Follow the women of Roxo Racing, a Texas based women’s cycling team, in their first full year chasing national level races. Roxo has raced USA Crits events, Pro Nationals, and Joe Martin, both UCI professional events. The goal, shared by all, is to strive, learn and improve.
Location: Fayetteville, AR, Joe Martin Stage Race, a UCI Pro 2.2 event
UCI races are full of station wagons because there are height regulations for the caravans – 1.66m
UCI Continental teams get the first positions in the caravan, while the rest of us pull our positions from a hat – we were 9th
As soon as you bleed the tires down for a race in the rain, it’s sure to dry up
In 1989 Joe Martin, a strong Arkansas cyclist, advertising executive, and promoter of the Fayetteville Spring Classic bicycle race, passed away from cancer. Joe had been instrumental in the event for 10 years prior to his diagnosis. Joe’s friends and colleagues renamed the race in his honor after his passing, and Joe’s race lives on. It’s grown in stature over the past 44 years, attaining a UCI Americas Tour pro license for the last 7 years. Joe’s race is a big deal.
The ITT was three miles uphill which negated the need for a Time Trial bike, or even bottles
What goes up must come down
Roxo Racing was assembled in 2020/2021 with the idea to go big. Bigger than the usual diet of Gran Fondos and local bike races. The goal was to travel to the hardest road racing in the U.S. like Joe Martin, to adapt and learn teamwork. Our athletes are not rookies, nor are they professionals. All are accomplished Cat. 1,2 riders who had clawed their way up the local bike racing ladder.
While the riders head out on a warmup ride, the staff fills bottles for the upcoming race
While the staff fills bottles, the riders head out for a warmup
Rarely do bike riders “Cat up” via well-oiled teamwork like we watch on TV. There are no teams or clubs in Texas that ride like Quick-Step. Most folk race selfishly because upgrade points are earned individually. The rare physical specimens progress through the ranks more rapidly. Yet there can be only one winner. Simple. The question is, what’s it like when you step up and go to “big” races and compete against the very teams you read about on pezcyclingnews?
In short, you fight to survive. We can say there are multiple races going on. There’s a race for the stage win, the overall G.C., the climber’s jersey and so on. There is also a race at the back to make the time cut. Miss the time cut and you’re out. Even pros miss time cuts. If you’re 15% behind the first rider, you’re done. Cycling cares not that you’re having a bad day.
Stage two: suited and booted, talked tactics, headed to the start.
Lead pack on another day hotter than Hades
If you have the moxie and physical talent to adapt, then you begin to think tactically. You notice things besides your own labored breathing. But for most bike riders, this does not happen quickly. It takes the Trifecta, many races with tough competition in large fields. Current National Champion Lauren Stephens, our neighbor over in Dallas, serves as a case in point. She’s a veteran Tibco pro yet raced national level races for over a decade to get where she is. Lauren and her Tibco teammates weren’t born pros, they had to earn their way there.
Rain or shine. They planned for shine
Daily ritual performed by our mechanic, Gonzo – a clean bike is a fast bike
Our Roxo story doesn’t have a happy ending like a Disney movie. Our riders suffered at the hands (legs) of the full-time professionals. Rally Cycling, Tibco, DNA Pro Cycling and Instafund are established programs with UCI Continental licenses. Lux Cycling is a preeminent development program with a proven track record, producing champions who now race in the WorldTour. In short, it was a stacked field.
Uncategorized climbs – sometimes the short, sharp ones hurt the most
Yet our athletes and staff are learning. We are adapting and improving. We’ll be back.
Eating wins races… Or in our case, finishes races
Through the lens of our talented photog, Alex Roszko, we want to share our story.