Monday, December 19, 2011

Final Chapter - Vanderkitten Virginia Beach

It’s been fun. We’ve had some great results. 30 plus women came together almost 3 years ago to start something new. Everyone bought a great kit. Some loved cats, others loved dogs. Some riders became racers. Some racers became riders. The team became social. Over time everyone got comfortable doing what they wanted to do. It’s time for some to move on and others to step aside. It was a great ride.

BJ aka Podium Cat

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Karen traveled to Roanoke and represented the kittens on Saturday for the Freakout at Fallon Cx race. This was the first year it was part of the VACX series and it did not disappoint. The course was tough with mud pits, rocky sections, off camber turns, and steep climbs. Karen participated in the Cat 4 race, was a bit scared of the course, and finished 7th (out of 7). Not happy with her last place finish, she entered the 40 + race. With her comfort level higher, and prize money at stake, she did much better with a second place finish. This race was fun with lots of swag, prizes, free chili. Many thanks to Starlight Bicycles, Dire Wolf Racing, and Roanoke Parks and Rec for putting on such a great event.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Keeping it local,
represented the kittens by participating in Chesapeake's Frogs On The Farm cx race, the first race of the VACX series. The conditions were perfect with little mud, sunny skies, and cool temperatures. The course had a couple ditches, some logs, and two sets of barriers. Karen rode her mtn bike in the Cat 4 Women's race and was very surprised and happy with the results. 5th out of 11. She may just show up at some more cx races this season.

and Brittany also raced this past Sunday in the Winchester AppleCross, which is race #2 in the MABRAcross Super 8. The course featured an asphalt start and finish, two steep hills: the Belgian Wall and the Cemetery Slog, varying technical turns and several off camber sections. Important things to note for the day: fire pits, bicycles, cool peeps, coffee, and NO RAIN equal good times.

Stay tuned- next race on the docket is the Richmond Festival of Cross!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gettin’ Rowdy at the Ruckus

Brittany, Jen, and Karen took part in the last race of Virginia’s road season Saturday at the Residential Ruckus, presented by the Hilton Cycling Club. The course featured a flat, fast, 0.9 mile loop, with four 90-degree turns and a long sweeping turn into a straightaway to the start/finish. Though Saturday featured a smaller women’s field than previous VA races, the weather was perfect, course was silky smooth, and the girls were ready to finish up the season in style.

Jen led the pack at a steady pace for the first lap before dropping back. A couple laps later, she made a break off the front, with Marci Hill, from Hilton Cycling, going for a solo chase. The pack picked up the pace in a successful effort to reel Marci back in, but couldn't chase down Jen. A few laps later, Brittany made a break attempt of her own and was able to bridge the gap up to Jen. After several laps of steady rotations, Jen and Brittany were able lap the main field and end the day with a 1,2 finish. Karen, who stayed with the main group throughout the race, finished 3rd for the CAT 4’s.

Vanderkitten would like to give a special thanks to Joe Altomare from Hilton Cycling Club for putting on a great event, the Fat Frogs for letting us sit under their tent, and the Manderkittens for giving us great support throughout the season.

With road season officially over for these cats, let’s bring on some cyclocross!

Shenandoah Valley Century

After Saturday's crit, BJ and Karen headed to the mountains and rode the Shenandoah Valley Century. There was a large group of cyclists from the Hampton Roads area that participated in this ride, including a big group from Tripower Cycling Team. The weather was purrrfect with chilly temps in the morning that warmed up throughout the day. The kittens climbed close to 5000 feet and enjoyed the beautiful day on their bikes. After the ride, cyclists were treated to paninis, door prizes, and massages.


This weekend is the DR100 Ride that is also in the Harrisonburg area. This event consists of a 50K or 100K ride, and a 5K or 10K run. It is in honor of Frauke's husband Joe Mirenda, who was tragically hit by a car while riding from Wintergreen Resort to JMU to visit his son in 2009. The money raised goes towards expanding bike/pedestrian lanes on public roads and other similar programs.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tour of Page County

Cloudy with little chance of pie: Page Valley Road Race

The Page Valley road race proved once again to be a tough test for mountain-loving kittens. With overcast skies and slightly cooler temperatures than years past, Jen and Brittany lined up for the Women’s 1/2/3 race with a small but fierce field. Attacks started as soon as the pavement turned upward with the charge led by Rachel (Missing Link Coaching Systems/Specialized). The field split immediately with Jen and Brittany caught behind slower climbers. Brittany was able to bridge Jen back to the lead group on the descent, but this was the last they saw each other until the finish line. Jen worked with a small group to chase on and off of the 5 leaders for the remainder of the race. On the third lap, the motor referee indicated that bad weather was moving over the ridge and the women’s race was ending on this lap! On the final left turn to the finish line, Sara (ABRT) made a well-timed move that got a gap over the chase group and sling-slot Jen into 6th place. This was fortuitous because Jen got a front row seat to Brittany’s finish – 3rd place for the cat 3 women.

Sunday’s Luray Crit

With Jen having headed back to the ‘Peake earlier in the morning, I had plans of finishing up the weekend at the downtown Luray Crit. This course consisted of a 0.8 mile loop featuring eight 90-degree turns and a steep short climb to the finish, where there was a feed zone! Though greatly welcomed (another mid-ninety temp weekend), never before had I seen a feed zone at a crit until Sunday. As soon as the whistle blew initiating the start of the Women’s 1/2/3 pack, it was serious go time. After an immediate left turn up a false flat, the pack took a fast descent down the back side of the course, vying for positions, eager to make their way to the hill climb. After my second trip up the hill, my legs said “No more!” and I dropped off the pack to time trial my way through the rest of the race. I was, however, able to witness the amazing first place finish of Kathleen Giles (ABRT), who had broken away from the pack, with several laps to go.

Vanderkitten Racing extends a biggie thanks to Chris Gould, Page Valley Cycling, WWVC Racing, and Syn-Fit Race Team for a great weekend! Next up, Vanderkitten will be racing the Chesapeake Criterium and Peter Teeuwen Memorial time trial.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tri'd & Succeeded

One Kitten tried to get smart and beat the heat by doing a Triathlon. Unfortunately there has been no escaping this heat. Roberta headed down this past weekend to North Carolina for an FS Sprint Triathlon in Washington, NC. The participants had to be set up and out of the transition area by 6:30am and at that time it was already 83 degrees and the water temp was 86….a bit like bath water in our opinion. With the heat already a known factor, Roberta made sure she was well hydrated. The swim in the Pamlico River went well after being pulled, slapped, and swam over; these participants we merciless in the water. All Roberta kept thinking was “your swimming to your bike” , “swim to your bike”. Once the swim was over and a quick transition she was off for a rocket bike ride. The 15 mile ride was mostly flat with a few hills. She finished the bike with a time of 34:06: the fastest women’s time in the sprint. Her legs felt great as she started the transition to running. The run was very hot. No shade and all pavement. It was brutal. After crossing the finish line with a time of 1:20:25 she headed straight for the water to cool off. When all was said and done she walked away with first place in her age group.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lost River Classic

In an attempt to escape the heat wave over the east coast, Jen headed toward the mountains of West Virginia for Lost River Classic this past weekend. The 31 mile road race for the women’s field (roughly three 10 mile loops) proved to be well-suited to her love for climbing. The women’s field enjoyed rolling through narrow mountain roads until Laurel (Syn-Fit) launched an attack that shredded the field. Despite valiant attempts to match Laurel’s climbing prowess, the race settled into 4 leaders, a chase group of 4 riders, and a series of individual finishers behind. Jen helped power the chase group and happily finished 7th overall. Vanderkitten extends a big congrats to Mary of Team Traveler for the overall win!

Jen spent the remainder of the afternoon attending to friends in the men’s cat 3 field, who simply melted as they crossed the finish line with the heat index approaching triple digits. This was a great race thanks to NCVC and Raw Talent Ranch.

Next up, Vanderkitten VB will be racing Presbyterian Hospital Invitational in Charlotte, NC and Tour of Page Co. in Luray, VA.

Photo courtesy of David Cobb/Team Traveler