Lauren Tamayo (Peanut Butter & Co/TWENTY12) will be racing on the USA's team pursuit squad at the UCI Track World Championships next week. As she prepares to leave for Copenhagen, her training and racing has given her the form she needs to earn some early season results. These results have helped to build the confidence she will need to compete against the best in the world.
Tamayo explained, "Our goal is a medal in the team pursuit. It would be very disappointing to not make it to the medal rounds after all of this work. That being said, I think that the top five to six teams will be within a few tenths of a second. It is going to be a very tough event. I believe we are ready."
Tamayo grew up on the track, racing at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Pennsylvania. After moving to North Carolina, track took a back seat to her road career. That all changed in the spring of 2009. "My coach Jim Miller and I decided I should focus on the track. For the past year and a half, I've been training primarily for the track."
As with most endurance track racers, Tamayo has spent a good deal of time racing on the road. In her first road event of the 2010 season, the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Tamayo earned two top five finishes and came in sixth overall. This effort helped to build both fitness and confidence.
"We looked at the Ladies Tour a good opportunity to get to work on leg speed and get in some intensity. I couldn't have been happier with my results. I've never considered myself a sprinter, but I was doing well against racers like Giorgia Bornzini and Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto). It really gave me a good boost of confidence."
Immediately following her trip to Qatar, Tamayo spent ten days at the UCI World Cycling Center in Aigle, Switzerland. This trip was specifically designed to work with Sarah Hammer and Dotsie Bausch (Empower Coaching) on the technical aspects of team pursuit.
"Going into the World Cup in Cali, we had only raced together two times. We worked hard on technique; timing, exchanges and getting used to racing together. So much of the team pursuit is all about technique. The trip was a huge step in the right direction."
Currently, Tamayo is racing well. At the Tour of Murrieta (March 12-14), she won the first stage and the overall omnium. "I'm going into worlds with a lot of confidence in my form. The results on the road and time working with Sarah and Dotsie have really all come together at the right time."
Following the world championships, Tamayo will rejoin the US National Road squad and compete in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio World Cup, the Tour of Flanders and the Unive Ronde van Drenthe World Cup.