Arensman sisters
Image: Weldon Weaver

Hannah Arensman wins 17-18 National Cyclocross Championships
& World Championship selection  

1. Hannah Arensman (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker
2. Shannon Mallory (USA Jamis pro Cycling
3. Fiona Doherty (USA) Squadra di Servitori 
4. Anya Malarski (USA) Power Fix CX
5. Ashley Zoener (USA) Alpha Bicycle
Report by Hannah Arensman 17-18
For the first time in a while Cyclo-Cross Nationals were on the East coast. At the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina! I was so excited about this venue because it meant racing on home soil and there was potential for a really good course. My expectations were not disappointed. The course was more challenging than any other nationals course I've every raced on! Plus it rained the night before my race making everything really slick and fun!

The start went great up until the point I pulled my foot out of the pedal half way down the start straight. Then I went back to about 20th place. I spent the first lap weaving in and out of riders trying to get back to the leaders. This was made easier by the lightness of my Felt bikes and Boyd wheels. I got back to 4th in the U23 Women by the end of the first lap, however, the exertion I had spent on that took it's toll on lap three when I started to fade. Pushing harder and finally going into the pits for a clean bike, I finished 7th in the UCI U23 Women's field and 1st in the 17/18 Women!
Praising God for the gift of winning the Stars and Stripes in my last junior year!

A big shout out to my coach, Sonni Dyer, who has been training me for several years now. He always knows how to get me just where I need to be!

Thank you to TWENTY16 RideBiker for all your support throughout the season. It has been an honor to represent you in the Cyclo-Cross season and I look forward to continuing on the road!  And to all the sponsors, thank you for your support!
SRAM, Felt bicycles, K-Edge, Catlike helmets, Fi'zi:k, JLvelo, Dz-Nuts high viscosity chamois cream, Modify watches, GQ-6, Oakley, Clif Bar, EC3D compression

Image: Wil Matthews

Hannah representing 
Image: Weldon Weaver

Hannah Arensman wins 17-18 National Championship
Image: Weldon Weaver

Silver medal in D1 collegiate National Championships for Allison Arensman 
& World Championship selection

1. Sofia Gomez Villafane (ARGENTINA) Fort Lewis
2. Allison Arensman (USA) Brevard College (TWENTY16 Ridebiker)
3. Laurel Rathbun (USA) Marian University
4. Hannah Finchamp (USA) Lindenwood University
5. Tiziana DeHorney (USA) University of New Mexico

Report by Allison Arensman
Coming off of my first European experience over Christmas/New Year's I hit Nationals more ready than I've ever been before. Physically prepared for 3 days of racing as I would race for Brevard College on Friday in the D1 women's race and again on Saturday in the team relay, and then finish the weekend on Sunday racing for Twenty16 in the U23 race. Mentally prepared on how to approach the course and each day, separating them as individual races that did not indicate how I would feel or do on the following day. Its an open mindset that has taken quite the process to develop but that my coach, Sonni Dyer, has constantly preached to me and one that I really started to get a glimpse of back in road season during the stages of the Cascade Classic. 

The D1 race was a descent race for me, though between a mechanical and loss of focus I let the top step slip away and had to settle for silver. In the grand scheme of things this did not matter in the overall team points for the college, so it was not a huge disappointment. The next day in the relay I felt fantastic and did my best to support the team as the anchor rider. It was a very hard race as the other two teams (Marian and Fort Lewis) had guys anchoring their teams and the third person from Marian came in before our third rider did. There was not really any chance of me catching Marain's anchor, Drew Dillman, but I managed to hold off Fort Lewis's guy until the very end where he beat me in the sprint by a bike throw.
During the Nationals weekend I was also juggling my duties as a coach to five junior athletes who were competing. I was busy running around on Saturday and distracted myself from eating and resting as I should have for my race on Sunday. The U23 race had super fun conditions since it had rained the night before, but I was dead legged and could do no more than walk every time I got off the bike. A hard race and finishing 8th, several minutes down from the winner was not the way I wanted my final U23 CX Nationals to go, especially as it was in my home state. However, there was so much I had learned from the weekend and could apply to the rest of my season if I was selected for the World Championships, and to my road season if Worlds did not happen. In the past I would have considered the weekend a failure, but by the diligence of my coach and family and the peace of God, I came away satisfied, even pumped. 

Also, the fact that my sister Hannah had absolutely decimated the 17-18 field completely made the weekend! So thankful to Twenty16, K-Edge, JLVelo and Felt for their support this season, couldn't have done it without the fabulous equipment!

Allison navigates the mud
 Image: Weldon Weaver

Brookshire focuses on the positive after a disappointing National Championships

Report by Isabella Brookshire 15-16
Starting off this season was all about looking toward the end goal: Winning Nationals in my hometown of Asheville, NC. To do this, I'd have to train like never before. So I teamed up with my very talented coaches Allison Arensman and Sonni Dyer, along with my parents and a sweet new Felt CX bike, and set my sights on my training. It was all about giving 100% every day to balance the demands of my academics and cycling to my fullest extent possible. I won't lie and say this wasn't extremely difficult at times and that I never found myself questioning whether or not I was doing the best I could with what I had to deal with, but I ignored my doubts and pushed on. Weeks added up to months, and soon I was packing up my dorm and moving home for the holidays with Nationals looming just a couple weeks away. I was able to sharpen my training and catch up on sleep, and I'd have to say that there weren't many times that I wasn't thinking about the upcoming race. Excitement mixed with nerves, soon the week arrived.

The course was amazing. I had been to the "preview" race that the North Carolina Cyclocross club had put on in the preceding year, and even though I was not able to race due to my injury from the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin, TX, I was still able to come out on crutches and take a view at what I dreamt would be my first ever national championship win. I was impressed by that course, but what USA Cycling and the event promoters had designed for 2016 was crazy-awesome. I was so excited! I came out and pre-rode the course multiple times and fell even more in love with it, and even the forecast for rain on Saturday and the day of my race, Sunday, couldn't kill my spirit. I was going to race my bike, whether that was in the sun or in the rain, it didn't matter.

A disappointed Isabelle Brookshire
Image: Weldon Weaver

Soon it was Sunday morning. I had everything planned out: warm up, pin job, embrocation...The course looked extremely slick. It had rained all the previous night just like predicted, and other pre riders were falling everywhere. It looked like what had been dry, bare and flat dirt all week had turned into a deadly plasticlike slip 'n slide. The lines that I had practiced all week were now almost unridable, but nevertheless, soon I was through my pre-race process and lined up waiting for the whistle to blow. Heart racing-it blew, and we all took off. I got into the spot where I wanted to be-sitting fourth wheel, right behind my main competition-and we hit the dirt. Mud was flying everywhere and when the leaders and I hit the first technical turn, when their bikes slid out and I couldn't avoid running right into their wheels, I went down. By the time I had gotten up, I could tell something was wrong with my bike but I kept going and moving back up until-I was taken out again, this time by a fellow racer heading down a very muddy straightaway.  Pulling myself and my bike off the ground again, I got back on to see that I had dropped at least another fifteen spots backwards. Though, I didn't let this stop me from trying to move back. Getting back onto my bike, I took off and started picking riders off one-by-one, pushing myself as hard but steady as possible. The bike wasn't riding perfectly but it was cooperating, and so I made the decision to not pit but keep moving up. This will probably be the decision that I'll regret the most when looking back at this event. As soon as I hit the major hill and adjusted my gearing, bam. My back wheel locked up and my derailleur was wrapped around my spokes. Heart pounding, I picked up my bike and ran. I ran until I was passing the pits, I ran past the start finish, and over the fly-over. I ran until I had run another half lap. Entering the pit, I took the spare bike from my Dad, hopped on as the race leader passed by, and with a few tears in my eyes, rode my best to the finish.

This race would definitely seem as a let down. Yes, it seemed as if all the hours I sacrificed at school and at home had been a waste, but in reality, they hadn't. I had learned so much from this experience without even realizing it until now that it has finally happened. All those countless hours spent on the bike while handling all the other stresses of life had not been for nothing, but had taught me something far more important than a gold medal ever could. It showed me that the process of pouring your heart into something that you love is much more important than the end result. You learn so much about yourself through events in life that cause you to sacrifice something. Life doesn't come easy, and nothing would be worthwhile if it did. I may not be a National Champion yet, but it doesn't mean that I should judge everything I spent on just that. I've met such amazing people throughout this journey, and I've discovered more strengths inside myself that I hadn't bothered to look at before. So all in all, I'd say this was a very rewarding Nationals, and I can only thank God for giving me the opportunity to do what I love and have been there.

Junior women 13-14
10th Ava Sykes (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker Development 
12th Kate Seiler  (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker Development 

Junior women 11-12
12th Mallory Bryan  (USA) TWENTY16 Ridebiker Development 

11 year old Mallory Bryan new recruit for 2016 

Arensman sisters selected to UCI Cyclocross World Championships

2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships are Jan. 30-31 in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. This will be the first World Championships for the Arensman sisters. What a unique and special opportunity these young ladies get to experience racing together in the first U23 World Championships. 

How to watch World Championships Pro Women's Cycling

Preview of World Championships Cyclocross Magazine

image: jeffery Cocoran

There is always something extra special associated with firsts, first lost tooth, first time riding a two-wheeled bike, first time driving a car and so on. I am so incredibly excited to be experiencing my first World Championships this weekend at Cyclo-cross Worlds in Belgium! More than this though, I am excited for this 'first' in women's cycling: an Under-23 World Championships in cyclo-cross. A huge step followed only with the delightful news that there will also be an Under-23 category for Road Worlds too. The start of something that has been fiercely fought for, such an honor to get to be a part of it's inauguration! ~ Allison Arensman 
image: Jeffery Cocoran 
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