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!

Bridie O’Donnell announced in Amgen Tour of California Invitational Women’s TT Lineup

Bridie O’Donnell

3 Time Oceania Champion and 2009 Australian Open Pro Time Trial Champ Bridie O’Donnell has been announced as one of the ten elite women to contest the 2nd annual Amgen Tour of California Women’s TT presented by SRAM.
The event, run in conjunction with the Mens Stage 5 of the Amgen Tour of California in Bakersfield, is set to once again showcase the very top female Time Triallists in the world, with 2008 Olympic Gold Medal Winner Kristin Armstrong (USA) recieving top billing against esteemed company including Sweden’s Emilia Fahlin (Specialized Lululemon) and USA’s Alison Powers (Now and Novartis for MS).

For Vanderkitten-Focus, the invite represents an important milestone in the development of the squad as a top tier team.

According to Vaderkitten-Focus Sports Director Jono Coulter: “Vanderkitten has always strived to empower women through athletics, and we are thrilled that AEG and Medallist have once again created an event in which the worlds best female cyclists are showcased alongside the best male riders in the world at their event.  Vanderkitten owner Dave Verrecchia has consistently built upon the success of the program every year, and we were thrilled to be a part of the inaugural Amgen Tour of California Women’s Criterium in 2008, where the kitties were among the crowd favourites! Over successive years we have built an International squad capable of competing on the world stage and now, with the inclusion of Bridie, have one of the worlds top Time Triallists on our team. To have Bridie rocking the Vanderkitten-Focus kit in one of the most prestigious specialty women’s events in the USA. We could not be more happy”.

Bridie will race a 2012 Focus Izalco Chrono 1.0 at the event, with Kask K.31 Chrono Helmet giving her an aero advantage over the 29km slightly rolling course.

LOOKOUT!!

Redlands Classic- Bring It ON!!!

Vanderkitten Focus- Calm Before the hurricane!

The Vanderkitten-Focus 2012 campaign begins in earnest tomorrow morning with the Prologue of the Redlands Cycling Classic in California, USA.
The worlds best Women Cyclists have assembled in the delightful town East of LA for what will be the first true test of the 2012 Road Cycling Season.
Vanderkitten-Focus has assembled our best squad yet, with 6 athletes coming off a tough edition of San Dimas Stage Race in which Emily Collins, Kate Chilcott and Ruth Winder all recorded top ten finishes. With young hardwoman Jazzy Hurikino in lead out duties, the experience of Connecticut’s Kathleen Billington and the never say die attitude of Courntey Van Dimpel the team will try to build on its performances at San Dimas beginning with the 3.1 Mile Uphill prologue that finishes at the top of Sunset Drive, Redlands.

Notably, the team will be joined by team Captain Jenn Reither, competing in her 12th Redlands, while Bridie O’Donnell arrived today at Los Angeles International after flying in from Australia. Bridie is a multi time Oceania Champion and the 2009 Australian Road Cycling Time Trial Champion. Redlands Classic will be her first race with Vanderkitten Focus, and she is keen to test her legs after scoring 3rd in the Oceania ChampionshipsTT in New Zealand this past week.

Bridie O'Donnell flew Sydney Australia to Los Angeles, USA, dropped in at Starbucks, collected her kit from JLVelo in Santa Ana and then test rode her 2012 FOCUS Izalco Pro 1.0 on the Redlands Prologue Course. Bridie. Is. Invincible.

Just CANT WAIT to get it started in here. Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up to date pics, info and results!

Vanderkitten memories. Q&A with Ruth, Starla and Kate

Vanderkitten-Focus athletes Ruth Winder, Starla Teddergreen and Kate Chilcott may be gearing up for a season at the premier level in the USA. But it wasnt so long ago these three fast girls were pinning on their first race numbers and discovering the sport of competitive cycling. A timely reminder that even the coolest kittens have to start somewhere!

Ruth Winder set for 2012

Name: Ruth Winder

Hobbies: Besides riding my bike, I spend my time walking my dog, Nero. Or drawing for hours.

Non Cycling action/ adventure/ fitness story or memory: Hm…Something non cycling related…Difficult. When I was younger I took horse back riding lessons for about 5 years. In 2007 I stopped horse riding and started cycling. For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of galloping a horse through a big grassy field. In early 2011 I got to live that dream. A friend let me know of lady that needed her horse exercising once a week. It felt like I owned my own horse for 2 hours once a week! That itself was a dream come true. First day I got to gallop the horse through a nice big grassy field. Next on the list is gallop along the beach!

First Bike Race:
My first bike race was at the end of 2007, San Ardo Road Race. I raced the Junior 13-14 age category, I was 14 at the time. There was one other girl in the race and two boys, and they were all on the same team. A few miles from the finish I was innocently taking my turn at the front when all three of them attacked and dropped me. I rolled in alone and a bit upset, but ready to try again.

When did you first hear about Vanderkitten?
Early 2008 I went to go and watch the Tour of California women’s crit. I saw VK race for the first time. It was actually the first time I can remember thinking ” I want to do this some day. ” Little did I know that one day I would be racing races like the Tour of California women’s crit, but get to race them for VK.

What does it mean to you to be a part of Vanderkitten?
For me being a Vanderkitten means the chance to show that women cyclists an be fierce and tough while maintaining their beauty and style. That is really important to me, keeping women’s sport feminine, but at the same time giving no one a doubt that we aren’t just as tough as any guy. To be able to wear the Vanderkitten kit makes me very proud. The team is being run by some of the best people I have ever met. People who are genuine and really looking to grow women’s cycling.

Starla Teddergreen. Photo by OTB Photography

Name: Starla Teddergreen

Hobbies: Riding bikes. Sleeping. Cooking. Fingernail painting. “How I met your mother” marathons.

Non Cycling action/ adventure/ fitness story or memory: Every day and every memory is an action adventure when you’re a ninja. BOOM.

First Bike Race: My first road bike race as a cat 4 that I can recall was Burlingame crit. My bike was a steel davidson that I also messengered on for work. I can not recall much from this race, except one thing. When I remember this moment it is as if I am standing behind the barriers watching my self.

A bit of a set up is required first. I was on McGuire race team, formally a messenger team, that was how I got involved with the team as I was a currier. This race was kind of a big deal for the team as we were setting up infront of the McGuire office, they provided us with food, chairs and trainers to warm up on. This was my first experience like this and my first time warming up on a trainer, and really warming up at all. I sit on the trainer watching the other girls, trying to mimic what they are doing. Trying not to draw any attention to my self. This is where my memorie gets fuzzy and I soon find my self on the side line watching my self in the race.

One lap in and im in the middle of the pack, the next a bit further back, and further, and further until I am off the back, my head is down, riding as hard as I can, the pack is still in sight, a few laps more and they are gone. I watch as I go by the Mcguire tent head down as people cheer and ring bells. They eventually stop cheering and im thinking what are you doing? Why are you still riding? Even the crowd has given up on you, now this is just sad. I cant watch any more. And this is where my memory ends.

I know, not my best memory, or first race. But I have to give my self credit for not giving up. It would be a few years after this experience when I got back in to racing, and learned how to ride in a pack and stay in a race.

When did you first hear about Vanderkitten? I first saw VK when I returned to racing in 2007. I remember thinking “Wow those girls look strong, and I love their kits. I hope to be to that level some day.”

What does it mean to you to be a part of Vanderkitten?: Vanderkitten is like no other team I have ever raced on. Vanderkitten is more then a clothing company for women, more then a women’s professional race team. Vanderkitten is a family and a way of life. When we are out on the road, traveling the country and beyond to race, people reach out to us because VK reaches out to them, in one way or another, and a connection is made. VK the brand sparks peoples curiosity, this starts a conversation, we take time,before and after races to share our story. For some, this is the first bike race they have ever been to, or the first woman bike racer they haver ever talked to. Because of Vanderkitten and all of our sponsors, we are given this incredible opportunity. We are able to share our passion for the sport, and hopefully inspire others, to fallow their dreams as we do.

Kate Chilcott. Photo by Anthony Sill Photography

Name: Kate Chilcott
Hobbies: skiing, hanging out with friends and family, reading, going to the beach.
Non Cycling action/ adventure/ fitness story or memory: have had many so it is hard to pin point just one. Love summers of water skiing, swimming, jet skiing, boating, beach hopping, picnics etc. and winters of snow skiing and mountain adventures.
First bike race: Was a school cycling team time trial race when I was 14.
When Did I first hear about vanderkitten: When I raced them at the NSWGP in 2010, quite possibly the most fun times at a race ever.

What it means to be apart of Vanderkitten: So excited to be apart of VK in 2012, not only do they have alot of sucess and fun on the bike, but of the bike too!

Courtney Dimpel, the little Vanderkitten who could

Courtney Dimpel, rider on right next to DS Jono Coulter will joing Vanderkitten-focus in 2012 after racing select 2011 events with the team

Speedy Santa Cruz Cyclocrosser Courtney Van Dimpel has graduated from guest riding with Vanderkitten-Focus in 2011 to making the selection for the 2012 roster. The universally popular young Santa Cruz rider has shown her hand at CX racing with Team Rambuski Law this winter, including multiple wins and podiums in NorCal racing, and top finishes at USGP and UCI events across the USA.
Earlier in 2011, Courtney joined the Vanderkitten-Focus road program as a guest rider at Tour of America’s Dairyland in Wisconsin and Gateway Cup in Missouri.
“Even though selection for positions on the 2012 roster was a tough process, Courtney earned her spot by showing she is a valuable team member on and off the bike. Definitely a strong competitor on, it was the fact that several members of our team kept asking “Will Courtney be on it?” that sealed her spot. She really is adored as a hard worker and motivating spirit to be with” says Team Captain Jennifer Reither.
Van Dimpel will be one of the local riders when Team Camp gets underway with 12 riders from 4 countries in Scotts Valley, California in early 2012.