First few races up in the US were pretty disappointing, just kept getting sick and sick again... Has been a pretty frustrating few months but after speaking with a great doctor from back home got some answers straight away and the past month I've been feeling much like my old self. Turns out the virus I had back in mid december was a gastro virus that tends to 'linger' for months and buggers up your immune system. So explains why I'd been sick so many times since then. Good to get some answers for sure, and after some recommendations on how to deal with it am feeling pretty much back to 100 :-)
I was pretty nervous coming into Sea Otter (a four day stage race in California) due to my previous races in Socal and also really wanting to do well. Last year at this race I broke my wrist on the final stage/final km to knock me out of 3rd GC. Bummer!
Over the four days Vanderkitten had some good results and I ended up getting up on the podium on day 1 (a tough hairpin criterium) behind NOW and Novatis' Alison Powers and Specialized Lululemon's Loren Rowney.
In the circuit race I came in 5th, pretty bummed as we really wanted to win this one. Alison Powers proved too strong for all riders, winning all four stages!!
All up, I was just stoked to be B.I.A and feeling fit and healthy - am now hungry for more ;-)
The team rode well together which was cool, we still have a lot to learn about each other (bike wise) and what we can do but we're getting there.
Next up on the schedule we have Catshill Classic ( - a criterium with a very tough wee climb each lap), that will be on Saturday the 5th followed by Dana Point Criterium in Socal on the 6th (if we have the energy to roady 6 hours after Catshill to get there)!! Think we will though, as it's in Orange County - e.g. The O.C! yehuu. May have to stop by Laguna and check out L.C's pad...
Then our big 'Amurican' trip begins on the 10th of May when we will fly out to Missouri to kick off things at the Tour de Grove, an NCC (National Crit calendar) event. From there the list goes on....we'll hit New York, Canada, Philadelphia, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado,Idaho, Oregon and then roll back to Cali late July. Going to be a big 3 months of race and travel. Can't wait!
Other than all this cycling biz, we've still been managing to have some fun along the way.
In the area I'm staying in there's a bunch of pretty alright Australians as well as Kate Chill from NZ so there's always people to hang with.
Last week we had an ANZAC day bbq at Bec's and even got a bita 'shrimp on the barbie mate'. Crikey dick... Bec (an Auccie) made a pretty hard to beat Pavlova so give her credit for that. But she did try to claim that pav's are Australian. What a joke!
Post Sea Otter we also managed to have a bit of fun in downtown Monterey with the Vanderkitten's and other teams that were racing at a local pub. Even got into some pretty serious karaoke...Queen, Abba and a bit of miss Miley.
On Wednesday, the team of Aussies, and a bunch of Amuricans all cruised in for the Stahl ride (a decent endurance ride that changes routes every week). All of us were only planning on heading out for 3 - 4hours max. Little did we know we'd be gone 6!
We ended up being led all the way out to the coast near San Francisco on what they call the 'Planet of the Apes' ride as we head over a 3mile dirt mountain. Was pretty epic! Several punctures later and a few bails here and there (not naming names)...;-) we got to Half moon bay where we had a wee break, refuelled on coke, coffee and snacks before heading home over Tenetis creek mountain...no worries climbing 40minutes after 4 hours of riding. Phew, it was definitely a tough day but a lot of fun!
This past weekend Jazzy, Kate, Maura, Jenn X and Court - all Vanderkitten girls hit up the Bicycle trip in Santa Cruz for a team car wash to fundraise a little for the team and our upcoming travel. Lucky for us it was a beautiful day with lots of sunshine so we had plenty of customers but woah what hard work!! Our arms were dead by the end of the day. We finished up on a good note with Sushi downtown. Thanks Jenn and Court, top dogs for organising a good day.
Lastly, we had Aussie team mate's Bridie (whom we call miss 'Birdie Shivorn' as she loves to speak like a Southener) Birthday bash last night at KCM's. Good food, good people and fun chats. I've now been made the team baker after a few successful dishes. Don't think it'll last long...
Post Catshill this weekend we are all off to the city (San Fran) to see the Jezabels (an Aussie band). Looking forward to that and stoked we are now all 21 in the USA! (was Kate's 21st Birthday a few weeks back). Fun times ahead ...!