Written by Crystal Anthony
What do microwaves, “Stand and Deliver,” and Evelyn Stevens all have in common? Immediate results. Instant gratification is the appeal of a gourmet dinner ready in 3 minutes, a teacher who transforms an entire classroom of gang members into top calculus students by their senior year, and an athlete so talented she can be sitting behind a desk one year and standing on the podium at TT nationals the next.
An All-Star Nature Valley Grand Prix 2011
Written By Elle Anderson
One of the best parts of this sport is that racing is always full of surprises, and one year is different than the next. I’m still healing up from the bruises, scrapes and injuries from all too many crashes during this year’s 6-stage, 5-day stage race around the Twin Cities. But luckily, I’ve still come out smiling.
Photo taken by Cory Funk
Last year’s Nature Valley was my first attempt at the largest women’s race in the country, and also my first of two years qualifying for the Collegiate All-Star team. I got a lot of the sharp learning curves out of the way in 2010 and knew better what to expect this time around. Since I’ve recently graduated from Dartmouth College, I’ve raced the collegiate cycling circuit as well as the road season for the past 4 years. The Collegiate All-Star team is a one-time composite team only for Nature Valley that brings together the top 6 collegiate women in the country and gives us a dose of professional women’s racing. We wear our collegiate jerseys but have matching shorts. It is a fantastic experience, but most of the time we also gracefully fill up that last team spot in the team standings by the end. It is safe to say that it is not a forgiving race.
Race report written by Crystal Anthony
Mist filled the town of Woodstock, VT in a sort of friendly, totalitarian occupation. The air demanded attention; it wanted to be seen, felt, and smelled. Inhaled whiteness left a mossy fragrance as it crawled down into our lungs. Our destination – a Caribbean restaurant – added to the illusion that Rebecca, Christina and I were strolling down a sidewalk in Martinique, or St. Lucia say. Something about how perceptible the atmosphere was transported us to the present moment, a vacation from the chores and demands of everyday life and the start of a weekend of Vermont bicycle racing.
Race report submitted by Crystal Anthony:
For over a year, I’ve had a 404 rear wheel boxed up in my closet. Having snagged a good deal on a pair of Zipps, I had immediately set up the front wheel but clung to my Powertap rear wheel like a security blanket and left the Zipp unopened. After lugging the informative but weighty Powertap up 4500 feet of climbing at Battenkill, I questioned whether it was worth knowing in data form that I had a new 5-minute power record, especially when the pain in my lungs and legs seared that impression into my weary mind even as I cracked up the last climb. Since winning races comes down to crossing the line first not submitting the best PowerAgent print-out, I wondered whether a lighter race wheel saving any bit of energy on an incline might be more appropriate.
The team got our new GU order just in time to fuel our appearance at the ‘home’ race organized by our parent group the Minuteman Road Club. The Sterling race proceeded under mostly sunny skies Saturday May 7th.
Here’s the report from Anna Milton:
The morning of the Sterling Road Race proved perhaps the most organized race
morning I can recall. Victoria and I rolled in for the neutral start for the womenʼs Cat. 4
race right on time, my shiny new wheels eager to race. We had strategized the race
beforehand, fellow team time trial members Renee Marino and Kelly Mendoza were
racing as well and the plan between the four of us was to form a pace-line and work
together to instigate an attack or a chase group. As the end of the neutral start
approached, pumping my legs over the crest of the hill, I felt the adrenaline piercing
through my veins and could sense the primitive “race” atmosphere settling over my
Submitted by Crystal Anthony
The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best…
…All of them embody
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don’t love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.
In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.
-Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching
“Do we go?” Cynthia Nelson looked over at me, then over her shoulder as we crested the three-mile climb, the first of five on the day in the 100k road race. The max 20% grade had flicked one rider after another off the back of the group until there were just six of us heaving breathlessly at the top. I just nodded and we plunged down the descent, gradually organizing into a paceline together to keep the tempo quick and maintain the separation from the rest of the field. With Cynthia in 1st GC, myself in 2nd, and the others being strong riders it seemed we had a good chance to make a successful break. However, 3rd GC was in the chase as well as several other good riders, and with a long descent ahead we had to be aggressive. In just my third road race ever, I didn’t think much about the decision and simply went with my gut instinct.