After about 5 minutes we were started again. Again the race started fast, and after about a lap and a half, Judy attacked and rode off the front. Leah Thomas (Metromint) attacked on the next climb to bridge up to Judy and I stuck to her wheel. As soon as Leah caught Judy, I pulled on the front and tried to keep our gap. Eventually we were joined by Clarice Sayle and Bethany Allen (Zoca), Beth Newell (Jakroo), and Melanie Wong (ICE).

This group stayed together for nearly the rest of the race, which was made even more fun by the spectators on the hill, and the plentiful primes – Judy walked away with a gift certificate to Beso’s Lingerie store, where she found something very special ;).

In the final laps, attacks came by Beth and Leah, and each time they became harder and harder to respond. In the final lap, there was another attack on the climb which left Beth and Leah off the front, with me and Bethany trying to chase them down. The sprint finished with Leah taking the win, Beth in second, Bethany in third, and me pulling out fourth.

2015-04-26 Budweiser Seqoia Cycling Classic Criterium Race Report by Judy Wexler

Thanks to an endowment from Budweiser, the Visalia crit this past Sunday was stacked. In addition to some of the top sprinters from NorCal, a number of SoCal riders made the trek up in the hopes of cashing in big. As a result, the race was hard. As we drove down from Davis in the morning, we had heard Diane got third in a tough race at Wente. This motivated me to get on the podium in the afternoon’s crit. However, despite Dani’s best efforts, that was not to be. The two biggest teams in the race were ICE and Monster Media. Girls in these kits continually attacked and went up the road, and Dani marked almost every move. Meanwhile, my legs were hurting just sitting in. So when I got the chance, I started chasing down moves and told Dani to conserve while I did the work. This flip flop continued for a while until we saw 6 laps to go. Then Dani rolled up to me and said, “You’re going to win this race, and it’s going to hurt. Just nut up.” I realized I was being a baby, and immediately got up to 3rd wheel where I sat for the next few laps. The last lap was chaotic. The most challenging part of a race with unknown riders is deciding whose wheel to follow. There are strong teams, for sure. But for any given team, most of the riders are not designated sprinters. So I got swarmed on the last lap and ended up 11th. I’m not proud of that result, but I am thankful for Dani for giving me the mid-race edge.

2015-04-17 Sea Otter Classic Road Race Report by Diane Moug and Judy Wexler

The field at Sea Otter this year was noticeably reduced from the past year – US National crit and TTT championships probably had something to do with this. Even though the field was smaller (about 35 girls), didn’t mean it wasn’t a strong field. The void left by American ladies was taken by British Columbia racers who had made the trip south.

The two teams with strong representation were Trek Red Truck and Twenty Sixteen, they kept the pace high in the first couple of laps which dropped some riders early on. There were also some attacks and separation which never got very far up the road.

At the start of three laps to go, there was an attack that I went with. It ended up with Sara Bergen (Trek Red Truck) and Kaitie Antonneau (Twenty Sixteen) up the road, and me and Denise Ramsden (Trek Red Truck) bridging up. After a bit, Denise helped us get up to her teammate’s move. At this point I was pretty spent, which was pretty evident as I yoyoed up the feed zone climb.

At the top of the climb at two laps to go, we were caught by Alison Jackson (Twenty Sixteen) and Jill McLaughlin. At this point, there were attacks from our break. I couldn’t match the attacks and got dropped, while Denise got away on her own for the win.

Although I tried to chase back on, I was swept up by the remainder of the pack after the feed zone. The pace in the group stayed pretty calm for the last lap, and the five girls off the front stayed away. Dani and I finished with a reduced uphill sprint with the group.

After the race we took part in the other part of Sea Otter, checking out the exhibition and catching up with old friends.

Judy Wexler’s Report:

Last year, the circuit race at Sea Otter was a breakout race for me. This year…well let’s just say I got dropped Friday in the road race so I was just hoping to finish with the group on Sunday. The race length was shortened to 60 minutes after organizers decided to start us at 3 pm. So it seemed we were only racing for ten minutes before we saw a sign that said 6 laps to go. At this point, a few riders went off the front. Thinking that this was a little premature, we let the move go. We had enough pro women in our group that we believed the break would come back. Unfortunately, this calculation was incorrect. The move stuck, and when we realized this, Diane admirably did her best to bridge up, but was marked in the cross winds. With one lap to go, there was nothing to do but sit in and let the train come into the station for places 6 – 25.

 

2015-03-14 Land Park Criterium Race Report by Judy Wexler

Oh, how the tables turned at the Land Park Crit! The last time I lined up on this course was in January, for the Cal Aggie Crit. With Diane and Dani by my side, we repeatedly pummeled the group with attacks until the last lap, when Diane gave me a killer lead out and I sprinted for the win. On Saturday I lined up solo, facing three Jakroo riders including the Olympic hopeful Beth Newell.

The race proceeded much as I had predicted — I bridged up to one Jakroo attack after the next. I constantly marked Beth throughout the race, because I knew she was the one woman in the field who could beat me in a sprint. Moreover, I really wanted to sprint head-to-head against her in the finale.

Well, I had that chance — kind of. With three laps to go, I found myself in a group of 6 riders, including Beth, about 10 seconds ahead of the field. Beth refused to work in the group, since she had another sprinter (Amanda Seigle) back in the group. I only halfheartedly worked, because I didn’t want to be toasted in a sprint against Beth. But because the two strongest people in the move didn’t commit, we were in perpetual danger of being caught by the group. Normally being caught by the group doesn’t faze me, since I’m confident in my sprinting abilities. But I had been working hard the entire race, and I really didn’t want to get swarmed if the pack caught us in the last lap. So with 2 laps to go, I put in the most feeble attack on the break. My biggest regret from this race was not committing 100 percent to that attack — if I had, then Beth and I could have gotten away and I would have probably gotten second place. Instead, I ended up leading out the sprint with 400 meters to go as the pack breathed down our necks. I got fourth place on the day, and left feeling a little disappointed in my race tactics, and incredibly grateful for the work my teammies do in the races we do together.

2015-03 Madera Race Report by Diane Moug

Madera Stage Race Report

 

Dani, Judy, and I headed down early Saturday morning for the Madera Stage Race; during the dark, sleepy drive I don’t think anyone gave any thought to how dramatic and unpredictable the weekend would to be. To begin with, Dani went into the weekend bogged down with a cold, while Judy was just getting over a cold that had knocked her out the week before. The women’s field was not huge – only 18 ladies – but it had a strong representation from Metromint Cycling p/b The Freewheel, as well as Melanie Wong, Felicia Gomez, and Alessandra Sales from ICE Sportswear, and Sara Headley from Tibco.

The race started out with a crit in Madera on Saturday morning.  There were two primes for 5 bonus seconds; those were taken by Felicia and Melanie. Metromint was working for their sprinters and generally held the race together. Finally, Metromint and Dani led out the final laps to finish in a group sprint. Sara Headley came first, and Metromint took second and third with Mary-Ellen Ash and Marrisa Axell, respectively. Judy came in just behind for fourth.

That afternoon was the 10 mile time trial. It was nice to already be warmed up after the crit. After Chico Stage Race I wasn’t thrilled about my time-trial, but Judd gave me some hard intervals for my TT bike and they seemed to be doing the trick at Madera. I didn’t feel great (in the way you’re not supposed to feel good at a TT), but I felt really fast. Although, that didn’t matter when I got confused at the last corner and took it too late. I slid out with my hip and chin taking most of the impact, not the aero wheels I had borrowed (phew!). Someone pulled up right away and he helped me up, put my chain on the proper side of the crank arm, and pushed me off again. Dani, who had already finished, was nice enough not to make fun of me for crashing in a TT as I sheepishly rolled up to the car. Later that night the results came in – I had finished in fifth about a minute behind first. Metromint were again super strong with Leah Thomas in first, and Joanna Dahl in second which put them in the top two spots for GC going into the road race. Sara Headley came in third about 35 seconds behind Leah.

The road race started with two fewer girls from Metromint, and one less from Folsom: Leah had won the time trial despite having the flu, but was too sick to start the next day. Molly Van Howling had a mishap during the TT that caused her to crash and she did not start. Dani was also too sick to start the race.

The road race was four laps of 16 miles, with about 4 miles of rough road, and about 2 miles of rollers to the finish. Metromint had many girls go off the front, including an initial move of Marissa and Judy. The significant move came early in the third lap where Alessandra (ICE) and Christina (Metromint) got off the front. After this had been established Judy went off too. The ICE/Metromint move stayed just over a minute out, while Judy hovered around 30 seconds. Judy was caught by the pack as the fourth lap started. Soon after Judy took up the chase with Sara and the break was caught right before the rough section. As we made the turn onto the rough road Judy warned “I’m done” – she had done a remarkable amount of work. Along the rough stretch we were waiting for attacks to go. Felicia made one that I brought back with the group behind me. Frustrated her move didn’t go anywhere she said to me “don’t you guys want to win the race” then “come on” and attacked again. This was enough to persuade me and I went with her to put in an earnest effort. We worked together well for a couple of miles, then I noticed there was less work from her and more looking around, then with a mile left she was sitting on my wheel. I didn’t want to play cat and mouse with her since our lead was not large enough, and Felicia had a fresh teammate (Melanie) back there, whereas Judy had already put in a huge amount of work and was done. So I just kept pulling us to the finish where she jumped on the last rise to the finish line and came across first. The time bonus for Felicia coming in first, plus the gap back to Joanna mean that she won the GC, with Joanna in second, and me in third.

 

Looking back on the way the weekend shook out, it seems you were lucky if you only got stung by a bee (there were a lot of bees out there), and were able to avoid mechanicals, illnesses, and crashes.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 622 other followers