L.P.V. to race Rapha Women’s Prestige and North Star GP!

LPV2014

photo by Luke Batten

Friends, Loved Ones, Fans of Cycling, Fans of Women in Sport!

Les Petites Victoires has been selected for two special opportunites to race our bikes! Both events will test our physical and mental strength–as individuals and as a team–against some of the toughest terrain and fiercest competition in the country. We need your help!

The first event, called the Rapha Women’s Prestige, takes place on May 10th, with a start and finish location in East Bay Hills in the San Francisco Bay Area. The one-day race will cover 100-plus miles over a mix of tarmac and gravel, and will ascend Mount Diablo at least once. The challenging course conditions will test our team’s ability to help each other to the very end, since the timer is stopped only when the sixth and final member of the team crosses the finish line. No other all-woman event like the Prestige exists, and we are excited to be one of 20 teams selected to compete, and the only team representing Chicago.

The second event, the North Star Grand Prix (formerly Nature Valley Grand Prix) consists of five stages with a time trial, three criterium, and two road races taking place in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota June 11-15. This event is on the National Racing Calendar, which means that most of the teams in attendance have rosters full of professional and Olympic-caliber athletes. Needless to say, we were elated when our application to race in such a talented field was accepted a few days ago.

Since the only NRC-level stage race held near Chicago area has been cancelled for 2014, travel has become a necessary part of continuing our development as competitive cyclists and teammates. As a small team, LPV would also like to host several guest riders for the North Star Grand Prix and the Prestige, affording more Chicago women the chance to race on the national level and increasing our team depth to be more competitive against aforementioned Olympians and professionals. We have some amazing ladies in mind: Daphne Karagianis (Chicago Cuttin’ Crew), Ellen Ryan (XXX Racing), and Sarah Rice (Spidermonkey Cycling). Daphne will be doubling up with LPV for the Prestige, joined by CCC teammate, Maria Larkin, and Liz So.

Supporting our guest riders’ travel expenses, race fees, and supplying their kits (team uniform) is a priorty for LPV. It’s what good hosts do, but it adds a great deal to our operating budget that has been generously funded by great organizations like Tenspeed Hero in Chicago, the Petzel Gallery in NYC, and Concord Naturopathic Clinic in New Hampshire. So, we are reaching out to ask you all, our friends, family, and biggest fans to please consider giving a few extra dollars to our team today.

Your donations will be used for travel expenses like fuel and airfare, race registration fees, and to clothe our guest riders in lycra emblazoned with the LPV colors. If there is anything left over, we will undoubtedly spend it on energy bars, gels, goos, and chamois cream. And! Not only will we will “re-gift” 20% of your donations to an organization whose mission is to get more Girls in the Game, we have some special thank-you items to send out for the following suggested donation levels:

  • $1 – $49: unique and personalized L.P.V. thank-you note
  • $50-$150: set of L.P.V. “Dream Team” trading cards enclosed with thank-you note
  • over $150: wearable gift (think tenspeed hero socks!) enclosed with thank-you note

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Thank you all for your support! We can’t wait to bring back wonderful experiences to share with you and our Girls in the Game mentees.

Allez! Allez! Les Petites Victoires!

Yours truly,

Cady Chintis
Mia Moore
Madeleine Pape
Jannette Rho

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Allez, allez! 2014!

Les Petites Victoires, known affectionately to many as LPV, is excited to announce some great things happening in our third year as an elite amateur women’s cycling team.

First, we welcome Madeleine “Madi” Pape to our team roster! Madi shares LPV’s commitment to having fun while racing at a high level and brings a positive outlook, serious athletic background, and geographic diversity to LPV. After driving over to meet us from Madison, WI, Madi endured some unintentional hazing when the midwest skies opened up violently over our get-to-know-each-other team ride. She didn’t melt, or even whine, so we decided she’s definitely a keeper.

Next, we officially put Tenspeed Hero in charge of making us look good. They already were doing a good job of this with photos and stories and socks and water bottles for us, but now TSH will be our exclusive clothing and style sponsor for 2014. We cannot wait to show off the work of a talented team of people that has resulted in possibly the best women’s cycling kit ever made. Big thanks to Lauren Ayers, who gets the credit for our modified 2014 colourway.

Last, but not least, we have one more important partnership to share. Looking to add meaning and mentorship to our athletic endeavors, LPV has hooked up with Girls in the Game, a Chicago-based organization that promotes and enhances the overall health and well-being of girls by providing opportunities for sports, fitness, nutrition and health education, and leadership development. In addition to participating in several Girls in the Game events, LPV will donate a minimum of 20% of all funds we raise this year to support this group.

“The bicycle has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives a woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”- Susan B. Anthony

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Tested: TSH Women’s Jersey

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Photo by Luke Batten

About a month ago, L.P.V.’s shop sponsor, Johnny Sprockets, hosted a focus group with Olivia Bleitz, a Women’sProduct Marketing Specialist at Specialized Bicycle. Olivia wanted to hear what women cyclists in Chicago were looking for in bikes and gear made for women. Representatives from Half Acre Cycling and L.P.V. involved in everything from mountain bike racing to cycling advocacy groups to criterium racing to commuting were on hand to give their feedback. Despite such great diversity among the group, there was one complaint common to all: the lack of options for high-performing, well-designed cycling clothing for women.

So, when our friends at Tenspeed Hero showed me the prototype for their very first women’s jersey, it seemed as though they had overheard everything that we wished for in the Johnny Sprockets fit studio on the night of Olivia’s visit. No pastels, no swirly graphics, simply the most comfortable fabric and fit you can imagine. You really should read Tenspeed Hero’s own description of the jersey, but I will just tell you that I was lucky enough to test out this wonderful piece of clothing last Saturday and look forward to many more rides in it.

Oh, and the new socks are great too!

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Tour of America’s Dairyland: Part II (The Road Races)

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After a mix of experiences in the first 6 criterium races of the TOAD series that ranged from okay to pretty demoralizing, I was looking forward to the back-to-back road races on Days 7 and 8.

The Fond du Lac course was a flat-ish 10-mile circuit and there seemed to be an agreement among the omnium contenders to treat this as a rest day. I sat in patiently and tried to stay near the front–a place I didn’t spend much time during the crits–alert for moves as well as tips that more experienced riders were dishing out to their less experienced teammates. Holding position was tricky on the narrow roads and centerline infractions became so frequent (across all fields) that the local sheriff felt it was unsafe and one 10-mile circuit was cut from the race. Even the bell lap was pretty tame, but the lead out for Pepper Palace went a little too early causing a lull before the final surge led by Sam Schneider. Sam (Tibco to the Top) ended up third, while Amy Cutler (EPS p/b Shebell Shebell), who podiumed at Schlitz Park the previous day, took the win by inches from LVG (Mellow Mushroom). I waited a while for results to be posted, and two chocolate milks later found out I was 13th, which meant I was in the money. Finally!

roadamerica-mapI would also finish 13th after 12 laps on the 4.4-mile Road America auto racing course in Elkhart Lake, although this race played out quite a bit differently. Again we had a slow start, but by mid-race things were starting to get animated. After a series of moves by ISCorps, Pepper Palace, and Specialized Columbia, it seemed right to try to keep the action going. I made an attack and was joined by Kelli Richter (PSIMET). With Kelli’s former teammate, Jeannie Kuhajek (Vanderkitten) blocking, our gap grew to 45 seconds. Kelli and I had time to talk during a neutral period in the race while the men were overtaking. Although there was still half the race to go, we decided to give it a shot. We couldn’t see anyone behind us on the track until we started going up the big ramp for the third time alone. The field looked to be gaining, and the feed zone at top of the ramp would be a good place to reintegrate. We shut it down and I did my best to latch onto the group. At first, recovering from that effort seemed unlikely, but the pace settled down and I managed to rest enough in the next 4 laps to stay in decent position for the finish: one final sprint up the big ramp followed by 200 meters of false flat. During my recovery period, Alison Tetrick (Exergy 2016) escaped and stayed away to win solo. Sam Schneider won the field sprint, but couldn’t put enough places in between her and LVG to take over the leaders’ jersey. Unfortunately for my break-mate, Kelli punctured in the final lap.

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