• megan guanier – she’ll gnaw your face off

    by  • February 22, 2011 • interviews, norcal scene • 4 Comments

    lenzi_mega.jpgNorcal emigree, and TIBCO professional, Megan Guarnier is blossoming into one of the highest profile riders in the American peloton. A powerful bike handler, one with an insatiable desire for pain (inflicted on self or others), and a rider who’s race intelligence continues to be refined by international competition ~ Guarnier is a huge prospect for the coming years.

    Megan has shown an ability to light up any type of race with her all-around’er strengths and fearless racing style. In her 2nd year under TIBCO tutelage, she’s also learning the ropes and responsibilities of being on a 1st tier professional team.

    Norcalcyclingnews caught up with Guarnier after her trip to the UCI-opening Tour of Qatar, and she shares her thoughts on the race, what’s up for 2011, and the difficulties of having a boyfriend who has more flamboyant footwear than you.
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    mega_nezpodium.jpgNorcalcyclingnews:
    Last year you took some big wins (Green Mountain, TdNez, Mt. Hamilton) – how do you measure 2010 in regards to your overall development as a pro cyclist? What will you aim for in 2011?

    MEGA:
    I feel as though last year was a great step in my progress and growth as a professional. I’m starting to see results from my hard work in training and racing. Team TIBCO gave me an awesome opportunity in 2010 to grow and develop. Fortunately, Linda saw the investment pay off and offered me a spot for 2011. My goal is to continue my upward progression and build on Team TIBCO success in 2010.
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    Norcalcyclingnews:
    You were recently at the UCI Tour of Qatar with the American National Team … tell us, who among your teammates was most likely to where a burka and why?

    MEGA:
    Jackson Stewart. He was trying hard to blend in as much as he could with 6 American women.

    jackson.jpg

    .Norcalcyclingnews:
    With the growing talent pool in American women’s cycling, getting on the National team must be difficult. Could you tell us how that came about for you in this year’s Qatar? Any future events with the team scheduled?

    MEGA:
    Jim Miller and I had a conversation in the Fall of 2010 about where I’d like to take my cycling career. In that conversation he mentioned he had an opening for Qatar and that it was mine if Team TIBCO/To the Top wasn’t planning on going. TIBCO didn’t send a team, so I took the spot on the National Team.

    I only know that I’m going to Europe to race for Team TIBCO/To the Top in the Spring Classics, races like Flanders and Fleche-Wallone. I’m not sure what the schedule looks like much beyond that.

    mega_break.jpg

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    Norcalcyclingnews:
    We heard that there were some decent crashups at Qatar this year, any details on how that went down?

    MEGA:
    The crashes were typical racing mis-haps: riders trying to fit through gaps that weren’t there. It was the first race of the season, wide roads, massive winds, high speeds and unfortunately Team USA had some tough crashes. Thankfully, now we are all home and healing.
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    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Speaking of crashes, and considering riders like Jens Voigt taking a strong stance, what are your thoughts on the use of race radios? Are you in favor of the ban? Against?

    MEGA:
    Definitely for the use of race radios. We all know that they are useful as far as race tactics go, however, what often gets looked over is that they are invaluable tools when it comes to crashes, mechanicals, and upcoming hazards. I understand the biggest issue challenging the use of race radios is being spoon fed race tactics, however, name another sport where the athletes aren’t allowed to talk to their coaches during competition? (Don’t try to say swimming! I was a swimmer and knew exactly what my coach was asking of me on the sidelines.) Last year there were numerous times where we were lacking key race information from the officials. The ban of radios has put much more responsibility on the race commissaire and officials to provide crucial information to racers beyond just officiating the race.
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    megacrane.jpgNorcalcyclingnews:
    You’ve been viewed as one of the toughest, hard as nails competitors on the scene today. How does that impact your romantic relationship with one of Norcal’s more astonishingly metro-sexual men?

    MEGA:
    It’s a good balance; he really brings out my feminine side. Just don’t think that makes me soft on the bike.
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    Norcalcyclingnews:
    Speaking of people who haven’t gone soft, many of us have seen TIBCO owner Linda Jackson glaring at riders from the sidelines like Vince Lombardi on estrogen … is she as intimidating to ride for as she appears?

    MEGA:
    Didn’t you just call me ‘tough as nails’? How could I be intimidated?

    Seriously though, no – she isn’t intimidating because her passion is simply her desire to see us succeed. Linda invests a lot of heart, emotion, and energy into the team and into the sport of women’s cycling. She is an amazing woman and I am proud to ride for her.
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    Norcalcyclingnews:
    liberation.jpgLet’s talk about women’s cycling in general – you’ve raced some of the hardest events in Europe, been around much of the US NRC scene … what do you consider the state of women’s cycling? Are there things we, as fans, could be more vocal about supporting?

    MEGA:
    I think the level of women’s racing is rising here in the US. More women have been racing in Europe and they come back to the US and noticeably raise the bar. Cycling in Europe is like football here in America; it is much more popular (with athletes and fans), and women start at a much younger age. When American women go to Europe to race, we have to step up our game in order to compete. This translates to faster, more aggressive racing in the US.

    What can the fans do? More coverage, more talk, more blogs like norcalcyclingnews.com. The enthusiasm is there we just need to get the media behind us. Cycling, in general, gets very little airtime in the US and women’s cycling gets a fraction of that allotted coverage. The Tour de Nez women’s races received some coverage during the Tour de France on Versus last year (this was huge!). We need more of that. We need the fans to demand more of that. Whether it’s coverage for road, cyclocross, mountain bikes, or track we need the media to know that people want to and will watch cycling. The money will go where the media coverage is. More hype, more coverage will ultimately result in a higher level of women’s racing.

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    Thanks to Megan Guarnier for the interview, and best wishes from the Norcalcyclingnews crew on her continued happy riding and growing success.

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    4 Responses to megan guanier – she’ll gnaw your face off

    1. Margaret Jones
      February 22, 2011 at

      Awesome. Tough as nails is fantastic.

    2. February 23, 2011 at

      +1 Megan, great interview Megan and Hernando

      Worth mentioning that if you want to see women racing and you’re not at the event for whatever reason, the Sporza downloads you see on the interwebs p2p-dark-alley-downloads of cross races show enough of the women’s races that they get all the plot in there.

      Other than that, you have to watch either track world cup stuff (boring? sorry) or wait for the world championships, where the full race usually hits the interwebs p2p back alleys. It’s good when it shows up though – just as good for trainer suffering as any guys’ event, and frequently a bit less programmatic because the fields aren’t quite as deep – a positive, really.

      Other than those, are there other video feeds available?

    3. Anonymous
      February 23, 2011 at

      Is that Michael Ball?

    4. clm
      February 24, 2011 at

      Great interview!!!

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