Tag: podium

Monica Finalizes Her Bucketlist

Checklist before moving to Ireland:

Buy plane ticket:

Pack apartment:

Podium in a crit: ☑ (and then some)

Two Monkey's on a Podium

Two Monkey’s on a Podium

What I didn’t know when I took up cycling was how much teamwork goes into every race. You work together, you work for one another, you “throw down thank you’s” as Julie Kuliecza from Hagens Berman would say. So often this goes unrecognized, especially at the amateur level, but not anymore. I have been so incredibly fortunate to race with Michelle Moore, and Waukesha, WI was a prime example of this.

Upon arriving in Waukesha, the temperature was already heating up (95 degrees to be exact). We rolled up to the start line, looked at the small field, and Michelle turned to me and said  “we got this.” Now, after having raced every single weekend for the last 10 weeks, my legs were definitely not at their prime, and the heat wasn’t helping. The whistle blew, we both clipped in quickly, and took off.


It was a short course with tight turns, which bode well for both of us, as we learned how to take corners at full speed from the one and only Sarah Rice. We began working together right off the start, taking turns pulling, communicating what was going on. When we sat up in lap 3 to look back and see who was on our wheels, we saw…nothing. We already had a gap. It was on!

We never let off the gas, and spectators on the sides continued to yell our time gap from the pack, which grew larger each lap. As we crossed the start/ finish line with about 10 laps to go, the announcer yelled “Prime! Prime! Spidermonkey Vs Spidermonkey!” We both giggled, put our heads down, and picked up the pace.  I told Michelle to go for it, and her reply was “well don’t just let me have it.” I laughed and replied “I don’t care about the $20, I just want to be on a podium before I move.”

Teamwork makes the Dream work

Teamwork makes the Dream work

Soon enough, we had lapped the field, and we heard from the side “74 second gap!” As we passed lapped riders, we would encourage them to grab our wheels to pull them along. The majority of them were young, so we tried to look at this as a teachable moment.

As we saw two laps to go; Michelle turns to me and says “We are going 1-2. I will pull, you sprint off me!” I replied, “I don’t need to win, I just want to stand on a podium.” Michelle said, “eff that, we are getting you on the top step today!” We turned the final corner, I sprinted from behind her wheel, and for the first time, felt the joy of crossing the finish line first.

We stood on the podium, grins on our faces, knowing there were TWO Spidermonkey’s on ONE podium. When the official brought over the cow spotted race leader jersey, (or Walter spotted, for those who know the Spidermonkey’s obsession with our friend Walter the Cow from Galena), I had a look of shock, disbelief, and pure excitement. When I first started racing, I never thought I would be able to hang in the pack, let alone podium in a race. Michelle was right, there is nothing better than the high of standing on a top step for the first time. In fact, I’m still floating on the cloud.


Michelle was there last year the day I started racing (and kindly offered me her inhaler to calm my nerves). She has been there to witness the good races and the bad races, and became one of my race mentors. We have worked together as teammates, throwing down thank you’s, sacrificing our legs to pull and sprint for one another. She, and the rest of my Spidermonkey teammates, have been prime examples of how teammates should, and can, work together, and learn from one another, be it your first race together, or your last race together.

To all my Spidermonkey teammates: Thank you for not only teaching me how to ride and race a bike, but for helping me fall in love with it all. No matter where I am in the world, I will ALWAYS be a Spidermonkey at heart.

Pre first race together EVER!

Post first podium together!



Glencoe Grand Prix Race Report

Sabin on the podium!
by Sabin West

Glencoe was the first race of the season for me and I wanted to see where my legs stood. Seeing that I’ve only managed one ride with the Monkeys this year I had moderate expectations for myself. I met up with fellow Monkey and lifelong friend, Aaron Byrnes, and we did some warm up laps. It was Aaron’s first Crit, and only my second after placing 5th in last years Tour of Elk Grove.
The weather was absolutely perfect. PJ and other fellow Monkeys joined the starting line where we all kind of lined up in the back. I thought to myself, being in the back is a bad idea, but I am in good company, 5 Monkeys deep.
We’re off! I slide to the left and make my way up to the first corner and find myself in 8th or so position. Aaron holds my wheel, PJ, David, Geoff all together… second corner, Spidermonkeys deep, we form 2 x 2, a pyramid… Turn number three, things get sketchy, we hold our line… Turn four, two Team Tati and 2 other teams up front, the sprint line, Spidermonkeys paving the way!
We were looking good. I would hold 3rd-5th wheel for the next few laps with teammates moving in and out and then by lap 4 felt good enough to lead a round and pick up the pace. I learned from last year at Elk Grove that pulling to long resulted in a poor sprint, so I let off the gas and shifted to tactics.
The bell rings! Final lap and we’re all in good position. The guys off the front start to move. I respond and give chase. Turn one, turn two, turn three… I’m in 6th position. Last turn, here we go! I motor up the runway, 6th position, 5th position, 4th, 3rd… and call it like I see it flashing three fingers at the line.
My second crit race ever. My first podium finish. The Spidermonkeys did great, 2 top ten finishes and Aaron just shy at 11th place. Great job everyone. I can’t wait for the next race.

Official Spidermonkey Participant List:
Aaron Byrnes
PJ Cavoto
Kelly Clarke
Brandon Diffenderfer
Tim Driver
Kristi Hanson
Drew Kushnick
Stephanie Kushnick
David Loring

Kristen Meshberg

Peter Monko
Geoff Pomerantz
Sarah Rice
Hayes Sanborn
Masayuki Tsuchiya
Sabin West

© 2024 Spidermonkey Cycling