Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Holmes Wins On the Road!

Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference Championships Report

The weather in Utah has been so crazy lately, it will be nice all week, like 70s and 80s in Salt Lake and then it will snow like crazy over the weekend! This past weekend was no different, I woke up to snow on the ground Saturday morning in Park City. So, I drove down to Salt Lake and luckily I avoided the rainstorms for a hard three hour ride up Big Mountain, with the road all to myself because it was still closed to cars due to the bad weather. Then, I headed out to help with the crit my collegiate team, University of Utah was hosting. I watched as all of the riders were suffering through the cold and rain, and for some of them it was their second race of the day! By the way I’ve decided that the Women’s B category has the toughest athletes out there, I think half of the field wasn’t wearing gloves. Every lap was getting more and more wet, and all of the pink fingers made me watch in awe as each girl stayed in the race determined to battle the cold weather. The road race scheduled for Sunday morning was near my home in Park City, with a hard course that included some climbing. I was planning on doing the race to get a good hard workout in, but due to the snow that was accumulating at higher elevations the race had to be moved to the Larry Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele (by the way they were awesome working with us and accommodating our last minute change of plans). Some of you may recognize the venue name because the men’s Tour of Utah had a TT at the same location. I wasn’t too excited to race a flat course, but I woke up Sunday morning to snow in Park City and decided it would be hard to motivate to do a hard ride in bad weather. I made myself a delicious breakfast and gathered up all my gear, an entire rolling suitcase full of cold weather cycling clothes (thank you Voler!), and drove the hour and 15 minutes to Tooele and escaped the snow. I wasn’t sure the road race was going to happen because it was raining and cold in the Salt Lake Valley, but when I showed up to the venue the Women’s B and Men’s B and C races were in progress. I decided to commit to doing the race, and hoped I wouldn’t freeze or have to ride the entire race alone (sometimes I’m not too smart in road races). I got dressed, did a short warm up because it was freezing out and lined up for the pre-race instructions. I was a bit nervous because I’m just getting back to racing and riding after having surgery on my wrist in January. Sea Otter was fairly nerve racking for me and I assumed a road race with 30 women surrounding me and having to go through several corners was going to be horrifying. I decided to get to the front at the start to get a feel for the course (we weren’t able to pre-ride it) and so I wouldn’t be worried about everyone around me. I started to calm down a bit, and decided that I was going to ride as hard as I could for the six, seven-mile laps. I really want to get my fitness back and suffering in a race is the best way to do it! Luckily, I brought along my Hammer HEED and gel flask so I could stay hydrated during the race. I covered several attacks and even went off the front a few times on my own, I was never able to stay away, but boy was I getting a great workout! After about an hour I was sure I’d burned all of the matches in my book, I wasn’t sure how hard I would be able to go for the rest of the race. At the beginning of the last lap two girls attacked, I decided to chase them down and keep riding as hard as I could because it was starting to rain. The last thing I felt like doing was spending time in the freezing rain! The group eventually caught me about half way through the lap, but the rain was getting stronger and I didn’t want to spend the next 15 minutes working out a sprint finish. I took another hit off my gel flask and drank some more HEED, went to the front of the group and went as hard as I could to get in one last hard effort and to speed things up before the finish. I looked back a few minutes later and I was alone! I was surprised and decided to put my hands in the drops and go as hard as possible, and I managed to stay away and crossed the finish line in first place! After the race awards were given out and I was all smiles because I was warm and out of the rain. Brad Duncan from the U of U cycling team did a great job planning the race and dealing with the bad weather, and Joel Hsia spent a lot of time dealing with registration and even found time to take photos.

Cohutta Race Report from Danielle

On April 25 I competed in the first 100 miler of the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, the Cohutta 100 in Ducktown, Tennessee.

The race started with a 3-mile climb up a paved road. I found myself in the lead group of men and tried to tuck myself into the group to conserve energy. Temps were in the 50’s and my legs felt great. Eventually the road start to pitch into a higher grade, and the group started to break apart. I entered the singletrack as the first female and kept a fast pace to maintain my lead.

My new Tomac Carbide was amazing and seemed to float over all of the rocks and roots. Riding it was absolutely effortless and I found myself smiling every time I bombed down a descent. It was so much fun!

The first 20 miles passed in a blur and before I knew it the singletrack was over and it was time for some serious climbing. Eventually, Carey Lowery (Specialized) and Betsy Shogren (Cannondale Factory Racing) caught up to me on one of the long descents, and the 3 of us were within minutes of each other for quite some time.

By 10 a.m. I started to feel the effect of the heat. For the past month in Michigan I had been training in 40-50 degree weather. By noon the temperature had risen to 88 degrees and it felt absolutely BRUTAL. I could feel my power fading and focused on remaining hydrated. By the time I reached Aid Station 4 (Mile 65) I had worked my way back into 2nd place but had a mechanical shortly after.

This cost me some time and I rode alone for most of final miles. I finished with a time of 8:33, which was good for 3rd place. More race coverage and photos can be found at:


In two weeks I’ll be returning to Tennessee to compete in the 12 hours of Dirt, Sweat and Gears. It’s race #4 in the USA cycling ultra endurance series, where I’m currently tied for 2nd place.

Thanks again to all of my sponsors!
Danielle Musto

Four Podiums in Two Days!

Kenda athletes scored well this past weekend with Amanda Carey and Kathy Sherwin taking the top spots at the Kenda Cup West in Santa Ynez, CA. On the men's side, Andy Schultz, despite losing his rear brake at the start of the race, pulled off a 3rd place. He managed to cross the finish line running after a crash and flat near the end almost derailled his race.

Danielle Musto also landed on the podium at the Cohutta 100 NUE, taking 3rd place after 100 miles of riding.

More stories and photos to follow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sea Otter Wrap

All six Kenda XC athletes made their way to Monterey, CA for the annual Sea Otter Classic this past weekend. They were joined in the tech area by John Tomac, Joel Smith and Clarke Dolton from Tomac Bikes who were on hand to show the new sub 22 lb. Carbide SL full suspension bike the team will be riding later this summer. As always, the Kenda crew Jim, Matt, Stefano and Nick were on hand to help throughout the weekend too.

This year was unique for the Sea Otter in that it was sunny, hot and dry throughout the weekend, something the athletes weren't used to this early in the season. We were happy to see Jeff Kletter from Kinesys who brought plenty of sunscreen which we really needed! Many of the pros had just returned from the World Cup in South Africa so the pro field had plenty of competition to contend with in both the short track and XC races.

In the men's short track, Colin Cares posted his first top ten of the season with Andy Schultz finishing in 14th riding the Tomac Carbide for the first time in a race. On the women's side, Kathy Sherwin took 15th, Amanda Carey 19th and Heather Holmes at 25th (still riding in a wrist brace).

On Sunday, with temperatures soaring above 90, the officials cut the XC races short, but that wasn't enough to help many racers avoid the effects of the heat. Almost every athlete came through covered in goose bumps, a sign of dehydration setting in. Kathy Sherwin survived the heat to finishing in 15th, Amanda Carey in 23rd and Heather Holmes in 32nd. Zephanie Blasi succummed to the heat and was taken off the course to cool off at the medical tent. On the men's side, Colin Cares survived the heat to take 23rd spot and Andy Schultz dropped out before reaching the dehydration point. In all, 1/4 of the men did not finish, most due to the extreme conditions.

You can view more team photos on our Facebook page.

Extra thanks for David Clopton (Finish Line), Ed Fonda (Voler) and Shannon Halsam (Tifosi Optics) for being there to support us too!

After a few days off to recuperate, the team will meet again next weekend in Santa Ynez for the 4th Kenda Cup West race.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sagebrush Safari

Kenda athletes dominated the Sagebrush Safari race at Bonelli Park this past weekend. This was the 3rd stop on the Kenda Cup series for 2009 and a good indication of where we are as a team heading into the Sea Otter April 17th.

Andy Schultz took 2nd place for the men after battling with Sid Taberlay all day. On the women's side, Amanda Carey took 3rd and Kathy Sherwin took 5th giving the team 3 podium spots for the weekend. Does Jim Wannamaker look like a happy camper in this photo with the team? I think he does.