Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tour of Somerville

Despite a rough day at "Da Jam" on Saturday, the Warriors returned to fight another day in Somerville. Well, most of us did...Mitch was home nursing a bruised behind, Nikki had come down with the flu, and Ky discovered (after a trip to the ER) that she had a nice infection and a hairline fracture in her arm. Awesome.

Somerville was nice, as usual. It's a great, quick course with a lot of spectators out along the roads. That always makes for a fun time. The World Champion was there and she definitely made herself noticed during the race. She jumped, she chased, she hung back, she jumped again. And, all that time, she was doing what she could for her teammate...totally awesome. In fact, the whole Colavita team was amazing, as usual. They're phenomenal team work is truly inspiring to anyone who identifies (as I do) as a "worker-bee" for teammates. To watch them put themselves under the gun, to burn themselves out, to put the pain on an entire field so that their sprinter can do HER job is awesome. Then, it's just the pressure to seal the deal - which Theresa does with style!

For us, it was a day of mental recovery and survival. That was apparent from the start, when our number one goal was to come away from the race with the same amount of skin that we had going in. We needed a little reminder that racing is fun and safe and, oh yeah, fun.

It was nice to line up with a host of local gals for the race and it was nice to see those local gals hold their own against the Colavita Armada. Andrea Luebbe took a beautiful flyer at one point to score a $100 prime! Jen Rasmussen-Gros launched a blistering attack on the final lap. Two local ladies, Erin Silliman and Christine Fennessey were in the top 10 and Lenore Pipes stood on the third podium step. For us, Kacy was 13th, Becky was 18th, Sarah was 24th, Robin 25th, and Arley was 46th (on a beautiful yellow Mavic neutral bike, no less!!).

Most important, we made it through the day with smiling faces and all of our bodies and souls in one piece.

This week, we plan our assault on the Wall. And I plan out my assault on Lemon Hill for the best beer feed ever! ;)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bike Crash...no, Crash Jam....no, BIKE JAM...that's it!

Well, yesterday was a rough one. The majority of the team headed down to Baltimore for Bike Jam. This has typically been a race that I have really enjoyed. Even though it has a reputation for being crashy and sketchy. Still - I've always felt like I had good legs there and enjoyed it.

Yesterday was a different story. While I still like the course, I have a hard time understanding how this race seems to be jam packed with crashes - that often send folks to local area hospitals.

The race started out fine...Grizzly and I did exactly what we were told - went to the front to hold pace for the first lap. As we came up the slight rise to the finish line, we heard it. The sound of carbon on cement and the inevitable tumult of crashing noises that followed. Knowing that we had a total of 9 riders in the field, it was inevitable that at least one of us had gone down in that massive pile-up. Unfortunately, it was Ky - who suffered some pretty severe road rash on the right half of her body and a helmet-crushing slide into the curb. She fared better than our dear friend Cass King, who went to the hospital on a stretcher and was later confirmed to have several broken parts (rib and finger), gashes big enough for stitches, and a possible concussion.

A few laps later, we again heard the sound of trouble when a tire blew to the right of me and a domino of riders took me endo-ing over my bars. Oh joy. I have to say, I'm glad we did those tumbling drills early in our training sessions with Mike. Not to be too self-satisfied or anything, but I definitely gave myself a 10 on the style chart for my excellent roll! I came away with a scraped elbow and lots of bruises, but nothing else. Mitch found herself less well-off with some bone bruising and major contusions on her back.

By that point, my impetus to race hard and take chances was pretty low. Still, I took my free lap and got back into the race. We tried to continue our "tactic" for the day - we spent a lot of time at or near the front and trying to keep Arley protected and trying to move her up. But, I was pretty blown. Mentally, emotionally, and physically.

I know that there are individuals out there that might simply ignore the fact that people were hurt. Who only care about themselves and their race. But, I am not that person. I couldn't stop myself from thinking about Mitch, Ky, Cass, etc. It took the wind out of my sails at the end of the race. I was happy to finish, but I am far happier to know that my teammates and friends are okay.

The bruises, scrapes and broken bones will heal, we will all go out there and race again (Monday, to be sure), and we will continue to love the bike.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tour de Syracuse AKA Pillage of the Village

This past weekend, BCHAN, Ramba and Bennie the dragon headed up north to race Tour de Syracuse. And by race we really mean Pillage a Village. The 3-part stage race was in a bit of an odd format (crit on Saturday, TT and Road Race on Sunday) but the CAWES ladies were still primed to attack.
The weekend started out strong with BCHAN winning the crit after a solid leadout from Ramba. The crit was fast throughout. With 16 primes being awarded on a 22 lap race (yes, the promoters went a tad bit overboard) there was rarely a lap without a sprint. The Wasabi warriors hung near the front, covering a few moves and pushing the pace a few times. Just prior to one to go, BCHAN gave a “Ramba” call and I worked up to the front to set up for a nice leadout. Started the leadout with about 1k to go (coming out of a corner and up a small rise) to bring the mighty wasabi warrior in for part one of domination. (GC standings – BCHAN 1st, Ramba 3rd)
On day 2, a rolling TT course gave Ramba a chance to try out the new ride (thanks Kris for the quick turn around on getting a fit) and the warriors to see how the legs were fairing. After a sub-7min effort (who knew so much pain could result from so little time…) the warriors were squarely in control of the podium. (Ramba tied for 1st GC and BCHAN in 3rd)

All that was left to pillage was the roadrace. The seemingly “rolling” course was far more brutal that the drive let on. At the first QOM spring, Ramba went with a break that held a blistering pace for the remainder of the first lap. The heat and humidity of central NY were definitely putting a hurt on, and there were a few times I wanted to puke through my eyeballs. The group finally settled into a consistent paceline through the back stretch. When we approached the first of two steep climbs in the mid-point of the lap, the group pushed it again and we whittled down to just three. After trying to kill each other on the second climb, we settled into a rhythm again for the final 8 miles leading into the finish climb. Starting the climb, I hung in the back of the 3, letting one of the women set the pace up the first half of it. With 800’ to go (per the ground markings) I put my head down and went with everything I had left. I figured I’d either completely blow up in about 5 seconds or win. I didn’t look up until I heard my number called first crossing the line. The woman who came in second (from team Nalgene) commented that I looked like a “fury or calves and elbows” climbing to the finish line. After telling a woman that I was “the rapture” and BCHAN roaring with Bennie the dragon, domination was the only option. The RR win cemented Ramba’s control of the GC, and BCHAN finished with enough points to hold on to third.
All in all it was a great weekend. Many team complimented us on our strong riding, our working together during the crit, and general seeming to have fun throughout the weekend. The promoters also complimented us on coming up and making the most of enjoying the weekend. Big props to the promoters for keeping a women’s field and treating us equal as well.
Looking forward to BikeJam and Sommerville with the full warrior clan!

Monday, May 16, 2011

We REALLY love our sponsors

So much so that we like to flaunt them at business meetings Monday morning....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tour of Washtenaw

So, a trio of Wasabi Warriors (accompanied by a Sturdy Girl of epic awesomeness) descended upon the wonderful state of Michigan (aka The Mitten) to race the Tour of Washtenaw. The race, part of a new series of Roubaix races in North America, consisted of a 55 mile loop with 6 dirt sections that amounted to 40% of the length of the race.

The course was awesome. It was consistently rolling with smooth paved sections of respite from the bone-jarring washboards of the technically difficult dirt sections.

The field was small, but powerful. We had checked over the pre-reg list and previewed the course to get a sense for how things might unfold. We knew who to watch and we figured that everyone else would be watching us. After all, we were the largest team there and were total unknowns.

The race started to unfold at the first dirt section where Porkchop, Ky, and Nikki started to put the hammer down and gunned it! We continued to push the pace each time we hit dirt and pacelined each paved section. We found that we were in a group of 7 within about 20 miles and that group ended up staying together to the finish line.

The finish was uphill - with a few decent sized climbs leading up to it. Ky was the leadout QUEEN on the day and started the ramp up with 3K to go. She led the Choppah up through the first hill and to the base of the finishing hill. The Choppah finished it off with a 2nd place finish, after getting outsprinted just at the peak of the hill.

We ended up with 2nd, 5th and 6th. All in all, the Wasabi Warriors left their mark on the Mitten this weekend!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Food For All!

Check out this awesome article about one of our fantastic sponsors: Food For All!
Maybe you'll get inspired by one of the yummy recipes on the page, or by Amy's story about how she started this unique grocery. Either way, we hope you'll stop in and say hello to the ladies in Mount Airy and try some of their delicious concoctions!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


What's better than starting a TT from the back of a giant PLANE?

the TT that started in the back of a giant plane!!!!

Three cheers for the Grizzly!!
Time Trial Domination 2011 has begun!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hard Work Pays Off

Our hard work late last season and at the start of this season has paid off...

CAWES got an official invite today to compete in the 2011 Liberty Classic!

We're VERY excited about the chance to race this event again this year!

See you all at the top of The Wall!
(It even has it's own Facebook page!!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bennington Race Weekend/Tour of the Dragons

Two wasabi warriors raced in the mountains of Vermont this weekend, and by the time Ky rolled up to the time trial she had traveled by helicopter, car and bike to get there from Quantico in less than 24 hours. Kacy and Ky worked through their travel-weariness with some really sweet TT equipment from Twenty 20 cycling, but over the weekend these time trialists found their best work to be in the speed department!

In the criterium, Ky broke away from the 3/4 field, snagging the green sprinter's jersey and soloing in for the stage win. Kacy busted out some quickness too, taking second in the Pro 1/2 crit and trailing the powerful Stacey Jensen for second in sprint points.

The road race involved 4000 feet of climbing on dirt and paved roads. Ramba took 6th in the stage, securing 5th in the GC and defending the green jersey. Kacy hauled down the final boulevard in a 5-woman breakaway, taking 2nd in the sprint and moving up to 3rd in the GC. It was a great weekend for the green in the Green Mountain state!

CeraSport to the Rescue!!

So, this past weekend was the Tour de Ephrata. It's a great 3-event stage race that includes a wicked uphill time trial, a fun and rolling road race, and a fast and challenging crit.

The road race was fun and a bit frustrating as a small break of 5 had gotten away. We tried to pull them back in, but to no avail. The team did score a 6th place finish with Arley winning the field sprint.

CeraSport came to the PorkChop's rescue Saturday evening. For some reason, probably my intense training of late, my legs felt particularly crampy after the race on Saturday. In order to ensure their successful return to form for Sunday's grueling uphill TT and Crit combo, I drank myself CeraSport-Silly. Knowing that I needed the electrolytes and other goodies inherent in the Ex-1 that I love, I downed a few bottles on Saturday evening. I also spent some quality time with my stick, my foam roller, and my 2xu's!!

I woke up Sunday morning feeling GREAT! My legs, though still a bit sore when I spun them out before the Time Trial, came around and managed to drag my porky behind up that climb in 8th place! Heading into the Crit, we had Arley sitting 6th in the GC and the PorkChop in 10th!

The crit was a BLAST. We spent some quality time at the front pulling back breaks that were away, we launched some attacks and got the Choppah off the front for a couple of laps. Finally, the Grizzly pulled at the front to lead Arley up to the critical final two turns. Arley launched and pulled out a wicked 2nd place finish in the crit!

In the end, we held 5th and 8th in the GC and had a great weekend!