UCI Team Time Trial World Champion
Carmen has won the coveted rainbow jersey not once, but twice in the team time trial, earning it with the Specialized-lululemon team in 2013 and 2014.
Carmen has won the coveted rainbow jersey not once, but twice in the team time trial, earning it with the Specialized-lululemon team in 2013 and 2014.
Carmen was the fastest woman against the clock in the United States in 2013.
Carmen manages a professional coaching business for cyclists of all skill levels, sizes, and ages.
I have been pretty quiet sense I have been back from Europe, I’m not exactly sure why but maybe for no one reason. Part of the reason is I really don’t like to write and not particularly good at it. So if I have to choose to write something or just update my Facebook, Instagram, or twitter I usually will choose the later. A lot happened from the past blog post from April 22 and my return to America May 4th. A stage Racing, crazy travel home, and looking forward towards the next goal.
The last race for me before coming back to the States was a race in Luxenburg. I was please with how that race went, I felt strong and spent some time off the front of one of the races where I won the Climbers Jersey. I held onto it until the end. Not much else to report about that race.
Then I had some crazy travel home which I wont get into but it took me a solid two days. I was very happy to finally land in Durango! Once I was home it was time to take a bit of a break, acclimate to the altitude, and then get down to business for the final push to prepare for US National Championships. I think I trained harder then I have ever trained before. Often I found myself cursing my coach, Corey Hart, and thinking to myself “is he trying to kill me?” I stayed focused trying to eliminate anything that could throw me off course. As the days ticked by I got more nervous and the day before I left, wow I was a bit of a crazy person.
I have been asked the question why do you think I was so nervous? I think because I knew I could win. I had the fitness needed to perform at my best, I had the best equipment, I had the best mechanic to prepare everything for me, I had done all my homework. Now I just need to put everything together and win. But there is always this doubt, and you get the what ifs. I worked really hard to come up with a plan for the course and try to stay focused on the task at hand. The morning of the race I was so nervous I couldn’t eat my breakfast and I thought to myself wow I am really really nervous. I don’t think I had been this nervous for any other event in my career. I arrived at the venue and started my routine. The nerves didn’t subside as I went through the motions of getting ready and starting my warm up. I got through my warm up with out puking and headed to the start. On the starting ramp I nervously got into my pedals, took me about 30 seconds, again with the nerves. Then the countdown started. 5,4,3,2,1…. I was off and everything went into focusing on what I needed to do. Around kilometer 12 I had my first slight breakdown and talked myself into keep pushing until the turn around. As I approached the turn around I saw my 1 minute person and realized I had put quite a bit of time into her. Then I noticed the person chasing me was not close so that gave me some extra motivation to push harder. Then I came apart a little around 23km, I knew this section was going to be tricky and I again talked myself into digging deep and with the help of James in the radio I got to 28 more easily then I thought. I was on the last roller when I started to doubt if I would make it over the hill and was that the last one? As I crested I realized yes that was the last roller and it was a big push to the finish line. You can see the last KM here.
As I crossed the finish line I had no thoughts running through my head, I was too tire and had no oxygen to my brain! Jame came over the radio and said I think you just won! He pulled around me and parked the car, a few moments later we understood I had won! I was without words just thanking him and Courteney Lowe (she was in the car with James and helped me that day) for there help. I was overwhelmed with shock, joy, excitement, happiness, I guess every emotion one could have.
This photo was taken right after I found out I won. Jame Stanfill and Courteney Lowe.
What does this mean? I don’t know to be honest… All I know is that I am happy to have the nationals title back and wear the stars and stripes for one more year. It puts me in a good portion for the olympic selection. So now we wait to see if I am named to the team. I am still over the moon. Hard work really does pay off! Here is a link for the interview after the race.
Lastly, I have to say thanks to everyone who has helped me along this journey. Some people don’t even know how you have helped, I am always overwhelmed with how caring people actually can be out of the goodness of there hearts. My Coach Corey Hart has believed in me for the past 10 years, we have been though a lifetime together and he knows me better then myself in so many ways. My family of course who has seen me succeed but also fail miserably but have always encouraged me to keep following my dreams. My husband who puts up with my craziness and me being absent from home so much in the past four years. He always is a good shoulder to cry on, he listens to me complain, and be crazy about overthinking everything, and keeping me present in the goals I have made. My cats of course, Karen and Hansi for teaching me the importance of recovery. My trade team for supporting me this season and being a rock solid group of girls that are not only my teammates but my friends. My trade team staff, who got me through 3.5 months of crazy European racing and living. Thomas who pushed me to my limits and made me see that I belonged in the front group at every race and I had the ability to win these races. Patrick who always had our machines dialed and put up with my crazy perfections about the TT bike. Last but not least Jonathan who is numero uno! He knows what I need before I ask for it, he is one of the best soigneur I have ever worked with.
My good friend and amazing mechanic, James Stanfill wrote a blog and posted a video! Check it out!
Going for Gold
As a professional mechanic I’ve been honored and lucky enough to work with a lot of great athletes. The video below is a great friend of mine Carmen Small winning her 2nd Professional Women’s USA Cycling National Championship. I’ve worked with Carmen a lot over the last few years, this year she crushed it! She didn’t just win, she won in style.
As you can see in this video she is all over the road and has left nothing behind at the finish. To put things into perspective her last KM was only 3 seconds slower than Taylor Phinney.
Keep reading click here
I am massively over due for an update, but now I am completely overwhelmed and have no idea where to even start. So I will start with some words of thanks and not about racing. I have been very blessed throughout my life with people who have supported me. My whole life I have been surrounded by people who have suck by my side, supported me, and given me the confidence to move forward holding my head up high whether it was sports, school, or life. Not to say there hasn’t been a lack of confidence at times. Looking back from when I was just little girl participating in gymnastics where it all started. The coaches noticed that I was naturally good at and pushed me to do competitions, this started my competitive nature started. Well, let’s back up, I think this competitiveness was always in me. Playing in the neighborhood I was always wanting to play what ever games the kids were playing, but not just participate I wanted to win. I wanted to beat everyone and be the best. So naturally I would have pushed gymnastics to the next level but there is no way I could have done it alone. My parents supported me and took me to the events and drove me to practice, other parents help out, just an overwhelming support system at the age of 10. I soon started kayaking and this took over my life, I kayaked competitively for 5 years and loved every second. Again, I was so lucky to have coaches around to help and push me to go to nationals and to do my very best. My father drove me and my boat around the country for years. My summer was filled with kayak trips around the states with our crew of people and racing the local and national races and having fun.
Next up is Ron Klatt was one of the most significant coaches in my life growing up (Nordic ski racing). He taught me the value of hard work, responsibility, passion for a sport, and most of all surrounding yourself with good people. I took this sport to the next level under his guidance and will never forget the values he instilled in me. And of course I can’t forget my dad again. He was always around coaching Durango Nordic, spending hours in the car driving everyone around, pushing me to my limits as well as other athletes.
Volleyball was my first love and real passion for a sport, different from the sports I had participated in before because this was a team sport. I think this is part of why I loved it so much. I love the dynamics of a group. I love the team feeling because its like a family for me, relying on other and others helping you to achieve the same goal. I was very blessed with having a great coach midway through my high school career, Michelle Brown. What an incredible person. She restored our love for the sport and took us to the next level. Under Michelle we won state championships and I was awarded the MVP my senior year. It wasn’t all about winning, although we won a lot, it was about what she stood for. First thing was hard work and staying focussed. I loved that she had so much passion for the sport and you could literally feel it and it was contagious. Second she instilled supporting one another, we all had our limitations but together as a team we could be the best. We needed to believe in one another and lift each other up. This was a very special time in my life.
In college I had numerous teaches push me with my academics at Colorado State University. I was lucky that sport came second during this time and I really had a different experience with what I was passionate about. This is where I discovered my passion for education, influencing me to study mathematics and was able to get my teachers license. I found a deep love for math, tutoring, and teaching. Throughout my time at CSU, I had several teachers take an interest to me and help guide me to what I really wanted to accomplish. I found people to support me and I earned a mathematics degrees and a minor in education. I was then reunited with a teacher, Chuck Leech, who was a teacher at Durango high school when I was attending that school but was never my teacher. It was a small school so of course I knew him and his son was also in my grade. I was placed randomly under him to do my student teaching at Broomfield High School and this could not have worked out better. He taught me more then he will ever know. I often look back at that time in my life and think that I really scored and it couldn’t have been better planned. Chuck taught me about being in the classroom, organization, responsibility, classroom management, compassion for the students, all of those important things to be a successful teacher. But most importantly he taught me to think about what I wanted to say before I said it and to question myself. Two things that I had never really thought about before and two things that my life has benefited from and I continue to practice. Thank you for those tools Chuck.
After about 4.5 years of teaching I quit to pursue the dream to become a professional cyclist. Again, this didn’t come to most people as a surprise. Michael Engleman spotted me as a potential talent, even though I had only done one or two bike races (I was a triathlete at that time). He brought me into a talent ID camp where I met one of the most influential people in my life, Corey Hart. He has been my coach and friend for over ten years and I have learned a great deal from him. He has believe in me from the beginning and has given me overwhelming about of support. I am so lucky to have him in my life. He has believe in me when I didn’t believe in myself, he has pushed me beyond my limits and kept me going when I didn’t want to go anymore. He has taught me about cycling, tactics, execution, training, physiology, the list goes on and on. He has been with me through the ups and down with life and has always stuck by my side.
I have been very lucky in this sport of cycling. I started off with Carmen D’Lousio who was an exceptional direct and person, she took a chance on me giving me my first “pro” contract and from there I flourished under her guidance. Through out this sport I have had countless people who have believed in me, maybe even more then I believed in myself. This blog post will get even longer if I go thought the last ten years of people who believed in me, maybe one day I can write a book (because as you know I love to write). The point is, I have been lucky to surround myself with people who support me and believe in me. I can make a list but your know who you are and maybe we save it for a later date. I wouldn’t have gotten to where I have without these people.
My mom Donna Nazario, my step mom Margaret Poer, of course my dad Allen Small who I have mentioned already have all played a crucial part into my success over the years, not only in sports but as a person. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband, Ben Sonntag, that supports me and of course my cats (Hansi and Karen) who keep me motivated to take recovery seriously. I have met wonderful friends thought the teams that I have been on and they will remain in my life well after cycling. I have a great “team” that keeps encouraging me to go above and beyond my limits and I wont forget them. Life is about surrounding yourself with people who love you and support you and in return you support and love them back. I wont settle for mediocrity ever and I encourage you to live your life with people who love you and celebrate you because it’s easy to give back to people who are the same.
I will update my races soon, but in the mean time you can check out the team website
Okay, I don’t have a lot to say so I will share some pictures with you and hopefully that will evoke some more stories to tell you. I have been racing every weekend, but for some reason giving race reports isn’t making me want to write blogs. Not that the races have been going bad but it’s just not my forte and for sure don’t bring out creative and interesting writing!
Meet Fred! Fred is my new friend he is very aggressive with getting my attention and for sure has taken over as my “boss” but let’s be honest, I really don’t mind. He has a sister, Ginger, who is all black and a little bit more shy. Hopefully I get a photo of her soon to show all of you. It’s not that she runs from me but I never have time to get the camera out before she is gone. She is quite demanding so when she is in the house she needs attention and if I don’t give it to her she attacks my leg. So I have to keep an eye on her, when she is finished, she is ready to go outside. The fine felines are making me happy and not miss home as much. Sorry Hansi and Karen, I have another cat family.
I’m still trying to do latte art but find it really hard because I am using a manual milk frother and can’t seem to get the foam the right consistency, but in the mean time I am becoming very addicted to coffee. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or helpful tips in making good foam for latte art. I am using a small Mocha Pot for the espresso shot, just for your information. Maybe the combination isn’t a winning one…
I was very lucky and my neighbor, Fabio, took me out to dinner with some of his friends and I just have to say, Italian food might be the best food I have had. This is gnocchi with lobster. Of course I can’t tell you the name, maybe I will find out and can write more about it in the next update. Hopefully I go back! Yum!
One thing I love about riding is I get to see places I normally wouldn’t if I was driving a car. I got a bit lost but it was okay, because I got to see these beautiful views.
Strade Bianche played out to an eventful day as expected on Saturday. Unfortunately, all didn’t go according to plan for the team but the riders focused on the positive aspects and cohesive team work that came from the race.
Carmen Small was the team’s top finisher in 22nd. Below, in her reaction she talks about starting the race sick which is less than ideal on such hard route. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio who was fourth in the race last year feels she could have been on the podium but a crash, bike change and an incident with a train crossing put an end to the South African’s race. Below, she explains the day’s events.
World Champion Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) took her second victory of the year after outsprinting breakaway companions Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) inside the final kilometre. Small, Joëlle Numainville and Lotta Lepistö later crossed the line in what was left of the peloton.
Click here for the full website and story
Overall it was a very successful first weekend of racing, a good start to the season. I will update more later but you can get info from the team website about how Saturday and Sunday panned out.
Carmen Small showed good early form when she placed ninth place in the team’s season opener, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The race is the start of the Spring Classics for the European peloton and the first expedition on cobblestones for the year.
World Champion Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) was dominant, winning the race solo. Her teammate, Chantal Blaak led the chase group across the line with Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-Sram) rounding out the podium.
Armitstead initially went clear with Orica-AIS’s Gracie Elvin but attacked her inside 20 kilometres. A chase from what was left of the peloton failed to close the gap with the world champion crossing the finish line with a 29 second advantage.
Click here for more…
I had the pleasure of getting to go down to Siena to look at the upcoming race, Strade Bianche with Jonny. What a great race! I followed the mens race in the past and last year was the first year they had a women’s race. It’s a different course then last year, I have no idea how it compares but either way it will be super challenging. Here are some pictures form he course.
The sun was setting so we stopped to take a picture, well I was taking a selfie and Jonny photo bombed it…
On the strada biancha
Jonny taking a nice photo
Siena at night
Day two recon, Jonny was too busy navigating to be my professional photographer this day, so we had to settle for my taking a selfie and another selfie at the end of the ride…
I can’t stress it enough, but we are so lucky to have incredible staff who are passionate about cycling. They give 100% all the time to the team and we for sure couldn’t do what we do without their support!
As I drove into Lucca I had an overwhelming sense of relief come over me. Our crazy three week long team training camp had come to an end and I was getting to go to my second home, Italy. Never in my career I’ve had a team camp last that long. Don’t get me wrong, I love my teammates but as a 35 year old women I also like my alone time. This was next to impossible when you are at a team camp. I was pretty happy riding my bike alone on the last day of training, just me and my time trial bike. Well, I did run into the Madison Genesis Team and drafted off the back of them for a little bit. Great group of people by the way, glad I go to meet them!
I’m actually not sure where I left off on my last update so I will just share some camp moments with you. We had an incredible time training all over Mallorca and I had some epic rides. We lucked out with the weather and only had rain once and even that day we were able to get outside and ride in the afternoon. We trained hard for the last two weeks and recovered equally as hard. I got addicted to House of Cards, I know I am late to the party on that one but I am hooked. Totally binge watching. While some of my teammates are studying (an impressive amount) I am hooked into my computer watching episode after episode and I can’t get enough. I did tear myself away from the computer long enough to enjoy some cappuccinos with my teammates every know an then.
We had some really sunny days riding along the coast, this is paradise for any cyclist. Thanks to Velofocus again for some great team photos, I wish mine were as good as his… Here are a few more from the thousands that were taken!
We had a crazy long day, 7 hrs in the saddle and this was us coming back into Palma. We were beating the sun that was descending fast, we made it before it was dark but it was definitely time for dinner when we arrived!
Recovery day! We went for coffee and a little walk on the beach. I was trying to take a selfie but our numero uno soigneur photo bombed me. He did an incredible job for three weeks and not one day rest! Impressive but I’m sure he was happy that camp was over, we can be a little needy at times.
This was the best restaurant I have ever been to! Well, maybe it just tasted so good because after eating a hotel buffet for two and a half weeks it was pretty refreshing to get out and eat something different. If you are in Mallorca I highly recommend this restaurant, but you need to call for reservations because they are really really busy!
This was from one of our last rides. The weather was really nice this day, like I said we lucked out but most of the time I wasn’t taking pictures because it was overcast. Nice enough to ride and relatively warm but we didn’t see the sun that much. There’s something about the sun that just makes you smile.
Some of you know but I have been coming to Lucca, Italy for years. It is really like my second home, I have made friend here and I love coming back. It is a special place and I hope to never loose touch with it, good thing I married a European! hehehe
Sandra’s is one of my favorite places in Lucca, not because it has amazing food and cappuccinos but because the family that owns it are really great people. Another recommendation, if you ever go to Lucca you can’t miss out here. I’m lucky and blessed to be living the life I get to live.
As the UCI road calendar kicked off at the Santos Women’s Tour in Australia last week and women’s peloton is now readying themselves for action in Qatar, American Carmen Small has yet to put the first race kilometres to her name.
Cervélo-Bigla was not invited to Qatar, which was a disappointment to say the least. The American hopeful for Rio wanted to start off her season in the Qatari desert but was forced to make other plans when the decision by the organisation turned out to be irreversible. The team is currently enjoying a training camp in Mallorca, where preparations for the season are being finalised and the new kit was revealed. Carmen Small will now start the season in the team’s first race, Omloop het Nieuwsblad at the end of February. She is also lined up to start at the first ever Women’s WorldTour event, the Strade Bianche, a week later.
With the countdown to Rio entering a crucial phase now, Carmen Small gives insight to how she works toward her goal of being selected for the stacked American team. Her road to rio began when she transferred from Team Twenty16 to Bigla Pro Cycling in July of last year, just days before making her debut for the team at the Giro Rosa. This was her second transfer within a year as she had only just joined Team Twenty16 after some highly successful years as part of the Specialized-Lululemon squad.
Read the whole article… here
I think this is my 10th pro team camp and every year it’s the same but also a bit different. My English (written and spoken) is slipping so my apologies for that, but this is for good reason. I am one of two native English speakers on the team. The team is registered German, based in Switzerland, and official team language is English. Not sure how that all happened but really I’m not complaining about the language, but for sure I start speaking “Euro English.” Anyone who has been in this situation knows what I am talking about, if you don’t let me try to explain. Most of the team speaks English very well, I would say for sure fluently all except one rider. So it’s easy to communicate but for sure you start using shortened sentence, speak in a strange cadence, and often use a very simple vocabulary. I find it very apparent when I start to write an email and I reread it I find myself wondering what I even meant by a sentence that I wrote or even if it was me that wrote it.
How do I remedy this? I think I need to read more and write more. Not just emails but for sure this should force me into keeping up with my blog posts. (lucky for you) Ah, prefect example. What came into my mind in that last sentence was “good, I start today” not …”for sure this should force me into keeping up with my posts.” My questions or comments become very simple and I start changing the word order to accommodate the Europeans. Here is another example; we all have to go to the bathroom while riding. I would normally say, “I need to stop to pee,” or “I have to go to the bathroom.” Instead I find myself saying, “I need pee pee,” or “I need to make a pee,” or “I must pee,” or if they really aren’t understand my english I break down and say “Ich muss pissen!” This always makes the Germans laugh and for sure they get what I am saying right away.
It’s been a great success so far this week. Team camps at the begin of the season aren’t all about training on the bike, the number one objective is getting aquatinted with new and old sponsors. Its a chance to get bikes and other equipment dialed for the season, receiving new kit for on and off the bike, start building relationships with the riders/staff/sponsors, and if there’s time we can sneak in some good training days. This typically lasts about a week to ten days, then either the camp is over and you might have training camp oriented to strictly training later in the month or the following month. This year we will stay in Mallorca and have two weeks of some quality training after this week is over.
We have had most of our sponsors give presentations this week and I have learned so much about the products. I am super excited about this season and for sure we are on the highest quality bikes, wheels, and clothing out there. Here are some pictures to share. Enjoy
Our three nationals champs, Joelle Numainville (Canada), Ashleigh Moolman (South Africa), and Lotta Lepisto (Finland). Hopefully we can get some more Jerseys this year!
Me and Ashleigh
A big thanks to Velofocus for spending several days with us to get the perfect shots. Never and easy job at a team camp with all the chaos happening and trying to schedule everything with all the sponsor. I think the key to a successful training camp is flexibility from everyone.
• 1st place – 2015 UCI Road World Championships, team time trial ( Specialized-lululemon)
• 3rd place — 2013 UCI Road World Championships, individual time trial
• 1st place — 2013 UCI Road World Championships, team time trial ( Specialized-lululemon)
• 2010 & 2011 U.S. World Championship Team
• 2nd place — 2014 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Time Trial
• 1st place — 2013 Volkswagen USA Cycling Professional Road and Time Trial National Championships, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Time Trial
• 3rd place — 2012 USA Cycling Elite, U23, Juniors & Paracycling National Championships, Augusta, Georgia, Elite Women’s Road Race
• 3rd place — 2012 USA Cycling Elite, U23, Juniors & Paracycling National Championships, Augusta, Georgia, Elite Women’s Criterium
• 1st place — 2014 North Star Grand Prix, Overall Classification
• 1st place — 2014 Open de Suède Vargarda Team Time Trial, Sweden
• 4th place — 2014 Giro Rosa, Stage 2
• 4th place — 2014 SRAM Tour of the Gila, Overall Classification
• 1st place — 2013 Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen, Germany, Stage 2
• 1st place — 2013 Chrono Gatineau, Canada
• 2nd place — 2013 Pan American Continental Road Championships, Mexico, Women’s Elite Time Trial
• 4th place — 2013 Ronde van Gelderland, Netherlands
• 1st place — 2012 USA Cycling National Racing Calendar Women’s Individual Standings
• 2nd place — 2012 Chrono Champenois – Trophée Européen, France
• 1st place — 2012 Classica Citta Di Padova, Italy
• 1st place — 2012 Nature Valley Grand Prix, Overall Classification
• 2nd place — 2012 Cascade Classic, Overall Classification
• 2nd place — 2012 SRAM Tour of the Gila, Overall Classification
• 4th place — 2011 Redlands Bicycle Classic, Overall Classification
• 3rd place — 2010 Tour de l’Aude, Stage 3
• 10th place — 2010 Tour de l’Aude, Stage 9
• 1st place — 2010 Sea Otter Classic, Road Race
Carmen has really cool social media feeds, so you should definitely follow her.