Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 Wheelworks Racing - Bigger and Better

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2011 Wheelworks Racing season!

After a hugely successful 2010 season, we are ready to kick off 2011 with a bang and try to make the whole thing bigger and better.

As a little recap on the season, in 2010 we had over 50 top ten results, over 25 top fives, over 15 podium placings and 2 wins. Amy McGuire was also able to upgrade to Category 1 and become officially part of the big leagues (well, sort of =) ). We held 5 women's specific racing clinics throughout the summer, with master cycling instructor, Nicole Freedman, leading the way. We also had multiple training and racing lectures at the Belmont shop and were able to get countless men and women excited to get out on their bikes. Most importantly, of course, we had a great time racing together and can't wait to to it again.

In fact, all of our 2010 racers - Nicole Freedman, Anna Milkowski, Hope Strode and Amy McGuire - are back on the roster and we're excited to announce two new members of the team, Yuri Matsumoto and Martha Buckley. Both of these women come to us from the multi-time National Championship winning MIT Cycling Women's Team.

Lastly, we are super excited to be working with Clint Page and Belmont Wheelworks again, along with Specialized, Continental, Tifosi, and Pedro's. With such great racers on board and such wonderful support, we can't help but be even more successful in 2011.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tour of the Catskills - The Prologue...

This weekend a full squad of Wheelworks women decided to take the Catskills by storm. We caravaned out to this mountainous region of New York on Friday ready for anything.

First up was the prologue. It was a relatively short (2.2 miles) uphill time trial with some very steep pitches, but a nice flat run in to the finish so that we could use our sprinting skills to finish the thing off.

No one was very sure how they would do, but we warmed up together and then cheered each other on as we were sent off at our respective times. Nicole was the mountain goat of the day, showing her years of experience by taking 6th place in a race that would, at least on paper, be considered a terrible course for her.

She was well in striking distance of a GC podium spot with her 6th place and we headed to our beautiful host house excited and motivated to see what we could do. The prospect of getting a GC podium for our little team of non-climbers was absolutely thrilling!

Tour of the Hilltowns

Being a team of non-climbers, the Tour of the Hilltowns sounded a bit ominous, at least to me. But with fearless teammates like Anna and Hope ready to see what the Wheelworks women could do, I was up for giving it a shot.

And what do you know, Hope and I pulled off 2nd and 3rd Massachusetts-ians (if that's what we're called) in our state road race championship. Not bad for a pair of racers who prefer a course with lots of turns and more downhill than up. Of course, we could never have pulled it off without Anna setting the pace and keeping the race under control for the entire first half. What a beast she is!

Go Wheelworks Racing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yarmouth Clamfest and BOOGIE BOARDING

The Yarmouth Clamfest was on tap this weekend and we went up with the entire Wheelworks Racing women's squad (along with our fearless male companion, Dan Watts). The Clamfest is a New England classic and we were all VERY motivated to show the locals what we are made of.

The race is a technical circuit race with a steep kicker of a climb about 1Km from the line, but a sweet downhill sprint finish. We had a great team discussion before the race and each laid out the best way we could individually win and then came up with a good plan that everyone was excited about. Needless to say, we were pumped to get the show on the road, literally.

Unfortunately, Hope crashed coming into the hill on the first lap and despite a valiant effort chasing the peloton, her bike was a bit too out of whack to allow her to reingage. (Her shoulder was separated in the fall, but she's so tough she's planning on bouncing right back on the bike this weekend at the Tour of the Hilltowns.)

Meanwhile, Anna was patrolling the front like the master breakaway artist that she is and was in practically every move of the day. Go Anna! We were tired just watching you work your magic!

In the end, it all came back together and Nicole and I were ready for the sprint. I wasn't sure on my chances, so I decided to make sure Nicole was in good shape and then jump really early. If my move worked, I could surprise the bunch and cross the line solo. And if it didn't and they chased me down, Nicole would be there to show them who's boss in the sprint.

Lucky for me, my move worked! And I crossed the line first, for my first pro win! Very exciting! And Nicole took the field sprint to get us two on the podium. Everyone worked so well together it was incredible. I am so pleased to be on a team with such smart and skillful women!

Of course, we went to a brilliant dive bar/grill called 'Lobsters in the Rough' for some excellent post-race food and then hit the beach for some seriously competitive boogie boarding. Thanks for a great weekend Wheelworks Racing!

On to SuperDuperWeek

Next up was a short stop at SuperDuperWeek aka The International Cycling Classic. This is a two week series in Illinois and Wisconsin, but Nicole and I thought we'd just race a few days, visit some good friends in Chicago (So good to see you Lorrie and Susie!) and then head home.

I have to admit I was much more tired from my recent racing (and driving) escapades than I thought, so I wasn't much use as a teammate, but Nicole was able to represent the blue and gold of Wheelworks very well with two podium places. Go Nicole!

Grand Rapids (cobbled) Cycling Classic

After a fairly lengthy drive (two days actually), I settled in nicely at the Courtyard Marriott in Grand Rapids courtesy of the Marriott Rewards points accumulated by Mum and Dad McGuire. The hotel was lovely and the race course was literally 3 blocks away, so I was feeling very pleased with myself, especially once teammate extraordinaire, Nicole Freedman, and we focused on some serious sleeping in preparation for the big crit Saturday afternoon.

The race was perhaps a little small in the number of participants, but it was certainly not lacking in firepower. Tibco brought 4 strong riders and Cath Cheatley and Laura Van Gilder were ready to battle it out, so we had our work cut out for us. The race was aggressive and quite fun, I have to admit, even if I felt like I was hanging on for dear life across the two lengthy brick-cobbled sections.

I was able to make it into what turned out to be the winning move with 4 laps to go, only to be unable to hang onto a blistering attack by Cath Cheatley that only Jo Kiesanowski could stick on. That meant I was pretty toasted for the sprint, but it meant that Nicole was fresh and ready to go. She came up to see if I wanted a leadout and when I could barely hang on to her wheel, she knew to just go for it. She jumped with half a lap to go and had a huge gap going into the last turn. Unfortunately, Laura Van Gilder was charging hard and was able to catch her at the line, but we were very pleased with 4th place in such a classy field.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oh Canada! (At least briefly)

Well, with some last minute race research, I decided to drive 14 hours to Grand Rapids, MI for some wicked fast NRC crit racing this Saturday. (

Apparently, if you drive pretty much due west from Boston for 14 hours, you hit MI, via Canada, with a little stop in Niagara Falls. Very exciting.

I didn't actually enjoy this fabulous view, but I tried to look over my shoulder while I was in the crazy traffic jam at the border crossing. I stopped overnight in Sarnia, Ontario and just got up and hit the road again, so unfortunately, I didn't really get to tour Canada too much.

All of this driving was made much more pleasant by the fantastic books on CD that I checked out of the Boston Public Library before I left. Thank you PBL!!

This morning I made it to fabulous Grand Rapids. I got in a nice ride and am feeling ready, so fingers crossed all goes well tomorrow.

Since I made the big drive, I'm planning on stopping by Superweek ( starting on Sunday, so stay tuned a steady stream of crit reports in the next few days.