Monday, December 15, 2008


Vanderkitten is pleased to announce that we are starting a nationwide Vanderkitten Club Team to cater to both amateur racers and avid recreational cyclists for the 2009 season!  
We are now recruiting women with all levels of experience to join the club team.  This includes Category 2, 3, and 4 women amateur racers, century riders, riders who ride for a cause (cancer, chronic illness fundraising events), spin class warriors, and women who are new to the sport and simply enjoy riding!

Why join Vanderkitten instead of your local club team?  Because Vanderkitten represents so much more than your run of the mill team!  The Vanderkitten club team specifically caters to women while providing the tools needed to help riders grow and excel in every aspect of cycling!  Joining the club will help women cyclists meet and ride with other women on both a local and national level.  By becoming part of the Vanderkitten club team you will directly impact the future of women's amateur cycling!  By doing this, you will help the Vanderkitten professional team continue to change the face of women's cycling around the world!  You will, of course, also receive amazing discounts and will be riding and racing in the most highly sought after women's team kit that is worn by the very high profile, hot ladies of the Vanderkitten professional team! Remember, it only takes one person to make a statement!

Vanderkitten is looking for strong, passionate women to represent us.  If you are interested in joining the hottest club team in the nation or if you have prior experience and are interested in becoming a Vanderkitten Club area leader please contact

Become a cycling leader in your community, ride for Vanderkitten!  

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Photo: Ken Conley

Vanderkitten won the USA Crit Series Team Title Championship on September 25th in Las Vegas, NV!  Below is race recap from VK’s Jen Wilson.

Vegas baby!  The final race in the USA Crit Series and what a ride it has been.  After racking up the airline mileage, suffering a concussion and getting a second row of stitches on my chin it is finally culminating.  I have to admit that parking lot crits are not my favorite but off we went to defend our team lead in the crit series and my second place overall.  After nearly taking out my eye running into a wire that I did not see in the in field, we all arrived at the starting line.  Luckily since most of the VKs were sitting in the top ten, most of us got called up before the race which on this course was pretty important since the areas available to move up were slim with the barriers being on either side. 

As it has been all season, the pace was fast from the start and did not let up.  The big teams were in force, especially Colavita/Sutter Home and Cheerwine.  As is typical of this course there were crashes in the first couple of laps and throughout the entire race.  Luckily none of us were directly involved.  The VK girls did a great job of staying up in the front and monitoring and dictating the race pace.  It was great to see them doing their stuff and I felt that for a first year team we were given the respect of a more developed squad.  I had to keep on eye on Kelly Benjamin (Cheerwine) and hope that something magical might happen for me today to overcome her 65 point lead over me in the series.  It has been a season long battle with us trading off the top spot.  The heat exhaustion I experienced in Charlotte, SC was where the tides switched and Kelly took the lead.  It has been an uphill battle trying to gain points back on her.  She is such a strong rider with a very strong team and I have learned a lot “battling” with them.

As we were getting into some type of rhythm on the course I saw an opportunity to attack through the chicane area.  However, no one wanted to let me go.  Jen McRae took off soon after that and was in a two rider break.  She is so strong that she eventually dropped the other rider and soloed her way to the win.  Colavitta/Sutter Home and Cheerwine chased hard but on this course a single rider has much more of an advantage than the pack.  The team put in a good effort with about 4 laps to go and I was able to maintain my position in the top.  We came into the sprint and I came in 8th.  It was over!  We had done it and maintained our team overall lead! 

For my first season on the national circuit it was great.  Vanderkitten accomplished a lot in one year and it was exciting being a part of it and surrounded by such wonderful people; both the riders and management.  In addition, it has also been great to have our sponsors believe in us especially since it was our first year and we had no track record.  I am already looking forward to next season!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

VK Still Leads USA Crit Series After San Francisco Twilight Crit!!
Photos: Ken Conley
Vanderkitten raced a tough race at San Francisco's Twilight Criterium on August 13th. Below is pre race and race recap from VK's Liz Hatch:

After a year of traveling to every major race cross-country by plane or long distance drive I was really looking forward to the San Francisco Twilight as it's basically in my backyard. We rented a really cool apt in The Castro and had 6 of us share the space for the weekend. I've grown to love racing this year not just for the actual competition but for the time I get to spend with my teammates. For the majority of the past 5 months it's been the 4 core members, which include Leigh, Jen W., Melissa and myself, so it was especially nice to have Jenny Trew back with us along with a special guest, Jen Reither. Yes, half our team had some variance of the name Jennifer!

The night before the race we went to the Galaxy Club to pick up our race packets and number and have a beer, after which we went to a team dinner with Mark and Robin Zellner who has been guest directing for us to share a meal and some pre-race plans. Jen Wilson has been battling it out with Kelly Benjamin all year for the overall in the USA Crit Series and we as a team have had a narrow lead over Cheerwine for the top team in the standings so we were all feeling the pressure of the race on Saturday. Kelly has had a banner year and for that reason we knew it would be a tough road but not unthinkable. Jen is one of the toughest women I've ever met on a bike and if anyone could win the overall for our small team it would be her.

Race day came and proved to be quite chilly and windy as we woke early to put on a free clinic for women in the Bay Area looking to improve their bike skills and even a bit of mechanical training. A nice group showed up and we got to spend a couple of hours with them talking about A to Z bike stuff. A big thanks to Dan Horndasch for coming out and running the show as far as the bike maintenance went, he answered everyone's questions with patience and precise direction.

After a few hours of lounging around our condo we packed up and headed down to Union St. to the Pro Village. I have to stop here and give a huge round of applause to Ryan Dawkins and Webcore as well as the city of San Fran for allowing pro cycling to come back to the streets of San Fran. It's a huge shame that the SF Grand Prix is no more but this is a step back in the right direction. The whole affair was a joy to be present at and to race made it all the better. Thanks guys!!

We warmed up and got our pre race instructions followed by our callups. I think every member of Vanderkitten received a call up as we are all ranked in the USA Crits top 10 except for myself but since I'm a local I guess that was their excuse. I always feel a little awkward going wheel to wheel with girls like Kelly Benjamin, Laura Van Gilder, Kat Carroll or Christine Thorburn. I'm such a newbie but I hope to emulate their success on the bike at some point.

The race started out fast with me leading the first lap semi on accident. I've grown used to starting in the back out of personal preference but as I was at the line I decided to go out and dictate the pace for the first lap or two. From the gun it was fast and furious with a strong break getting away after about 5 or 6 laps which included all the heavies except on of us! NO GOOD!! Robin was sounding pretty stressed in our earpieces, of course. We worked hard the whole race to put things right and pull it back but for some reason we just weren't firing the way we normally do. It's been along year and the 4 of us have race so hard and perhaps we were a bit tired however there was no option to call time out of give up which none of us ever do anyway.

Kat Carroll put in an amazing solo attack hoping to repeat her win at Charlotte earlier this year but was pulled back with 5 or so to go and eventually the whole field, drastically reduced from the start, came back together. Next Meredith Miller made one last MONSTER attack which just shredded the field and made the final selection from which Shelly Olds would go on to win and Laura Van Gilder would take 2nd and Kelly Benjamin 3rd. Jen ended up 10th and the rest of somewhere behind. Personally the race was not my best, I could not seem to get the legs going until about 45 mins which was way too late. A shame too as the course had a nice rise on the back side which normally would suit me well. You win some you lose some, eh??

In the end Jen is in a solid second place overall behind Kelly and we sit as a team on the top over Cheerwine. Not bad for a ragtag first year team! And I say ragtag in the most loving and prideful way possible. We've bonded through good and bad this year and have really fought for our place in the top teams without having all the benefits of a bigger team. I'm really grateful to Mark and Dave for understanding what we are trying to accomplish here and supporting us. Next year will only be bigger and better!

Now it's time for Vegas and our last race so see you there! Lizzer

Monday, October 06, 2008

VK's Jenny Trew Takes 6th At Women's Tour of Missouri Crit!

For the first time in history, a Women's Pro-Am Criterium took place in Kansas City September 8th during the men's international elite Tour of Missouri. Vanderkitten was represented by Jenny Trew, Liz Hatch, and Melissa Sanborn. Below is VK's Jenny Trew's recap of events leading up to the women's criterium:

I arrived in Kansas City, Missouri (after figuring out myself and then explaining to numerous parties that Kansas City is not in Kansas - at least not this one!) on Sunday afternoon to be greeted by Holly and Jeff - the friendly neighbourhood picker uppers. I felt particularly important as they stood outside the gate with a sign that read "Jenny Trew - Vanderkitten Racing" and that set the tone for the weekend. I have NEVER been treated so wonderfully at a race. The Tour of Missouri Women's Crit organizers thought of everything and managed to put on quite a show! Special props to Kelly Benjamin of Cheerwine Cycling who managed to do an incredibly job helping out with the organization AND race - it was pretty great to see one of the best riders in the country contribute back to the sport like that!
Sunday evening we had a rider's get-together where we were given food (the fastest way to my heart!) as well as goodie bags and a six-pack of Boulevard beer each (earmarked for the next evening!). Liz, Mel and myself were taken away with the hospitality and looking forward to the next day of racing.
I was woken up early on Monday morning to the crash of lightening and I briefly wondered if we were going to have a repeat of the storm and subsequent power loss in Tulsa. However by noon the weather had "cleared" to overcast but no rain - which was lucky as the final corner would have been really sketchy under less ideal conditions. Mel's client Rob took super care of us and gave my bike a brief tune up in the hotel parking lot the morning of the race - it must have been the extra care that helped me feel the love in the race!
Personally I was a little nervous about how I was going to feel once on the course as since our Track Nationals a week ago I had been taking it easy as I am fairly done from the season! However out on the six corner crit I was good to go. It was a fairly aggressive race and although there were only 40 or 50 girls present - it was the who's who of women's crit cycling in North America - so we knew going into it that it was bound to be a good day. Highlights of the afternoon included a magnificent attempt at the $1000 prime with 5 laps to go. Mel and Liz were perfectly positioned as they called the prime and Mel put in a spectacular sprint - taking it from the last corner about 350m out - only to get pipped at the line by Tibco's Amber Rais...definately painful. That having been said, we still had a decent payday as I crossed the line the final time in 6th behind double National Champion Brooke Miller of Tibco in first, Erica Allar of Aarons in second and Jen McRae in third. Liz added to the cash in twentieth while Mel rounded out the Vanderkitten crew in the pack - exhausted by her fantastic effort.
It's been awesome to be reunited with the VK crew and I know that we're going to lay it down in San Fran next weekend!!! Until next time! Jen :)
VK Holds Strong At USA Cycling National Championships in Downers Grove, IL
Below is race recap as told by Vanderkitten's Melissa Sanborn:

This past weekend in Downers Grove, IL brought one of the fastest criteriums of the year. The US Criterium National Championship title was on the line and it was a big day for many teams as Vanderkitten fielded the strong core group of riders Jennifer Wilson, Liz Hatch, Leigh Valletti, and Melissa Sanborn. The VKats were primed to place at least one of their riders in the top 10 since they knew it was going to be a very tough race with the winners of the last five national crit championships present with full supporting teams along with recently crowned National Road Champion Brooke Miller in attendance as well.

The pace set off furiously with immediate attacks on the famed figure-8 course, which has been used for many years to decide the champion. As if the course’s technical and undulating terrain wasn’t challenge enough, the wind was also a factor. Several breakaway attempts were made and the VKats awaited the right combination knowing that, unlike the previous day’s warmup race, nothing was likely to get away with so many top sprinters in the race gunning for the championship. The 31 laps took their toll on the field, and the VKats were not immune. Melissa crashed with 6 laps to go but was able to get back into the race and take Jen as far as she could on the last lap. Liz unbelievably blew out both tires around 7 laps to go but was able to get back into the race to help lead the chase to bring back a late break. Leigh also had an unfortunate mishap, getting taken out on the last turn and crashing hard but got back up and finished the race. Jen was left to fight it out solo through the last 5 turns, a hard task to tackle while the strongest teams of the race charged to drop off their sprinters into the final turns to victory. Still, she hung on for a strong 11th place.

The Vanderkittens still lead the USA Crit Series overall team competition and sprinter kitten Jen Wilson is just 16 points from the top spot in 2nd. Come watch the team defend at the final two races of the series in San Francisco on September 13th and Las Vegas on September 25th!

Photo: Leonard Basobas,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

VK'S Jenny Trew Makes Canadian History At Track Nationals!

Vanderkitten's Jenny Trew, teamed with Giant's Steph Roorda, and Laura Brown made history on August 27th by winning Canada's FIRST EVER Women's Team Pursuit.  They are, by all accounts, the Canadian National Record holders!  They beat out four teams for the Canadian National Record!

Below is Jenny's account of the event:

"Day one of Nationals started out with the men's individual pursuits and all the team pursuits.  For the women, 2008 marked the very first time this event has been held in Canada, so it awarded the winners the National Record.  For my teammates and I, this was a very enviable title.  That having been said, our National governing body isn't exactly what you would call progressive, so it was not given the National Championship title but rather a "National Challenge Event."  In all honesty, it's best that I don't get into that particular rant, especially since there were five women's teams in the competition and only four senior men's teams!

I rode the event with my two former teammates Steph Roorda and Laura Brown.  We were hungry off the start.  As the first team up, we were going to set the time to beat.  We laid down a rather respectable 3:49.3 over 3km!  After the next four heats our new Canadian Record held up as we beat the closest team by 15 seconds!

Next up was the gold medal final where we would be 2-up on the 200m track.  We knew that we had room to improve as two team errors were made in qualifying by going too fast on my first lap (the second team lap) and by pulling up too late through my last pull which gapped me a little and slowed down the team.

Regardless, we headed into the final confident, but a little nervous and eager to best our ride from the morning.  Right off the bat we were on form.  The exchanges were smoother, the pulls stronger, and we were riding much faster that we had in the morning.  Jeremy, our Coach, was calling out the splits and we knew that we were killing it!  Halfway through we saw that we were catching our opponents (in a pursuit final, if you catch the other team/rider on the track you win the round).  By this point we were really pushing it to catch them!  Our pulls were strong and we were riding away from our schedule.  With 1.5 laps to go we overtook the other team to take the gold!

All and all it was an exciting evening and a great way to kick off the National Championships!  Today I get to lie low, but tomorrow evening will be my showcase event, the Points Race!  I'm excited, but Nationals are always an exciting and weird event, so we'll see."

The 2008 Tim Horton's National Track Championships are being held August 27-31, in Burnaby, BC.  To find out more about Canadian Track Nationals, check racing schedules, or view results please click here!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Maroon Throws Down In Suisun! (Suh-Soon)

photo: Paul Doran

Mary Maroon is a Regional VK racer and represent the team and brand here in Northern California. She won the Suisun (Suh-Soon) crit on July, 17th 2008, putting Vanderkitten once again on the podium!

"Suisun crit was awesome. There were select riders from local teams, a kinda large-ish Touchstone showing, a small handful of a few other teams and a Code3 showed. There were a lot of team tactics by Touchstone, Metromint, and DolceVita. I made sure to keep the Vanderkitten logo very visible. I chased down most attacks, I got in all but 1 or 2 breaks (even though they didn't last long), I TT'd (time trialed) off the front for a little while, got us a prime and a first place.

I know Suisun isn't that big a deal except for it's a Calcup race. I know that If there wasn't a big fat NRC race right now it'd have been a little more challenging. But I also know that a win is a win, that this was pretty cool considering the heavy handed team tactics, and totally fun attacking the field with more than half a lap to go, into the wind, with some of our former teammates desperately trying to hang on. :) Someone asked me for an interview and I probably should have said no. I just hope I did an ok job!
I'm getting excited about the rest of the season."

-Mary Maroon

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The second annual Susan B. Cruisin' race brought out women from all over the city. Beginning in Chinatown the race included two long fast sprints up to 118th and ended at Lakeside Lounge in the Lower East Side. Racers had to complete 6 checkpoints throughout the city, each planning out their own route based on speed/distance. Kym finished 1st after taking a spill on the pavement early in the race, with Britlee a close second and Grace in third.

It was the second all women's alleycat in NY this summer, following the HellCat.

"I decided not to psych myself out. I prepped well, rocked my Vanderkitten Jersey, stayed concentrated and raced well. And it worked!"

Kym was also featured in the September issue of Bicycling Magazine. You can check the article out here! Kym is not only a talented cyclist but also a personal trainer and spinning instructor. Keep kicking ass Kym!

Photos: Fred Askew

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Road Racing Diva Caves to Temptation

Believe it or not we get a few requests for sponsorship. We read every one, consider the resume and what the needs are , get stupid busy and forget to follow-up. Christie Cooley knows us all too well... Christie is a local Road Racer here in the Bay Area, is HOT, has a great sense of humor and FAST. She approached VK for sponsorship (or maybe we offered), and we never followed up.

Christie, on the other hand, was insistent upon making good on her end of the deal, and out of temptation put the super-hot VK stickers on her race bike and said, "See, I'm doing my job!". Of course, had she received the VK gear we had promised, she would have a super-hot VK shirt on in the photo!

So, Christie, thanks for representing Vanderkitten to the fastest 2-wheeled crowd in the world! You can check out Christie's racing at the next AFM event in Northern California in the 650 Twins class racing her Suzuki SV650!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Flying Kittens!!

Up, up and away! Vanderkitten athlete and Velo Bella Pro MTB rider Rebecca Gross decided to add "Pilot" to her impressive resume! Here is an email she sent us with pics from her long-range solo flight.

Dear VK- Here are some pics from my uber solo xc flight today out to Burns, Oregon, John Day, Oregon and back to Boise. I almost got the flight service people out searching for me when I was two hours late to close out my flight plan. How can I help it if there are NO landmarks in east Oregon to keep me from getting lost?? And I don't know who decided in John Day, Oregon to put the runway on the top of a cliff but yeesh, that was an interesting approach. I did made it down on the second attempt ;-)
I should be a certified pilot by next week!!! Then I can FINALLY ride my bike again.
- Rebecca

Rebecca is wear the Leo T in pink. This design represents courage and strength and is one of our most popular T's. Check out the new for 2009 update in 2 colors on super-fine, peruvian cotton T's with a longer torso length!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


When you start out with the statement "changing the face of women's cycling" many are quick to judge your every move. Being a Vanderkitten is not easy, and from the beginning of the season we offered that it would be a hard road on this team because we were very serious about putting together the foundation for the next super-team. We've had some riders come and go, and we've picked up hot new talent, but all the while we have stayed true to our mission, true to ourselves and our sponsors.

I was writing an email to a very strong candidate for next year's team and the thing I told her, above all else, that was needed for success in this program is SACRIFICE. There is no way for a team to be a champion or a brand to sell millions of units without everyone willing to sacrifice, even a little, for the good of the overall goal. Those who can't make the sacrifice quickly find themselves struggling to catch-up. In a first year team, where nothing is perfect, sacrifice is a wonderful companion to patience.

On that note, here is a race report from Jennifer Wilson who perfected the art of sacrifice. Jennifer has given blood and flesh for this team enduring horrific crashes and amazing triumphs. Remember, it is rare that a first-year team, with no director, can achieve anything more than an "also-ran".... but today Melissa, Liz and Jen got it done, out numbered, out financed but not out classed!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICES!!

Manhattan Beach Grand Prix 2008

Jennifer Wilson - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Thank goodness for the ocean. The weather today was hot for the beach but much cooler than the valley where I live. The Vanderkitten contingency today was Liz, Melissa and myself. We felt very confident going into the race and knew that most likely it would come down to entering the last 180 degree turn first. For being an NRC race so far from the others at this time of year there was a good turnout of about 74 riders with Tibco and Cheerwine having 4 riders each and ValueAct bringing 5 riders. The New Zealand team Jazz Apple was in attendance with quite a few riders as well with the rest of the pack being represented with local riders.

Liz Hatch - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

It was a typical Manhattan Beach with riders attacking off the front and eventually being caught. VK rode a very smart race and was attentive to moves off the front and made smart choices depending on who was in the break. Each of us at one point found ourselves in some move or another which was excellent. Liz and I did a great job near the end of the race patrolling the front. There was one move we missed and everyone was represented and Liz did a stellar move bringing it back. There were other attacks from Cheerwine and Jazz Apple and I went with Amber Rais to bridge to them. We were down to just 6 laps to go and we did not want anything to get away without a VK in it.

Liz Hatch - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Melissa and I had planned to attack and go all out on the hill on the backside. Rough to do today considering the heavy headwind but you have to take chances. I was on Melissa’s wheel on the last lap and she was doing an excellent job keeping us to the front. A surge came up on the right and I went with it. Eventually this would be a bad move. As I put my head in the wind to stay near the front waiting to launch my attack a surge of riders came up the right side and blocked us in. Then like lightening, Melissa was attacking on the right and flying. She was first into the turn and ended up 4th overall. Great job! There was great VK team work during the entire race. As always Manhattan Beach is like gambling with trying to enter into the last turn first and it was great to have such wonderful teammates so that if something happened to one there was another who could accomplish the goal. Great job ladies!

1st – Brooke Miller (Tibco)

2nd – Laura Van Gilder (Cheerwine)

3rd – Jen McRae (Advil/Chapstick)

4th – Melissa Sanborn (Vanderkitten Racing)

Photo by Ken Conley

Thursday, June 19, 2008


The REVOLUTIONARY dance performance from the streets has been extended ONE MORE WEEKEND!

GROOVALOO- A story of coming to be, expressing oneself... POWERFUL, energetic, groundbreaking!

Samueli Theater, Running through June 22nd!

Check out Vanderkitten ViP "Lady Jules", Julie Urich!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Break Dancing is BLOWING UP!

Break Dancing has never stopped growing even though it faded from the public eye in the late 80's, it made the transition to Europe and the inner-city asian cultures and continued to thrive.

In the late 90's it returned in full force, and in the new millenium we've seen dozens of movies highlighting men and women of all ethnicities, cultures from all over the world with powerful music and fantastic coreography.

We had the opportunity to get to know, and are continuing to get to know, Lady Jules, who purchased a VK cycling jersey from one of our retailers and invited us into the world of Hip Hop!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Track Racing is So Hot Right Now!

Maybe it's because it's an Olympic year, or the simplicity of the fixed-gear track bicycles, or maybe because the race offer NASCAR-like action, but Track Racing is the new CycloCross. I just said it, and for those of you who have NO idea what I am talking about, it's only a few Google searches away!

One thing that may Vanderfans don't know about is Vanderkitten's presence in regional track racing. Many of our riders race, and win, at their regional track events, and Tela Crane is former 2-event Jr. National Champion. The thing I'd like to say about track racing is there are a ton of events from Sprints, to Kierins, to Miss 'N Out's, etc. It sounds like a roller rink from 1982, but it's damn fun.

This is a Video from the end of May with Michael Hernandez promoting the Friday night races at Hellyer Velodrome in San Jose, Ca. I can't imagine any other racing event having announcing that is this animated! Check out Vanderkitten Mary Maroon and Unattached race Beth Newell in racing action down in San Jose!

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Thursday, June 12, 2008


Coverage of Philly Week and Photos coming SOON! To get your FIXXX, check out for some awesome photography and GREAT coverage from Hernando and Sabine!!
Last minute adjustments before the gun! -S. Dukes
The last week in May the team took off for the heart of the Mid West to Tulsa Oklahoma for 3 days of Racing and 3 days of brand promoting!

Valletti, Sanborn, Oliveira, Trew, Hatch and Wilson rolled into town to contest a great series of crits, with excellent prize money in a very cool city the is going through a major rebirth! Melissa Sanborn was the only VKitten who had been to Tulsa and it was on her recommendation that we took the trip across the country... which turned out to be awesome!

We recruited Nor Cal legend in cycling, promoting and fabulousness Michael Hernandez to bring the team together and work towards our end goal- Philadelphia's Commerce Bank Liberty Cycling Classic- The largest and best race in the USA.

The girls gelled with Michael awesome coaching and guidance and worked on race tactics and other top-secret warrior drills. The goal was to represent, race together and win some money. Cheerwine had a few excellent riders, stand-out Jen McRae was in the house, and our beloved VK's from Metro VW Cycling Jen Wilhite and Shannon Koch were there with a couple of teammates, plus wonder-woman Shelly Olds of ProMan, another NorCal team with some amazing talent.

The races were great, and I encourage you to check out the rider's blogs for more. It was hot, jungle hot, with rain, sun, thunder, sun, rain, sun... steamy!! Our awesome host Brent Baker gave us the full run of his house and garage, stocked with bike tools and stand! It was ultra generous and we gave him his and her matching Team Kits!

The thing I like about hitting the road is the chance to meet VK supports, customers and friends. We had Sushi with Tulsa local and VK friend Misty... yes, Sushi in Tulsa! It was good, but I think the octopus salad didn't quite sit well with me, although delicious the night before. =)

Here are some shots from that were awesome!
Leigh Valletti off the front giving a handling clinic.

Check out more photos on!

Vanderkitten Team Jersey Pre-Order

In case you missed the subtle addition to the Vanderkitten webstore, we are now accepting pre-orders for our 2008 Team jersey. The jersey will be very similar to the current team jersey, but feature a hidden zipper, removal of sponsor logos and tag lines, and have a 3/4 length zipper.

These jerseys will retail for $89.99, but the pre-order special saves you 25% for a total of $69.99 plus tax and shipping! The estimated delivery of the jerseys is early July, just when you've gotten sick and tired of all of the new kits you bought in May.

Everyone who pre-orders a jersey will have access to another, super-hot, jersey design at and even more reduced price that will arrive at the same time. We are keeping that under wraps until it's here, and it will also retail for $89.99.

Check it out here:

Friday, May 09, 2008

CHILLIN' 10th Anniversary!

10 years ago the beautiful Irene Hernandez had a vision- Turn a night club into a flea market for up and coming designers and artists to show and sell their wares in San Francisco. This wildly popular event became known as THE place to find the next hot art/design/music in San Francisco.

In the 10 years the show has moved location from 111 Minna to Mezzanine and even a huge event complete with fashion runway at Fort Mason. Vanderkitten has been part of several of these events over the years and we are now a proud sponsor of the events! This Saturday's event marks the 10th anniversary of Chillin' Productions and will be held at the awesome Mezzanine!!

60 Fashion Designers
100 Painters/Photographers/Sculptors
40 Filmmakers
Visuals by INSTA-ACTION (
LIVE screen-printing by SAN FRANPSYCHO, bring a shirt or booty-shorts
Live Painting

Music by:
Dirtyhertz (
Taj (
DJ SHON (gossip/cat club)
Russell Vargas (
Dave Madix (
SCHATZ AKA Founder of Chillin' Productions
+ more

When: Saturday May 10, 2008 from 8:00pm-2:00am
Where: Mezzanine (444 Jessie Street, SF)
Must be 21+ ID
Cover: $7 at the door

For more info about the show go to:

I can't believe we are celebrating 10 years of working with the most
talented artists, designers, musicians and filmmakers!!!!! This show will be

Thank you to our great sponsors:
7x7 Magazine (
Planet Magazine (
SF Weekly (
UNSCENE urban navigator (
SF Station (
Yelp (
Nitevive (
Vanderkitten (
Sake2me (
Ipling ( (
111 Minna Gallery (
Spork Restaurant (
Addiction Hair Salon (
Lucid Beauty (
Hair Play (
Access Institute for psychological services (
The Innovative Fashion Council of San Francisco (
Style Industry (
Mosio (
Ladybrille (
Red Poppy Art House (
Mingle (
Mars Bar (
Ovahere (
Thread Show (
Stitch Lounge (
Dirtyhertz (
Primo Promotes (
Nofu (
House of Dolores Moore
Hope Flight Foundation (
Nomadika (
Fashionbliss (
Jules Beauty (
Blowfish Sushi (
Little Yellow Perfect (
Porcelynne (

Friday, May 02, 2008

Thursday – SE Crit Series Greenwood , SC
Nothing was getting away tonight! - Melissa Sanborn

Vanderkitten was active throughout the entire race making sure that if a break went, we were in it! That was the game plan!

We drove in a little early from Beaufort , SC and were able to check into our hotel before the race. We were joined by Leigh Valletti (The Machete) and Sonja Evers and it was awesome to them! Our race start was 5:30 and the temperature was warmer and thank goodness it wasn’t going to be dark like the last couple nights! The course was fast, had a good rise to the finish, and a chicane on the back side.

Vanderkitten was attentive at the front to make sure nothing would get away. Leigh brought her fresh legs and Melissa nearly got into a break with Cheatley, Powers, and a Colavita rider but unfortunately it was brought back. Jen Wilson found herself active and was twice in a good group up the road. However, nothing was going to get away tonight! Unfortunately the finish just wasn’t meant to be for Vanderkitten this evening but we persevered. Wilson with her ripped buckle was tentative to go too hard for fear that if she sprinted her foot would come out of her shoe!

As the lap cards went down, there was still a threat of a breakaway attempt since riders had gotten away late in the race last night. Jenny Trew raced an aggressive race throughout and we made an attempt to find one another at the end. Kele is recovering from her earlier crash and it was such a fast race tonight. That hill took its toll. We’re still finding our race legs but we just keep feeling better every day. Wilson, Trew, and Sanborn tried to hold good position beginning early with 7 laps to go and follow the leadout of Cheerwine but with 3 laps to go, 2 laps to go, 1 lap to go, it was a cluster in the chicane and in the end sometimes it’s just not worth it unless you are already in the top 5 at the front.

At the end of the day, we took 3 primes, sprinted our legs off, raced aggressively, and came in 14th, 15th, and 16th. We did our best and achieved one of our goals: MAKING THE BREAK!

Tomorrow is another day and I hear the course is wild.

The Kittens Go Back to School and Beaufort Race Report- Melissa Sanborn

School visit: Question and answer about helmets and safety and why we wear such tight clothing! Those kids were super cute and I am sure that we had some influence on getting them out there tonight for the kid’s race!

Our race tonight started at 6pm on the streets of downtown Beaufort , SC. With Vanderkitten Racing having Jennifer Wilson in one of the top 5 spots she got a call to the line. There were massive attacks from the gun and it was full gas for the first 10 laps as riders tried to establish a break. Some laps in, with VK rider Kele Murdin on the attack, Melissa Sanborn countered with a prime win and a break got away.

Unfortunately, it was the decisive move which included Tina Pic, Laura Van Guilder, and Rebecca Larson. Knowing this was a dangerous breakaway, Vanderkitten went on the attack to try and bridge and/or bring it back. The course was a semi-technical course with a narrowing first turn and a hairy turn out of corner three. The wind was slight and the conditions were ideal as riders tried to play their cards in what might have been a bring-back attempt in squelching the break. The break which had almost 35 seconds at the midpoint of the
race, became 10 seconds in the final 3 laps of a 50 lap, 50 kilometer race. It was frustrating to watch!

The cards were not falling for us as they would in an ideal situation! Jen Wilson was having a spasm in her left side and was out of commission for much of the race. Kele had a broken saddle which was replaced quickly in the pit. However, Jenny Trew raced an amazing race and was aggressive throughout and was always on the hunt to bridge the gap that went away. Despite some of our misfortune we still placed 2 riders in the top 10 and grabbed a couple primes. Five more days of racing and we shall git ‘er figured out!