Vanderkitten-Focus has enjoyed a #kickass first quarter of the year, with Jazzy hurikino scoring the 10th win of the season this weekend at the 39th annual Mikes Bikes Classic in Los Gatos California.
Jazzy was one of the favourites heading into the prestigous event, having won the 2010 edition of the famed hilly criterium as a 19 year old.
With Katheryn Curi Mattis Directing and on form Vanderkitten-Focus team behind her, however, Jazzy was unstoppable.
From lap two Hurikino and Kiwi teammie Emily Collins broke away from the pack over the famed 19% power climb, and when a Stevens Pactimo rider, Marley Smith bridged on the downhill, VK’s Kate Chilcott also came across. This made it 3 VK riders in a 4 rider break!
The bunch would not give in easily however, and over multiple ascents of the brutal climb, the peloton slowly reeled the breakaway to within launching distance.
With 5 to go it was gruppo compatto so without hesitation VK team captain Jenn Reither launched a solid attack and cleared the field, gaining 12 seconds immediately with only 4 laps to go.
The chase behind was furious and with 2 to go Jenn X was brought back into the field. no sooner had she come back that it was 3 time Oceania champion Bridie O’Donnell that made a bid for the line. The proven 2009 Time Trial Champion of Australia established a huge gap and the field was reduced to a selection of only the best as
they worked to contain the damage.
With half a lap to go, the last time up the climb Bridie was caught and this time Jazzy made her move. Within 300 metres she had formed a 100 metre gap to the field and put her head down with only half a mile of downhill to the finish line.
To the joy of the assembled crowd and sponsors, as well as Jazzy’s parents who had stepped off an international flight from Australia and made their way straight to the race, crossed the line and threw her hands in the air with exhausted jubilation.
Only 2 seconds later her friend and teammate Emily Collins crossed the line punching her fists, with another Aussie, SportVelo’s Bec Werner in 3rd.
A momentous day for the Vanderkitten-Focus program and all is looking good for the next 2 months of competition that will see racing across the USA and UCI events in Canada and Philadelphia.
Earlier in the month Vanderkitten-Focus had notched some top performances at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, with Emily Collins 3rd on Stage 1 and Emily and Kate recording top ten finishes in the final Circuit Race.