Double W! Ruth Winder wins Somerville on the East Coast, Maura Kinsella Wins Memorial Day Criterium in California

Vanderkitten-Focus has continued its winning season, with two squads racing simultaneously on the East and West coasts of the USA this past Memorial Day weekend- and WINNING both races.
In California, Maura Kinsella was supported by teammates Starla Teddergreen, Courtney Dimpel and Vanessa Drigo in a hotly contested Memorial Day Criterium presented by San Jose Bicycle Club.
After a race filled with ferocious attacking by the Vanderkitten-Focus gals, Maura put in a massive attempt in the closing laps of the race. Despite a concerted chase from the entire peloton led by the Red Racing Team, Maura managed to hold off her opponents and claim the victory.

For a full report in classic MKULTR4 style, read her blog here

Maura Kinsella with the Win Win

While this was going on, Bridie O’donnell, Kathleen Billington, Jazzy Hurikino, Emily Collins and Kate Chilcott were tearing up the east coast at the USA’s longest running race, Tour of Somerville, New Jersey.
Against a stacked field of 65 top shelf crit riders, Vanderkitten-Focus launched multiple attacks to soften up the opposition. In the finale, a stellar, full force lead out by all 5 VK teammies led Ruth to her biggest win to date, edging out Laura Van Gilder in the throw to the line. Emily Collins, who ran 5th, explained “Ruth has got a huge kick! Van Gilder jumped after the great leadout by Kathleen, but when Ruth went as well only 100metres out, she really surprised with her speed”.
A fantastic win for Ruth as she heads to USACrits Palm Bluffs and Glencoe GP this weekend with Van Dimpel and Teddergreen, while Collins, Hurikino, Chilcott, O’Donnell and Bilington race UCI 1.1 Liberty Classic in Philadelphia on Sunday.

Ruth Winder so good!


Emily Collins and Kate Chilcott Sizzle Down Under!

Emily Collins throwing down. (c) Anthony Sill Photography

Kiwi Kittens Emily Collins and Kate Chilcott rode impressively the past two weekends in Australia and New Zealand. At the NSW Skoda International GP, Emily Collins scored 5th overall after two days of competition against the best teams in Australia including, Specialized SA and Jayco AIS (now GreenEdge-AIS).

Dimunitive Kate Chilcott was impressive in her debut for Vanderkitten-Focus

The weekend after their Aussie foray, the two athletes travelled from Auckland to Christchurch to compete in the Armstrong Motor Group Festival of Cycling, which drew hundreds of competitive and recreational cyclists from across NZ. Emily led out the day 1 Watarai 90Km Challenge, finishing 2nd int he headwind sprint with Kate in 3rd.
The following day the Vanderkitten-Focus riders were caught out by a solo move late in the race and finished 2nd and 4th.
This gave Emily and Kate 1st and 2nd Overall for the weekend, a fantastic sign as they head into NZ Criterium Championships this weekend, followed by RaboDirect NZ National Elite Road Championships in January.

Kate rocking it in Australia (c) Anthony Sill Photography

Vanderkitten-Focus goes 1-2 at Oakland GP!!

Vanessa Drigo, Starla Teddergreen and Mary Ellen Ash. Photo by Gino

Vanessa Drigo and Starla Teddergreen scored a fantastic 1-2 for the Vanderkitten-Focus squad at the Volkswagon Oakland GP this Sunday.
In a race that doubled as the Norcal/Nevada State Criterium Championships, Vanessa and Starla overcame a powerful challenge by Metromint and Webcor-SportVelo to score the top two places on the podium!
Vanessa Drigo, who had earlier been in a solo breakaway and picked up several hundred dollars in cash priems, used her tactical cunning to kick into the chicane within 150 metres of the finish and oulast the sprinters onslaught.
What a great way to close out the 2011 road season!

Emily Collins Wins the Safeway Pleasanton Fast and Furious Criterium

Emily Collins 1st

20 year old Kiwi sensation Emily Collins has won the 2011 Safeway Pleasanton Fast and Furious Criterium in California. Collins bested Taylor Wiles (Peanut Butter &Co TWENTY12) and Liza Rachetto (Primal/ Map My Ride) with a swift sprint at the end of a hard fought criterium in downtown Pleasanton.
This inaugural event with a Women’s prizepurse of over $3000 saw competitors from some of the best teams in the USA vying for line honours. Strong moves by multiple time Irish National Champion Olivia Dillon (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) and USA National team representative Alison Starnes (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) were marked by riders from Primal/ Map My Ride, Red Racing, Fremont Bank and Emily”s Vanderkitten Focus teammates Jenn Reither, Jasmin Hurikino, Starla Teddergreen and Courntey Dimple.
In the last lap, Alison Starnes made a strong solo bid, but it was Starla Teddergreen who drove the pace to put Vanderkitten-Focus back in contention going into the final two turns.
In the finale Liza Rachetto hit out before the final turn but the young Kiwi speedster Collins showed a clean set of heels to win the sprint in front of an awesome crowd.
Collins will be headed home to Auckland at the end of the month, after a spectacular season that has seen her podium at some of the biggest races in the USA. Her win has proven her ability as one of the top riders of the new generation in international Women’s Cycling.

The previous day, Jazzy Hurikino and Jennifer Reither placed 3rd and 5th at Strawberry Crown Criterium in Watsonville, CA. Jazzy was part of a racelong breakaway that went on lap 2 containing Pascale Schnider and eventual winner Coryn Rivera.
In the finale Jazzy used her tactical sense to try and outplay two of the fastest riders in North America, but had to settle for a fantastic 3rd. Reither went ahead of the field with Starnes in the final 5 laps, and Emily Collins won the bunch sprint for 6th. On the same day in Southern California, Jen Weinbrecht scored 5th place at the prestigous Brentwood GP. A great day to be VK!

Hurikino 3rd and Reither 5th at Strawberry Crown Criterium


2011 Team Kit Now Available for Fans!

We are excited to announce Vanderkitten Apparel and JL Velo have teamed up to bring the hottest hit in cycling to market- the 2011 Vanderkitten Focus kit! The kit is completely uncompromised using the same fit, fabrics and chamois the pro-team has been developing this season. Slight updates on the graphics make this a clean and elegant option to go with your Izalco Team or any bike you ride. (click link below for more info!)

Vanderkitten/JL is operating on a pre-order basis. Orders are placed directly with JL and they will fulfill your orders mid-august. Proceeds from all Vanderkitten apparel support the Vanderkitten Athletics Program and the Vanderkitten Focus Team!

Are you a Vanderkitten?

Check out the 2011 Vanderkitten range- designed in Berkeley California by Dave Verrecchia. No other Women’s apparel company puts this much into it’s sport- in 2011, 100% of proceeds go to female athletes achieving their goals. And yes- every Vanderkitten model is a Professional cyclist on Vanderkitten-FOCUS Women’s Cycling Team.

VK 2011 Spring Collection- a sneak peek!

Sophia Jersey as worn by Starla

Warrior Tee as worn by Emily

Tuscadero Jersey as worn by Maura