A New Beginning

So much has happened since my last blog post sooo very long ago, but I am in a place where I want to write again; I’m determined to catch up and remain updated going forward!  Here goes…

I left off at the beginning of 2013; I was struggling with my job and under a ton of stress; life was not great.  My health had improved, but I was nowhere close to where I’d hoped to be at that time.  Following my illness I dealt with a lot of inflammation and immense pain, low energy, poor sleep, heavy stress…  Every day.  The entire ordeal was very expensive and we were struggling to rebound from that financially.  I had worked so hard over years to get where I was wanting to be in my cycling career and I had lost it all.

However, I had a strong team/support and wanted nothing more than to represent them well.  I jumped into a few criteriums in the spring, refusing to admit that I wasn’t mentally or physically ready.

kinda tough to fake it in this field...photo: Chris Moore

kinda tough to fake it in this field…photo: Chris Moore

Instead of feeling excited, confident, and powerful, I felt panicked and weak; pretty much the exact opposite of how one would hope or expect to feel while racing bicycles at the elite/professional level.  After much deliberation, I made the tough choice to listen to my body and back off from racing.

I continued to ride; though I stuck to the mountain bike at my leisure.  When riding with groups, I struggled and suffered up the long mountain climbs, but somehow I could flip the switch and crush the descents.  A few weeks later, I traveled to Dirtfest, Dirt Rag Magazine’s mountain bike festival and had a blast.  That weekend alone changed everything for me.

Since the only thing I could do well was descend, I ordered a proper trail bike and baggies; eager to try enduro racing (a format where only the downhill portions of the race are timed).  That spring USAC threatened to punish pros from entering”forbidden races” that were not sanctioned.  This absolutely dismayed me and killed my motivation for returning to cross country racing, as it severely limited my race options and I was not a paid professional cyclist, nor did I have disposable income to fund myself to travel across the country where the majority of UCI races were.

Actually, we were barely scraping by.  Racing any format or discipline was by no means the most practical move at the time, but after being out for so long I needed to try or risk quitting the sport altogether.  Dave was behind me and we did what we could to make it work.

As it turned out that year, USAC postponed their enforcement of the rule but it left a bad taste for a lot of racers.  No enduros were sanctioned by any governing body, and this added to the allure of pursuing them.  I started at the Mayhem Enduro in Ohio, and won!  I won many times over what I had ever made in a cross country race and I was able to fund a lot of my season.

After that I caught the bug and we raced in Virginia, North Carolina, Utah, Colorado-everything from regional, grassroots racing to the international Enduro World Series level.

Beyond racing I was able to meet a ton of amazing riders and new friends.  Enduro racing is very laid-back and supportive; you are casually climbing or riding to the next stage and there is a lot of time to talk and hang out with others between timed stages.  Dave and I were able to explore new trails through our travels with our homestays and I attended a women’s-only downhill camp at Snowshoe-was one of the most memorable experiences ever!

As it happened it turned out enduro racing was just the thing I needed-there was no pressure and I focused on pushing my limits and comfort level while staying safe.  It’s so cool to see progression in mountain biking; that summer I rode a lot of features I wouldn’t have attempted previously.  In turn I got stronger and made another step in my recovery.

Moving into the fall I raced cyclocross for Asheville Cyclocross and had a bit of fun on my singlespeed; I also traveled to some UCI races in the midwest and southeast.  It wasn’t close to where I had left off but it was a step forward from 2012.

I finished up at USA Cyclo-cross Nationals in Boulder and had three pretty disappointing results but the experience was fulfilling; I finally started to see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I had been through a couple of incredibly difficult years on and off the bike and I was over the uncertainty and struggle.  I’m so glad that I stuck with it when I was so close to giving up!  Little did I know what was in store….

In 2014 I joined the Pisgah Tavern/Oskar Blues women’s mountain bike team and I was thrilled!  In February, on my 30th birthday, I raced Southern Cross with everyone.  SO painful but fun!  I picked my way through the bottlenecks at the start and despite feeling unprepared I just cleared my head and rode as hard as I could for roughly 50ish miles and 6400′ of climbing.  I thought I was in second but the mystery lady ahead that I was chasing turned out to be a dude with long hair.  I finished 11 minutes ahead of the second place woman-that was a wonderful birthday gift!  I gained some much-needed and renewed confidence and motivation for the year.

photo: Donna Combs Garcia

Shortly thereafter, Dave and I got engaged at Tsali, on the first trail we rode when we visited NC.  Within that week I quit my job and started a new one…

The next month was busy with the team at some regional races and group rides.  At the Southern Classic Series race at Angler’s Ridge in VA we encountered some bizarre 70 degree weather with snow–I loved sliding around in the mud but it destroyed my drivetrain and I suffered some mechanicals.

Warrior Creek couldn’t have been more different and it was a blast to race the hard, dry, fast roller coaster course with Madonna in the Female Duo category.  We held on to second place and the whole team did really well.

A few weeks later I returned to the Whiskey Off-Road, my last race before I got sick in 2012.  The weather was pretty extreme:

I viewed this race as my return to the Pro XC circuit.  I didn’t do very well but I was very happy to be there again.  I was grateful for the opportunity to travel and ride on vastly different and beautiful trails.

Dave had been out west for work since the engagement and I traveled back with him after the race.  We got to explore some trails in Sedona, Oklahoma, and the Grand Canyon, where we had a harrowing experience on the primary overlook.  I think I experienced every possible emotion during that trip.

From there I stayed in the area and participated in our team’s weekly women’s mountain bike rides from The Hub into Pisgah, and did the Karl’s Kaleidoscope 50 mi. race, Pisgah Enduro, Summer Short Track, and Aiyana XC races:

where we GOT MARRIED!  Suffice to say tht it really was the best day/weekend of my life.  The full gallery is here

There was no time for a honeymoon as cyclocross season with Don Walker Cycles was quickly approaching!

That’s quite enough of an update for now; now that cyclocross has wrapped up and the new year is in full swing, please stay tuned for more!  Thanks for reading–

resurrected: part 2

I only took a month off from cycling during my illness but it felt like an eternity.  I had been volunteering weekly with Trips for Kids but had a hard time keeping up with the kids…that was a huge bummer!

preparing for a mountain bike lesson!

I accepted that my summer race goals were dashed but the worst thing was not being able to ride for fun.  Short, easy rides felt like the hardest challenge and many times I had to turn around and go home only a few minutes into the ride.  I would start to make some progress only to set myself back; there were no warning signs when I surpassed my limit.  Nevertheless I listened to my body and did my best to respect what it was telling me…

The summer flew by and before I knew it cyclocross season arrived.  I returned to Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross for my fourth season.  The team and its partners were like family and offered tremendous support.  For the first time ever, the Cyclocross World Championships were to be held outside of Europe-in Louisville, KY, the team’s home base!

The beginning of the season held a ton of anticipation, pride and excitement for us:

I wanted nothing more than to represent well; I gave racing my best try but felt like a shell of myself.  I tried so hard to stay positive and patient; progress would come but it happened so slowly and at miniscule increments.  It was tough to keep it all in perspective.

With Worlds coming to the US, everyone was faster than ever–eager to make the highly selective national team.  Many European riders came over to race and prepare as well.  I had earned a lot of UCI points in 2011 and had decent starting positions.

Tired of sitting out I gave a few USGP races a try:

The Smartwool Cup in Fort Collins; photo: Blair Fraley

The Derby City Cup in Louisville; photo: Blair Fraley

I could stay on pace for two laps and then completely ran out of gas but I was so grateful to have the chance to try.  Even though I only started with them it was awesome to be part of such strong and large women’s fields!

Halfway through the season I made the tough decision to take another break from racing.  I was satisfied by finally seeing some improvement in my health but I needed a lot more time to fully recover.  I transitioned to a support role and helped Dave in the pits:

Despite my personal disappointments the season ended on a high note when two of our riders made the junior Worlds team and we got to see them race on home soil in February.  I had never been to a World Championship before and the experience was like none other!

our friends from WI and NC!  photo: Bryan Frazier

our friends from WI and NC! photo: Bryan Frazier

my new friends Billy and Bobo from Belgium!

my new friends Billy and Bobo from Belgium!

The World Championships were incredibly inspiring and boosted my motivation when I was very close to giving up.

I was excited to return to Pepper Palace for 2013:

photo: Paul Christopher

photo: Paul Christopher

Three months turned to eight months turned to twelve and while I finally began to feel normal in my everyday life I still struggled a lot on the bike.  I had lost so much strength, fitness, confidence, patience…however I was slowly getting better and there were occasional glimpses of the rider I used to be.    The support from my boyfriend, coach, friends, family, and teams kept me going!

resurrected

So…I was terribly wrong in my last post when I wrote that the next update would come quickly.  I thought for sure that my illness would be brief but that wasn’t exactly the case.  More than a year later, I am finally healthy and ready to write again.  Let me take you back…way back….

The quick and dirty summary of my year begins with the Blythewood Omnium a week following my last race report of the 2012 Mellow Johnny’s Classic.  I won the time trial, criterium (my first ever) and circuit race:

423644_10150574811131736_714829745_n

I felt confident going into the SERC opener at Tsali and took the hole shot:

never looking back…

It was my first Pro win and first time leading a race start to finish.  I was stung by a bee on the pre-ride; the swelling rapidly spread to my knee:

There was no time for bee stings and luckily I recovered in time for the Presbyterian Invitational, the most prestigious criterium in the country, and my second crit ever.  It was the first time I signed in for a race on a huge board and I enjoyed how important that felt.

I was told to position myself at least halfway in the field from the start.  I did so but never expected all of the riders behind me to drop off within the first few laps!  Suddenly I was in the worst place to be: yo-yoing at the back.  I made it through most of the race but blew myself up and got pulled before the finish.  I was terribly disappointed but had a decent race the next morning.

A week later I had a chance to redeem myself at another national criterium: Sunny King.  I was working for my teammate and was in the mix the entire time:

Five laps to go I thought I was going to die, but I remembered my disappointment from Presby and that allowed me to dig deeper.  I definitely did not want to let my teammate down…she won the field sprint and I finished a few places behind her.

I was very, very sick the rest of the evening and might have scarred some families during the men’s race…let’s just say, bad idea:

Even so I raced a hilly road race the next morning and rode surprisingly well; I found myself in a paceline with some legendary riders.  I was nervous about making a mistake but everything was fine; before long it felt as though I had always been there.  I knew most of my matches were burned before I started the race but I gave everything I had for my teammate until I had to stop.

A few days later it was off to Arizona for the Whiskey Off-Road.  I was absolutely thrilled to see my first Saguaro cactus:

This event was one of the best I have been to!  The festival atmosphere was full of excitement; it kicked off with a fat tire criterium downtown.

 The tires I had planned to race the crit on were no match for a short desert spin but luckily I found some MTB slicks in a dumpster.  No joke:

I was excited to put my newfound crit skills to use but the course was more selective than tactics or drafting.  It was painful!

image: Cyclingnews

image: Cyclingnews

I swapped my tires back to my xc race setup and enjoyed the views, suffered my way through the infamous 13 mi. climb and cramped on Cramp Hill in the 50 mile race.  I didn’t have a great result but I loved the course and the challenge.

Through this early season my focus was always on the World Cups and Nationals.  I had planned to race Mont Sainte Anne and Windham once again for mountain bike and Namur and Heusden-Zolder for cyclocross.  All of the hard work was paying off and I was racing better than ever…

Three days after I returned home from Arizona I got a fever that didn’t go away for a few weeks.  I woke up every night soaking wet and shivering, couldn’t eat, ride, do much of anything.

I didn’t have insurance and had a ton of tests done that turned up nothing.  They thought it was encephalitis, mono, dengue fever…countless other diseases.  A month of this and it got to the point where I couldn’t walk without support and I knew something was terribly wrong.  I was treated for Lyme Disease though it was never diagnosed.  The treatment helped, but it was miserable to take.  I was really grateful that Dave took care of me.

I watched all of the World Cups live online and substituted race weekends for weddings, tubing, hikes, swimming holes, things that I wouldn’t have had time to do if I was racing.  Those moments were a silver lining but I was still in a tremendous amount of pain.  Still I never doubted that I’d be back by the fall for cyclocross…

Catching Up…

When my last post was published in the beginning of May I was about to race the Whiskey Off-Road in Prescott, Arizona.  My season was off to a great start and I had a queue of race reports to write up.  Three days after I returned to North Carolina, I was hit with the worst illness I’ve ever experienced for several weeks (more on this later).  Now a month has passed and I am finally starting the road to recovery, ready to write again…

For much of May I was too sick to blog and when it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to ride, much less race anytime soon I was too discouraged to write my reports.  Currently the rest of the summer season is on hold and my big plans for the  Mont-Sainte-Anne/Windham World Cups and MTB Nationals are canceled.

As disappointing and frustrating this has been, I have had lots of time to think and renew my outlook on and love of racing.  It demands so much more than simply training and showing up at the starting line; with Dave’s support I’ve really worked hard to shape my life (our lives, really) around the sport, both making sacrifices so that I have a chance to rise to the next level.  It’s been a huge struggle and I am so lucky and thankful to have the additional support of our family, friends, my coach, Gordy Paulson and Speed Cycling, massage therapist Tavis Cummings, Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training team sponsors Jay Hirst and O’Neill Ryan.

Hopefully the entire road/mountain bike season is not compromised but there will be more to look forward to once I am healthy again.  In the meantime, I still have lots of stories from the early season to share.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned…I promise the next post will come quickly!

 

 

ProXCT#1 Mellow Johnny’s Classic

March 2 came (and went) very quickly; before I knew it I was headed to Texas to see if I could remember how to race my mountain bike.  I wasn’t quite ready mentally or physically to jump into racing at that level so soon after cyclocross (most racers had been preparing since November and only one other lady had completed a full cross season), but Mellow Johnny’s puts on a great event and I had been to the previous two editions.  I knew I couldn’t miss it!  Plus it was only halfway across the country and not all the way like most of the ProXCT races…

This was my first time at a season-opener (during an Olympic year, nonetheless) and I anticipated a very fast race with guns blazing.  I had reasonable expectations and looked forward to gaining some good experience.  Thanks to my team’s support I was able to fly into Austin and avoid what had started to become an annual 20-hour drive each way.  It made a world of difference; I arrived early on Thursday and had some time to relax,visit with some friends in town and build my bike.  Later I met up with my new teammate, Mariske, the South African U23 champion and we traveled west to Johnson City…

It was really nice to travel with a teammate–I tried to learn Afrikaans and Mariske (who moved to the US in January) noted that Texas looked a lot like home.  There were even zebras at the exotic animal farm in town!

We pre-rode the course on Friday and it was great to see everyone on the circuit…I am finally starting to feel “at home” with my mountain bike family and less of an outsider at the ProXCTs.  Here is a video from Team Jamis/the promoter’s website that provides a good idea of what the 5k course looked like:

I was more excited than nervous though at the start I admit that I felt a bit like I forgot my books on the first day of school.  My call-up was decent and I lined up first on the second row, right behind the World Champion.  I’m not sure when that will happen again but it was pretty cool to look up and see rainbow stripes straight ahead!

The course was very technical and tight with little opportunity to eat or pass.  A good start was critical and I had a decent one-sitting in the top ten with Mariske:

photo: MTB Mike.com

photo: MTB Mike.com

I held my position for a while but didn’t quite have the kick for the steep climbs and lost a few positions.  I kept the riders ahead of me in sight and tried to stay patient and smooth.  The new course was really fun and my skills were pretty solid at the high pace; I started to feel more confident as I made a pass.

photo: MTBMike.com

This was one of my first real efforts on the new BMC and it was just awesome!  Really stiff, responsive and nearly 5 pounds lighter than my full suspension bike.  I just made the switch to a 2×10 gear set-up as well and it was a very easy transition.  My stock bars look wide on the small frame, but they’ve offered so much more control and help with positioning on climbs.

photo: C.Denise Shaw

The weather was perfect; a little on the cool side, actually…SO much better than the triple digits of previous years!  I never doubted that I would continue to move up until I lost both of my contacts midway through the race.  It was very dusty and windy and when I blinked, they just popped out.  My vision isn’t too terrible but enough that on such a technical trail my depth perception was thrown off quite a bit.

From then on, it was just damage control to get through the race and not crash.  Fortunately I knew my lines; I just had to be more cautious and that cost me a lot of time.  To do well at a race this level chances have to be taken and there is no room for caution.  Mariske had a very respectable race and I was really proud of her.  I still finished on the lead lap but not exactly where I hoped or knew I could be.

It’s really tough to race year-round and impossible to be on top form the entire time as well.  Aside from the inability to see clearly I felt more positive than negative about the experience and considered it really good and valuable training.  We had some more time to catch up with friends in Austin and then it was back to North Carolina in a heartbeat!

As chasing the ProXCT series is unrealistic from a logistical standpoint this year I am sort of feeling things out and building fitness, form, skills, experience…It is only my second season training with structure and though I have already seen tremendous progress from working with my coach, Gordy Paulson, I feel that I have no limits and am only getting started!  I am excited to see where racing can take me and have a lot more opportunity to excel with my team this year.

Thank you to Pepper Palace, Spin-Tech Training/Beer City Bicycles, Speed Cycling and Omnium Bodyworks for supporting me and making racing possible!

Greenville Spring Training Series

Almost exactly a month after CX Nationals I found myself in on the starting line again–a familiar place, but this time I would stay on pavement with skinny tires…unknown territory for me.  The first Greenville spring training race at the Donaldson Center Airport was my third road race ever and first with a team.  I was pretty excited to have a role/work for a common goal and hoped I wouldn’t make any rookie mistakes!

A lot of colds were going around and I was feeling under the weather.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from myself or others as forty of us casually rolled off the line.  It took some restraint not to blast out of the gate with a cyclocross start!  The course was pretty straightforward; relatively flat with some rolling hills and a lot of wind.  My job was to cover breaks, attack and lead out our sprinter with the goal of getting one of our girls upgrade points.  Our team had never ridden together before but we communicated well enough to maintain control of the race.

I was aggressive but smart and was able to cover any move with confidence.  Halfway through our captain on the day asked me how I felt.  I had been working hard with little rest and was tired, but I knew other riders could hear me, so I said I felt good.  She told me to go ahead and not look back so I did..somehow saying I felt good out loud made me believe it was true and I attacked hard up a hill on the backside of the 7 mile loop.  A minute or two later I started to feel the effort and thought for sure that I’d be caught right away.  I looked behind and couldn’t see anyone so I kept going and pretended it was a time trial.

I figured I had at least forty minutes/cyclocross’ worth of very hard effort in me and passed a rider from the men’s race ahead of us who only had one leg.  Suddenly nothing hurt anymore and my strength was renewed.  My gap extended to over a minute and lasted just over a full lap…much longer than I anticipated given that the course did not suit breakaways.  Besides my intention was always to help out my teammates in the field.

To my dismay it was one of my girls who had brought the field back to me and she had another rider on her wheel.  The three of us had a bit of a gap but it was not sustainable with one lap to go.  I directed our efforts towards our key rider and eventually my teammate stopped working for the wrong girl; the field came back together.  A few riders tried to get away but I did my best to bring them back.

Our lead-out did not exactly work as planned and I was not fresh enough to sprint for the win.  Luckily our key rider was rested and got a high enough placing in the bunch sprint that she earned her points.  The goal was met even if it didn’t happen as we expected!  There was more positive than negative to take away in our first try.

The Spring Training Series is sponsored by Hincapie Sportswear and though Big George doesn’t always show up, he was there with his BMC development team:

We couldn't deny his request for a photo op...!

A week later we had another chance at Fork Shoals.  This race had constant rolling hills and was very windy.  The wind seemed to pick up more as the race continued.  Before the race Dave had warned me to stay out of the wind but of course I found myself in it nearly the entire time.  I ended up chasing down attacks throughout the race and controlled the pace for much of it since no one wanted to work.  Besides I felt safer in front and the pace was so slow it was getting boring.  I still rode within myself and no one tried to attack me…

I was able to protect my teammates and we finished first, third and I was eighth in the sprint so I was really happy with that.  We worked well together and again, met our goal.  It was refreshing to try something totally different in a race scenario and satisfying to play a role in something larger.  I was surprised at how much I liked racing on the road and started to reconsider a few weekends on my race schedule…my Cat 2 upgrade and the team’s Domestic Elite status were approved, so it looks like I’ll be diving into a few pro road events this season!

I wouldn’t have ever considered much of a future on the road if it weren’t for Pepper Palace, Spin-Tech Training/Beer City Bicycles, Studio 7 Multisport and my teammates.  Up until now I’ve been riding an aluminum 9-speed road bike (my first “real” bike ever), and while it is a solid bike and has never disappointed, riding my BMC Road Racer is inspiring to say the least!

However my dreams of road racing remained just that as a few days later I found myself on a plane to Texas with my hardtail for the first national mountain bike race of the season…

my “off season” recap

Every year it seems that the off season flies by and is as busy as ever!  This winter was no exception as the cyclocross season ended a month later while mountain bike began a month…earlier.  Hmm.  I am always sort of planning ahead while sorting out logistics for the current season but I still had a LOT of work and catching up to do…

On top of that, “winter” never really happened this year in Western North Carolina.  I took a few weeks off from structured training but couldn’t completely avoid the trails.  There were more than a few occasions where I was comfortable in short sleeves!  In fact I was able to mountain bike on my birthday in February-a first!

my backyard...

As much as I love winter (and I really do!) I love trail riding year-round even more…

I’m happy to announce that in 2012 I am riding for a new team, Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training p/b Asheville Bicycle Racing Club.  It is primarily a road team; in fact, we just earned a designation as one of eleven women’s “Domestic Elite” teams!  HERE is the press release from USA Cycling.

But wait, since when have I raced on the road?  The answer is basically “never” and my focus this summer continues to be the North American Mountain Bike World Cups.  The ProXCT (domestic professional race series) has five stops this summer, similar to last: Texas, California, Colorado, Montana and Wisconsin.  Then Nationals are again in Idaho.  And I live in North Carolina..on the eastern half of the country dismissed by USA Cycling.  It is not exactly practical for me to chase the entire series from a financial/logistical perspective.  Moreover, due to the Olympics this year the timing of the schedule is difficult to follow: two races in early March; one each in mid-June, July and August….

However, the Southeast has outstanding opportunities on the road circuit.  I mean, there is a reason that United Healthcare and Colavito have bases in Asheville and pros from BMC, Kenda/5-hour Energy, Exergy Twenty 12, Specialized Lululemon…to name a few…live or train nearby?

For the first time I have a local team to work with and I feel strongly that some more time on the skinny tires will aid my weaknesses off-road…  I am very fortunate in that my team supports my goals in multiple disciplines and I have the flexibility to choose my schedule.  I’ll be racing the BMC Team Elite TE01 hardtail and Road Racer SL01 bikes:

ready to ride!

Every year Asheville plays host to a number of cycling team camps.  We were fortunate to have camp in town, as living in these amazing mountains is like being on vacation every day!  Unlucky for us our camp took place on the only weekend it snowed ALL WINTER!  Spin-Tech Training has a nice studio with computrainers and we were able to utilize the equipment and snack on delicious Pepper Palace products!

We spent three hours in the freezing cold for our photo shoot with Paul Christopher (Christopher Graphics) and Kristi Eidson Hedburg.  Beauty is pain, right?

here are some behind-the-scenes shots:

Cara-giving Paul some tips!

Kate and I forgot our spray paint!

coffee break in the car to warm up!

we were joined by a random zombie:

you know, just the usual zombie..

model zombie joins the fun! (photo: Paul Christopher)

Asheville was a finalist to host the 2014-15 Cyclocross National Championships and like tons of others we showed USA Cycling our support:

photo: Paul Christopher

As it turns out, all three potential hosts earned bids and after Boulder and Austin, Asheville will host Nationals at the Biltmore Estate in 2016.  It’s a long way, but I am already excited!

the Biltmore Estate. photo: romanticasheville.com

The team photos turned out wonderfully–HERE is a link to Paul’s gallery.

presenting 2012 Pepper Palace/Spin-Tech Training! (photo: Paul Christopher)

Left to right: me, Cinthia Lehner (USA), Janet Trubey (USA), Klara Rossouw (RSA), Bergen Watterson (USA), Erica Chard (USA), Cara Applegate (USA), Kate Ross (USA), Stephanie Bunnett (ZW), Amy Alexander (USA), Mariske Strauss (RSA) and Allison Arensman (USA).

Our talented roster includes riders from three countries, covers junior, U23, collegiate, elite and masters levels.  I am looking forward to a great season with these ladies!

Thanks to all at Spin-Tech Training, our team director, Sonni Dyer, Paul and Kristi for a great weekend at camp.  I am pleased to continue working with my coach, Gordy Paulson (Speed Cycling) and massage therapist Tavis Cummings  (Omnium Bodyworks).

And just like that, break was over, training resumed in full swing and the first races began in mid-February…