Performance Bicycle Racing Team – Winning at Masters Nationals

If you missed it on our this blog last week, 2 elite riders and 1 development rider from the Performance Bicycle Racing Team were racing for tandem glory at the Masters National Time Trial Cycling Competition in Louisville, KY, last week.  Evie Boswell-Vilt and her mom Georgia (who is the development rider, in case you’re wondering) were riding in the age-graded competition, while Cara Applegate and her husband Andy were competing in the elite mixed tandem division.  So how did they do?  We’ll let Evie tell you in her own words, but let’s just say that they all came back with some new gold hardware when all the racing was done!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My mom, Georgia Boswell, born in 1933, anxiously waited in the Red Roof Inn in Louisville, KY. She was hours away from her first attempt at becoming a National Masters Champion.  The thought of being awarded with a stars and stripes jersey was enough, but the gold medal she might soon have hanging around her neck made her absolutely giddy with anticipation. “Do you think all my training was sufficient?,” she asked me, her daughter and tandem partner. I thought back to all the conversations we’d had over the last few months when she would call, from that ‘high’ most athletes feel post workout. She and her friend, Herb, had borrowed a tandem from friends in Sun City Hilton Head, SC, and had been riding 3-4 times a week. Mom would then call me and report on their endurance workouts and interval training. Just in case you didn’t catch it, my mom was born in 1933! She just turned 77 in March of this year and, in addition to her cycling, has a daily regimen of yoga, weights, tennis (her tennis partner will be 100 years old in January), bridge (to keep her mind sharp) or her favorite pastime: line dancing.

As the time neared for our departure to the course, we put on our Performance Bicycle Racing skin suits (a one piece spandex outfit that helps to increase a cyclist’s aerodynamics). My fiancé, Brian, helped pack the car and checked over our list of things we needed to bring to the race. We then traveled the 30 miles south from Louisville, KY to Taylorsville, KY. Once at the course, we pinned the two numbers on the back of my mom and made last minute adjustments to the bike for comfort, flair and, of course, speed! The weather was hot and sticky, with temperatures reaching over 105 degrees; keeping cool out on the sun-baked course became a priority. Teammate Cara Applegate suggested we fill our back pockets with ice as well as carry an extra bottle of ice water.

Cara and her husband Andy then started out on the course and set the fastest Man/Woman Elite Category time to claim the stars and stripes and their gold medals (and yes, in case you missed it in the video, Cara and Andy are preparing to race the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, on a tandem, this weekend!)

The races at Masters National are broken up into individual events and tandem events. There are numerous categories by age for each of three disciplines: Time Trial, Road Race and Criterium. For the tandem events, the rider’s ages are added to determine their category. My mom and I, aged 34 and 77, competed in the 110+ category. Though we didn’t have any competitors this year, we were very pleased with our time.

My mom was super fierce and nervous up to the final moment.  We settled into quite a rhythm on the hilly and windy 14 mile course. Coming across the finish line she let out a triumphant shout and pumped her fist into the air.  It was a lot of fun and I hope we are fortunate enough to be in Bend next year to ‘defend our title!’

As members of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team, and The SpokesWomen Syndicate, we feel a sense of duty and excitement to inspire other women in the US to attend and race at the US Master’s National Road Cycling Championships (next year athletes from all over the US will converge at a new host site in Bend, OR).

While driving back from the course, “National Champion” Georgia Boswell sat in her stars and stripes while animatedly reporting her success to all her fans on her cell phone. She is already planning to upgrade to clipless pedals as well as sign up to race her Scattante road bike in the individual events for 2011. We hope to see you in Bend next year!

So please join us in congratulating our new national champs, Cara, Evie and, of course, Georgia.  These women epitomize the credo of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team: to compete, encourage and inspire!

Plus look for more updates soon from Cara and Andy, as they race the epic Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race on a tandem (and they’re racing to win!)

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