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The 2011 racing season was an awesome experience for the Strive Racing Team.  Each rider got to experience the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  For the year, the team did far better than they could have ever imagined, totaling up 25 wins, 71 podiums, 7 State Championships, and two youngest finisher world records.

Hannah’s season was the most challenging, but also the most rewarding, as it was time for Hannah to start making the transition from Juniors to Women Category 3/4.  To that end, Hannah raced both Jr. Women 15 – 18 and Women Category 3/4, which is a huge step up from the Juniors.  Her first race of the year was the Women’s Cat 3/4 Poor College Kids Road Race, a 34 mile out and back on a very skinny two lane road with no bike lane and the center line rule being strictly enforced.   68 riders started this scary race in a chilly 38 degrees.  The downhill final sprint had a pack of 40 women, with Hannah right in the middle of it.  Four riders wide and banging elbows at 42MPH, the pack of women tried desperately to win while not crossing the center-line or crashing.  It was a miracle nobody went down.  After spinning out on her junior gears, Hannah hung on for 32nd but that finish really freaked her out.   As the season progressed, so did Hannah’s skill set on the bike and her confidence when riding in a big pack.  By the end of the SCNCA season she had made the Women’s Cat 3/4 podium multiple times and finished 15th out of the 97 riders.  In the Junior races, she very rarely lost.  Her 11 wins on the season included winning all of the State Championship races at the bottom of her age division.  Her greatest accomplishment was becoming the first junior woman ever to complete the Everest Challenge, the hardest two day stage race in America with 29,000 feet of climbing and multiple trips above 10,000 foot elevations.  In that race, not only did she finish, but she also beat a number of Pro/1/2 riders and all but one of the 14 Cat 3 riders.  Hannah is extremely excited about next year.

Rachel had a good, but hard season.  This was only her second year on the bike and her first year racing.  In addition, she had to face Amelia Tanner (Milliegoat), her sister Moriah, Courtney Comer, and Rachel Cross in almost every race.  Milli is a 6x State Champion and multi-time National Medalist.  Moriah, while younger than Rachel, is a 3x National Medalist and 3X State Champion.  Courtney is a State Champion and 2x National Champion.  Rachel Cross is also a State Champion and National Medalist.  What a tough field to have to compete against in your first year of racing!  Given the level of competition, Rachel did incredible.  She ended the year 2nd out of the 19 riders in her SCNCA division, losing only to Moriah her sister.  She tallied up 6 wins and 24 podiums in her 35 races.  Unfortunately, at Nationals she was involved in a nasty crash in the first race that ruined her chances there.  Her greatest accomplishment was winning her first State Championship.  Rachel did great this year and is looking forward to next year.

Moriah had a great year on the bike.  Moriah tallied up 6 wins and 23 podiums in her 38 races.  Twelve of those 38 races were non-junior Category 3/4 races, placing Moriah on the podium in 23 out of her 26 junior races, which was good enough to give her the SCNCA SoCal Cup title for Junior Women 10-14 at age 12.  She also won both the TT and the Road State Championship races and finished 2nd in the State Championship Crit, losing to 2x National Champion Courtney Comer.  Finally, she brought home two medals from the Road Nationals in Augusta, GA.  However, her greatest accomplishment was becoming the youngest female in the world (as far as we know) to ever complete a double century.  Not only did Moriah finish the 201 mile ride and 9,000 feet of climbing, but her time of 13.5 hours was only beaten by 3 of the 25 women finishers.  It was an outstanding  year for Moriah.

Sarah had the most painful season.  Like Rachel, this was Sarah’s first year racing.  Out of her 25 races, she crashed 2 times, both of which occurred at over 20 miles per hour and were extremely violent crashes.  Each crash left Sarah severely scraped up and in a cast.  Racing as a ten year old in the SCNCA Junior Women 10-14 division, she had to compete against the same talented 19 person field as Rachel and Moriah, making it difficult for her to make the podium.  That said, she was able to tally up 2 wins and 5 podiums in her 25 races.  She finished the SCNCA season 5th out of the 19 riders in the Women’s 10-14 division.  However, her top ten finish at Nationals in the Women’s 10-12 division was her greatest accomplishment of the year.  2011 was a learning year for Sarah.  Like her sisters before her, Sarah will be very fast in the years to come.  See the awesome photos here.