June 10, 2008
I gathered up a few more shots from Worlds. More to come……….
Larry (massage therapist) has travelled with me since I started!
(photo: courtesy Davis Phinney)
The Phinny’s are a ‘very cool’ family to have with us on the road and Mike isn’t too bad!
Team Photo before the beer drinking began!
April 11, 2008
It’s crazy to think that I won the World Championships a week ago!! It was such a thrilling experience to have everything come together in the most important competition of the year. I don’t think I could have told anyone a year ago that I would win a World Title and stand on the podium of the Sprints in an Olympic year. Especially, since I was ambivalent about my racing career and where it was going.
I was about to retire a year ago, fairly satisfied with my bike racing career. Since there was no longer a U.S. program, it was becoming difficult to continue to have an ideal training environment without any financial support. Momentum Cycling started up at the perfect time and I was fortunate to have some awesome people around me that were willing to help in creating the ideal envirnment for performing at the World level. I’ve had a ton of support from people at the Home Depot Center and Howard Marans. But of course, it takes more than money to create the ideal situation. I was approached by Andy Sparks about working with him a few times a week. I was going to give the team pursuit a try. He knew I always have had natural endurance and he also thought it would be good for my mind to focus on something different. And it couldn’t hurt my sprint. So, as I started to train a bit for team pursuit, and found myself really excited and also feeling super strong physically. I seemed to improve heaps all around. I had lots of fun warming up with Sarah Hammer and she’d lay down the comments in training about how I’d have to be quicker than her over the longer distances! Of course, I wanted to impress her, so I was all business and came out of the blocks like a rock star!!
Really, what blows my mind, is just how much has to come together at the right time to be on Top of the World! And fortunately, I had all of those things culminate at the right time. I had the financial backing of Howard Marans and Momentum Cycling and great training partners and awesome support staff. My coach (Andy Sparks) exudes a focus and belief that radiates. You can’t line up at the World Championships with just anyone. Having someone that believes in you and is in the moment just as you are makes all the difference.
To become a World Champion has been a dream of mine since I started racing at age 16 and to actually own my very own Rainbow Jersey is soo very cool!
Thanks to everyone for reading and being a support!
January 31, 2008
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January 28, 2008
Last weekend was by far one of the most successful World Cups of my career! Going into it, I didn’t think I’d do a personal best 200m (11.41) on this track and come away with two medals! My form just seems to be getting better and better as the season unfolds.
I qualified 4th in the 200m, which set me up pretty good for the sprint tournament. I won the first round, which guaranteed me top 8. Then I went against the Russian Svetlana Grankovskya in the 1/4′s and won. I felt like my speed was good and usually the tactics are the easier part for me, so I had confidence that if I did what I needed to, things would turn out great. I was super excited to break into the top 4, since I haven’t been in the top four since 2006. I met Clara Sanchez from France. We know each other fairly well from the Keirin, but I haven’t gone up against her much in the sprint. The first ride, I rode from behind and came at her a bit too late and came up short at the line. The second ride, I drew 1st position and kept it. It was super close, going to a photo! I actually thought Clara got it and it was over for me, but then I saw the asterisk next to my name! In the third ride, I took the front and she couldn’t get around me. I was then into the Gold Medal round! I had to face Natalia Tsylnskya from Belarus. She is the World Champion 7 times for a reason and a tough girl to race. She can go long, without fading in a sprint and doesn’t mess around too much before the sprint. Tactically, I thought my rides were good, but she had more speed than me. I was very happy with my Silver Medal! I started working since Nationals to improve my Sprint, since the Keirin isn’t in the Olympics and wasn’t sure how much my level could come up. I started working with Andy Sparks and he has been the primary reason that I have improved. We went back to some fundamentals and it has made a huge difference in my racing. He also exudes incredible passion and when you go to the line with someone that believes in you and cares about the racing as much as you do, it’s amazing what you can do.
Oh yeah, and the Keirin on Sunday was icing on the cake!!!! I felt really good from the minute I warmed up through to the Final. It was one of those days where you get done with every effort and just feel like it was effortless. I don’t have many days like that, so I was really enjoying it! It was awesome to be in front of a home crowd also. I felt like I had so many people cheering me on and there was great energy in the track. It was soo excited to have won, but I didn’t know that Anna Meares had gone down on the last lap until I came around on my victory lap. I was really concerned and it seemed like it was serious. It is serious, but she is doing well I hear and is in good spirits considering what has happened. She is great competitor and a really great person.
I’ve started training for Copenhagen; the final WC of the season before the Worlds. I will post an update when I get there.
Thanks for reading!
December 2, 2007
I just finished the Keirin tonight with a Silver Medal! I got beat to the line by Victoria Pendleton (World Champ)! It was really close and exciting. There were four of us side by side going down the home straight! Third was Natalia Tsylnskya. And I think Sanchez did a submarine maneuver and tried to sneak in on the blue band, so she was relegated from 4th to 6th.
All of my rounds went fantastic. I won both the first round and the semi-final. I was feeling super strong all day.
I’m off to Beijing tomorrow for the second World Cup next weekend. Gotta get some rest before then!
November 30, 2007
I just finished the Sprints at the first World Cup of the season! It feels more like the World Championships, because everyone is here! I think it will be like this for all four World Cups this season, being that everyone wants a shot at being top 9 in the World to qualify for Olympics.
I qualified 8th position with 11.41. I was really happy with that, especially since I did 11.70 last year. That put me right in the thick of things :) The cut off time to make top 16 was 11.5, so everyone was on really good form. My 1/8th final was against a Chinese rider, who also ran 11.4. I took control from the front and kept her on my hip and won! Then I was up against no. 1 seed Willy Kanis (Nederlands). She rode a blazing 11.16! The first ride was excellent and she couldn’t get by, so I took the win! The second ride, Willy and I went head to head through 3 and 4 and she got me at the line. Then, the third ride, I tried to correct any mistakes in the second ride and she really just had more speed than me. They were three really tough rides and I was a bit gased at the end :P But luckily, we had a bit of time to get some sugar in before the 5-8th ride.
The 5-8th ride seemed more like a final. It was myself, Clara Sanchez (former World Champ), Simona (fast Lithuanian), and Victoria Pendleton (current world champ!). I drew no. 1 position. It was definitely a fight for the front, since it is hard to pass on this track. Victoria tried to overtake me, but I fought to keep the front. I held everyone off except Clara Sanchez, which put me 6th! It was a great start to the season and I will build on this for Beijing in a week.
Off to the track to watch some bike racing. We have lots of Americans out there tonight!
I will try and post some pics later.
October 15, 2007
Ok, so after a week of rest in Seattle, I am feeling good. I didn’t have access to internet and didn’t try too hard to get it :) so my update…………….. is a bit out of date! Regardless, I’ll give you a late review.
I was looking forward to Nationals as a chance to see how my form is coming along and to have a bit of fun racing:P
I won the Keirin and Sprints, but my main goal was to go for a good 200m TT. I didn’t go as fast as I had expected, but it was still a decent start to the season. I will build on that for the first World Cup in Sydney.
By far the best experience from Nationals, was taking part in the first ever Women’s Team Pursuit! I rode with Dotsie and Sarah and had a blast! It was on the last day, so I had nothing else on my mind but to give it everything I had left. I was a bit nervous to tell the truth because we had only done two efforts together in training as a team :O And, we hadn’t practiced any one of the two efforts from a standing start! Yikes! Luckily, I had a feeling that it shouldn’t be a problem getting on Dotsies’ wheel and settling in. I think we were all a bit nervous really and everyone wasn’t sure who would have good legs or great legs! I was informed two days earlier that I had to finish the whole 3km with the other two girls! I had never done a 3km effort before, so my game face was on :P The gate opened and Dotsie was putting every ounce of effort out, but not moving very fast! Her first pedal strokes were almost like she froze! She still did a decent opening lap, but we were laughing about it afterwards! Then I pulled through for the second lap and my goals was to set the pace for everyone. We got rolling pretty good and I just kept counting my pulls, waiting for my legs to implode! I could hear the comentator talking about how “Jennie Reed is still in there” and thinking, “yeah, I’m in here sucka!” LOL :) Really, it was funny how well I heard every word he said. And on my final pull with 2 laps to go, I heard Dotsie say something! I knew that it may be that she was having a problem, so I gradually pulled up and saw that she had gapped off Sarah’s wheel, so I swung down in front of her to fill in the gap! We made it to the line in 3min 34seconds! We were all happy with that. Especially since Sarah is not on her “superwoman” form yet and Dotsie and myself have a few more laps to do in the aero bars!
August 27, 2007
The last UCI race in T-town ended up being the best one! I ended up winning the tournament, beating World Champion Anna Meares in the Final! This was a fantastic win for me, considering, I have never beat her one on one. I’ve bested her in a 5-8th sprint, but never in a match sprint.
I also did a PR for the T-town track with an 11.72. Anna was first with 11.59. I was second with 11.72, Kerrie Meares was third with an 11.9, and Liz Reap was fourth with 12.1. I met Kerrie in the semi-final and easily won. She is a crafty sprinter, so it is always nice to come out on top against her! I was feeling better than ever this night and had good energy and concentration for the final. I lead the sprint from the front and used the whole track til the final 200m’s when I gave it my all. Anna took a good run at me, but came up short at the line. It was a close finish!
Right after my sprint, I put on a huge gear and lined up for the UCI Scratch race. A few attacks were made, but nothing too threatening and with 500m’s to go, I went to the front and lead it out, with Gina Grain (Canada) and Theresa Clif-Ryan on my wheel. I managed to hold them off and take the Win! My legs were hurting pretty good after that ;P
It was a great few weeks of racing and it really motivated me for the coming World Cup season. So, I’m back to LA and to prepare for Nationals in about six weeks.
August 20, 2007
Another Friday night of keirin racing ;) One of my favorite events to ride! With Anna & Kerrie Meares being the only world class riders, it was tough to come up with a plan to beat them to the line! The speed is much slower than the World Cups, which makes it favor the sisters. Anna has such good accelleration, that I would not have a chance if it came down to the last 200m’s. So, when the motor pulled, I went full gas from the back! Kerrie threw a bit of a hook on my way past the field, but I was committed. Anna got caught up a bit behind other riders and the chase was on. I buried my head and didn’t look back! However, the girls caught me and I ended up third! Oh well, it was a bit of fun and good to go for a crowd pleaser as well :)
Then I raced a 5-mile Scratch race and won! Mostly endurance rider like Vera Carrara (World Champion in Points), Gina Grain and Iona Wynter-Parks. I tried to be pretty active and got in a break with Ashley Kimmet with 7 laps to go, but we got caught, so it was recovery til the final push! I was on the front with 2 laps to go, so it was a keirin razor for me! My legs were hurting, but I wasn’t going to give up and I won! I was exhausted, but we still had to race the 1-mile! And we weren’t just going to race it. We wanted to break the track record of 1min 56sec. The two italian girls took to the front the first few laps and then the Meares sisters picked up the pace even more! I was struggling just sitting behind, but with a lap to go, I gave it everything and came around Anna for the win and New Track Record of 1min 50.1sec! It was a great effort and should be cool to have my name in the records in T-town!
One more Friday Night coming up……………