Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Busy time in July

So, I'm going to be a complete cheater and just adjust an update email that I sent out - I figure it details what I have been up to AND I don't have to rewrite it. I am tired...what can I say?? This is a pic of me sprinting to 2nd at the Yaletown Grand Prix out of a 6 person break.

July was BIKE month as I totalled 12 days of racing (not quite the 20 Tour days, but a whole lot for me!). It was a great time and I pulled out some very consistent results - the latest of which being on the weekend where I won the final criterium stage of the Fantastic Four BC Cup Stage Race (I knew there was a reason I was waiting to send in an update!)
I kicked off the month with a 2nd place finish at the Yaletown Grand Prix (despite a good crash in the opening laps) where I sprinted across the line behind Gina Grain (2005 Silver medallist in the Scratch Race on the track and 2007 National Road Race Champion) - a position that would become rather familiar in the weeks to come.
Later that week we (my Giant team and myself) flew out to Quebec for the National Road Championships where I competed in the criterium and road race events. In both instances I had solid performances, but luck was not on my side and the results were not what I was looking for - but that's bike racing - and it boosted my desire to bring home strong results at BC Superweek.
The first weekend of BC Superweek is a killer. The organizers unleash us on a 3 day stage race on the hills of White Rock. These races are always tough with the increased prestige of the racing over regular BC Cups and the courses are designed with attrition as the deciding factor. Without a doubt I was still tired from the travel and the racing out east and did my very best to survive the racing. The highlight of my weekend was coming 9th in the road race on Monday. The result itself isn't all that impressive, but I felt that it was the hardest day on the bike for me this year. In the end, I was able to fight to come 4th in a field sprint despite being unable to stand up because my legs were so very cooked!
The next two days were difficult as I had to focus on resting up HARD. Wednesday and Thursday were the Tour of Gastown and the Giro di Burnaby (respectively) - two races that I had been targeting all year. For Gastown the weather didn't cooperate and we started the evening show in a cold downpour (which despite what people in Calgary say, is not a regular occurence in Vancouver in July!). Initially I was a little concerned about how the cobbles would handle in the wet, especially after my crashing track record this year, but I ended up being one of only 6 or 7 in the field who never hit the deck. About halfway through, three girls got up the road, including one of my teammates (who would later be dropped) and we were never to see the front two again. This left us sprinting for the third and final podium spot on the day. Coming through the final corner with 300m to go, I was on Gina Grain's wheel (also the winner of the 2005 and 2006 Tour de Gastown). I thought that I was gold and I went to move around her to the right - but I chose the wrong side. As I was going to pass, her leadout girl moved right and I was boxed in and pulled in my brakes...just in time to see two girls fly to the other side of Gina, so I crossed the line in 6th. The following evening I was determined to better my result. Gina and I had a matchup for one of the midrace primes that came down to a bike throw that I eventually one by 3 one thousanths of a second - most likely my highlight of the week! Unfortunately, I was only able to come up with 4th in the final sprint...behind the same 3 girls (in the same order) who beat me in the night before's field sprint.
As there is no rest for the wicked, Friday had us out (in the pouring rain yet again) for the Tour of Delta hill climb. Determined that a minute and a half effort could suit me, I gave it hard for this particular hill climb. I was a little disappointed with my 6th place finish, but it placed me well enough in the omnium and I knew that the next day would suit me better. The crit was once again innondated with rain as we took to the streets of Ladner. My team worked well together and we were aggressive, unfortunately as we came to the line we messed it up a little and I was unable to come around the winner from New Zealand - however myself and my teammate Lisa were able to sweep the rest of the podium. I was happy with the 2nd place, but I really wanted a win! Hoping that the road race would appease me, I went into Sunday tired, but hopeful. On the third lap a group of 8 got away, including myself and my teammate (and eventual winner) Leah Guloien. The group was slowly widdled away by a quick pace and in the end I outsprinted my two companions for 5th place - and 4th place in the omnium. A successful Superweek overall, but much to improve upon for next year.
The morning following the Tour de Delta I was cooked and looking forward to a little rest. Alas, the end of Superweek was less of a sign of a break and more of a signal to switch over to preparation for Track Nationals to be held in Dieppe, NB at the beginning of September. Hence why on Friday morning, despite a slight sore throat and a desire to sit on the couch and watch the rest of the Tour, I was in a car heading down to Seattle for the FSA Grand Prix track meet. It turned out to be on of my very best decisions as needed the track time to get used to that type of racing. The first night was a bit of a disaster as I was the strongest girl out on the track, but my speed and track smarts appeared to have taken a vacation. However the next evening, I came back and took 3rd in the Miss-and-Out and 4th in the Scratch Race - both of which would have been more successful had I simply sprinted faster!!!
Which brings us to last weekend at the Fantastic Four Stage Race in Kelowna, and the second to last stop on the BC Cup circuit. The race was a hill climb on Friday, a road race and a time trial on Saturday followed by a criterium on Sunday. Both of the individual events were a little lacklustre on my part, but I was able to salvage a GC position by taking 4th in the road race on Saturday almost two minutes up on 5th and by winning the criterium on Sunday to secure 4th place overall. I appear to have a good relationship with 4th as I also currently sit 4th in the BC Cup standings with one stop remaining (which isn't bad considering I missed two rounds while I was down in the States earlier in the season).
It's now safe to say that my road season is coming to a close. I may jump on the TT bike for BC time trial championships this weekend and a team time trial in a few weeks, but we will wait and see how the track training is coming. I'm pleased with the consistency I showed over the year and I'm looking forward to showing my new fitness on the track in September where I'm looking to podium in the endurance events (Pursuit, Points Race and Scratch Race).

If you're interested in more detailed race reports, my team has a blog at which a few good pictures and fun accounts of racing. Also, our team website can be found at where I am currently the cover girl! Check it out - Jenelle has done an awesome job of it!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I can't seem to be consistent

Try as I might - I don't seem to have this blogging thing down pat this year. Last year I was awesome...this year I'm a little lacklustre.
Last weekend was the Yaletown Grand Prix - Canada Day crit downtown Vancouver = awesome. Was stoked - riding well, came second (need to work on that!). Then on Wednesday I headed out east here to Quebec for Nationals. Crit was Friday - team was stoked.
However bad luck came our way as Leah and myself made the 7 girl break before getting caught behind a crash and getting dropped (and making a mistake and not taking a free lap). Tough break. Falls under if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
I think I've been on the computer too long today as I'm writing in computer speak...
Roadrace is Tuesday - we'll see what we can do with that!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Philly: the Second Time Around

Two years ago I came down to Philadelphia for the Liberty Classic with the National Development team. I was tired from Montreal when I arrived and didn't have the best race, but the event left an impression. That evening when we left, I vowed to make it back to race this race yet again - today I echo those sentiments - I want to do well here!
I made it in safe and sound to my host house on Friday night (yours for only a $50 cab ride...) and walked into one of the most amazing houses I've ever seen. The family, the Carpenters have also been unreal - all you could ask of a host house. The weather was sweltering, but with promise of cooler temperatures later in the weekend. The good news: the weather people delivered. I woke up this morning to 23 degrees and overcast - dream conditions for the race. I rode out from the wall to the start of the race with my team in time to sit around for an hour before the start. All day I found that I was comparing to my previous experience; at the start line I was less nervous than last time, but nervous all the same! For the first 7km we rolled down at a pleasant speed - although my heart was racing at 80%! We hit the wall and I wasn't really where I wanted to be position wise, but I was pleased with how I went up it.
To be honest, the next 3 laps were pretty much the same - get into a position for the hill and give 'er up to the top. I was pleased with how I was riding as I made it over in the front peloton (not the front "challenge for the QOM points front") - like top 20-30, but I think all the other sprinters knew better than me and gambled that it was going to come back together - which it did... So I had calculated that the final time up Lemon hill (about 3km from the end) was gonig to be a pivotal moment, so I gave 'er going up the climb and Nicky was with me. Going into the final 2km we were money in like 8th and 9th wheel...then it swarmed. I was recovering my position from the swarm when a crash happened in front and slightly to my left - a bunch of sprinters - crazies :P So at that point I was slowed significantly and looked up to watch 20 girls go by much faster than I and Nurenberger at the front killing it. I rode it in - but was truly disappointed as I was SO ready to give Nicky the best ever lead out! Oh well, next year right???

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Worst Pro Stalker: Part Deux

I very well might be flattering myself in assuming that I might have a readership that follows what I do from year to year - but yesterday I had an experience that reminded me very much of a warm day on the Gold Coast when Chris and I spotted Robbie McEwan. Well yesterday while in the Denver airport (en route to Philly) I was casually walking to my gate when I saw who I thought was Floyd Landis. Going into panic mode (thank goodness I don't live somewhere where I see famous people all that often) and I made like 3 loops around trying to get a good look at him and decided that indeed it was the winner?!? of the tour de France. First thing I do? Text Chris: "Floyd Landis is in the airport - should I go talk to him?" All I needed was a little coaxing, but it turns out he's a super nice guy! I was so impressed at how he handled me approaching him - he even suggested that I try to find him at the race tomorrow when I went to take a picture, but my camera was dead (how cool am I?) - which is also why I don't have a pic with Floyd and I up here on my blog!

So I'm now hanging out at my host house in Philly - only blocks from the Manayunk Wall (what will make tomorrow's race interesting at a grade of 17% - luckily the Race the Ridge wall has helped me to put things in perspective and I think I can handle it). My road rash from last weekend (at provincials - ended up 5th...probably all you need to know - oh yeah and I crashed twice...maybe one day I'll think it was a good story, but for now it's a "learning experience" and I'll try not to make the 3 major mistakes that clouded my finish EVER again!) well it's healing and the legs are feeling good. I'm hoping for some slightly cooler temperatures (the SRM read 37C today on the ride), but everyone else is out there in the same temp, right?

I'm also really looking forward to seeing a few girls who I haven't seen in ages - including my teammate from last year Robin (who was my rock last year) and Genevieve Gagnon who I haven't seen in ages! Bike races are FUN! :P

P.S. Our host house is amazing and aparently when I'm done racing tomorrow, I get to come home to a killer partay...good times! Oh yeah that and they gave me the password to use their wireless - the key to my heart!

Monday, June 04, 2007


I'll write more in a bit - it's been a week since this happened, but I now have pics - so this is me on the podium in 3rd behind Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Verducci-Breakaway) the reigning US National Criterium Champion, and Kate Bates (T-Mobile) the reigning World Points Race Champion.

....2 weeks later

So that was pretty cool - good thing I made it to the podium presentation. There was no posted time for the race - they were just starting when the previous one finished - so I had a flight out of Newark at 6:30 and we originally had thought that we were racing at 11:00. Alas, the first race was off at 11:00 and we were the 4th race - yikes! Luckily it was a non-issue as we started around 1:30 and we were only 30 minutes from the airport, but there was a little stress involved. So anyway, after the race I booked it over to the van and packed my bike in the parking lot only to hear my name on the loudspeaker being called over for podium. I took off running (check out the flip flops - not the quickest method of transportation) and I barely made it! Could you imagine if I'd missed it? Dude I would have been heartbroken. I don't think that smile left my face all the way home (and I even travelled on Air Canada!)
The race itself was fun. I had to talk myself down at the beginning "Don't get dropped! No Jen, there is nothing over the last few days to indicate that you are in danger of getting dropped...but still don't get dropped!" So in order to compensate for this, I went out guns blazing. Perhaps I was a little too aggressive to begin with, but I was having fun following wheels - I figured that I had nothing to lose! I went for a couple of primes...only won the points one - ooops - should listen to the announcer better next time...
With three to go, I knew that it was time to find Nicky and start to settle down - essentially gamble that things would come down to a sprint. It was a little hectic through the last lap, but it was all together coming up the final straight. With about 600m to go my guardian Kelly Benjamin (she looks out for me - she's awesome) told me "for God sakes Jenny find a wheel" to which I followed her up. Once a little closer to the front I moved out to the right behind a Colavita rider and with about 300m to go I hear "Go Jenny!" from behind. Assuming that it was Nicky wanting a lead out I gave it everything I had and sat down on the gear. I looked to my left and saw that I was out front - only Kate Bates was slightly ahead - but not making any ground. With 100m I started waiting for everyone else to come around, but only Theresa flew by and with 10m to go, I knew that I had it....I crossed the line in essential disbelief - but stoked! The only crappy part being that I didn't really know anyone there, so there wasn't really anyone to celebrate with - I missed my Giant girls! The race has jazzed me up though - I'm ready to rock Philly - this time Nicky and I will get the lead out right! :P

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Getting there is half the battle...

Well hello there from _____ (insert town I don't know), Pensylvannia. Today I'm enjoying my day off between the Kelly Cup (yesterday) and the Tour de Somerville (tomorrow). We've been hanging out with some friends of Nicky's who have been unreal and put us up AND fed us - really what more could we ask for???
So leaving Raleigh at 8:30pm was interesting to say the least - the good news: we made it to our hotel in Baltimore that night - the bad news: it was 3:00am! Our first stop on the road was for dinner at Outback - I was baffled to learn that they have "curbside" service now. While convinient - it really does bring LAZY to a whole new level - the server even comes to your window to take your order - combine that with large portions and greasy food no wonder the obesity rates are high! Anyways, we got back on the road heading up north and saw a million cops. Seriously, I have never seen so many police cars on one stretch of road in my whole life. Mind you, the real highlight was when we came to a traffic jam come parking lot (at 1:30am) and got to witness a high speed chase in the opposite direction - very intense! :P
Right, back to bike racing - so we made it the rest of the way, got a good night's sleep in a hotel with a great deal of "character" and headed off to a park in the middle of Baltimore for the Kelly Cup. The course was a big sweeping over with one chicane leading into an uphill finish (think crit uphill finish). Ninety girls took the line and so when the commissaire told us to take a lap, I backed my bike up to the line (having taken notes at NVGP last year!) and got a good start position. Saturday's race was less all out hard than Fridays', but the larger pack was a bit to get used to. I was feeling quite comfortable about halfway through when I prime was called (I think the first of the day), coming round the final bend into the hill I noticed that no one had initiated a sprint yet, so I decided to give it a go. Catherine Powers (Aarons) tried to react, but I had caught her offguard and took the prime (Aveda hair products). As we rolled the top of the course I noticed that four of us (Powers, myself, Sarah Uhl (Cheerwine), and one other) had a gap. One of the girls tried to get us to work, but I was fried and we were brought back fairly quickly. The whole race played out in a similar fashion with small breaks going for it, but never getting too far. I was comfortable to stay near the front (nice change from last year!) and with 1 to go, I was 5th wheel coming through the start/finish with the pack strung out. Going down the backside there was a great deal of confusion among the lead outs and we bunched up pretty good going into the chicane. I lost Nicky about this point and went through the chicane hoping that I was on the right side of the pack. A small altrication through the corner had one of the more aggressive girls decide to retaliate and put me into the gravel with about 400m to go - good thing I've done all that cyclocross, eh? hee hee. I stuck to the inside of the bend - betting on the gap opening up like it had been doing previously (most notably on the lap immediately prior). I went for it and finished 8th! I knew that I could do better than 12th - and way more girls were present today too. I think that I'm still really excited to be actively racing NRC level races and I'm probably wasting a little energy, but I'm having a blast.
Racing at this level is addictive - good thing I'm back down here for Philly in a couple of weeks! I'm also looking forward to Somerville with a few corners and hopefully a little less heat. My SRM said it was 36 degrees yesterday - and my heart rate felt it, as I don't think I was below 190 for the last 20 minutes....crazy stuff...
Here's to having a blast in Somerville...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Some press from Raleigh...

Nicky after a kickin race - 3rd behind Kelly Benjamin and Laura Vanguilder (check out her quads!!!)

So I’ve made my return to the NRC – another year older and another year wiser. Raleigh Twilight Criterium – check – now off to Baltimore for the Kelly Cup Bike Jam. No rest for the wicked though as the transfer is 5.5 hours (I’m in the middle of it right now – aren’t laptops awesome!) and we finished racing at 7:30 were off up north to Maryland within the hour in order to race tomorrow afternoon…I’m excited.
The race itself was a nice warm up for me – I was able to be aggressive AND my teammate for the weekend got third! Yay for Nicky! I rolled across the line in 12th – my best NRC finish to date (but we’ll see about improving that over the next few days).
I took the line representing in orange with 30+ temperatures – which was a nice change to the frigid north – but takes a little getting used to. Today was honestly the second ride I’ve had this year without at least knee warmers…man it is cold in Canada! So the race started out as races do – I watched Kele Murdin move to the front and thought to myself “I think I’ve seen that move before!” I was finding it easy to move around up front so I thought that I would give it a go – I got off the front (mainly as the other girls were content to let me go) and was away for a lap and a half. After I rejoined the group I thought that perhaps my effort had been a little overzealous – but then Nicky got away with an Aaron’s rider and I was able to relax a little at the front trying to cover the bridge. In the end nothing was sticking and it became evident that we were going to be doing the bunch sprint. With 2 to go they announced a “gamblers’ prime” and I thought what the heck? Unfortunately one of the Aaron’s riders thought the same and came around me before the line to take the $200 – would have been nice! I was cooked but was pleasantly surprised when the pack slowed down around the backside, I did my best to move up, but due to my earlier effort had to content myself with 12th – which I’m okay with…but as previously mentioned – will improve upon. Baltimore here we come – plan: to get Nicky to the top of the podium!

I wrote this little blurb last night and today I was checking out the props Nicky and I got on Cyclingnews - check it out. There are a couple of pics (with cool captions) and a shout out to Nicky and I being a force in the race along with Aarons and Cheerwine...wikked - there were only 2 of us!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Halfway to Raleigh, NC

As I sit at YVR awaiting my flight to Minneapolis, I have been overcome by guilt from an email I received from Kika and Sandra yesterday. ;) They were wondering if I was still alive as I haven’t really logged any blog time in the last well…two and a half months… The good news – the majority of that time wasn’t terribly exciting – somehow a blog about how I spent 40 hours doing some guy’s taxes who’s worth multiple millions of dollars just isn’t terribly exciting in print (you see!). In fact that most notable expression of just how that period in my life went was when I checked out my Visa bill for the months of March and April – there were three vendors – and ONLY three vendors that ever received my patronage: Safeway (you have to eat), Starbucks (for once I needed caffeine to function), and Easypark (I need to get from work to the track back to work somehow)… Mind you, during those charming work weeks (at the beginning I received an email from my manager indicating that we were expected to work 60 hour weeks – to which I said “but I like sleeping.”) I didn’t see much of the outside world. Many a night the turn around between when I got in the door to when I was out like a light was at most 15 minutes – party of joy…ask Chris!
However, during that time, I did manage to pull a few notable cycling performances out of the bag and here they are: 5 top 5 finishes in the Spring Series “B category” (cat 3 men); BC Cup #1 – WIN!, BC Cup #2 – 4th so I am the current BC Cup leader; a 5th place on a hill top finish in Walla Walla, WA; two 3rd places at US stage races; and a bum weekend where I (in a great choice of weekends!) decided to feel off and ride like crap at the Pan Am trials…really happy about that…
Outside of riding and working there truly hasn’t been much. I’m starting to recover from the GO GO GO lifestyle of working 50+ hours/week, training and racing – but in all honesty, I would love to have someone pay for me to ride and be a full time athlete…any takers??? Just imagine the luxury :P
Oh well, until then I’ll have to live with heading down to Raleigh, North Carolina for a series of NRC crits along the east coast ending on Memorial Day Monday (which is a regular Monday for you and me in Canada) in Somerville, New Jersey. I’m stoked to meet and race with Nicky Wangsguard and Vitesse Cycling and in crits – not the stage race circuit that I insisted on racing last year!
Also for those of you who need time wasting (although I highly recommend Facebook if you’re looking for something to suck your life away) the Giant Women (and yes, the joke has been made…more than once) have a blog at that gives colourful commentary on racing in BC and the Northwest. My flight has been called – catcha later!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yes, I am alive...

I'm not exciting at the moment, but I'm alive.

It's been almost a year since we returned from Australia - and almost 3 months since I've written anything in here. I'm not convinced that anyone checks to see if I write anymore, but I thought I would start giving it a go - I mean come on - it's race season! I got home from work this evening and was inspired by reading everyone else's blogs - something that I used to do every single day...then I had to start making a living (oh boo hoo, I know!)

So what have I been up to? Well a whole lot of working, sleeping and training. All the stuff I like to do (oh yeah and the occasional time wasting on Facebook!) I suppose if I'm going to get nit picky, the race season actually started just after Christmas at the 6 day (where I won the women's ominium - little plug for me!), but the first official roadrace was out in Langley yesterday. The folks at Cycling BC put a little excerpt up at so check it out. You can see me struggling to stay with the boys in the break just before 2:00 (I think) and then my feeble attempt at a sprint shortly thereafter - which in the grand scheme of things worked out a-okay for me as I ended up 3rd in the B field (I was 4th, but one guy got relegated for a yellow line violation) - yay for me! I spent probably half of the race off the front in at least 3 different break aways and low and behold one finally stuck (thanks in great part to the efforts of Cody Campbell and Jonathan Page - who also were awesome at keeping me going in the break). It was a whole lot of fun and I think the first time that I've ever finished in the break - hoping that this is a sign of things to come!

Also we got our team kits this weekend and they are HOT! To go along with our HOT bicycles that ride like a dream. I'm a big GIANT fan at the moment - in fact to overdo a not funny joke I'm a giant GIANT fan :P. That's Alena, Kath and Leah modelling the kits at our Learn to Race on the I said HOT!

Here's to hoping I put a post up here or there before the end of tax season - keep your fingers crossed!!!