Four amazing women will be racing their bikes in the Race Across the West on June 16-19, 2015. Members of Team WOW (4 women on wheels) Jane Bates (UK) Jeana Miller (US), Leah Lemke (US) and Stacy Cason (UK) join approximately 50 other teams when the race begins in Oceanside, CA.
The Race Across the West (RAW) is 860 miles long, and forms the first stage of the iconic Race Across America. It is a single stage race – meaning that they are racing against the clock, riding night and day to achieve a finisher status within the time limit of 66 hours. It weaves its way through the Arizona desert, into Utah and then culminates in Durango Colorado. It involves over 40,000ft of ascent along the way!
The idea came about after Jane and Jeana met on a training camp last year where Jeana was coaching in Santa Ynez California. They both thought what a great experience it would be to promote women’s cycling and a chance to raise money for charity too. Fortunately Stacy and Leah were in agreement, and so the team was born.
Training for Jane and Stacy started at the beginning of December with a painful 3 months on the indoor trainer – a variety of sessions 4x per week aimed at building endurance strength and power plus strength sessions in the gym. Winter training was tough – the indoor trainer is pretty soul destroying as most people would agree, and there is only so much catch up TV to watch or playlists worth listening to!!
Out on the roads come Spring and back out in an unseasonably warm California with temperatures hitting 35-40 degrees, Jane, Stacy and Jeana managed a meet up to achieve many key training miles in the scenic Santa Ynez valley in March, which culminated with a climb up Mt. Figueroa on Saturday (5,200 ft). That week added several bricks to the fitness wall with over 250 miles in 5 days and lots of climbing (over 15,000ft).
With just a few weeks to go and with both winter training in their legs and plenty of miles being logged over the last month they’re feeling confident and excited for the experience ahead of them.
Essential to any team competing in a race such as this is a support crew and they are lucky enough to have 5 volunteers who include a NASA scientist, and an ex US army Colonel – responsible for the 2 vehicles, navigation and bike maintenance round the clock. A key part of the race is having an efficient nutrition, hydration and recovery strategy – particularly with temperatures likely to peak at over 40 degrees. The support crew also include a friend of Jane’s flying out with her who is a high performance coach who will oversee the women’s hydration and nutrition during the race.
Also essential to their team was a smart logo and great kit! The women have found sponsorship from local companies in both California and Surrey – and have sourced bespoke jerseys/shorts from Viper 10 and Under Armour TeamSports UK.
The team are raising money for Astro Brain Tumour Fund – a charity set up in 2001 by a friend of Jane’s to fund research into low grade astrocytoma and provide patient support too. Staffed entirely by volunteers it has so far enabled ground breaking clinical research and trials to be undertaken by leading hospitals in the UK and worldwide. If you wish to help Team WOW reach their fund raising target it’s simple – simply click here! www.justgiving.com/4womenonwheels
At VeloVixen, we are delighted to be able to help support Team WOW's cause and wish them the very best of luck with such an amazing undertaking!
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