Wednesday, 17 October (updated 22 October)
SEATTLE – The First Rate Mortgage Cycling Team is pleased to announce the expansion and development of its women’s squad for 2008. With returning riders and new recruits, the FRM women’s team now totals 14 female athletes in categories 2-4.
The first contingent of women to be added to the team roster hail from the west side of Puget Sound. Four of them pulled off a recent racing triumph by clinching second place in the masters women B division at the state team time trial championship in Elma in August. Brenda Green, Lisa Lund, Kathi McMahon, and Tonia Schmidt signed up with FRM after the official Meet the Team Ride in mid-September. These cat 3 and 4 women saw lots of racing action in 2007, from Ice Breaker to TST to Methow and Walla Walla. Also coming to FRM from Bainbridge are long-time, part-time racer Julie Houck and experienced triathlete Nora Masters, who has a few bike races on her resume as well.
Perhaps more familiar to Seattle racers are women who made the move from other local teams. Zana Faulkner finished the 2007 season in first place in the WSBA cat 4 women’s rider rankings. Jitka (“I like mud”) Cole is still racing strong, with the cyclocross season in full swing. Sile Kiernan, who whisked herself off to the ER (with a broken collarbone) before the officials knew she had crashed at Redmond Derby, brings the number of Irish nationals on the team to a lucky three. And Joanne Green comes to FRM with a bunch of top-5 finishes in 2007, including a win in the Nooksack criterium.
Just starting out in bike racing (but no stranger to bikes) is the newest racer on the team, Robin Secrist, who is making the transition to bike racing after winning the 2007 Seafair Triathlon (and other events). Donna Peters and Sara Graham will continue to ride for FRM, and Martha Walsh returns to the team after a year in another jersey.
The first order of business in 2008 will be securing some upgrade points for cat 4s ready to transition to cat 3. And the opportunities for cat 3 women in Washington in 2008 are exciting. In addition to a separate BARR ranking, this category should see separate scoring at key women’s races during the season and maybe even separate races (from the women cat 1-2s) by the end of the season. The cat 4 race series will be bigger and better and more publicized in 2008 and will provide excitement and motivation for riders at this level. The team also has an eye on regional stage races and other challenging events to round out the season.
The FRM women are looking forward to camaraderie and competition in 2008. It’s a great group where everyone has valuable experience and insights to share, and everyone can learn from everyone else. Watch for the FRM team colors at every event on the 2008 race calendar, from Mason Lake to masters nationals!