While the cyclocross season had begun in earnest, we would be remiss not to revisit that awesome season of the VeloWorks – Spokes, Etc. women’s squad. VWS women collected 2 MABRA Women’s Series Champions. We asked Tina Pai and Kaitlyn Mittan about their championship seasons. Tina‘s interview can be seen here. Kaitlyn‘s is below.
1) How does it feel to be the 2015 Best All-Around Racer (BAR) for Cat 3 MABRA Women? It feels great!
There was some fierce competition in the Cat 3 field this year and I’m really excited that all of my hard work helped me come out in 1st in the BAR.
2) What was your athletic background before you started bike racing?
I first “picked up” cycling in 08 when I commuted to work. After that I mostly rode for fitness, completing 7 centuries in one season and dabbling in triathlon. While triathlon training, I met a local racing team and they invited me out to ride with them. The rest is history!
3) What is it that has drawn you to bike racing?
I enjoy the challenge of pushing myself beyond my limits and the bike racing community is full of really great people, especially our team!
4) You won the Cat 4 BAR last year as well. How was this year different for you than last? [Note: Kaitlyn won the Cat 4 BAR in 2013 and was 2nd in the Cat 3 BAR in 2014]
This year was different because most of the Cat 3 races are mixed in with the 1/2 races. It requires a stepped up game to hang on with more elite racers to do well in the Cat 3 race. It is great though–everyone out there racing is so supportive of each other–it is nice to be a part of a friendly peloton!
5) What was your favorite moment of the year? Favorite!?
Wow, there are so many. I think the one that tops them all is winning the 3/4 race at Dawg Days. My teammate Tina launched an early sprint attack on the last lap which allowed me to counter and break away from the field to cross the line in first.
6) Can you discuss you biggest challenges and how you overcame them to earn your BAR victory?
One of the biggest challenges was racing against teams with multiple Cat 3 women in the race–when your competition has you outnumbered, it takes smarts and strategy to hold your own in the race. But as Tina and I learned at Dawg Days, it isn’t always the number of teammates you have in the race that will help you win. It is making the right move at the right time.
7) Statistics show that there are more women riding bikes than ever before, yet women’s bike racing has not seen a corresponding increase in participants. Can you share any ideas you have to help draw more women into competitive cycling?
This is a tough one. I know I was hesitant to enter racing–I just wanted to ride my bike for fun; racing seemed so intimidating. I think that if more women were to get out there and just give it a chance, they too would see how fun it can be! It looks intimidating to watch but once you’re in the peloton, you see how much fun it can be!
8) Everyone always wants to know, when are you going to upgrade?
I have! In order to reap the benefits of winning the BAR, I have upgraded to Cat 2 and will be wearing the champions jersey next year.
9) What other adventures or goals have you set for yourself in the year(s) to come?
I would love to race in some of the NRC or NCC races to push my limits even more and see if I can hold my own with some of the best female racers in the country. It would also be fun to jump in to some of the men’s races and hang with the VWS men.
10) What are you favorite pair of cycling socks?
I have a pair of “You Got Dropped” socks that I won at Black Hill last season. They’re pretty cool. 🙂