Pretty Powerful, with Stats to Prove it
The Cyclocross National Championships formally brings the 2014 bike racing season to a close. And it was quite a season for Live Love Velo riders, with 21 of us racking up a total of 187 race starts. It all started way back in early March, with new member Karen Schwartz heading to the city to try out road racing for the first time at the Grant’s Tomb criterium. One race, and Karen was hooked, going on to accrue a massive 25 race starts throughout the season. Amy and Christina also braved a super early start on a chilly Spring morning to race in a CRCA Central Park race. Showing great support for our growing local racing scene, 12 LLV riders took to the start at the Muddy Tire Mountain bike race, snagging multiple podium spots in Cats 1, 2 and 3.
In April we started to travel farther afield, with racers contesting Tour of the Battenkill, the Quabbin Reservoir Road Race and the Singlespeed-a-palooza mountain bike race. Christina raced her first time trial for the season. This was the first of seven TTs, with 3 races resulting in podium spots. Diana and Lisa also started their campaigns in the H2H Mountain Bike series, with Diana starting off strongly with a first place in Cat 2.
The road team headed upstate to ride the in the second running of the Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix. Amy crushed it on the hill to take the top podium spot. A week later we sent a strong team to the Hunter-Greene Spring Classic where, again, Amy took out a win in Cat 4. At the end of May, Kim drove a long way (to Ohio), to ride a long way (100 miles), in the NUE Series Mohican 100.
As the days grew longer, we raced in the early morning light in Central Park, and in the late afternoon at our local Kreb Circuit races in Riverhead. Mixing it in with the men in open fields, these races provide a great training ground and way to build experience and test out some tactics. Thanks to The Kreb Cycle for supporting this long running series. A team of six contested the three event Giro del Cielo stage race, with Amy performing strongly in the time trial, and Sharon pedalling strongly on a two lap solo breakaway to take out the road race stage, her first win. The H2H series continued, with Diana, Lisa, Tori and Kim all racing in New Jersey. Racing strongly, Tori also contested the Windham World Cup and went onto the MTB Nationals where, disappointingly, a mechanical took her out of contention.
Throughout the summer, we continued to race on the road, including Karen heading to the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont, Christina getting aero in time trials, and Jenn, Ellen and Amy contesting circuit races. Kim again drove a long way to ride a long way in the dirt, heading to Virginia for the Shenandoah 100. The H2H series wrapped up; LLV collectively having seventeen starts for six top 3 places. The final series standings saw Diana take 2nd in Cat 2 15-44, Kim 3rd in Cat 1 19-39, and Lisa equal 4th in Cat 2 40+.
Before we knew it, cyclocross season was upon us. Tori took her strong mountain bike form into Nittany Lion Cross and then Charm City, taking out 2nd, then 1st in Cat 3/4. Kim, Kyra and Ellen headed to Rapha Super Cross Gloucester and CycleSmart International, where thrills were had both racing and spectating the pros. Tori continued her top of the podium form at Whirlybird and HPCX, before moving up and putting in a strong performance in the Elite field at Swashbuckler. Ellen had her first win for the season at Sussex County CX.
The final mountain bike race for the LLV season was the Something Wicked 6 Hour at Cathedral Pines. Eight LLV racers took to the line in below freezing conditions. Sinead took out the female singlespeed category, Lisa’s team in the relay took second, just in front of the LLV team of Diana and Jenny. In a first for Live Love Velo racing, Cindy steered her fatbike to a win.
Not quite done with racing for the year, there was still some cyclocross racing to be done. The local Cyclocross at the Asylum changed it’s format to become a 2 day event, including having a women’s field for the first time. On Day 1 there was plenty of pink and black to be seen racing hard in the pouring rain. Sunshine on Day 2 was a welcome respite but didn’t change the result, Tori powered to the top spot on both days. Kim and Jenny closed out the local cx season at the inaugural Sunken Meadow race, on a short, but twisting and turning course. And then, in the last race of the season, Ellen headed to Austin, TX, to race in the National Championships where she very impressively took 7th place in her category.
And that was the LLV racing season.
21 racers, 187 starts, 44 top 3 finishes, including 23 in 1st place.