Team TIBCO-SVB’s Jo Kiesanowski fearlessly rails a corner at the very wet US Pro Challenge last month with U.S. National Crit Champ and teammate Kendall Ryan on her wheel. Photo Credit: Tour of Utah
We are super stoked to partner up with UCI Pro Women’s squad Team TIBCO-SVB and do our part to support bad ass women in this awesome sport!
We had the opportunity to chat women’s cycling and rain rides with Team TIBCO-SVB veteran and 3-time Olympian Jo Kiesanowski.
The Kiwi has been racing in the pro peloton for over a decade and is still racking up wins in addition to her 8 National Championship titles on the road and track, plus her representation in the Commonwealth Games and Olympics three times each. Kiesanowski has just been selected to represent New Zealand at the World Championships road race this month.
AS: When did you turn pro and how has your cycling career evolved over the years? What disciplines have you raced; do you have a favorite?
JK: My first year as a pro was 2001 here in the USA. I also raced in Europe for pro teams for a few seasons before coming back to the USA to race for TIBCO-SVB in 2008 till now! I have raced both on the track and road internationally and enjoy both, however track is my first love as I started at age 16 and I love going and racing on the track whenever I can.
AS: Where do you currently live and train?
JK: I’m from Christchurch, New Zealand but when I’m in the U.S. I split my time between Seattle and Colorado Springs.
AS: Seattle is known for its constant drizzle. What are your wet-weather essentials?
JK: First of all, it’s not as bad at everyone thinks, but if there’s any sort of dampness it’s key if my ass stays dry (thanks Ass Savers)! I also have my favorite rain jacket, gloves and Velotoze booties that I have to use.
AS: You have a talent for the one-day European Classics which are notorious for inclement weather conditions. In the days and weeks leading up to these races what makes the difference? Is it the psychological preparation, training to have peak form, or equipment selection that makes the difference on the day?
JK: It’s hugely important is to know the course, the type of terrain and pavement/cobbles and looking at a detailed weather forecast to know where the wind is going to come from and if it will rain out there! Information is your friend over there! That way you can decide what pressure will be best in your tyres, what undershirts/vests/gloves/booties are best for today and where the key sections in the race could be so you can make sure you are very far forward in that huge peloton!
Jo Kiesanowski powers up the infamous Mur de Huy at the Belgian Lotto Belisol Classic. Photo by Anton Vos.
AS: What does it take to finish, let alone podium, at a race with wet roads and harsh weather conditions?
JK: A lot of mental toughness - when it’s miserable out there it’s miserable for everyone, it’s how tough you are mentally to keep pushing through the harsh conditions and being confident in the hard training you have done and in your bike handling skills.
AS: Ass Savers is super excited to partner with Team TIBCO-SVB and support women’s cycling. How do you believe sponsors can contribute to the growth of women’s cycling?
JK: Sponsors can recognise that a large part of the cycling demographic is female and supporting women’s teams is a very effective way of reaching that market segment. The women have great stories and we are every bit as intriguing as the men - our sport has a lot of momentum behind it at the moment so hopefully sponsors will see this and want to be a part of it all.
Team TIBCO-SVB riders show off their custom team-edition Ass Savers during a wet training day in Sweden after racing the Vargarda World Cup.