So Pro at Redlands
Written by: Josi
German Cyclist currently studying Exercise Science & racing bikes at Colorado Mesa University
In January 2019 I got the invitation from Femme Équipe to join their squad for the Redlands Bicycle Classic, a UCI 2.2 stage race over five consecutive days. I knew from the beginning that this race would be quite a challenge for me, because I have never done a stage race on that level and length. From the beginning the team showed the best organization, motivation and spirit I have ever experienced. We were not just a composite team with riders striving for their own results, we always encouraged each other to look out for our team mates and to represent Femme Équipe and their sponsors as good as possible. Thanks to the support of our team director Rachel from the Bikecoach Fitness Studio, our mechanic Roman from Don’s Bicycles and our soigneur Melissa as well as the nutritional support from Swisse USA, Honey Stinger and Mammoth Bars, Redlands was the “most Pro” experience I ever got in my life. I am beyond thankful that Femme Équipe gave me this chance.
We started with a technical and windy ITT on Wednesday and moved on to a challenging Circuit Race on Thursday. I personally enjoyed that Circuit Race the most out of all stages, because a short and punshy hill followed by a crit-like downhill with several turns suited me quite well. On Friday, we suffered through the Queen Stage, where I raced my heart out to make the time cut and keep supporting the team in the following stages. I am sure I never suffered that much in my life than I did that day, but it was more than worth it finishing the race on top of Oak Glen knowing that I had given everything. Unfortunately, I had a medical condition during the Crit Race, which ended my day and also the stage race early. Disappointing, but it didn’t break me and the next day I found myself standing on the start line again representing my team in the citizen’s crit where I took 3rd and got to display the Femme Équipe crit on the podium!
Overall, I am going home with a lot of experiences and things I learned during the week with Femme Équipe and I am more than excited to be a guest rider for these powerful ladies in future again.