An intrepid crew of 5 Team Group Health racers journeyed to Iowa City, IA to race in the 3 day Jingle Cross Pro Cyclocross Race Dec 4-6. Jingle Cross has a reputation for bringing cold, snowy conditions, but 2015 proved unique. In the week leading up to the event, the area saw some snow and 8 inches of rain, leaving the venue thick with mud. The course changed slightly each day, and thanks to “Mt. Krumpit”, is not the easy, flat course a newcomer to Iowa might expect. The weekend kicked off with Friday Night Under the Lights, followed by full days of racing on Saturday and Sunday with course conditions that were sometimes slick, sometimes heavy, and always ready to clog a bike’s moving parts with midwestern mud.
TGH racers showed off their PNW mud skills with strong results in 3 categories. Jadine Riley claimed a podium finish each day in the Master Women 35+ field, with 2 second places and a 3rd place. Sharon Gregg also earned 6th place finishes in this field each day.
The Women Category 3 field included Niki Weiss and Amanda McNabb, riding strong in a large field plagued by crashes and mechanicals.
Gina Estep, after a late-season upgrade to Category 2, used her shiny new UCI license to test herself in the UCI Elite field. She was able to line up with the likes of US National Champion Katie Compton and former Czech National Champion, Olympian, and 2014 World Cup Champion Katerina Nash and made us all proud with a strong finish each day.
The heavy mud also gave TGH a chance to showcase what we do best – teamwork. Bike exchanges in the pits, rapid mud removal between laps, and addressing mechanicals between races required all hands on deck to keep everyone moving.
Special thanks to our fellow Washington racers who made the journey to Iowa for their support on-site, and to the TGH board for logistical support to make this adventure possible!
Our very own dirt-loving Susan Fleenor is featured in the current issue of Outdoors NW Magazine (page 27)!
Proudly sporting her TGH kit, Susan Fleenor was selected from a list of 70 women to be featured in their Women of the Decades article, highlighting inspiring athletes of all ages and abilities. Representing the age 50 to 60 decade, Fleenor’s racing mantra is “the body achieves what the mind believes.”
Nice work Susan!
TGH is out in full force this road season, attending races throughout the state and getting some great results.
Washington State Road Race Championships
In June, the ladies of TGH picked up some hardware at the WSBA State Championship Road Race in Bellingham.
Held again on the challenging North Shore course, it was a rough day on the bike for many as the road claimed many flats, mechanicals and DNFs.
Not for our Cat 4 squad however. They rode strong and it was first-year-racer Moriah Patashnik, who crossed the finish line first, claiming her first win and State title of her cycling career. Congrats champ!
For the Pro 1/2 and Cat 3 field, it seemed like an especially tough day in the saddle as the first riders started dropping in the first few miles of the race. By lap two, the pack was shattered, leaving little chase groups and singletons throughout the course.
Thanks to great teamwork, defending State champion, Anne-Marije Rook, was able to get back to the lead group after a minor mechanical and ultimately sprint to a second place finish, taking home the silver medal.
Nice work, ladies!
Washington State Criterium Championships
The State Championship Criterium race was held in the Georgetown neighborhood in Seattle in July. In the Cat 4 race, Moriah Patashnik fought her way onto the podium again, this time coming a little short and going home with the silver medal.
The Pro 1/2 race was a full hour of action-packed racing. The attacking started at the sound of the whistle and barely eased up. TGHer Anne-Marije Rook bridged over to a two-person break, which continued to expand until it was six-women strong. Together, the break worked hard and lapped the field but remained on the front to keep the pace high and the sprint clean. The sprinting for primes continued to be fierce before the -cat-and-mouse game started with two laps to go. The finishing sprint was a close one, and Rook won by only a wheel-length thanks to a bike throw.
The Cat 3s raced with the Cat 1/2 but were scored separately. Racing smartly and using her 1/2 teammates to her advantage, Lisa Coyne was the first 3 to cross the line, earning herself another State Champion title.
In April, we traveled to Monterey, California, with 25 women and 40 bikes to compete at the Sea Otter Classic. At this massive event, TGHers were able to compete in Enduro, XC mountain bike, downhill, road, crit, circuit and cyclocross races while spending quality time together in sunny California.
A big shoutout to our sponsors, TGH Board and support crew for making it all happen!
See some highlights, here:
Specialized is a new sponsor for Team Group Health this year, but they are definitely not new to cycling!
They have over 40 years of innovative and trendsetting pedigree behind them. A big part of their innovation is their attention to the female rider.
Everything from their bikes to their gloves, helmets, saddles and clothing all designed by Dr Andy Pruitt at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and the Body Geometry team at Specialized.
So whether you’re riding around the block with your kids, around the Puget sound, setting personal records or running the barriers at your first cyclocross race, you can rest assured that Specialized has got you covered with scientifically proven, women-specific products.
25 years ago, Sigma Sport started with the idea of creating what we now know today as cycling computers. They are known for offering high quality products at reasonable prices, and their brand is synonymous with reliability and outstanding customer service. They’re also super easy to program – definitely a plus when we’re itching to just get out and ride. Sigma Sport manufactures a lot more than just computers – check out their entire product line, which includes lights and sport watches, at http://www.sigmasport.com/. For more information, visit them on Facebook or Twitter.
We’d like to give special thanks to Marko Tubic, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, our longest running sponsor. Marko, we are so grateful for your support over the past 12 years, and for the fact that you proudly rock our kit year in, year out.
Mr. Tubic serves clients out of his Fremont-based office, located near N 36th and Dayton Ave N. Being that March is in the height of tax season, this is the perfect time to visit Marko. As a Financial Advisor, he can prepare for retirement, save for education and be a tax-smart investor. You can reach him at (206) 632-7211.
We’re so thankful to have Capo as our sponsor! Capo is not only a premier brand of cycling apparel and accessories – they’re the makers of our amazing custom Team Group Health kits, too!
Capo products are designed and developed in California, manufactured in Italy, and the fine Italian craftsmanship shows through the fact that they spare no detail: Even their accessories are highly technical and will appeal to any fashion sensibility.
We love the style and the custom touches we can put on the designs.
Whether it’s their embro during cross season or their stylin socks year-round, the ladies of TGH have some mad love for our new sponsor, Mad Alchemy.
Based in Broomfield, Colorado, is a company that produces a line of chamois creams, embrocation, and pre-ride oils. Embrocation, for those who might not know, is a salve used for rubbing on the body to relieve pain from sprains and strains; and certain blends produce a warming sensation that keep cyclists’ legs warm during the cold winter training months.
Mad Alchemy has received rave reviews for their non-greasy formula and pleasant scents. 100% pure and natural, and produced by hand, Mad Alchemy products are with love.
Our sponsor, KEEN Footware, provides us with stylish and comfortable footwear and technical hiking clothing for our off-the-bike activities. KEEN’s mantra is to live a HybridLife: Create great products, play outdoors, and care about the world around us.
Team Group Health members are proud ambassadors of KEEN Footwear – Stop by our tent at our upcoming Independence Valley Road Race on March 28, and you’ll probably see us using our fabulous KEEN duffel bags, shoe bags, and hoodies before and after we race!
Keen is based in Portland, and you can find them at many local retailers. Visit http://www.keenfootwear.com to learn more.