April 27-30th was one of those weekends that marked the heating up of USA mountain bike racing. With eight women on the Stan’s NoTubes Women’s Elite Team we had the events covered from coast to coast.
The Utah State Championship series opened with the Lambert Park cross country. Kathy Sherwin flew around the course and took a tightly fought 2nd place:
‘My body was way upset that I asked it to race this weekend at the first USCS MTBRace Productions mtb race. Oh man that hurt….hollow, empty, sick feeling, metallic taste in mouth and still coughing from the effort. I chased from the beginning and did all I could to come in 2nd. The only thing that helped with the agony I was putting myself through was being on my new 18.8 lb CANNONDALE Bicycle Corporation Flash 29er! It absorbed bumps and sharp rocks like nobody’s business! And thanks to Stan’s NoTubes…no flats!!!!’
What’s most inspiring about Kathy is that these weekend ‘sufferfests’ truly show her love of cycling as she continues to adjust to her new job marketing with Deer Valley and her and husband Chris’s recovery from his kidney cancer operation earlier this year. In true Kathy style, she has stepped it up a notch again this week to accept a role as board member and assistant coach for the Utah high school cycling league.
The National Ultra Endurance series opened for 2012 with the Cohutta 100 in Ducktown Tennessee. This event boasted a strong field of 22 women. Vicki Barclay opened her NUE campaign with an excellent 4th place.
‘Hard and hot day on the bike. Took me a long time to find my climbing legs. Got there eventually. Happy with 4th in a strong field’
Sue Haywood’s race bike lost 9 lbs when she debuted her new Cannondale 29er flash and it was no surprise at all that she ran away with the Maryland State Cross Country championships:
Greetings from the right coast!
This spring has been filled with nonstop beautiful blooms and the greenest grass that you have ever seen. If only these perfect spring conditions could go on until fall and we could skip the hot, humid summer all together. But, if I have learned anything in 2012, its to live in the present and be totally grateful for what I have.
I have been lucky enough to ride two new bikes this year with my Stan’s NoTubes sponsorship. One is the Cannondale Jekyll 2 for trail riding and Super D. The other is a Cannondale Flash, a carbon 29er hardtail.
Yes, it does take some adjustment re-learning to ride a hard tail and I certainly have to change my cornering style with a 29er, but I love experiencing all the wonderful products that this team offers to me. I’m looking forward to trying out the Stan’s Gold Wheels at my next race, as well as the Crank Brothers Kronolog dropper seat post on my next big trail ride and can’t wait to try Kenda’s Kommando tires for rough terrain.
It is always a process finding great lungs and legs on any given race day. I’ve been having fun challenging myself to push harder than my laid back nature wants. All the people that I see at races are like old and new friends and everyone is so stoked to see me riding in pink this year. I’ve netted a second place at the semi-endurance race The Dragon’s Tail, a Virginia State Championship, and a Maryland State Championship! Yeah, it is different than racing for a world or national championship, yet it is really fun and people “like” it. I got over 250 likes on my Facebook page when I posted that I was Maryland State Champion!
Be present, be grateful and go riding!
In Prescott, AZ, the town was flooded with 2000 people for Epic Rides’ Whiskey Off Road weekend.
The Whiskey 50 this year offered $30,000 in an equal payout prize purse for the men’s and women’s pro fields. Stan’s No Tubes offered up 10 free entries to Pro women to help boost the women’s field, and the combined incentives saw perhaps the strongest 50-mile race fields assembled in the US to date. Our women’s field had at least eight national champions and a world champion competing. The quality of the field was exciting as we would all be up for some fast racing.
The weekend festivities started with a fat-tire criterium on Friday evening. The criterium consisted of a hill, another hill, and a fast descent that swept down around and back to the bottom of the hill. There isn’t any hiding out on pavement and it made for exciting and stupidly hard racing. Our NoTubes teammate Nina ‘The Baum’ showed us how it was done by bouncing off the front of the field to win the first lap prime.
Sarah Kaufmann showed signs of good things to come and excellent form as she raced to a top-10 finish. I had a nice fast start that was quickly followed by ‘I might just fall off my bike anaerobia,’ and a strong ride for 12th.
Team manager Shannon Gibson had an extremely near miss with a car pulling out of its driveway through our taped off course while she flew 40 miles an hour down the hill. Avoiding the car by mere inches, she kept her cool and to her credit kept racing.
Nina’s Get Out! junior team made a fantastic NoTubes cheering section along the steep course.
Saturday saw the open and single speed Whiskey 50. 1700 riders took off including Kenny Wehn and Richie Rich. Saturday was Kenny’s day, pulling the entire field around the course and opening a 3-minute gap prior to flatting his rear tire on the final section of rocky single track. He still held on to win the open men’s race and set a new open men’s course record.
Along with Kenny and Rich, the junior Get Out! Team also raced. Nina’s female athletes took 1st and 3rd among junior women in the Whiskey 25, and two of the boys finished 3rd and 5th in the junior field for the 50.
Sunday saw the Whiskey 50 pro/elite races. Our race began with a 20-minute paved climb out of town. Our field started out as a pack riding toward a place where the climb kicked upwards. We all knew that that hill would be an initial acceleration point in the race. I had positioned myself well for the climb, and saw that Nina had too. Sure enough an attack was made there.
I was really happy to make the front group off through that climb and onto the dirt. The intensity of the short effort was ridiculous for me; however, it was worthwhile since it separated the field.
The Whiskey 50 had a 10-mile section of dirt road to the turnaround point at 25 miles. The course descended out to Skull Valley before returning by climbing back up toward Prescott. The out and back allowed us to where the other racers are at the halfway point. Not only was it valuable to see your competitors it was morale boosting to see our teammates. Nina, Sarah and Shannon all looked great and strong. At the end of the day I ( Jenny) was 7th, Nina 13th, Sarah 14th and Shannon 24th. It was an excellent day out.
As a team we would like to thank Rich O’Neil and Kenny Wehn for their efforts with support, with our bikes and the expo, The Alpine Orthopaedics MTB team for their support during the event, and Mike Carroll for his help.
We also thank our team sponsors Stan’s NoTubes, Alpine Orthopaedics, Cannondale, elete, adidas eyewear, Lazer, ProGold, Gu Energy, Genuine Innovations, Ergon, crankbrothers, Kenda, Verge, JetBlack, Showers Pass, and fi’zi:k. We appreciate your support and couldn’t do it without you. Cheers!