We'd like to introduce you to Juliann Vander Haegan, a junior racer based in the Seattle area. Julian is in her third year racing CX and PDW is proud to support her training efforts through the 2017 season. We'll follow along as she races in hopes to make it to Nationals in December. This is her first update.
I my name is Juliann! I’ve been racing CX for 2 years and finished second in the Category 4 Women's race at Nationals last year. I race for Rad Racing NW and they are like family to me. This year, I will be racing in the Cat 3 women and 15-16 Junior Girls categories on my beloved Kona Major Jake. I also make some pretty good guacamole, my favorite movie is the Fault in Our Stars, and my favorite color is red. I recently started school as a freshman at Black Hills High School in Tumwater, WA.
Ok, so I have a secret. I get stressed a lot from school, social stuff and just being a teenager. But, here’s how I deal with it: my bike. I jump on my bike and one of two things happen. Either I think stuff through and get it sorted out; or, I forget about everything else and it’s just me, my bike and the dirt, mud, sand or grass. So let’s just say that if I think about it while I'm on my bike, it’s REALLY important.
Cyclocross is one of those sports that is both a team and individual activities. Usually, you race on your own and get scored alone as well, so in that respect it’s individual. But your team helps keep you going during the race and coming back the next weekend. Your team makes it worth the pain and supports you on or off the bike. Your team screams meant-to-be-helpful stuff in your ears right when you need it. Your team makes you laugh, even when you can’t breath because you're sprinting and they pick you back up when you fall down. Your team is there when you need them… always.
The first MFG race of the 2016 cyclocross season was at Lake Sammamish. Beginning with a fast pavement start, the course had been quick and flat. After the hole-shot came a few tight turns, then a curvy sprint spot where gaining places became a priority for me. Then we headed into the sand, I took the popular left line each lap and found it relatively rideable. I finished in first place during my 15-16 Junior Girls race and ninth place in the Cat 3 Women's race.
The second MFG race of this season was at Marymoor Park. This year, the weather leading up to the event had been pretty sunny, making the course extremely dry and dusty. The 70 degree weather during race day didn’t exactly help with the high body temperatures either. The course also featured lots of short, sloppy uphills, and some flat spots, making for an amazing course all together. I finished my 15-16 junior girls in first pace and twelfth place in the Cat 3 Women's race.Thank you so much for reading and I can’t wait to tell you more about the 2016 CX racing season. Back with more soon!