La Course by Le Tour in Lauren’s words

Wow, well that was an experience. It is pretty cool that the women’s peloton now get to experience racing in the centre of Paris with the finale of the Tour de France with the whole world watching live. However it’s also so crazy how much a little rain can affect the experience.

Rain is something we are used to racing in, some people even prefer it, as it adds another dimension to the racing, personally I don’t mind it as it’s the same for everyone but this afternoon in the centre of Paris was a whole new experience.

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Team Hitec Products presented in Paris before La Course.

My race was pretty similar to most of the peloton, I had a rear puncture on the second lap, I got service from neutral as our car was too far back, the wheel I got was terrible but I was happy to be back rolling and rejoined the race after 1.5 laps chasing. Then after seeing teammates coming out the back I made my way back to the front, on the next lap, Kirsten, our sprinter crashed so I slowed to wait for her to help chase back on. We rejoined about mid race.

I was feeling pretty good and was trying to keep an eye everything while literally sliding around each corner, braking wasn’t an option, if you touched the brakes you would slide out as the wet cobbled roads now had become like glass with oil and reside from the cars surfacing with the rain.

With just over 3 laps to go I went down, hard. One girl hit the brakes in front on a straight piece of road and I had no where to go when she slide out. I jumped up quick but as soon as I tried to through my leg over the bike, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I persisted and tried to pedal but I couldn’t put any weight through my left leg without a lot of pain, I then panicked, I wasn’t going to get back on to the bunch at this stage in the final 20k so with a lot of pain I decided unfortunately to call it a day.

I spent a little bit of time in the ambulance but in the end I was relieved to be able to ‘walk’ out without too much wrong.

To be honest I can’t say I enjoyed the experience, it was seriously dangerous and scary to race like this and for the men’s race to be neutralized tells you the extreme nature of the course. I’m now heading back to holland where I will have a full check tomorrow to confirm everything is ok.

Next up is a World cup in Germany next weekend and I would like to be fit and fighting for the team by then, until then.

Lauren

Lauren builds form with 3 Thüringen top ten finishes

The seven day German stage race concluded on Thursday with Lauren showing some strong form building through the week.

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The rolling terrain and strong start list offered a tough week of racing which served as an introduction to the second half of the season for Lauren.

“I really didn’t know where I was at coming into the week, I was really excited to get back in the peloton after about 6 weeks of training but also nervous to see where my level was”

On arguably to the toughest two stages; stage 3b and stage 6, Lauren placed 6th in both showing strong signs for the coming weeks.

Photos: manifoto.de

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“Stage 3B finished on top of a 300m 14% cobbled climb in the pouring rain, so that was exciting, it was just about fighting as hard as you could to the top of the wall. I was close to the podium but I’m happy with this result, it gives me some confidence moving forward”

“Stage 6, I was in the break from kilometer 5, so it was a big day. We got caught 100k later with 20k to go and immediately 2 girls went away, I think sprinted to 6th, I was happy with this, to be able to sprint after such a long break and over 2000m elevation, :-)”

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Lauren is now preparing for La course which is on tomorrow in Paris, she will ride as a key support and lead out rider for super sprinter Kirsten Wild, who was 2nd last year.

La course will be broadcast live from 10pm AEST.

Refreshed and Ready

Refreshed and Ready

Lauren returns to racing with the International Ladies’ Tour of Thüringen beginning tomorrow and running for seven days until July 23rd. The eight stage race offers a tough course with rolling terrain and technical finishes song with a 19km ITT on stage three to sort out the peloton. This will mark the stage of the second half of Lauren’s season as she now has an eye set on the World Championships in Richmond USA in September.

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Over the past six weeks Lauren has had some time to reflect and recover from the first part of her season which included 5 UCI wins along with another 5 podium finishes,

“Im really hoping to pick up where I left off, but Im not sure where Im at yet form wise, Ive worked hard for the last month or so to be as best prepared for this race and I am really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things”

The past two weeks, Lauren has spent at Altitude in Livigno with the Australian U23 mens and Para cycling teams,

“It was a fantastic place for training and I was really lucky to have great weather when I was there as well, the boys were super to train with and I hope I can show that in the upcoming races”

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“I think that this week should suit me and Im looking forward to seeing where Im at”

Lauren’s race schedule for the remainder of the season is outlined here:

International Ladies’ Tour of Thüringen: July 17th – 23rd
La Course by Le Tour: July 26
Sparkassen World Cup: August 2nd
Route de France: August 9th – 15th
Sweden World Cup: August 23rd
Lotto Tour: September 8th – 11th
World Championship (if selected) : September 27th

Lauren win’s Cycling Australia’s Athlete of the month for May!

Lauren has taken out this award for May after a stellar month of racing. Lauren began the month with her biggest win to date, victory in the Ronde van Overijssel. The UCI 1.1 event was Lauren’s first UCI win in Europe and seemed to really get the ball rolling. Lauren then took wins in the Ronde van Hilvarenbeek and in the Drielandenomloop the following two days to create a hatrick of wins to open the month.

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Joining her Hitec Products team mates once more, she headed to China, where her team mate Kirsten Wild took top honours in The Tour of Chong Ming Island and finishing a close 2nd in the World Cup event there. The following week the team headed to a second hillier chinese tour, The Tour of Zhoushan Island, where Lauren took the win on the queen stage along with two more top 4 places on stages to take overall victory in her first UCI tour.

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“It was a month of firsts for me, First big win in Europe and my first Tour win, It was a really exciting month for sure!”

“Im now back in The Netherlands, now after a few easy weeks Im getting back into some good training and soon I will be heading to Altitude to prepare for the second part of the season”

This weekend Lauren will take part in Nordsjorittet, a MTB race close to her team sponsor’s base in Norway and the following weekend at the home race of Kirsten Wild in Zwolle.

“I have a few smaller races on the agenda, but now is a time to renew for the second half of the year which for me will begin with Thuringen on July 17 in Germany”

You can read Cycling Australia’s press release here:

http://www.cycling.org.au/News/All-News/lauren-kitchen-wins-may-athlete-of-the-month

Lauren wins the Tour of Zhoushan Island

Lauren has taken her first UCI overall Tour victory at the Tour of Zhoushan Island in China recently  by winning the queen stage and finishing 2nd on the final day on the Island of Shengsi, just off the coast of Shanghai.

“It was a really tough race, very hilly and challenging, I really enjoyed this race, it was exciting to race over tough terrain in a beautiful location”

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Lauren, along with QOM winner, Elena Kuchinskya from Russia, rode away from the bunch over one of the hardest climbs on stage two, to finish 3 minutes ahead of the bunch.

“My team were very strong this week, they helped me maintain the lead and I appreciate all their support”

Lauren will now take some rest before preparing for the second half of the season with her eyes now on the World Championships in Richmond, USA in September.

This Victory marks Lauren’s fifth UCI win for 2015.

Tour of Chong Ming Island

The Tour of Chong Ming Island World Cup was held yesterday on the Chinese island, close to Shanghai. The World Cup was the pinnacle race after an opening three day stage race held last week, serving as a warm up for the main event.

Chongxi - China  - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Hitec Products   pictured during  Tour of Chongming Island 2015 (2.1) stage-2 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2015
Hitec Products pictured during Tour of Chongming Island 2015 (2.1) stage-2 – photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2015

Team Hitec Products went into the race with the defending champion, the team’s Dutch sprint star, Kirsten Wild. With the flat courses with wide roads and nearly no wind each stage ended in a bunch sprint. Hitec took control each day and formed a lead out train with Lauren forming a key role as one of the final two lead out positions in the train. The team delivered Kirsten to two stage wins in the opening tour along with the overall general classification win and the points jersey win. However in the World Cup Kirsten was just heated by 2 X world Champion Giorgia Bronzini.

“I had a great week racing with the girls on Chong Ming Island, in this type of racing it really needs to be a strong team effort to set up one rider for a chance to win, we did this and although we missed the victory in the WC, we rode really well as a team and I think it’s exciting for some more races to come”

Lauren also won the queen of the mountain competition, taking maximum points on the top of the bridge that joins Chong Ming island to China mainland.

“It wasn’t the plan, I was just following to make sure Hitec was at the front and I saw the chance to take the points without too much energy, it’s a good sign for next week”

Lauren will now turn her attention to the second week in China at the Tour of Zhoushan Island which begins on Wednesday.

Photo: Lauren and Kirsten after Kirsten wins stage one. Photo credit: Anton Vos

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Lauren completes Hat trick weekend of wins in The Netherlands

Building on her win in Friday’s Dutch classic, The Ronde van Overijssel, Lauren turned her attention to the Ronde van Hilvarenbeek on Saturday and the GP Mengelers Drielandenomloop on Sunday.

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Photo: Henry Oosterling

Hilvarenbeek was a 65km national criterium race which doubled as the second round to the Kempen Klassement, which Lauren was leading after her win in Geldrop on April 26th. The open course did not lead its’ self to breakaways and after an aggressive 1.5hrs of racing the 50+ field was destained for a bunch sprint, of which Lauren was the quickest.

“I wasn’t feeling so good for the first half, I think after Overijssel I hadn’t quite recovered, but in the second half I started to come good and had good legs for the sprint. I’m happy with this win because it is very close to my cousin’s house in The Netherlands and it’s special to do well when they are there to support me.”

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Photo: Hommersom

On Sunday Lauren, along with her cousins, Henry and Karin, headed south to the hilly area of The Netherlands for a Dutch classic race, The Drielandenomloop, which consisted of 5 laps of 20km with two challenging climbs each lap.

Lauren again rode herself into the race and in the pouring rain took the win to complete a stellar weekend from a four rider breakaway.

“I really didn’t expect to win again today.” She said after the finish.

“Today was very different to the last two days, there was rain and wind and also small lanes and lots of corners, I like racing in the elements, its adds another dimension”

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Photo: Henry Oosterling

“I really couldn’t have had this success without the help of my dutch family Henry and Karin, not just for on race day but everything else, including a fair few hours of motor pacing” “Also all my sponsors in Port Macquarie, Rydges and Zebu, King and Campbell, Leicht’s Tyre’s and Auto, Organic Fitness and Roxsolt, knowing I have this support allows me to focus on racing and training 100%.”

Lauren wil now prepare for a two week racing campaign in China beginning next week with the Tour of Chongming Island, May 13-15, The Chongming Island World Cup, May 17 and the hillier Tour of Zhoushan Island May 20-22.

Lauren takes biggest win of career

Lauren Kitchen won the Ronde van Overijssel on May 1 in the Netherlands to take the biggest win of her career. The UCI class 1 event was a 143km loop around the province of Overijssel in the north east of The Netherlands. The course was a mainly flat lap of 126km and 2 finishing laps of 8.5km with numerous changes in direction and small lanes the race suited Lauren perfectly.

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photo: Sportnl

“The race just went perfectly for me! I’m so excited to take a big win in Europe, it been a long time that I have been racing in Europe and wanting this, so for it to happen its just so exciting!”

Team Hitec Products started the race with a key favourite in Kirsten Wild and this played to Lauren’s advantage with the peloton concerned most with the team’s super sprinter allowing Lauren to place herself in the race winning move.

“The first main move went at about 50km to go with a group of 9 forming in front, I was just patrolling this move as it was a big group but not contributing to the pace making as my team was chasing behind for Kirsten”

“Kirsten the came across with a few others then a second move of 5 of us went clear with the main team’s again represented”

This move contained former World Individual Time Trial Champion, Ellen van Dijk, Rabobank’s Anouska Koster, Parkhotel’s Natalie van Gough as well as Monique van der Rae completing the quintet along side Hitec’s Oceania Champion in Lauren.

“We quickly gained over a minute and with 8k to go we had 2mins.” “But in the final few kilometres we were riding so slow and the move nearly came back, It was a close finish, but I knew Kirsten would be ready if it did come back, so I wasn’t too concerned”

Lauren knew she had to wait till at least 200m to go before starting her sprint as the deceptively up hill finish was quite a long way from the final corner at 600m to go.

“The other girls in the break went very early so I followed and went full gas at about 180m to go. I past the girls in the final 50m and won by a length or so”

This result will propel Lauren to the top 35 riders in the world on the world ranking as well as the top three Australian riders.

Lauren will compete in two national level races this weekend to complement her training before heading to China next weekend.

Ronde van Gelderland – race report

Ronde van Gelderland race report

Yesterday Lauren played a key role in her teammate’s win at the Ronde van Gelderland. Team Hitec Product’s dutch powerhouse sprinter; Kirsten Wild took a convincing sprint win to mark the team’s 5th victory for 2015.

The tough one day race offers varied terrain with a number of short climbs in quick succession in the opening 60km before the race moves to the dykes of the region and circling back to Apeldoorn for the finish. Usually the wind is a key factor in deciding the outcome of the race, however with nearly no wind and clear blue skies, the weather was not a factor in the results.

In the final 25km of the 127km race there we two dangerous breakaway attempts. The first going at 25km to go with 8 riders, the move contained nearly all the major teams but without Wiggle-Honda, Lauren represented Hitec in this move which gave her the chance if the break was to go all the way to the line but also allowed her team mates to rest behind while Wiggle chased hard to close the gap.

The move was brought back at 10km to go and there was immediately a counter with 7 more riders going clear, Lauren again found herself in the front with 6 different girls. This break didn’t cooperate well and was caught at 3km to go with the exception of Chantel Blaak who was caught in the final 500m.

“It was a fantastic ride by the team today, everyone played a part in the win and it was just a fun day on the bike”

“I was really happy with my feeling and to be able to be in the two dangerous moves that went in the final shows me that my form is where it should be and gives me confidence ahead of next weekend’s race in Borsele, The Netherlands.”

“Its so nice to see you team mate win, It’s just as good as if I win”

Lauren’s next race is Omloop van Borsele on April 25th.

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Lauren takes solo victory in Thailand

Lauren has taken her second UCI win for 2015 with a solo win in stage two at the Tour of Thailand on Thursday. With the support of her Hitec Products teammates she also managed to pick up important bonus seconds throughout the stage to find herself leading the tour at days end, however with a tough fought battle on stage three Lauren slipped to second on the general classification but in doing so claimed her first UCI tour podium result.

“I’m really happy with the way things went this week, to win a stage solo, the way I did was really a very nice moment and shows the training I have been doing is paying off”

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“Of course I’m a bit disappointed to not win the Tour but to finish on the podium is still a nice ending to the week, I was simply beaten by a stronger rider on the day”

Lauren finished 6th on the final stage in the bunch sprint with Hong Kong champion sprinter, Zhaojuan Meng, taking the stage and stealing the lead by 4 seconds over Lauren.

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Lauren will now head back to Europe to take on three dutch classics over the next three weeks where she will ride as a key support rider for the team’s sprinter Kirsten Wild.

“The next three races are made for Kirsten, I hope I can be helpful and maybe be a second option for the team if the opportunity arises”

“I’m really thankful for the team’s support, all week they rode their hearts out for me, I look forward to riding for them throughout the rest of the season.”

Professional cyclist