With its sights set on becoming one of the the top criterium racing teams in the U.S. and Canada in 2017, the Velo Classic p/b Stan’s NoTubes Team added five new riders and a Director Sportif. The New York City-based USA Cycling domestic elite women’s road racing team recently kicked off its season with a warm-weather training camp earlier this month in sunny Ventura, California.

The team is entering its sixth year of a long-standing partnership with Stan’s NoTubes.

“I love the practicality of training and racing with Stan’s NoTubes wheels and sealant,” said BritLee Bowman, Team Manager and Racer. “Training with a tubeless setup allows me to put in tons of miles and almost never get flats. Seriously, in five years, I’ve had only three flats while riding my trusty Stan’s setup, and that includes daily navigation of New York City’s streets and frequently riding my road bike off-road whenever the opportunity arises.”

Photo by Nick Kova

The Velo Classic p/b Stan’s NoTubes Team trains in California. Photo by Nick Kova.

 

Bowman prefers to ride her road tubeless setup at lower pressures, especially when she’s riding on wider rims. She and her teammates ride a mix of carbon and aluminum wheelsets - all of them tubeless - from Stan’s NoTubes.

“Running a bit lower pressures makes for a super smooth ride despite the terrain,” she said. “For racing, it’s also important to note the boost in control and confidence that you get with tubeless. Smoother is faster and confidence is fastest.”

Sponsorship of the Velo Classic p/b Stan’s NoTubes Team is just one of many ways that Stan’s NoTubes champions the involvement of women in cycling.

“Support for women's cycling has always been a priority for Stan's NoTubes,” said Chris Currie, Stan’s NoTubes Creative Director. “Beyond racing, the Velo Classic p/b Stan's NoTubes team encourages women to build confidence and to meet challenges together as a team, two things we believe are more important now than ever."

Photo by Nick Kova

Early season miles logged during training camp will pay off in the upcoming races. Photo by Nick Kova

The Team

The Velo Classic p/b Stan’s NoTubes Team welcomes Tad Hamilton as the team’s new Director Sportif for 2017. Hamilton, who hails from Boise, Idaho was the Director of Team Exergy from, a UCI Continental Team, in 2010-2012. He  brings tireless enthusiasm and 30 years of experience in cycling to help the team capitalize on its strengths.

“My goal is to help each rider realize success beyond anything they have previously experienced,” said Hamilton. “I am supremely confident in the potential of this crew, and I believe that Velo Classic p/b Stan's NoTubes can become one of the best sprint squads in North America.”

This potential is bolstered by the addition of three elite riders: Daphne Karagianis from Chicago, is the former Illinois State Road Champion and Mid-West Women’s Champion. Karagianis was recently selected as a participant in the Homestretch Foundation in Tucson, Arizona, a residence established to support female professional cyclists. Kirstie Sara James is fresh off victory in the New Zealand Elite Women’s Scratch Race National Championship. James has raced two seasons for road teams in Europe and now looks to test her mettle in North America. Nicole Mertz, of Minnesota, spent the 2015 season racing with ISCorp p/b Smart Choice MRI and brings a wealth of grit and top level criterium racing experience to the young team.

Photo by Nick Kova

The VeloClassic presented by Stan's NoTubes Team for 2017. Photo by Nick Kova

Two developing riders also join the squad: Jill White and Emma Sherer.

Six riders are returning to the squad, including BritLee Bowman. Kristen Arnold showed signs of exceptional talent and sound leadership in 2016 and will be assisting team manager Bowman with road-captain duties. Cynthia Frazier is back for her second season with the team, after helping the squad secure a number of top 10 placings at the Tour of America’s Dairyland and at the Intelligentsia Cup. Caitlin Dowd will look to put her skills on display at the elite level after winning the New York State Category 3 Criterium Championships in 2016. Clio Dinan, the team’s youngest rider at 19, hopes to improve on her two silver medals in the U23 Women's National Championship Road Race and Time Trial. Dinan also won a stage at Intelligentsia Cup in Chicago in 2016. Finally, Mandy Braverman returns to racing with the team for a fifth year but this time as a brand new mom.

Roster

BrittLee Bowman
Kirstie James*
Kristen Arnold
Daphne Karagianis*
Nicole Mertz*
Cynthia Frazier
Clio Dinan
Caitlin Dowd
Amanda Braverman
Emma Sherer*
Jill White*

* indicates new riders for 2017

VeloClassic Kristen Arnold bike

The VeloClassic presented by Stan's NoTubes Team trains on and races on tubeless road wheels. Photo provided by the team.

Racing Calendar

In addition to extensive base mile training, the riders will work on sprint and lead out drills, and focus on developing the close bonds that have brought success over the past years. The team aims to build on a successful 2016 season with a schedule of USAC Pro Road Tour (PRT) and International-level UCI events across the United States and Canada.

The team’s first objective of the season is Speedweek, a series of criteriums culminating with the Athens Twilight Criterium. Another key event for the squad is the Tour of America’s Dairyland, a series of 10 criterium races in June. The UCI GP Gatineau in Canada is again on the team’s schedule, and new for the team will be BC Superweek, also in Canada.

The Pro Road Tour events scheduled are as follows: Winston Salem Classic Criterium and Road Race; Tulsa Tough Criterium; Anderson Banducci Twilight Criterium; Rochester Twilight Criterium; Gateway Cup; TD Bank Mayor’s Cup; and the Thompson Criterium. A primary goal for the season is the U.S. Criterium National Championships in Louisville, Kentucky - a first for the squad.

For news, results, photos and  behind-the-scenes stories, follow the women of Velo Classic p/b Stan’s NoTubes this season:

Rider Instagram and Strava Accounts:

@bbrittlee
www.strava.com/athletes/1496433
@kirstiejnz
www.strava.com/athletes/1748656
@kristenkarnold
www.strava.com/athletes/2028524
@daphneak
www.strava.com/athletes/4378285
@mertz019
www.strava.com/athletes/769223
@watt_wagon
www.strava.com/athletes/4548744
@cliodhana
www.strava.com/athletes/2887997
@cdowd9
www.strava.com/athletes/1748656
@bravemandy
www.strava.com/athletes/703313
@emmakshere
www.strava.com/athletes/9817854
@jmsink
www.strava.com/athletes/449849

VeloClassic Kristen Arnold warm up

Kristen Arnold warms up for an early season race. Photo provided by the team.