Five Minutes with Kem Valliant-Saunders

Almost no one on Liquid Velo raced in as many events as Kem Valliant-Saunders did last season. During the 2017 season Kem took part in 35 events in all major disciplines: road, mountain bike, track and cyclocross. Kem is the consummate competitor–her teammates will tell you that she races by example, and while she’s serious about the effort, she’s always looking to keep things fun and relaxed.

Kem (short for Karine Elizabeth Margeaux) was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. She attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where she received a BS in biomolecular chemistry. Her mentor at Queen’s encouraged her to attend the University of Washington, where she got a masters degree in chemistry. She’s been in Seattle ever since. Kem has worked in research at the UW, the Benaroya Research Institute, Novo Nordisk, and Fred Hutch. She’s currently a technical sales representative for Macherey-Nagel. Kem joined Liquid Velo in January 2012 and has served on the Liquid Velo Board of Directors for four years: two years as Board Secretary and two years as Treasurer.

  • What got you interested in bike racing?
    I was helping my friend Marc train for IronMan Kona. He knew I grew up swimming competitively and thought I’d be good at triathlons, so I started biking more and enjoyed it a lot and started racing. While I’ve done a handful of triathlons and I’ve never loved them.
  • What does your training week look like in-season?
    Ha ha! I try to follow a training program, but I’m out of town so often with work! It’s actually really important to get a lot of fitness in the two months before the season and then “maintain” throughout. So I aim for 10-15 hours a week, mixing up running and cycling. I also try to do yoga at home twice a week.

I believe that you if you want to do well, you set a goal and train for it physically. After that, your mind is usually your biggest obstacle. Negative thoughts are typically what prevents someone from doing well in races.

  • How many bikes do you own?
    Five total. I sold my Scott road bike in anticipation getting a new Giant in January.
  • Marianne Vos, Chantal Blaak or Sanne Cant?
    Courtenay McFadden, she’s a local CX racer from Bellingham and (a) she’s legit good at what she does and (b) she’s super humble.
  • Chris Froome, Peter Sagan or Wout Van Aert?
    Sven Nys and his “shut up legs” attitude.
  • Seahawks, Huskies or Sounders?
    Sounders, but to be honest I don’t watch many sports or sports on TV.

The Year in Numbers: 122, 125, and 47

Over the last year, the SCCA Cycling Team participated in 122 events across the Pacific Northwest and beyond. At those events, which included road, track, cyclocross and mountain bike races, someone from the SCCA Cycling Team made the podium 125 times, including 47 first place finishes!

Last week, in appreciation for our title sponsor—Seattle Cancer Care Alliance—the team donated all of its cash winnings for the year to SCCA. The team is incredibly proud of its 10-year association with SCCA, whose mission is to provide better, longer, richer lives for cancer patients. Many thanks to SCCA, and congratulations to our racers!

Thinking About Racing with Us?

Come meet and ride with the SCCA Cycling Team on Saturday, September 30 at Leschi Park at 9:15am. SCCA Cycling is looking for new and experienced riders who want to race.

We support and develop our racers through team training rides, organized clinics, an annual three-day training camp as well as numerous other benefits and perks. We are a co-ed, primarily road-focused team with additional enthusiasm for cyclocross, track and MTB. For more information please contact us and we’ll be in touch. See you in September!

SCCA Women Dominate 2017 Cascadia Criterium Series

SCCA’s Stephanie Halamek and Allison Indyk both took first place points honors in their respective categories in the 2017 Cascadia Criterium Series, which concluded in Tacoma on Sunday. Winners were awarded points based on the results from five races held in June and July: the Poulsbou Twilight Criterium, Ballard Twilight Criterium, Volunteer Park Criterium, Redmond Derby Days Criterium and the Proctor/Tacoma Criterium. The series drew racers from all over the Pacific Northwest. Nearly 30 racers from SCCA Cycling participated in the series. Hats off to Stephanie and Allison!

Recent top ten finishes for SCCA at other events include:

Boston Harbor Circuit Race, June 24, 2017

  • William Cucco, 1st place, Junior D Boys
  • Lance French, 2nd place, Men’s 4/5 Masters
  • Allison Indyk, 2nd place, Women’s 4/5
  • Andrew Pryhuber, 10th place, Men’s Category 3

WSBA Road Racing Championships, June 17, 2017

  • Megan Doherty, 4th, Women’s Pro Category 1/2
  • Karen Doherty, 3rd place, Women’s Category 3
  • Harry Edwards, 6th place, Men Category 4/5 Masters
  • Malia Greening, 8th place, Women’s Pro Category 1/2
  • Adam Worobec, 10th place, Men’s Category 3

View links to race results as well as a list of upcoming races on our racing page.

Poulsbo is in the books!

John Ranasen and Richie Strong in pursuit at Poulsbo.

Last weekend SCCA Cycling hosted the Second Annual Poulsbo Twlight Criterium. This year’s event drew 233 racers from Washington State and Oregon (70 more than last year’s race (163)). Racers participated in eight events, including the Kids Race, in which over 20 up-and-coming racers competed.

This year SCCA Cycling had nearly 30 riders in the mix. Notable finishes included:

  • Allison Indyk: 1st place, Women’s Category 4/5 Open
  • Stephanie Halamek: 3rd place, Women’s Pro Category 1/2/3
  • Joe Smith: 8th place, Men’s Category 4/5 Open
  • Adam Worobec 10th, Men’s Category 3
  • Dave Chipchase 13th, Men’s Pro Category 1/2

View complete results here. The Poulsbo race is the first in the Cascade Criterium Series. This weekend the series moves to Ballard (Saturday) and Volunteer Park (Sunday), then travels to Redmond on July 8 and finishes in Tacoma on July 16.

Josh Crow’s second straight championship caps a busy spring for SCCA Cycling

Josh Crow atop the podium wearing the WSBA Championship jersey.

For the second year in a row SCCA’s Josh Crow won the Master’s WSBA Championship (Men’s 40+ Cat 1/2/3) on Saturday May 13th. This year’s championship was held on the Olympic View Course outside Brady, Washington. Also finishing for SCCA behind Josh in the 72-mile race was Dave Chipchase (4th place) and Jeff Gaeckle (11th).

Other notable finishes for SCCA this spring include first place finishes for Stephanie Halmek (Women’s Cat 3) and Lauren Schmidt (Women’s Cat 4/5) at the Mason Lake Road Road Race #1 as well as Alison Indyk’s victory (Women’s Cat 4/5) at the Mason Lake Road Road Race #2. In all, nearly 50 riders from SCCA have competed in events so far this year.

Follow the links below for complete spring race results:
Mason Lake Road Race #1
Mason Lake Road Race #2
Tour De Bloom Stage Race and Omnium
Olympic View Road Race
Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race

IVRR caps a successful month of racing for SCCA Cycling

Racing season started in earnest in March with six races, starting with the Ice Breaker Time Trial in Auburn and finishing in Rochester at the Independence Valley Road Race (IVRR). The biggest story this year for SCCA Cycling has to be Allison Indyk. Allison is undefeated in four races, including wins at both Tour de Dungs and at IVRR (Women’s Cat 5). On the men’s side, John Rasanen won the Ridge Circuit Race #1 (Men’s Cat 3-5), Jeff Musser took 4th at Tour de Dung #1 (Men’s Masters Cat 4-5) and Garrett George placed 4th at IVRR (Men’s Cat 3). Nearly 40 riders from SCCA Cycling competed in March.

Steve Sonheim, Dave Chipchase and Josh Crow at the start of the Pro 1-2 Men’s Race at IVRR. March 25, 2017.

Follow the links below for complete results:

Ice Breaker Time Trial
Ridge Circuit Race & TT #1
Ridge Circuit Race & TT #2
Tour de Dung #1
Tour de Dung #2
Independence Valley Road Race

SCCA notches two wins at Pacific Raceways

SCCA’s Lauren Schmidt and Allison Indyk (at right) finished first in their respective races in this season’s first race at Pacific Raceways. In the women’s cat 4 race, Schmidt, led out by teammate Kara Wilder, attacked with 400 meters from the finish to claim her first victory. Wilder finished fifth. In the women’s cat 5 race, Indyk easily crushed the 13-woman field to win her race. Emily Alexander finished eighth in the woman’s cat 3 event.

The men’s 4/5 category was split into two fields. Lance French finished sixth the Evens split and Gian Vito finished fifth in the Odds split. In all, 14 riders from SCCA competed last weekend’s event. View complete race results here.