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Strive Racing Team's Number Watch:
2012 Events: 48
2012 Wins: 33 (20 by Hannah)
2012 Podiums: 127
Hannah's Cat 3 to Cat 2 Upgrade: Done!
Rachel's Cat 4 to Cat 3 Upgrade: Done!
Moriah's Cat 4 to Cat 3 Upgrade: Done! 

November 22, 2012 - 2012 Strive Racing Video
It is finally done and filled with some inspiring attacks, breakaways, and final sprints.  Warning, it is 9 minutes long.  Watch it here.

November 13, 2012 - 2012 Strive Racing Video
The much anticipated and long over-due 2012 Strive Racing video has finally entered production.  Six hours of video from 48 different venues has yielded over 100 awesome clips.  Check back soon.  We will post the Youtube link here once it is complete.

November 10, 2012 - Team Update
Every training book worth reading will stress the importance of recovery.  With the exception of the one 25 minute effort below, the girls have done nothing for six weeks, except pure rest and recovery.  With all the racing they did this year, their bodies needed the time off, as did coach.  It has been a wonderful time of regeneration that will most likely continue for another month.

October 16, 2012 - Tom's Farm TT
Wow!  She did it.  Having raced against her older sister 40 times this year, Rachel finally pulled out her first win over Hannah.  We already knew that Rachel had the best TT form on the team.  However, the Everest Challenge obviously made Rachel a lot stronger.  She shaved over 3 minutes off her previous fastest time at Tom’s Farm to post a 22:49 and beat Hannah by 20 seconds.  Moriah also did the TT, but had a major mechanical that cost her about 15 minutes.  Way to go Rachel!

October 8, 2012 - Everest Challenge Update 
Race Report is done.  Read it here

September 30, 2012 - Everest Challenge
They did it!  All three girls finished the 2012 Everest Challenge.  One year ago, at age 15 Hannah became the youngest female ever to finish this insane race.  This year Rachel, who was also 15 at EC but had a racing age 10 weeks younger than Hannah, broke her record as the youngest female finisher.  Rachel held that record for approximately 50 minutes until Moriah, at age 13, finished and became the youngest EC finisher of all time, male or female.  Full race report, photos, and video coming soon!

September 25, 2012 - Everest Challenge Update
EC training is done!  Thank God!  For the last four weeks our long rides have had over 10,000 feet of climbing in them.  We have made the rides tougher and tougher each week, both for physical and metal resolve.  For our final EC training ride, we climbed the brutal 20% grades of Pine Creek four times in a row.  Each loop up Mt. Laguna had 26 miles with 3,000 feet of climbing.  For those of you who did the Pine Creek Challenge, you know just how tough this climb is.  Imagine having to hit Pine Creek’s sustained, brutal crux for the fourth time in one day with 85 miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing in your legs!  All three girls did this last weekend, finishing this psycho final training ride very strong.  I was humbly impressed.  They are now both physically and mentally prepared for the Everest Challenge.  In the last 6 weeks of our training, each girl lost 3 pounds and I lost 9 pounds.  We ate extremely healthy and focused on recovery.  This week is all about recovery and regeneration.  EC is Saturday and Sunday.  There are currently 32 Ladies signed up (including the non-competitive category), but the fields are growing daily.  Hannah will be racing Women Pro/1/2.  Rachel and Moriah will be racing Women 3/4.  The girls have trained very hard for this race and I am extremely proud of them no matter what happens this weekend.  That said, they are ready and extremely excited to tackle the 29,000 feet of climbing while racing on one of the most beautiful courses in the world.  Whooooo-Hoooooo!

September 9, 2012 - Pine Creek Challenge
The 2012 Pine Creek Challenge went as good as it could have possibly gone.  The weather was perfect for climbing 10,000 feet and tackling the 22% grades of Pine Creek.  We had a low of 65 degrees and a high of 85 degrees.  We also had a nice cloud cover for most of the day.  There were 15 riders that took part in the event, if you include Luke Swan, who amazingly did the Engineers Rd. climb at age 7 on a 20 pound bike.  Luke’s ride covered 7 miles and 1,400 feet of climbing, including the sustained 13% finish at the top.  It took him just under an hour. His little legs were so spent after he topped out that he could not even un-clip.  Fortunately, Deb Kirby was there to catch him.  Nine of the riders finished the entire 101 miles and climbed all 10,000 feet, including two USD crew coaches, Brooks and Kim (great job!).  Two more finished over 90 miles of the ride and climbed 9,000 feet.  The lead group averaged 14.8 MPH for the day, which is not bad given 10,000 feet of climbing and the fact that 11 year old Sarah set the pace up the Kitchen Creek climb.  We had incredible SAG support from Dawn Swan, Deb Kirby, and Sara Oien which made the ride so much more enjoyable.  Thank you Ladies!  Look for “Chronicles of the Sagging Mom” to hit the bookshelves soon.  See photos here.

September 3, 2012 - Everest Challenge Update
EC training remained on schedule today, as the three girls and I got up at 4:45am to try and beat, at least some, of the heat (see video).  We climbed 9,600 feet over 95 miles with temps that hit 104 degrees.  It was extremely difficult, but the ride toughened up the mental and physical resolve of Hannah, Rachel and Moriah, which is essential for beating the 25% DNF rate at the Everest Challenge.  Come join us this Sunday for 10,000 feet of climbing in the Pine Creek Challenge.

September 2, 2012 - SoCal Cup #9
The night before this race, Hannah received her Cat 2 upgrade, which essentially kicked her out of the Women’s 3-4 race.  At the same time, Rachel received her Cat 3 upgrade, which made her eligible for the Women’s 1-3 race.  As this was the last regular season race for the team (we still have EC!), we took the entire team.  Rachel, Moriah and Sarah made up 33% of the 9 person field in the Women 3-4 race.  Despite the small field and Hannah’s absence, the presence of the remaining three heavy hitters (Emily, Charity, and Megan) still made this race exciting and fast.  Four laps into the race, Emily attacked, blowing three riders out the back, including Sarah who would take 9th.  The remaining six riders came around the final corner with Moriah 5th wheel and Rachel 6th.  Moriah got past one of the riders. Rachel, who threw down an amazing final sprint, came by everyone except Emily, who has won the last four races.  Rachel 2nd.  Moriah 5th.  Spent from her first race, Rachel was a bit nervous going into her inaugural Women’s 1-3 race, but she did great and even beat a couple of riders in the 10 person field taking 8th.  Hannah, came into the last corner 5th, and was able to sprint her way into 3rd, earning her first upgrade point toward becoming a Cat 1.  PC (Priscilla) would get her 3rd win of the year.

August 26, 2012 – SoCal Cup #8
Well, our midweek Everest Challenge training finally began to hurt the weekend racing legs.  Both Hannah and Rachel still had sore legs from their 7,200 feet of climbing earlier in the week when they took the line on Sunday with a field of 15 Ladies in the Women's 3-4 race. Rachel, who was especially stiff, had nothing left at the end of the race and took 14th.  Hannah went into the last lap 6th, so she had to go very early.  She attacked at the base of the hill and got by the other 5 riders, but ended up towing 4 of them into and through the last corner in her slip stream.  Emily, who has perfected her final sprint, was second wheel and stayed on Hannah until 100m to go.  Hannah was out of gas.  Emily easily came by her for the win.  Hannah 2nd.  In the Women’s 1-3 race, there were only 10 riders who took the start.  25 minutes into the race, Hannah and 3 other Ladies broke away.  They worked hard and the break stuck.  The break had two sprinters and two climbers.  Hannah would take 3rd after the two sprinters (Joy and Morgan) easily pulled away in the final sprint.  With the 2nd and 3rd place finishes, Hannah now has too many upgrade points (42) to remain a Cat 3.  Her Cat 2 upgrade has been submitted.

August 22, 2012 – Everest Challenge Update
EC training is right on schedule.  The girls and I woke up at 4:45am today and climbed 7,200 feet.  Their legs were still pretty tender from this last weekend.  The 20% grades of Pine Creek and duration of Kitchen Creek (after Pine!) definitely hurt, but it was a glorious way to start the day.  Join the girls in their EC training on Sept. 9th when we will hit the "10,000 feet of climbing" mark in the Pine Creek Challenge

August 19, 2012 – Ontario 6 - Last Junior Race of the Season
It was an awesome weekend of racing.  All four girls began their racing on Saturday with the brutal “Hotter n Hell” hill climb TT up Mt. Baldy.  This 12 mile long, 4,200 foot climb is very sustained and finishes with some long sections of double digit grades up at high elevations.  The temp hit 90 degrees in the lower sections, but then dropped to a bearable 80 degrees toward the top.  Hannah had an awesome one hour and twenty two minute battle with Rebecca Siegel, a strong Cat 2 who started 30 seconds behind her.  Rebecca caught Hannah on the lower, flatter sections, and then opened up a 1 minute and 45 second lead (1:15 on the road).  However, once the road started tilting up, Hannah started reeling her in.  Unfortunately, Hannah ran out of road after closing a minute of the gap, finishing 13 seconds behind her (43 seconds on time).  Rachel, Moriah and Sarah all finished strong as well, and like Hannah, cooked their legs for their full day of racing at Ontario the next day.  On Sunday morning, Rachel and Moriah were up first in the Women’s Category 4 race that went off at 7:00am.  Tracy Tilton, a new, but extremely fast rider, sat on the front for almost the entire race, drilling it so hard the race had an average speed of 24.4 MPH, which is more like a Women’s 1-3 speed!  However, Rachel and Moriah hung in there and even threw down at the end.  Rachel took 3rd and Moriah took 5th out of the 13 finishers.  The next race was the Women’s 10-14 race, which pitted Moriah against Rachel Cross and Courtney Comer for the last time this year.  Moriah would get the better of Courtney by 3 bike lengths, but would take 2nd to Rachel Cross, losing by one bike length for the 8th time this year to her.  Rachel, who is a year older than Mo, will be out of this division next year.  Despite all the 2nd places, Moriah will be sad to see her go as she loves racing with her.  Sarah, who has challenges outsprinting Lauren even when she is fresh, did not have a chance against her after her 4,200 feet of climbing the day before.  Sarah was walking pretty funny on Sunday.  In the Women’s 15-18 race, which had a starting field of 8 riders, Hannah would once again lap the entire field, recording her 20th win of the year.  Rachel Swan and Rachel Cross, who had a blast dropping other riders from the chase group, would end up chicka y chicka at the end in another great two person sprint battle.  Swan would win this one by a couple bike lengths.  The last race of the day was Hannah’s Cat 1-3 race.  Hannah rode a great race, covering 3 attacks, and then making a break.  However, once again she was blown out by the sprinters in the end giving her another 9th place.  It was a great day of fun and fellowship, as about 10 different families all hung out in the Swan camp for much of the day.

August 6th, 2012 – News Flash!
Well, it is official.  On September 29th and 30th of this year, Moriah will attempt to break Hannah’s record as the youngest female finisher of The Everest Challenge.  Rachel and Hannah will also be attempting this insane race.  If you have not seen Hannah’s historic ride, you can watch it here or read about it here.  The training has already begun.  Tomorrow we will tackle 5,000 feet of climbing.  We will add 1,000 feet of climbing each week to our long rides until we hit 13,000 feet on September 20th, before giving the girls 8 days of recovery.  If you are up for 10,000 feet of hard climbing, you can join us on September 9th for Strive Racing’s Pine Creek Challenge.  More info to follow on that ride.  In other news, the long awaited Strive Racing NATs novel has finally arrived.  If you cannot sleep at night and have nothing better to do, then read this.

August 5th, 2012 – Brentwood Grand Prix
Today was the Elite Criterium State Championships.  Ironically, it would mark two special 100 numbers for our team, as this was Moriah’s 100th race of her career, and it would end up being the 100th podium for Strive Racing in 2012.  The race had a good average speed for a Women’s 3-4 race at 23.0mph, which pegged little Moriah’s average heart rate at 2 beats below her LTHR for the 40 minute race.  Moriah was tough as nails, hanging with the 32 starters all the way to the end, where she would get blown out in the final sprint after spending 37 minutes straight in Zone 5.  Wow!  Rachel did good as well, but slid toward the back of the group with 2 to go during a surge and was unable to move back up far enough to lead Hannah out in the final sprint.  On her own and 5 wheels back as the group swung onto San Vicente Blvd. for the last time, Hannah had to go early, as she had to get by 4 other riders.  Unfortunately, right when Hannah launched, two of the girls in front of her launched as well, both of them swinging right, forcing Hannah to swing way right to get around them.  Not a good place to be in a left handed sweeping corner finish, especially with Emily Georgeson having the coveted inside line just a few feet off the guardrail.  With the shortest line to the finish and a 1 bike length lead with 200m to go, Emily drilled it, but so did Hannah 20 feet to her right, as she finally got around the other 3 riders.  With the exception of the 3rd place finisher who was a bit closer, Hannah and Emily would end up pulling away from the peleton by over 10 bike lengths in an awesome two person final sprint battle.  Without that long left handed corner, it probably would have been a photo finish.  However at the line, it was still Emily by 1 bike length.  Great job Emily!

July 1st, 2012 – SoCal Cup #7
Hannah got back to her winning ways today, capturing her 17th win of the season over a field of 20 ladies.  Rachel and Hannah got pushed to the back of the W3/4 pack on the last lap (bad girls!), which forced Rachel to do her lead out much earlier than we had planned.  So, right after turn three, which is still 485 meters from the finish line, Rachel went.  Once again, Rachel drilled the perfect 200m lead out, blowing by the entire field, then swinging off to launch Hannah into the lead.  Unfortunately, there was still 285 meters to go to the finish line and Hannah had a train behind her.  Hannah’s initial acceleration into the false flat snapped everyone except Megan Monroy, who stayed glued to Hannah’s back wheel for 200m.  The two of them rounded the last corner with a five bike length lead over the rest of the field.  Megan then swung with 75m to go.  Hannah dug deep and pulled out the win by half a bike length.  Awesome final sprint, set up by the perfect lead out.  Too bad that did not happen last week at NATs!

June 20th-22nd, 2012 – 2012 Junior Road National Championships
If you only have time to read the short version, here it is.   NATs was an awesome experience.  The temperature and humidity were both far more bearable than last year.  Nobody on the team crashed, unlike last year, and the girls had tons of fun competing against the fastest girls in the nation.  Each of them represented the team well, demonstrating great sportsmanship.  In addition, despite having 3 of our 4 riders at the bottom of their age divisions, the team still brought home four medals, which is twice as many as last year when we had more riders at the top of their age divisions.  The team as a whole is certainly getting faster.  Two of our riders medaled for the first time and the team made the podium in each of the three disciplines (Road Race, Time Trial, and Crit), demonstrating great team balance.  While the trip was a lot of work and we made a few large mistakes that really hurt the team’s results (read long version), all in all, it was a great trip to Georgia.  God is good!
If you have time for the long version, here it is: NATs:  The Whole Story

June 10th, 2012 – SoCal Cup #6
All four girls joined the field of 23 starters for the Women's 3-4 race.  The 12 Cat 3’s that were in the race decided to start racing right from the whistle, putting in 1:55 lap times for the first few laps, with attack after attack.  This blew 5 riders out the back, including Sarah on lap 2 and Moriah on lap 3.  On the last lap, once again Kate Wilson and one other rider shot off the front after the second corner and opened up a huge gap on the back side.  For the third time this season, Hannah’s super domestique, Rachel, swung left and just buried herself with Hannah tight on her wheel.  Rachel pulled Hannah past 6 other riders between corners 2 and 3, entering corner 3 just in front of the pack in 3rd place.  She then swung off to the left just as they hit the hill.  Kate was still a good 20 bike lengths ahead, and was dropping the other rider.  Hannah then buried herself up the hill, passing the other rider and coming around the final corner just 4 bike lengths behind Kate.  However, Julie Riccardi was right on Hannah’s wheel.  After closing the remaining gap on Kate, both Hannah and Julie swung left and with 75m to go, the three Ladies were virtually side by side by side.  It was a thrilling final sprint!  Hannah put her head down and pulled away to win by 1.5 bike lengths.  It was Hannah’s 15th win of the year and Rachel’s 3rd perfect lead-out.  Julie 2nd.  Kate 3rd.  Kate would get the better of Hannah in the next race (Women's 1-3) taking 5th.  Hannah would take 8th out of the 20 starters in that race, which also saw a blistering start (1:40 lap times).  The super-fast start heavily fractured the field, resulting in a record 6 DNFs for only 20 starters (30%).  Awesome day of racing!  Very fun to watch.

June 2nd, 2012 – Road State Championships
After sweeping the three junior State Championship Road races last year, the pressure was on.  This year we ended up going 1 for 3.  The 10-12 and the 13-14 races were essentially on a flat 12 mile course with one little kicker hill at the end.  Sarah was able to pull away from her 10-12 field, as was Moriah in 13-14, but the hill flattened out before the finish, and as soon as it did, Lauren came by Sarah and Rachel Cross and Courtney came by Moriah.  Sarah 2nd.  Moriah 3rd. Hannah’s 15-16 race was 25 miles and had 2,000 feet of climbing in it, so it was much more like a real road race.  Hannah attacked on the first hill and ended up winning the race by 12 minutes.  It was her 14th win of the season.  Rachel and Millie had an awesome battle on the final hill for 2nd.  Rachel opened up a 5 bike length advantage by the top of the hill, but as soon as the hill flattened out, Millie clawed back into her slip stream and then swung to take 2nd.  Rachel 3rd.  One hour later, Hannah would then take the starting line for the 50 mile Cat 3 State Championship that had 4,000 more feet of climbing.  Unfortunately for her, when the rest of her field was approaching mile 50 with 4,000 feet of climbing in their legs, Hannah was at mile 75 with 6,000 feet of climbing in her legs.  She would take 4th.  She would then race the Women 1-3 the next day, doing another 50 miles with 4,000 more feet of climbing, but this time with much faster Ladies, most of whom were on their first race of the weekend.  Unable to recover from the day before, Hannah would take 11th out of the 25 starters.  It was a hard weekend of racing, especially for Hannah, but all the girls got stronger as a result.

May 28th, 2012  -  SoCal Cup #5
29 Ladies took the line for this popular Crit in the Women’s 3-4 race.  Peta Taki shot off the front from the whistle and stayed away for two laps solo.  As soon as she was reeled in, Tania Satchwell shot off the front.  As soon as she was reeled in, Nina Brandt shot off the front.  As this point the pack hesitated and gave Nina some rope.   Nina took full advantage and quickly opened up a 30 second gap, which she would extend to 45 seconds before taking the solo TT victory 35 minutes later (ouch!).  All the early attacking shot Sarah out the back on lap 5, but both Moriah and Rachel hung with the 23MPH pace until the very end.  Moriah would get her best 3-4 finish of the year taking 14th.   Once again, Rachel played super domestique, coming to Hannah’s rescue as they rounded the second to last corner.  Hannah had fallen back to 10th on the last lap (bad girl!).  From behind Hannah, Rachel swung with 800m to go and absolutely buried herself with Hannah tight on her wheel.  Rachel drilled it, passing every single rider in front of them to enter the last corner first.  Hannah and Kate Wilson entered the corner shoulder to shoulder in 2nd, but Kate had the outside line and carried more speed around the corner, blasting out of it to open up a 2 bike length advantage over Hannah.  Hannah gave it all she had, but could not reel Kate in.  Nina 1st (great job Nina!), Kate 2nd (awesome sprint Kate!), Hannah 3rd.  The highlight of this race was by far Rachel’s insane lead out.  She was given multiple compliments after the race by a number of ladies, which made her 20th place feel much better.  Hannah would do the W1-3 race an hour later, which once again topped 25 MPH.  She missed the 4 person break and ended up taking 8th out of the 16 starters.

May 27th, 2012  -  Barry Wolfe GP
On a fun new course, the Barry Wolfe GP Women’s 3-4 race saw a record high 35 Ladies take the line, including 6 riders from Team Helens.  11 year old Sarah hung with the 23 MPH pace for approximately 10 laps before peeling off.  Moriah hung until 3 laps to go when the attacks started back to back to back.  Rachel was an awesome domestique for Hannah, bringing Hannah from 9th to 2nd with 2 laps to go.  However, nobody was about to let her in, so Rachel went to the front of the spear and did her best to keep the pace as high as she could.  With Hannah 2nd wheel, Rachel took the head and kept the peloton single file for over a lap.  Then with half a lap to go she ran out of gas.  Riders started coming by the two of them and not one of them was about to let Hannah in, but in the second to last corner a gap opened up between 7th and 8th and Hannah quickly slotted in.  Rounding the last corner in 8th, Hannah had to go early, as Team Helens had their train organized and they were now firing at full throttle.  Hannah swung at over 200m to go and by the time she got to the finish line, she had just passed the last Helens rider by ½ a bike to take the win.  Helens took 2nd and 3rd.  It was Hannah’s 13th win of the season and gave her the upgrade points she needed to become a Cat 2.  Great race!

May 12th, 2012  -  TT State Championships
As of Friday morning, we still had no TT bike for Hannah, who had outgrown her TT bike from last year.  Bad news for Hannah, but good news for Rachel.  Our wonderful Team Advisor, Amber Neben, used her vast cycling network, and some help from above, to find us a loaner TT bike for Hannah, that we ended up getting on Friday afternoon, less than 16 hours before her start time.  Due to logistics, her very first ride on this bike would be the 23.5 mile Women’s 3 - 4 TT that went off at 7:00am.  Still trying to figure out her positioning on the bike and get her legs back from her crash, her time of 1 hour and 58 seconds would only be good for 5th place out of the 15 competitors.  Rachel did this race as well.  Rachel’s time of 1 hour 4 minutes would be good for 12th place.  That 1 hour long TT pretty much destroyed them both.  Then came the Junior State Championship races an hour later.  Sarah would start things off in the 10 – 12 division, which only raced 6.5 miles.  Starting last and finishing first, Sarah would win her first State Championship by over 1 minute on her closest competitor with a time of 16:32.  In the 13 – 14 race, Moriah, who posted a time of 15:50, would take 2nd once again to Rachel Cross, who has been very tough to beat this year.  Hannah and Rachel, who were both pretty wiped out from their 1 hour TT earlier in the morning, then battled it out with Millie Tanner in the 15 – 16 race, which did 17 miles.  Hannah’s time of 43:34 was good for first place by over two minutes, giving Hannah her 6th State Championship and 12th win of the year.  Millie took second with a time of 45:40, and Rachel took third with a time of 47:41.  After going 0 for 3 at Crit States the week before, we were very thankful to go 2 for 3 at TT States.  Thank you Lord!  Road States are next and the girls are pumped up to try and repeat their 3 for 3 results of last year.  As a side note, if you want to experience some very sore legs the next day after a ride, go out and try and TT for 1 hour and 45 minutes.  Hannah, tried to race the next day at Velo Allegro, and despite a good warm up on the trainer, she could only take 9th out of the 24 riders.  After the race, she looked at me and said, “Dad, my legs just did not work in the final sprint?!?!”
May 5th, 2012  -  Barrio Logan Grand Prix
This race was the Junior Criterium State Championships.  It is a good thing that “God gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), as this was a very humbling day.  The Strive Racing Team had won 6 of their last 7 State Championship races.   So when we went 0 for 3 today, it was a hard pill to swallow.  In the Jr. Women’s 10 -12 race, Sarah, Lillianna, and Lauren were the only three left for the final sprint.  11 year old Lauren, who is currently ranked #1 in the nation, and has been riding very strong lately, won the sprint by 10 bike lengths.  Very Impressive!  12 year old Lillianna and our 11 year old Sarah were a little closer together, but Lillianna still easily got the better of her, leaving Sarah with another 3rd place.  In the 13 -14 race, Moriah got a horrible clip and start, which eventually resulted in her getting snapped off the back of the 13-14 boys break-away group.  She would finish in 3rd place.  Rachel Cross and Courtney both made the boys break and sat on them until the end.  Once again, these two had an incredible 150 meter final sprint battle, and once again, it was Rachel Cross getting the win by less than a bike length.  Wow!  In the 15 - 16 race, Hannah suffered through her 6 day old crash wounds (See Day of Photo) the best that she could, but her body was in too much pain to perform.  She would end up taking 2nd to Millie, who rode an awesome race and had a stellar final sprint to beat Hannah by a bike length.  Rachel Swan would take 4th in this race.  I have been told by a number of people that it was too soon for Hannah to be racing after a crash of that magnitude, as the body needs time to heal.  In hindsight (which is always more clear), I made the wrong decision allowing her to race.  That said, our always wise Team Advisor, world champion cyclist Amber Neben, reassured me both with scripture and an encouragement to look at the positives.  The number one positive she said, “being that Hannah got a lesson in having to battle and simply survive on the bike and just be tough.”  Judd Van Sickle, the esteemed UC Davis Cycling Coach once told me that “the biggest predictor of success in Women’s cycling . . . is the willingness to suffer, . . . the ability to really suffer.”  So, focusing on the positive, Hannah got some good training in suffering this weekend and she will be tougher in the future as a result.  Congratulations to Lauren Stack, Rachel Cross, Millie Tanner, and Tara McCormick on their 2012 Crit State Championships.  Great job Ladies!  As an interesting side note, our only wins this weekend came via our 7 year old son Luke, who entered the Barrio Logan kids race for the first time on a road bike with clip-ins.  After easily winning the one lap 7 year old race, we threw him in the two lap 9 year old race just for kicks.  He won this race of approximately 20 juniors by over 100 meters.  “Hmmm”, we thought.  So, the next day we entered him in the 9 to 12 year old kids race up at the Dana Point Grand Prix, where he would race against kids that were 5 years older than him and 2 times his size.  He would race a full 2.5 laps on the same hilly Grand Prix course that the Pros ride.  Amazingly at age 7, he took 5th place out of a starting field of over 50.  Watch out for Luke in 2014!

April 29th, 2012 - Chuck Pontius Crit
There are good days in racing and then there are bad days in racing.  Today was a bad day.  27 Ladies took the start for this great crit.  The pace was relatively slow for a Women’s 3-4 at 22.5MPH, so Hannah shot off the front 20 minutes in to see if anyone would go with her.  She got a huge gap, but after solo TT-ing for a lap with no takers, she sat up a fell back into the peloton.  With 7 laps to go, Emily attacked approaching a corner.  Hannah was on the inside and another Woman was on the outside.  Both Ladies responded to the attack, but then had to navigate the corner.  According to Steve Barnes, the USAC moto ref, Hannah held her line around the corner, but the Woman on the outside cut across the front of the pack and took the corner too tight without looking over to see where Hannah was at.  The Ladies’ back wheel chopped Hannah’s front wheel, instantly taking her out and sending her to the pavement at 24MPH.  Race over.  Thank God she has no broken bones.  That said, she lost a fair amount of skin on her calf, knee, quad, elbow, forearm, and chin (See Photo).  Today was Hannah’s 99th race and this was only her 2nd crash.  Crashing is a part of racing.  She will heal and be right back out there.

April 28, 2012 – Devil’s Punchbowl Road Race
The junior races went great today. Rachel and Sarah essentially had a 32 mile training ride with 3,000 feet of climbing because no one else entered their race. Moriah continued her battles with Courtney and Rachel Cross and a few others that entered the Women’s 10-14 race.  Moriah attacked at mile 1, dropping all of her field. However, at mile 6 Rachel Cross bridged up to Moriah and a couple boys. The two of them would finish 5 minutes in front of the next closest female rider; however, at the line Rachel Cross got the better of Moriah once again, leaving Moriah with another 2nd place. Rebecca 3rd. Courtney 4th. In the Women’s 3/4 race, Hannah also attacked at mile 1, eventually establishing a 5 person breakaway group of elite climbers out of the pack of 27 Ladies. On the second 16 mile lap, Hannah would attack again, trimming the 5 to 3, leaving Hannah, Amy, and Kristabel to duke it out with each other once again. While Hannah beat them both last week at De Vlees Huis to take the win, today Amy’s final sprint was too strong for Hannah. Hannah got 2nd and Kristabel 3rd in another thrilling final sprint. While we just missed a three win day, it was still a great day of racing. 2 more upgrade points for Hannah!

April 22, 2012 – LA Circuit Race
The Jr. Women’s 15-18 race was interesting.  Moriah broke her cleat clipping in at the start and DNFed after pedaling one lap with one foot.  Sarah had a slow leak from a goat-head, which we did not find until the starting line of her next race, which was back to back.  Rachel had an awesome 200 meter final sprint battle with Lucy Peritz, in which Rachel won right at the end to take 2nd.  Hannah won her 8th straight Junior race.  The Jr. Women 10-14 race saw Courtney Comer and Rachel Cross in their best final sprint battle of the season, with Cross taking the win by less than a wheel.  Moriah, 1.5 bike lengths back, took 3rd once again to these two.  Poor Sarah’s wheel which was quickly pumped up on the starting line just seconds before the whistle was flat by the final sprint and she was unable to continue her battles with Lauren, Lillianna, and Cheyenne.  She got 9th.  In the Women 3-4, Hannah’s legs were a little cooked from her win at Vlees Huis the day before and her 16 mile race earlier in the day, but she still managed to take 4th out of the field of 35.

April 21, 2012 – De Vlees Huis Ronde Road Race
17 Ladies took the starting line in the Women’s 3-4 division for this awesome 30 mile road race with 2,500 feet of climbing.  7 miles into the race, Hannah attacked the group, shooting off the front and getting a nice gap.  Kristabel, Amy, and Emily, who had all beaten Hannah earlier in the season, eventually dropped the pack and bridged up to Hannah, making a select group of four great climbers that would stay away to the end.  On the final sustained 8% kicker hill right before the finish, Hannah attacked the three Ladies, dropping them all to win by a handful of seconds.  It was Hannah’s 10th win of the season and 30th of her career.  Great day.
April 15th, 2012 - So Cal Cup Crit #4
With sore legs from yesterday’s road race, Hannah, Rachel, Moriah and I drove to LA, for this always exciting Crit.  29 Ladies took the line for the Women’s 3/4 forty minute Crit.  The 23.4 MPH pace, and yesterday’s 44 mile road race, were just a tad bit too much for Moriah’s little legs.  She got snapped half way through the race during a hard, long attack.  Rachel hung in there till the final sprint and took 20th.  Hannah, Tania Satchwell, Kate Wilson, and Emily Georgeson rounded the last corner just in front of the charging pack and had an awesome 200 meter battle in a thrilling final sprint.  After missing the win by one bike length yesterday, Hannah dug deep to pull out the win by one bike length today.  It was Hannah’s 9th win of the season and gave her 4 more Cat 2 upgrade points!  Great day!

April 14th, 2012 - San Luis Rey Road Race
The The Women's 3-4 race was a 3 lap circuit with 44 miles and 1,600 feet of climbing.  A starting field of 45 Ladies began in very windy conditions, that DNF-ed 3 riders before the day was done.  All 45 Ladies entered the final 2 mile climb at the end of lap 1 as a pack, but only 12 of them emerged in the break-away lead group.  The rest of the field was then fractured into multiple chase groups.  Hannah made the break, but Rachel and Moriah did not.  At the end of lap two, the lead group was down to 9 riders with Hannah leading the group through the turn around, heading off for the final lap.  The group would swell to 16 riders before they hit the final climb 2 miles before the finish.  Amy Rice and Hannah put the hammer down and trimmed the lead pack to 5.  In the last mile, Amy and Hannah pulled away and entered the last 200 meters with a large gap.  The two Ladies had an awesome 200 meter final sprint battle, but at the line it was Amy who would get the win by 1 bike length.  Hannah 2nd, Rachel 26th, Moriah 34th.  Awesome race with 5 more Cat 2 upgrade points for Hannah! 
April 8th, 2012 - Ontario 3 Crit
The junior races went great.  The 10-14 race had a total 18 riders (8 boys and 10 girls).  Moriah was on the wrong train at the end and did not get off it until it was too late.  Courtney 1st, Rachel Cross 2nd, Moriah 3rd.  Sarah finally got the better of Lauren, who finished 5th and 6th respectively, but Lillianna bested them both taking 4th with an early attack on the final straight.  The 15-18 race had 23 riders (13 boys and 10 girls).  Hannah took her 7th straight win, while Rachel Cross just hung on to take second to a charging Rachel Swan who was closing fast but swung too late.  The Women’s 1-3 race had a starting field of 26, but the screaming fast pace of 25.3MPH, resulted in a few DNFs.  Hannah hung in there and even nailed back a four person break 20 minutes in and then made another break at 30 minutes in.  Her hard work and the fast pace though left her spent for the final sprint.  She took 13th. 

April 1st, 2012 - Torrence Crit
Awesome day of racing!  In the Women 10-14 race, Moriah and Rachel Cross had an awesome final sprint battle.  Rachel won by ¾ of a bike.  Courtney took 3rd four bike lengths back.  In the 15-18 race, Hannah won her 6th straight.  In the Women’s 1-3, Hannah made her first successful Cat 1-3 break, joining three Cat 1’s and a Cat 2 who hammered to keep the 5 person break away from the pack.  There were some brutal winds blowing and the breakaway finished 90 seconds in front of the pack.  Hannah outsprinted the Cat 2 and was right there with the three Cat 1’s, but took 4th missing the win by only 3 bike lengths.  Upgrade points! 

March 10th 2012 - Tour De Murrietta
Tour De Murrietta was a great experience for Hannah.  There were 5 Pro Women in the field of 50 total women, including team Specialized Lulu Lemon’s Loren Rowney, who won the 2 hour Circuit Race and the overall GC victory, and Kendall Ryan from Team Tibco, the young phenom who won the super sketchy Grand Prix Crit.  Those two Pros, along with Moriah McGregor from Colovita, set some blistering paces (25.5 Avg. MPH).  Hannah hung on in each race to get a 23rd, 30th, and 28th.
Even though Hannah beat roughly 20 Ladies, it was pretty humbling for her, as she really wished that she would have finished higher.  At age 15, she is still learning the importance of position as a race comes to a close, the hard way, and that she cannot get away with last lap adjustments in a Cat 1-3 race, that she can pull off in a Cat 3/4 race.  You gotta get up, when it is time to get up, or you ain't gonna get up period!  Especially, when there are 5 pros in the race!

February 12th 2012 - Roger Milliken Crit
Well, after taking 2nd out of 32 racers at the Poor College Kids Road Race and 4th out of 42 racers at the Boulevard Road Race, Hannah finally got her first WIN in a Cat 3/4 race today, throwing down the best sprint of her life, hitting a new max heart rate to beat the field of 23 Ladies by four bike lengths.  Wow!  After that race, she went on an hour later to take 14th out of 34 in the Cat 1-3 race.  Upgrade points! Great day!