Mar 30, 2011

Getting Ready for Redlands

I arrived in Redlands California yesterday where Bill and Sandy have welcomed Jenny Trew and I into their home. 

Bill and Sandy have an orange tree and a tangerine tree in their garden that we are allowed to help ourselves to.  I have never, ever tasted citrus fruit as good as what I eat off of those trees in the afternoon.  Bill also brings us EXCELLENT coffee in the morning, he's got it down to an art. I can't make coffee like he does, but I sure can appreciate it.

I rode the time trial course a few times today.  It's a little tougher than the one in San Dimas because of a relatively long and very low gradient uphill section before the final climb to the finish.  It will be fun nonetheless.

I'm going to chill out, away from the sun for the rest of the day.  It's going to be a scorcher this weekend.  Glad to have the Eload to keep hydrated, the light Hincapie kits, and I'll definitely be sporting my Juvéderm-Specialized-Mazda Headsweats band during the race tomorrow so I can see where I'm going once the sweat starts rolling!

Mar 28, 2011

Juvéderm Specialized Mazda has had a successful first race, we're proud to bring home the white jersey. Thanks to all of our sponsors for their support!

San Dimas Stage Race : Stage 3-  Incycle/Cannondale Old Town Grand Prix.

We started the day with the White Jersey, (the U25 race leader).  They gave me some nice socks to go with it too.

The main goal was to keep the jersey until the end.  There were four other riders near by me in the U25 classification with 8, 9, 10, and 12 seconds behind me.  So, with the intermediate time sprint bonuses, and the final sprint bonus, we had to be careful that none of those girls crossed the line ahead of me.  We also had to be careful that none of them got away in a break away.

Véro Labonté, Joanie, Mary, and Anne did a great job ready to cover anything that might go away.  My job was to keep up front and represent the jersey, the team, and be ready to jump if any of the "dangerous" girls went.  We were successful.  We're looking forward to more of that good stuff this season.  Next race: REDLANDS with Lex (me!), Véro, Joanie, Mary, Anne, Denise, and Jenny.  Here we go!

Juvéderm Specialized Mazda has had a successful first race, we're proud to bring home the white jersey.  Thanks to all of our sponsors for their support!

Mar 26, 2011

Second stage of San Dimas Stage Race. Great

Joanie was rocking it on the intermediate sprints.  She did awesome on the final sprint.  Véro was always placed perfectly at the front, she's a pro at that.  Mary was up there too.  Anne did a great job helping move Jo up for the climbs.  Val has a first Cali road race under her belt. I was feeling super great, not wasting any energy...following the team's strategy that Laura laid out for us yesterday. 

I couldn't believe how 'easy' the race well my legs were feeling.  I was up in the front on the second last climb...that was kind of my job.  Don't go for the KOM but be ready to break off with those who are.  At the bottom of the hill, and around a few corners I let the sprinters go for the final intermediate sprint before the finish.  But, they all let up after the line. I AM SWITCHING MY COMPUTER TO IMPERIAL while I race in the states.  I can't believe that I let up.  It wasn't the final intermediate sprint.  It was the FINISH.  Il me restait six cartouches dans les jambes. J'étais bien placé...OUF.  J'ai fait un mega erreur.

GREAT job team, and awesome finish Joanie.   I feel like I raced a good one today up until the end... but I'll have made the mistake of miscalculating the laps by one, for the first and last time.  I can't believe it. 

Stage three is the crit tomorrow.  Crit number one for Juvéderm Specialized Mazda in 2011.  Should be a lot of fun.

Time to go down the rest of my E-load recovery.

Mar 25, 2011

Chaffey Auto Body Time Trial

Here are the results from stage one (Chaffey Auto Body Time Trial) of the San Dimas Road Race

Good thing all of the women started in the afternoon because it was pouring rain when we woke up.  I missed out on this morning's coffee, (provided by Jason and Leah and freshly ground by Joanie).  So Eric our mechanic gave me the rest of his Yukon coffee from MoJo's aunt and uncle.  Phewf, thanks man.

I had a decent warm-up time on the trainer, and made sure to stay hydrated with mandarin E-load. I took off the start line at 2:42:30, with my arm warmers.  It was one of those borderline temperature days...I wasn't quite sure how much or how little to wear but I made a good choice.

This stage was 3.8 miles of steady climbing with lots of switchbacks.  The gradient wasn't too steep, maybe only 4% average.  Almost perfect.  I had a good ride.  I think I did a decent job of keeping the best line possible which is really important on a twisty time trial course.  You can lose a lot of time if you swerve around the best line uselessly. Maybe I lacked a BIT of juice in the last third of the course...but I'll only be better for next time.

I got home to find that my Quarq powermeter had been delivered while I was racing.  I'll have that puppy installed shortly, I can't wait!

Stage two: TOMORROW.

Mar 24, 2011

Upland, CA

Hier l'équipe est partie de notre maision à Carlsbad, CA. 

Nous avons roulé sur le parcours de la course sur route (San Dimas Stage Race) 3 fois, puis ensuite nous nous sommes installées chez deux familles.  En anglais, ça s'appelle "Host Housing".  C'est les gens qui offrent de la place dans leur maion pour accueillir les cyclists. 

Je reste chez Jason et Leah à Upland, CA avec Joanie Caron et Val Crête.  Jason adore faire du vélo, on a jasé "bike" pendant quasiment deux heures hier soir.  Il nous a montré les donnés de ses rides sur son ordi, et il nous a montré son vélo.  Nous avons parlé d'entrainement et de stratégie de course.  Le Tour de la Californie passe pas loin de chez eux et il montera dans la montagne en vélo pour voir la fin d'un étape cette année.  Trop le fun le parler avec du monde interessé au vélo! 

Je me prépare pour ma ride aujourd' vais aller faire le parcours du prologue un couple de fois.  La course commence demain... 

Mar 22, 2011

Swamis Are Fun, Even If They Don't All Like The Rain

Véro Labonté, Anne Guzman and I woke up before the California roosters this morning to join the 6:45 am Swami group ride (  It was raining a little bit but we went anyways. 

A little to my dismay, the group was pretty small and they rode slower than usual (apparently the usual turn out is 35, and the guys HAMMER down the roads).   I still cranked it up two hills pretty darn hard chasing after one Swami who climbs like a god (this guy made me feel like every work-out I did in the winter was insignificant and like my legs were made of bologna with a measly 6% meat protein content). 

Anne and Véro both got staples stuck in their tires so it gave us time to chill out on the side of the road and chat with the 3 guys who were still with us while the girls changed their flats.  They liked Anne's Quarq powermeter, told us that the best American men come from the Mid-West (is it true?  I have no clue.), and that nobody rides the trainer inside here in Cali.  Hmm. 

I'll always love group rides.

I'm back at the team house eating my french toasts and I'll go out for a take-two ride with Véro this afternoon.  The sun came back out :)

Mar 20, 2011

Off Days Are Just as Eventful

What do the Juvéderm-Specialized-Mazda girls do on an off day?

1. Go on a 1.5hr easy coffee ride.  We all put our Speedplay Coffee Shop Caps to good use today!

2. Get acupuncture from Paul Gamache ( and Elizabeth Novak
3. Hit up Target because...I've never been there but I heard of it on CNBC.  (After experiencing Chipotle for the first time yesterday this was the next logical step to my cultural experience...)
4.Team dinner with rice noodles, and turkey meatballs.  Finished off with super fancy cupcakes from Anne.
5.Receive a lecture from Anne straight out of Cosmo on PDA, and more.  Great time for Val to get to practice new English vocab.

That's enough, time for bed, ride leaves at 9:30am sharp.  Be ready to load your bottles of E-Load  onto the bike!

Mar 18, 2011

Mount Palomar

Aujourd'hui, on a grimpé le Mont Palomar, une monté d'environ 20km total (d'où nous sommes partis).  Je focusais surtout sur la route, à garder une pas pire  ligne (même avec mes gels E-load à la pomme verte, il fallait ben que je gère bien mon énergie...!), à  maintenir mon pace, et à ne pas me faire frapper par des motocyclsits qui s'amusaient sur la route (surement pas mal moins que moi par exemple).  Je me sentais bien, surtout pour une première montée de la saison.  Mais, j'ai quand même pris quelques secondes ici et par là pour apprécier le SUPER de beau paysage.  Scott Moninger (notre DS - directeur sportif) est arrivé à coté de moi à un moment donné  (je ne sais pas d'où il venait comme ç l'avais pas vu depuis que je suis partie d'en bas...!) pour filmer un peu avec le GoPro. Pat Gauthier (le méchano) s'est déplacé sur notre parcours à plusieurs reprise avec le Mazda5 afin de nous offrir des bidons remplis de E-load (au citron aujourd'hui...mon préféré).  Rendu en haut, tout le monde a pris une petite pause pour manger, et ensuite, j'ai fait la plus longe déscente de ma vie (je crois en tout cas!).  TROP hot. Pas besoin de dire que Palomar était le highlight de notre ride! J'y retournerai sans faute un jour.

J'aurais aimé avoir mon powermeter Quarq installé sur mon vélo pour voir quel genre de watts que je poussais pour monter la reste un couple de semaines avant que je l'aurai.  Mais j'ai bien hate!  Merci à Troy de chez Quarq qui m'a trouvé le set-up qui me conviendra le mieux.

Mar 16, 2011

In Carlsbad California!

Chilling at Starbucks in Carlsbad California with Joanie, Denise, and Val.

At 5am yesterday, I put on my DeFeet compression socks, and hopped on the plane in Montréal.  I had a connecting flight in Fort Worth Dallas, (which was great because riding the monorail train between terminals was a complete blast).
In San Diego, my bike box was already waiting for me, and my checked bag was spit onto the carousel in record time.  Pat, the mechanic for the beginning of this project was outside waiting in the Mazda 5.

At the team's house for the week in Carlsbad I put the bike together and went out for a spin with Véro, Anne, and our DS (directeur sportif) alongside the Pacific Coast.  NICE

Anyways, I hope nobody minded when I busted out my canned herring on the plane rides ;).  That stuff makes a MIGHTY fine lunch.

Mar 14, 2011

Worrying Consumes Precious Watts Anyways

Chilling out with my morning decaf (caffeine is lousy way to start the day), I came across a cool post on SpiderTech's team site written by Andrew Randell.  (Spidertech is first Canadian cycling team to receive an International Cycling Union (UCI) Continental Pro license, and is directed by Steve Bauer, one of Canada's most accomplished cyclists)

Pertinent inspiration doesn't get much better than that. It's cool to know that we all question ourselves a little bit, regardless of to which extent we're conscious of it.  I thought it was neat that Randell put it down in words.  I honestly didn't think that I was feeling any stress about the first races to come, but regardless, after reading his last two paragraphs I had a little weight lifted off of my shoulders and I suddenly got even more excited about rolling off the first start line.

Give yourselves a pat on the back for the good job you've done over the winter and feel confident that you're ready for spring to start. YEEHAW!

Mar 13, 2011

What to pack for a team camp/bike race trip:

Amira S-WORKS -the bike! (In a box. Don't put your CO2 cartridges in the box, they'll find them at the airport, and take them away.  Goodbye $5 for each one.  Put them with your clothes.)

S-WORKS Prevail helmet. (In the box, with the bike.  Best chance of not getting crushed).

Waterbottles (Two in the bikebox.  I can't drink my Eload out of thin air, sheesh.)

Flat kit (like I said, NO CO2 cartridges in the box!)

S-WORKS Shoes and Speedplay pedals. (In the Hincapie carry-on.  Just in case the box doesn't make it, at least you'll be able to ride something else, somehow.  And your left pedal won't fall out somewhere in transit...and you won't have to blow almost $200 on a new pair...smells like 2010 Nationals!)

Defeet Compression Socks (Must-have for traveling and recuperation)

License.  (Good luck racing without it.)

Earplugs (When you're going to live with about 10 other possible nighttime bathroom goers, you need to have a pair of these puppies if you want to sleep through the night!)

Armwarmers, legwarmers, gloves, windvest and jacket.  (Nobody likes freezing on a training ride)

Lunch (I'm not going to get caught by those gougers at the airport.)

Enough clean underpants (Hey, everybody needs them)

Mar 11, 2011

San Dimas: Our first race of the year is coming up

I was checking out a few details regarding what I'll be doing in the next few weeks:  Our first race of the season will be three stages long.  It's called San Dimas.

Stage one is an individual time-trial (ITT or, TT).  It's only 6km, and it's all uphill.  Last year's race was won in under 15 minutes with an average of a bit above 25km/h.  Nothing close to the 40-something averages that woman's TTs are usually won with on flat terrain!  I'm excited about giving this challenge a "go"; I like going uphill...

The race starts on the 25th, but the Juvéderm-Specialized-Mazda girls are going to pre-ride the course two days earlier.  I think it's pretty important to be familiar with a TT course before the actual race.  It helps in gauging how hard to push and when, and it's nice to know what the course "feels like" beforehand.
 A link to an overview of the first stage:

Stage two is a road race, and stage three is a criterium.  I have a feeling this is going to be a ton of fun!

Soon Pat (our mechanic) is going to be down in Cali with one of the Mazda5 team cars, trailer in tow to meet up with the girls who are already training down there.  I heard there are tons of great group rides.  Anne has put up a few good pictures of what it's like out there on her blog already.  Check it out:

As for me, I've got a few more big workouts on the trainer this weekend before I start thinking of packing my bags on Monday! Yehaw!

Mar 8, 2011

A Re-Posting From Five Years Ago

The timing is perfect.  I'm leaving to ride with the team in T-7 days and counting.  I found this post from March 4 2006 on an old blog that I had.  I thought it would be appropriate to bring it back one more time.  It's cool to see what I was thinking about 5 years ago in the spring.  My love for riding has a solid foundation, see :

I want natural broncho and vasodilators to pump through me, but still be struggling to haul in enough air to keep up with the big boys.  I want the euphoric high to kick in in the middle of the ride and last until after my last après-ride Heineken goes down.  I want to ride up and down La Gabelle and see how much better I am on the next ride when the guys are hammering up the hills.  I wanna blow perfect snot rockets and shoot refreshing loogies when I'm riding solo.  I wanna find new roads and be reacquainted with my old favorites.  I wanna give and get "the nod" or the subtle wave.  I just want the roads to be CLEARED so it's safe for Rétro to roll outside again.

And, I'm pretty much still the same girl, even if I don't do the après-ride brewskies anymore...
(By the way, Rétro was the name of my road bike back then.  Named after the place I was at when I saw who stepped up on the final podium of The Tour de France on July 26 2004.)
Happy riding, boys and girls.

Mar 6, 2011

Présentation officielle de l'équipe : un grand succès!

 La présentation officielle de l'équipe : Juvéderm-Specialized-Mazda a eu lieu le 5 mars chez Spécialized à Montréal.  Ca fait un bon bout que je l'attendais, et...j'ai ramené mon nouveau vélo chez nous...YES!  Il me reste seulement à taper le guidon.

Il y avait une bonne présence médiatique, et plusieurs représentants de chez nos commanditaires , sans qui notre équipe ne serait possible, ont assisté à la présentation. 

On a eu une session de photos : en équipe, avec Gary et Ian de Quilicot qui ont fait nos fittings BG sur nos vélos, avec Andrew de Spécialized, avec les directeurs de l'équipe Malcom, Gérard et Michael, avec Marie Claude notre soigneuse ("swannie" en anglais...qui l'aurait cru!  C'est un nouveau mot que j'ai appris pendant le souper d'équipe) et bien sur, sous la pluie avec un des voitures Mazda5 avec la remorque.

Plusieurs filles sont reparties en Californie pour continuer leur entrainement sur la route.  D'autres, incluant moi, poursuivent l'entrainement en dedans avant de partir dans un peu plus qu'une semaine pour rejoindre les autres sur les routes sous le soliel!

Voici quelques liens (en bas) menant à des articles concernant ce qui s'est passé aujourd'hui.  Il y en aura davantage dans les jours qui s'en viennet.  Vous pouvez égalment suivre l'équipe sur FB, et voir une sélection de photographes et d'autre nouvelles sur ma page FB.  Aujourd'hui sur FB Je parlerai des installations superbes qui Spec offre à ses employés...j'étais super impressionnée.  ("Checkez" ça!!/pages/Lex-Albrecht/137026036359510 et!/pages/Team-Juvederm-Specialized/180743948630794 )

Un bilan de la présentation par Tino Rossi pour SDV MAG :
Une déscription de l'équipe, ses projets, ainsi qu'un commentaire de l'entraineur chef de l'équipe nationale :
Merci à tous nos commanditaires!
Juvéderm, Specialized, Mazda, Samson Groupe Conseil, Hincapie Clothing, DeFeetE-Load, Headsweats, Thule, Usana Health Sciences, Ameresco, Jolifilm ainsi que Voyage Gendron.

Mar 4, 2011

Bike Fit and Team Dinner

Time flies super fast.  Except for this morning.  How can you not watch the minutes tick by regardless of how much work you get accomplished knowing that you get to see your brand new bike at 1:30pm...

I finally got acquainted with my bike.  We're going to get along JUST fine! ;).  I was super thrilled with my awesome Body Geometry fit at Specialized in Montréal.  Specialized has really got down an extremely detailed and concise fitting system.  I couldn't believe the plethora of tests they passed with me to make sure that I was positioned just right with my new ride.

Tomorrow I'm going to get a final adjustment with my Speedplay cleats on the S-Works shoes.  (I love the shoes, there's a BOA system that's really easy to adjust to just the right tension.  I started riding with this model of shoe last year)  The red pedals look great on the bike...

When I got to Le Pencastel for the team dinner,  the first thing I saw in the lot was the new MAZDA5, looking superfly in our team colours thanks to Jolifilm (  Great job guys.  The car is fully equipped with a trailer and a 5 bike Thule rack.  Our second car will be decked out the same way.

Malcom gave an excellent presentation to the team (it's evident that he's not new at this...) and then dinner was served.  Thanks Gérard and Le Pencastel for the delicious four course meal. 

Before leaving, we were hooked up with part of our team digs.  Defeet has us totally set with tons of team socks, a pair of gloves, compression socks for travel and recovery, and base layers (why wasn't I introduced to Defeet's baselayers earlier?!  I love how light and well fitted they are).  Hincapie (who will be making our team kit) gave us all with backpacks to cart our stuff to and from races.

Thanks to E-load for the huge can of Endurance Formula drink mix.  I don't have to worry about running dangerously low again for awhile.  PHEWF!

Official team presentation will be held tomorrow at Specialized at 10:00am in Montréal (Ste. Anne de Bellevue).  Don't worry...I'll definitely be posting more news on that.  It'll be another exciting day!

Thank you to all of our sponsors for supporting Juvederm-Specialized-Mazda.  It's AWESOME to be backed by such a strong group of generous companies supporting us on our endeavor for excellence on the road.

Mar 2, 2011

How can this not strike a chord...

Check out this tragic picture that was taken in Switzerland a few days ago.  It's artistic, alright, but I'm a cyclist not an artist. I really felt bad when I saw it.  It reminded me of the time I was downtown Montréal and saw a drunk man trash a child's bike on the sidewalk.  (The bike was blue and had the name "Roselynn" spelled out in stickers with stars around it on the top tube).  It took me almost 30 minutes to find a cop to give the bike to, hoping that it would find its way from the crusier's trunk back to Roselynn's front porch somehow, someday.

Mar 1, 2011

On arrive vers la fin d'un hiver très satisfaisant

Il ne fait presque plus noir quand je me lève. Le soleil est toujours quand meme assez haut dans le ciel quand je termine ma journée au bulot.  Les journées ou ils annoncent plus que 0 dégrées au Metéo Media sont de plus en plus nombreuses....on n'est quasiment plus l'hiver.  Dans seulement deux semaines on sera rendu dans la moitié de l'année avec les journées les plus longues... 
La saison de course arrive!  Ca va etre SUPER courir avec mes co-équipières de l'équipe Juvéderm-Specialized-Mazda.  J'ai vraiment hate.  Notre départ pour la Californie est maintenent dans seulement deux semaines!  Nous y ferons deux courses avant de revenir pour en faire d'autres dans le nord-est des Etats-Unis et chez nous au Québec.  (Notre calendrier de courses est publié sur le site dans la partie "schedule")

J'ai l'impression que l'hiver n'a pas été super long cette année.  Je me suis gardée occupée avec le travail, l'élaboration de mon repertoire de recettes (j'y ai ajouté des affaires comme des salades, des légumes chauffés sur le poele, des sandwichs légèrement plus fancy qu'avant, un affaire avec du quinoa et des crevettes au pesto, et j'ai perfectionné ma technique pour faire du pain doré), des nouveaux entrainements dans mon salon sur un nouveau trainer (merci Pascal!), et beaucoup de déplacements en Mauricie pour skier dans le Parc Nationale et chiller au Café Morgane après bien sur...

J'ai bien aimé cet hiver.  J'aime bien ma vie.  Oh, puis j'aime beaucoup pédaler. :)