Directors Update – Victoria, Australia
Jono from Vanderkitten here, checking in after a great long weekend of racing at Mitchelton Wines Bay Series Criteriums in Victoria, Australia.
This series marked the first time since 2010 NSWGP that Vanderkitten has raced as a squad in Australia. We wanted to make sure our young Kiwi & Aussie riders were able to have a good hit out the week prior to their Road Nationals (both on the same day, 11 January). US rider Jeannie Kuhajek, who lives in New Zealand during their summer, also joined the squad.
It was also a good opportunity to showcase the new Vanderkitten “Disco” kit that the riders will race in California, across the USA, Canada & abroad in 2014.
From the beginning of the Aussie summer the idea of racing against Rochelle Gilmore’s Wiggle Honda squad, as well as the likes of Orica Green Edge, Specialized Securitor & Roxsolt was very enticing. When we learned that 2 time World Champion Giorgia Bronzini would be racing it set our collective hearts racing.
The Bay Crits is unlike any other series- fast, hard racing on extremely tight circuits featuring a mix of Aussie and International Pro riders at peak summer fitness. The women’s field was completely world class this year, with Wiggle and Orica AIS understandably fielding two teams each under slightly different names, making it a tricky process to even find the pointy end of the field at times!
Fortunately Sophie Williamson (NZL) & Miranda Griffiths (AUS) rose to the occasion, being active in the front of every stage, making the top selection each time, and collectively scoring a top ten at every race.
More importantly, Sophie, Miranda, Jeannie & Kate learned to work together on and off the bike to create a harmonious atmosphere that will pay dividends as we travel deep into the season.
We were very fortunate to be afforded great host accommodation near the beach at Ocean Grove, and had members of our Vanderkitten VIP crew help us with support & cheers everyday.
We are now looking forwards to an exciting double nationals day for our Aussie and Kiwi riders, before team camp begins in California in February. Lots of exciting news to come regarding our new & returning athletes.
Thanks for reading!
- Sophie Williamson (NZL) Winner 2012 NSW GP, Winner 2012 IronHill Criterium (USA), 20x NZ Junior Road & Track Champion
- Kate Chilcott (NZL) Winner 2013 Cats Hill Criterium (USA) Winner 2013 Fox River GP (USA), 4th at BikeNZ National Road Championships 2013
- Miranda Griffiths (AUS) Winner 2013, 2012 Tour of Bright, 4th 2013 Australian Road Championships
- Jeannie Kuhajek (USA) Winner 2013 Edwardsville Criterium (USA), Winner 2013 Winfield Criterium (USA), Winner 2013 Homewood Criterium (USA)
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