New to the Women’s road racing scene this year is Team Holliday Rock presented by (p/b) Zoca Cycling Gear. Team Holliday Rock is a part of SkyFlash Racing, founded in 2012 by Todd Willis. SkyFlash Racing is as an amateur elite racing team that competes in southern California local cycling events. Todd’s mission was to promote a team where the members are helpful, approachable and committed to growing the sport.
The Holliday Rock p/b Zoca women’s team, formally known as Revolution/Zoca, is headed by road racing veteran Crystal Howard. Not only has Ms. Howard brought together a wide range of young talent coupled with experienced racers who want to race their bikes, she brought on a new title sponsor Holliday Rock supported by Zoca Gear, Revolution Bike Shop, Focus Bikes USA, Osmo Nutrition, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, IRT Wheels, WD-40 BIKE, SPY Performance, Lazer Helmets, and Square1gear.
In 2013 Southern California saw a huge dip in women’s road racing. Several local race promoters dropped the Women’s Category 1-2 from their race day line-up which caused concern with beginning racers who would have nowhere to race once they upgraded to the more experienced 1-2 fields.
Ms. Howard, along with Holliday Rock p/b Zoca Team Mechanic Hector Castillo, put their heads together and developed a program designed specifically for women with the intent to bring more women into the sport. The goal would be to recruit new riders and teach them how to race.
Ms. Howard’s goal for the Holliday Rock p/b Zoca women’s team is to create an environment where women can find their potential as athletes. So often it is hard to keep women in the sport, so SkyFlash is trying to break that trend by creating opportunities for women to enjoy the sport, learn, grow, develop and just have fun. We want to invite other women to join us if they also would like the opportunity to be around other women that are supportive. Ms. Howard wants give back to the sport that has treated her so well. By doing this Ms. Howard is sharing her knowledge and teaching women how to race as a team and to learn race tactics. Ms. Howards states “My forte has always been to help others learn how to win, and I want to support other women as they enter and develop in the sport.”
To accomplish this goal Ms. Howard started the “Ladies Fast Ride” which takes place on the first Saturday of every month. Ms. Howard explains, “We want the women to learn how to dictate their own group ride and to create a nonthreatening environment where they can put their nose in the wind, attack etc.” She goes on to say, “So often women are in group rides with the guys and we just draft, then when we get in a race we tend to want to draft rather than put ourselves out there.” The Ladies Fast Ride is a way to help women ride hard together that will hopefully translate into more aggressive and exciting women’s races. This ride meets at 8:30 at the Revolution Bike Shop in Solana Beach and is an out and back route that goes north on Pacific Coast Highway, through Camp Pendleton to San Clemente. The total distance is 71 miles and consists of flat to rolling terrain with one hill sprint and a final sprint at the turn around. For updates please “like” SkyFlash Racing on Facebook.
The Holliday Rock p/b Zoca women’s team mentors riders through skills clinics and certification classes on the track. Bonnie Breeze joined the organization in 2013 and brought over 25 years road racing experience to the team. The combination of Breeze and Howard and their vast experience and desire to share their knowledge will, no doubt, help up and coming women to be better ambassadors of the sport as well as competitors.
As the 2014 season unfolds, the goal of the team is continue to support and develop talent, upgrade our riders, make regular trips to the podium and have fun!