There were a few cross races since I last updated. Double header weekend in Milwaukee left me with a win at Kletsch Park and a fourth at Estabrook. Both really fun races with nice weather. I picked up Dave's cold which had me feeling not so great on Sunday but those three girls that got off the front were darn fast. Here's a shot of me in no man's land trying to stay in front of a chase group that you can see in the background.
photo by madcross
This past weekend Renee and JP put on a great cross race in Stoughton as there were no WCA races. It was an awesome course with lots of twisty stuff and a HUGE sand pit that you looped back on and went through twice per lap. It was another mild weather day and a fun race. I ended up taking the win with Elicia hot on my heels and my teammate Mo taking third. Big thanks to everyone who made that race possible - Renee does such an incredible job at putting together races and I have to say I'm extremely excited to see what she has up her sleeve for next season ;)
photo by djonnymac
Speaking of Renee, this week I was invited to attend her team's annual dinner. Capitol Velo Club is a really great group of women from the area and I was happy to teach a sprint clinic for them earlier in the year. It was fun to chat with lots of folks and eat some tasty food, plus I even walked away with a cool SRAM t-shirt - everyone was a winner in the raffle!
I've been substitute teaching a lot which has been great. Mostly middle school and high school but I've gotten a few elementary school assignments which have been a fun change of pace. I taught kindergarten last week and that was a first. A lot more tears than I'm used to - those little kids are fragile, some pretty innocent teasing can really get to them. And one little boy threw up after lunch - luckily a janitor took care of that one. But the kids were really cute (and tiny! - finally I'm taller than my students) - and it was fun to sit and read books to them.
So I'm certainly deep into the cross season and I'm extending it even longer this year. In the past I've stopped racing after Thanksgiving weekend but this year with Nationals and the later State Championships I'll be racing until almost Christmas. But despite all of this I must admit I am REALLY looking forward to 2008 and the upcoming road season.
Team Kenda Tire is undergoing some changes and the team and its structure will be different than in years past. We've got a great group of 12 women on the Elite team in addition to our impressive 8 Developmental riders and numerous Regional riders. It's going to be a really fun year. I'm currently organizing our team camp to be held just north of San Diego in January. We've got a pretty swank looking place blocks from the beach and the roads and weather should be great.
Another thing that's got me dreaming of the road season is the release of the 2008 NRC calendar. It's way different than the past few years with fewer races and no longer the inclusion of Nationals races. They've included a few women's only races and several UCI sanctioned events so I think it shows the sport is progressing in the States. Of course there is lots of room for improvement as there are still some major men's races in the states that don't have any womens event associated with them - Tour of Cali, Georgia, Utah, Missouri. These events aren't NRC this year (rather they're ProTour - which is a whole different international series of races of which women are not included) and hopefully some of the organizers start taking some initiative to include women into these races. There are plenty of great stage races - Redlands, Joe Martin, Nature Valley Grand Prix, Tour de Toona - that manage to run both womens and mens events so there's no reason why these more "prestigious" races can't do the same. Anyway, off my pulpit.
So this weekend brings the Sun Prairie cross race - Brazen always does a nice job with this race and the superfans are sure to be spectating in the beer pavillion. Here are a few of them from the Kletsch Park race - boombox and all - they rock!
photo by madcross