Performance Bicycle Racing Team – Winning Leadville

On August 14, Performance Bicycle Racing Team member Cara Applegate, with her husband Andy Applegate and their tandem mountain bike, lined up alongside 1500 other brave competitors – including current ProTour riders, National Champions, and Olympians – to compete in the 17th annual Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race in Leadville, CO.

The couple’s goals were lofty – to complete the 100 mile race, which climbs more than 10,000 feet at high altitude, in under 10 hours, a time which coincidentally would have won the tandem race in 2008 and 2009.

The riders were greeted with chilly air but clear skies as they took to the start line in the wee hours of the morning; once the sun broke through the last remnants of night it blazed a comfortable path for the remainder of the day.

The duo battled with another tandem team early in the event, suffering a race-threatening mechanical little more than 35 miles in. They repaired the issue quickly without too much time lost; by the midway point the Applegates were able to amass over an 8 minute lead on Jay and Tracey Petervary of Idaho.

The Applegates steadily increased the distance between themselves and their closest competitors, completing the course well under their goal in a time of 8 hours 42 minutes, earning themselves the coveted silver and gold belt buckle given to competitors who finish under 9 hours, as well as 80th place overall. The Petervarys were the second tandem across the line, 27 minutes back.

So congratulations to the Applegates, for winning the tandem division and for setting a goal and then knocking it out of the park!

Next up for Cara: a brief break from the bicycle, having just completed her goal race of the year. Don’t expect this to be the last you hear of her – she’ll soon be storming the cyclo-cross world alongside her teammate Evie Boswell-Vilt on the team’s Focus Mares cyclo-cross bikes!

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Performance Bicycle Racing Team – Roswell Store Ride

Some members of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team recently took part in a group ride and clinic at our Roswell, GA store, and from their report it sounds like everyone had a great time:

People always say that we’re crazy for riding road bikes. Usually I disagree, but this past Wednesday night I think I may have agreed with them! Icy water bottles in hand, riders from the Atlanta, GA metro area braved the 100 degree heat to join myself, Kate Mahoney, along with Kirsten Davis and Dana Martin from the Performance Bicycle Racing Team for a 22 mile Fun Ride.

As the riders assembled in front of the Roswell, GA Performance Bicycle store, it was great to hear the excited conversations as we all began to get to know each other. Riders traded stories of how long they’ve been riding, how they got into cycling, and why they keep at it.

I talked with a woman for whom this was her 5th group ride EVER, as she’d just bought her bike at Performance a little over a month before! I met a couple who have been riding road bikes together for the past 20+ years; a fellow who LOVED hill climbs (the longer, the steeper the better); a man who hadn’t had time to ride his bike much lately but saw that we were coming out from the Performance Bicycle Racing Team and said “I’m going… I need to make time to ride!”; a woman who, this year, had learned that century rides (100 milers) were her passion; a man who was riding so he could keep up with his son on the bike; and so many more great people and great stories! This is why I love cycling!

Since our group ran the the full range of experience levels there were lots of cycling tips, tricks and tools being shared before we hit the road.

How much water should I drink? “Sip at least every 15 minutes!” “Don’t wait until you feel thirsty!” “Hydration begins the day before.”

How do I get used to using cycling shoes with cleats? “Ride in the grass!” “Practice by sitting on your bike in a doorway!” And my advice? Laugh when you have your first (or second) slow motion fall! It happens to everyone! (if you join me for a ride I’ll tell you my story where I slow-mo fell next to a city transit bus full of people!).

Soon it was time to head out. Ryan, the store manager, gave us the details on the route. Covering 22 miles of beautiful rolling hills outside the city of Roswell, the route is well suited to both newer riders, who can ease up on the hills, and experienced riders, who can punch it up the hills for a good leg burn.

On the road, Kirsten, Dana and I had a great time. As the three of us moved through the pack, it was like a clinic in motion! People had lots of great questions for us as situations popped up: “What’s the best gear for a hill this steep?” “When should I stand up to climb?” “What is a good cadence?” And, despite the heat, people were having a great time! Working together, watching out for each other, and talking, joking, and laughing as we clipped along… It was awesome!

At the end of the ride, we were having too much fun to head straight home. Dana, Kirsten and I hung out at Performance post-ride, talking with a number of folks who had joined us on the ride. We LOVE to talk cycling, so happily answered questions on everything from our team bikes (the beautiful Fuji Supreme SL), to good hydration tools like NUUN, and what it’s like to race a road bike.

I met so many great people and it was such a beautiful ride! Thanks to the Atlantans who came out to join us, and next time we promise to do the ride when it’s cooler!

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Performance Bicycle Racing Team – Race Across the Sky on a Tandem

Seemingly few people who participate in any organized cycling event in the continental United States remain unaware of the race made famous from a certain ProTour rider’s experience, chronicled in the 2009 film “Race Across the Sky.” The Leadville Trail 100, a 100 mile mountain bike race held in the high mountains of Colorado, annually tests the grit and mettle of more than a thousand brave souls who take to the start. This year, Performance Bicycle Racing Team elite rider Cara Applegate will tackle the race on August 14, but in a slightly unusual fashion – on a tandem mountain bike with her husband, Andy Applegate.

While the couple has been racing tandem bikes on the road for more than seven years – and share four elite national time trial titles and three masters road race and time trial titles – they have been riding the mountain bike tandem for a relatively short period of time, slightly more than a year and a half.

“We’ve both been racing bikes for a good long while – Andy 25 years and me 14 or so – and every year we seem to tweak our goals to include a new experience that will challenge our collective fortitude. A 100 mile off road endurance race in the high mountains seems to fit that bill,” explained Cara, a subtle smile of determination on her face.

The Applegates are not approaching this race unprepared however; they’ve spent the majority of their 2010 racing days at endurance mountain bike events, either on single bikes or the tandem. You can expect to see the Applegates at the front of the tandem pack come race day. Check back here for more details after the race.

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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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Performance Bicycle Racing Team – Riding a Tandem at Nationals

It’s been a little while since we’ve caught up with the women of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve been taking any time off.  As you can see by their results so far this year, they’ve been busy at the races all summer.

But today we wanted to highlight the newest member of the team, development rider Georgia Boswell.  You may recognize the Boswell name from elite rider Evie Boswell-Vilt, and indeed you would be correct to make the connection.  This is a family affair, just not in the way that you may be thinking!  Georgia is actually Evie’s mom, and they are teaming up to tackle the 2010 Masters Road National Championships in Louisville, KY… on a tandem!

The Masters Road National Championships are open to competitors over 30 years old, and divided up into age-graded races to determine the Masters national champions.  For tandem riders, the age groups are sorted by adding together the age of the competitors, so Evie and her mom will be racing in the 110+ womens’ division.

Here’s a video of Evie and Georgia going on their maiden tandem voyage together, and training together for the big race (which takes place on Tuesday, August 3):

Inspiration is a big part of the mission of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team, so it doesn’t get much better than seeing Evie’s mom out there competing with her daughter!  Good luck Evie and Georgia, we know you’ll do great on the roads at Nationals!

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Performance Bicycle Racing Profile – Bergen Watterson

Meet Elite Rider Bergen Watterson

Age: 30
USCF: Category 2
Hometown: California is where my cycling started
Current: Chapel Hill, NC
Profession: Graduate Student at UNC in Planning

Bergen comes to Chapel Hill, NC from the crucible of Northern California Cycling.  She cut her teeth with Roaring Mouse, making a quick name for herself with her speedy ascent to a cat 2 level amidst some of the Nations best amateur riders. She comes to Performance Bicycle Racing with a new focus and new roads to explore.

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Performance Bicycle Racing Profile – Chris Tommerdahl

Meet Elite Rider Chris Tommerdahl

Age: 23
USCF: Category 2
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Current: Still in Chapel Hill, NC
Profession: Self-employed

Chris is a swimmer at heart, but began cycling in order to take up triathlon several years ago. After a few years of improvement on the bike, her swimming and cycling were finally strong enough to offset her running deficits so that she could turn pro. As practice for her draft-legal triathlons, she decided to give bike racing a try in 2009. After learning that it’s difficult to race individually against several teams and that you can’t expect to win if you pull the entire race, she was able to find enough good results to upgrade to a Cat 2. In the end, she decided that cycling races are a pretty fun way to get a brick workout in, so she’ll give it another try in 2010. Read more of this post

Performance Bicycle Racing Profile – Gina Voci

Meet Elite Rider Gina Voci

Age: 35
USCF: Category 1
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Current: Atlanta, Ga
Profession: Emergency Medicine Physician

Gina’s successful cycling career started after after a friend dragged her to a mountain bike race.  White-knuckled and determined, she rode away with the win and a new passion for racing.  Eight years later, she’s racked up results in some of the hardest races in North America.  She’s tough. Beside just shaking off the normal race catastrophes, she once chased down and stopped a car trying to steal another team’s bikes — and that was after a race.  When she’s not racing, she’s an ER doc and enjoys the finer things in life:  ATL Hip Hop and finding bargains at boutiques.

Performance Bicycle Racing Profile – Kate Mahoney

Age: 29
USCF: Category 2
Hometown: Colby, WI
Current: Roswell, GA
Profession: Human Resources Consultant

2009 was Kate’s first full season of racing. Starting the year as a Cat 4 beginner, Kate successfully raced her way to a Category 2 upgrade. Having competed in volleyball and track and field at the collegiate level (while at the same time balancing an addiction to rock climbing), Kate has found racing to be a fantastic outlet for her competitive spirit. With this inaugural season under her belt, Kate is excited to be joining the Performance Biycle Racing Team & SpokesWomen Syndicate for the 2010 season and to take her cycling to a new level of performance.

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Performance Bicycle Racing Profile – Nicole Vincent Jordan

Meet Elite Rider Nicole Vincent Jordan

Age: 27
USCF: Category 1
Hometown: Little 500 cycling track
Current: Chapel Hill, NC
Profession: PhD Pharmacology 2012

USA Cycling Certified Coach—Level III Coaching
University Collegiate Cycling and Little 500 Athletes

2005-Present; Women’s Collegiate Cycling Coach – Indiana

Nicole has one of the brightest smiles in the peloton.  As a collegiate cyclist, she was twice National Champion on the track.  Currently she is pursing her PhD at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Pharmacy.

Recently upgrading to a category 1 cyclist, Nicole brings fast legs and great finishing smiles to Performance Bicycle Racing’s elite squad.  Look for her in the results of upcoming races- particularly Dilworth, Wilmington Grand Prix, Kelly Cup, Fitchburg, and French Broad Cycling Classic.

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