Ossola Sport

Irena Ossola – Dedication and Determination

Back to Racing

Since my cramping episode and recovery in Santa Fe I’ve been on the upswing and back at it full force.
IMG_4821 IMG_4859 IMG_5054 IMG_5044
Gatineau, Canada

In May, once I recovered from the cramping and was back to riding I started feeling good again and training started to build.  I started with some easy rides and just built on time rather than intensity.  At the end of May my team had a race in Canada, Gatineau GP, so that became my next level for intensity.  Despite not being on the bike for about 1 month (mid april-mid may) I placed 19th.  And this was a hard international race (UCI).  So my coach, director and myself were pretty happy with this result and shows that my base and natural talent shine through even when my training is not able to be there.

IMG_5219 IMG_5247

Mid May to Beginning June- Winston-Salem

After Canada, I went to race in North Carolina, Winston-Salem, where I wasn’t feeling as great for this race, but still finished and supported my team.  It was a good effort to push me but the tough hills and just being on a new bike with the wrong fit ended up causing me quite a bit of back pain.



Post North Carolina, I went to Oklahoma and raced a 3 day race series (June 2,3,4).  I finished 5th, 7th, and then the last day put in a huge “go big or go home” effort to win by attacking and going solo for the first part of the race.  Unfortunately, I was caught by the bigger teams in the race, so I finished top 20.
This was a huge effort and showed my strength to stay away even without a team there to support me.  So in Oklahoma I really started feeling my race legs and strength again.  They were some good results and a launching for the rest of my season.

IMG_5564 IMG_5695

Santa Fe

For the 2nd week of June, I was in Santa Fe, NM (home), for 1 week.  Where I was training hard and really getting ready for the races ahead.  I met with my newest sponsor, Verde Food/Juice, which is a local company that makes cold pressed juices and nutritious food.  I am really excited for this partnership as I can promote the quality product and use it while I am training to keep me fueled and going strong #fueledbyverde.  Since I do so much juicing and cleansing, this is something that will really help me going forward.

IMG_5650 IMG_5694 IMG_5781  IMG_5985 IMG_5954IMG_6072

Minneapolis, Minnesota- North Star GP

I left for Minneapolis, Minnesota June 13th and raced a 5 day stage race with a composite team. 14-18 June.  North Star Grand Prix is one of my favorite US stage races and it turned out to be a great event this year and I had so much fun with my composite team.  Here is a breakdown of my results and the stages each day:

14- Stage 1- St. Paul TT- 43rd – This year TT bikes were allowed for the 8mile flat out and back course.  This put me at a disadvantage since I couldn’t bring a TT bike.  I had to use my road bike, and despite putting in a good effort, still couldn’t compete with the aerodynamic power of the TT bikes.

Stage 2- St. Paul Crit- 6th- I had a lot of fun and went for some intermediate sprints, to contest the sprinters competition/jersey.

15- Stage 3- Cannon Falls Road Race – 100km- 6th.  I worked hard in the finishing circuit to be placed well and managed to hold onto 6th place.  The uphill finish was hard, but I felt good and legs are strong.

16- Stage 4- Uptown Crit-  12th- This is my favorite stage of the race, and probably favorite crit in the US.  I went for intermediate sprints and was sitting 5th place in the competition.  I didn’t have very good positioning in the final lap, so despite being capable of top 5 in this course I made a couple mistakes and paid the price.  Still solid with 12th though

17- Stage 5- Mankato Road Race- 100km- Circuit- 20th- The hill was tough but I positioned myself well and went up feeling good.  A break got away with about 30km to go and my teammate was in it, so I didn’t need to work to bring it back which was good.  We caught them at the top of the climb the last time through and just 1km from the finish.  My teammate finished 10th and I held 20th at the line.

18- Stage 6- Stillwater Crit- 30th-  This race is famous and so hard.  It is all about the first 2 laps, as this is where the selection is made and front group decided.  I warmed up and felt good.  When we went up the climb the first time I worked to get to the front, but was still hard to move around people and push myself up also.  The descent is so fast and tight that not much ground can be made up.  I didn’t make that front group selection unfortunately.  I still put in a tough fight, but also know my weaknesses and where I have to work harder and get stronger.

Overall finish at North Star GP: 27th GC, 6th place in Sprinter competition.  It was a great race and felt strong.

IMG_6133 IMG_6182 IMG_6209

Knoxville, TN- USA Pro Nationals

Now I’m in Knoxville, Tennessee getting ready for USA Pro Road Race Nationals on Sunday, June 25th.  This is a race where I can really shine and show what I have as a cyclist.
I’ll also race USA Pro Criterium Nationals on July 2nd in Louisville, KY.
Then after these 2 races I’ll be heading back to Europe for the second round of big euro racing. I’m happy to be coming back stronger and hungrier for the remainder of the season.  The past few months have been a big learning experience and I’m feeling great and super strong going forward