2017 Race Season Hagens Berman Supermint what a year!

Starla Teddergreen HIA Velo Journal Entry

Winning and Losing in the final seconds of the Chico Stage Race

It always amazes me how things seem to come to an almost standstill in the final seconds of a bike race. Chico Stage Race day 1 circuit race is a perfect example. I enter the final turn 12 positions farther back than I would like to be, and time starts to slow down. I can hear every labored breath, feel every burning muscle, I scan my body, calculating how to get more power out of my position on the bike. Pull back on the bars, chest down, get out of the wind. As adjustments are made I can feel my power increase, navigating to find daylight, a piece of open runway pointing me towards the white Finish line. Simultaneously my focus moves to the girl in front of me on the left, hoping she does not deviate any farther to her right, or the door to daylight will be closed and I will be put into the wall.

I find these moments beautiful, poetic even until that voice in my head starts screaming at me to go. Do not let your teammates down, don’t make all their hard work count for nothing, all those lead-outs, all those covered attacks, their legs, and lungs were burning for you, for this moment, don’t let them down. Go. Go. Go!

The road opens up with all riders behind me but one, the white finish line is quickly approaching, the voice in my head screams, you are gaining on her. Surprising myself, I had one more kick. I stretch out my arms and throw my bike as far forward as I can without disengaging from the pedals, getting rid of the bike completely. The white line flashes below me, I crossed it first. Did, I? Did I really? At this moment I feel outside of my body, disbelief consuming me. I sit up, arms up, but not fully extended in fear I was mistaken. Body gasping deeply for air, I am snapped back into the moment, I was holding my breath, holding it all in, savoring those seconds. I came through for the team, taking home the Win, the Green Jersey and my first ever Yellow Jersey.

Those seconds were special.

The final stage and downtown crit

I’m in the Green Jersey, our team is in Yellow, and our jobs are set. The race unfolded with the team executing time and time again for me to sprint, securing the Green Jersey and the coveted big Cash prime, as they covered attacks and made sure our Yellow Jersey was protected.

The bell rings with the same chaotic energy of the peloton, one to go. I am 3rd wheel and my teammate is on the front, and the sprinter to beat sits 2nd, separating me from her. I decided I am ok with this. She leads through turns 4 and 5, and we are in the final stretch leading into the final turn. Her incredible effort relents and she peels off, 2nd wheel is now in the wind. She looks back and time stops. This moment is where I lose the race.

That moment has been on replay in my mind for days now, not to beat my self up, but to learn from the possibilities of what could have happened if in that moment I had and jumped her to the turn. The danger of replaying any race and playing the “What if?” game the outcome is always unknown. If I hit the corner first would I have held her off, as well as the rider who got 2nd earning the precious time bonus affording her to take over the Yellow Jersey.

It is possible if I had of jumped first, that she would have matched me and still made it to the final corner first. With all the possibilities of what could have happened how is it that I know the single defining moment when I lost the race? In that moment, I was not in control of my next move but was reacting to the chain of events unfolding in front of me. For me, the difference between winning and losing at Chico was being in control of my next move.

In those final seconds of any bike race time does slow down for me, just enough to grasp hold of those valuable takeaways, the spectacular part of bike racing is the takeaways on how to win and lose a bike race in the final seconds will be different the next time around.




Exciting announcement KindHuman 2016

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What do you get when you combine a professional graphic designer and a professional bike racer? Starla Teddergreen. Starla has a storied career racing for some of the most prolific teams in the United States including the crit conquering Team Vanderkitten and Fearless Femme. Starla is heavily involved with Play Hard Give Back an organization uniting athletes with advocacy and She Jumps whose mission is to increase the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities. Obviously, Starla is a great fit with KindHuman Bicycles and our culture. She also happens to be one of the most enigmatic racers on the road today and we are proud to have her racing for KindHuman Bicycles and guest riding for some of the nation’s top teams on our Kampionne at USA Crit and NRC events all season long. Starla had this to say about the new partnership, “I’m super excited to partner with KindHuman Bicycles. It’s always been a company I admire and respect because they focus on making performance cycling more accessible to all riders by offering responsibly priced, top-quality, hot-looking products and a personal experience to match. KindHuman also gives back to the community via scholarships, charity, and supporting youth in cycling; we share the same values, and I’m happy to be a part of that mission.”

Moreover, we will be collaborating with Starla on limited edition, Starla Designs projects. These special release projects will combine Starla’s creative expertise with our high-performance products. We’re excited to showcase her talents on our products and offer them to riders everywhere! Starla commented on these future projects, “I am really looking forward to the design collaboration opportunities ahead! It’s going to be an awesome experience, and for the first time, fans will have access to not only the bikes I ride but bikes I design with the KindHuman team!”

Starla continued, “I have personally experienced and witnessed how cycling can change a person’s life for the better. People’s stories, how they got into cycling, and how they are giving back to the sport is what makes this sport special to me. I respect achievements and podiums, and strive for them myself, but that’s not what keeps me in this sport. Being able to inspire and encourage others to live healthy, active lives and to fuel someone’s passion for cycling is what inspires me to keep going and building a strong, positive cycling community. I am honored to be part of the KindHuman family, to share my story on and off the bike, with hopes to inspire others.”

We will also see Starla participating in ‘cross and mountain events in 2016. Starla had this to say regarding her 2016 plans, “The 2016 season will be the first in my career in which I get to race without a particular role, so I’ll be pushing myself into some new areas, and hopefully amplifying the places where I’m strong. I’m also looking forward to guest riding with some awesome teams, and to try my hand at racing more in the dirt! “

It takes a team

It takes a team

To truly line up on the start line requires focus, planning, commitment, and preparedness in your Physical, Mental, Recovery, Nutrition,Team and Luck.


Physical training is putting your body through incredible stress, and suffering so come race day whatever the course and opponents have to offer, it feels easy in comparison to what you have been doing in training. Maybe not easy… but you are prepared and ready for the challenge. 
 
Not every race is won by pure power. It takes a strong, confident, sharp mind to know your opponents, course and winning strategy, to navigate through the peloton like a boss, and conduct your face with a cool calm nose breathing demeanor even though your legs are screaming at you to stop. It means believing in yourself and the work you have done, and knowing you can suffer even harder and won’t die from the pain you are feeling in your legs, and lungs. It means trusting your instinct, and to be patient so when you do strike it is with purpose, because you have played this moment over and over again in your head, arms out stretched over your head because you just won. 
 
Recovery is not just a shake, its easy spins to the coffee shop to meet your neglected friends, its visiting that person who spends hours working your muscles like rising dough, often inflicting giggles because thats what you do when you’re in pain. It means guilt-free naps in the middle of the day, sleeping in and sleeping often. It means pretending like you are a vegetable posted up on the couch sipping on your Maxim water bottle.
 
Nutrition – this is a BIG one. Nutrition matters on the bike off the bike, in training and recovery. It takes time and experimentation to learn what works for you. For me I am still learning how to properly fuel on the bike. Off the bike I feel pretty solid but getting myself to eat and drink on the bike, and to do enough of both is a challenge. This year we, the Fearless Femme Team  made the switch to Maxim, a European company now in the US which has been the fuel of the Tour de France teams for over 25 years. I had found a nutrition product in the past that had worked for me so I was a bit nervous to make the change, but it was an easy transition that has produced amazing results. 
 
The first and most important is simply that I want to use it. The Hypotonic Sports Drink tastes great in all three flavors, and is not too sweet like a lot of other sport drinks, so when I get a bottle feed I’m never disappointed in what I get. I’m satisfied knowing I’m getting a drink with all the essential vitamins, electrolytes and energy that I need so if I fall short on my other nutrition intake needs I know I am getting optimum nutrition from just my bottles. It’s like this product was made for me. All they have to offer from Carb load to gels are effective, so this encourages me to use them.
 
Without a team to race with, and a team of people to support you its hard to be a professional in any sport. I am fortunate to surrounded by an incredible team. 
 
Race Team: Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing, is a merger of two teams and sponsors with long term vision and goals chartered to advance and advocate youth and community cycling, as part of Pure Energy Velo, a  501c-3 based non-profit organization. 
 
With the team comes a star cast of sponsors: 
Coaching: Kendra Wenzel of Wenzel Coaching has been an integral part of my training and progression on the bike. We have an exciting path ahead of us.
 
Recovery/ Massage: Colleen Mcclenahan is experienced working with athletes. Her technique is slow and deliberate, which encourages the tissue to soften and melt. She has been amazing for recovery and correcting injury. 
 
Mental Preparedness: Melinda at GritPerformance fills the gap between hard work and mental strength. Melinda has experienced both the thrill of success and the challenge of adversity as an athlete throughout her life, battling her own addictions to running, skiing, swimming, yoga and recently mountain biking. As a coach and instructor Melinda speaks the language of an athlete while implementing brain based research skills for success.
 
Nutrition: Not only has Maxim Sports Nutrition properly fueled me but the team of Laura Borgelt, PharmD an English Channel swimmer, USA Aqua Bike National Champion and Ironman triathlete, and Brendan Lundy MBA co-founder of many start-ups, both domestically and internationally and athlete, as a former European cyclist and as an international triathlete, have both been a great resource with a plethora of knowledge and experience. 
Luck: There is no practicing luck, but to be successful in a race you need to have a lot of luck on your side. In my mind that means being a good person on and off the bike and keeping your good karma bucket full.
Want to build good karma and build an awesome Nutrition regime? 
 
Then go to Maxim Sports Nutrition and get a SPECIAL DISCOUNT of 20% off when you use Discount Code :  FearlessFemme  Use this code and you will support Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing  and this may even gain you some luck in your next race.
I cannot thank this team enough.
Maxim Sports Nutrition
Racing, training, dirt, and adventure

Racing, training, dirt, and adventure

When I’m up I’m up, and I want the world to know it. I want to share the experience with everyone who has helped me, pushed me, and believed in me along the way to get me to this moment. So when I’m down, I socially shut down, my blog, and athlete page suffer, and I go into hibernation. I fundamentally know that I will not lose your support, and that this is all a process. In a sport as grueling as cycling, a lot of things have to go right and luck needs to be on one’s side to have a good day, let alone a fantastic day. And, even fewer things need to happen to make for a bad day on the bike, often completely out of one’s control.

So why am I so hard on myself and why the shut down? Its hard to say “Hey, world I’m making progress, I’m doing better then last year, I’m crushing my power numbers but it just doesn’t seem to be enough right now to get me on the podium, sorry for falling on my face, but I’m getting closer to being there, I hope you will still believe in me and cheer for me!” I also am not one to make excuses or point fingers, if I was crashed out gapped off, dropped or have a mechanical it all comes down to something I did, did not do, or a decision that was made at some point leading up to or after the starting gun went off. It could even be karma getting me back for killing that spider last night.

What I am trying to say is it is hard for me to share and talk about the bad days, the hard days. I’m embracing them though, as part of the process, and am learning how to navigate through them and still share my racing experiences with all of you in a positive, honest way.

I promise to be better moving forward. Choosing not to look back to much I will summarize the past few months.

I went in to several stage races with expectations, and personal goals, some where met but many where not. At Joe Martin this year, I was in the first chase group, that much closer to being in the select group of top contenders. In my second year of stage racing I can feel the gains, but know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me. With a new team, and a team that is developing its riders it has been an interesting navigation exercise. We have been set free to learn how to race and to learn to finish a race. This has been both liberating, but also difficult for me to navigate as I am accustomed to having a role, a job to accomplish that often lead to me not finishing or even being expected to finish with the leaders. So with this new found freedom and expectations to finish the race and to try and finish with the leaders, I was learning to race my bike all over again, and maybe the right way for the first time.

I had an incredible training camp in Bend, Oregon where I got to spend some quality time with the people and pups that I love, riding my road bike on killer climbs and my mountain bike on mind blowing single track that made me question why I do not race dirt. This was great prep both mentally and physically for the races to come.

I am currently out on the road again just finishing up Pro Road Nationals in Chattanooga where I came up short of my goal to cross the finish line. I, along with 53 other riders, were pulled and only a very select group of 23 riders were allowed on the finishing circuits. Now in Richmond, I am enjoying the company of awesome teammates training together getting ready for the upcoming races in Winston Salem and Philly. No matter how the races go expect updates.

Thank you all for the continued support.

Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing

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Fearless Femme p/b Haute Wheels Racing launched in Houston TX a few weeks back. It was a crazy fun week of getting to know new team mates, dialing in equipment, training, riding for photo and video shoots, and riding for fun! We got to meet sponsors and the supporting community at our team lunch and spread the word about our 501(c)(3) a development of Pure Energy Velo, who’s mission is to build community health and awareness through cycling.

We then drove across the big state of TX then AZ to get to CA where we have spent the last two weeks racing and training, first competing in the San Dimas Stage race (Race report can be found here at Cycling Illustrated), and then riding many hours on the beautiful roads of CA in prep for Redlands Cycling Classic. The race kicked off Wednesday with the Highland Circuit race, a hell of a hill on one side and a technical crit style course on the other. Today was the Time Trial at Big Bear Lake, a 7.65 mile roller coster ride. The hardest part of this stage for me was the drive up and down the 48 mile twisty mountain roads, my world was spinning.

The next few days consist of the return of the famous Yucaipa road race, with three grueling circuits and then a 6 mile climb to the Finish at Oak Glen Village, this will be a very decisive race and could be a big shake up to the GC.

Saturday brings the race into downtown Redlands for a fast technical crit, my personal favorite. This 60 minute race highlights the bike classic in the community. Spectators are able to get up close and will experience the high speeds and aggressive racing. We hope to see all the kids we visited the past two weeks at school visits come out and race in the kids race as well.

Last but not least on Sunday, the Sunset Road Race, a 68.3 mile race that is ripped apart at the seams in the “neutral” start. If a racer manages to survive this, they enter onto a fast technical circuit where a small select group will then descend back into downtown and finish on the same crit course as the day before and the over all winer will be determined.

Both the Crit and Sunset will be live streamed, so tune in on Saturday and Sunday to watch the action play out. All race times and info can be found here.

Follow the team for updates on FaceBook on Twitter @FEARLESS_HAUTE.

While you are here also check out my updated pages with race schedule, sponsor and other team info. Lets do this!