Get to Know the USA Women’s 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championship Team

A bit of background and DS notes—the fast, exciting, and fun eracers of the US national esports squad.

The 2022 UCI Cycling Esports World Championships will take place on February 26, 2022. The race will cover 2.5 laps of Zwift’s New York Knickerbocker route. The racers will conquer two complete circuits of the 22.5km route before finishing at the top of the New York KOM.

Jennifer Real

Director Sportif

Fredericksburg, Texas

Physician

I have been a competitive cyclist for 5 years now. My most notable finish was when I won silver in the 2019 Zwift USA National Championship.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

I am thrilled to be directing this super strong and motivated group of women, and I look forward to bringing home a world championship for Team USA. I am very excited to be a part of this spot that continues to grow and develop. My biggest goal in eSports is to grow the sport for women, and help develop eSports as a legitimate new cycling discipline. Being a part of Team USA for the UCI World Championships is a big step in both of those goals.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I have been Zwift racing since before there were women’s only races, and before there was a number in the rider list telling you your position. I know the game well. I DS the Saris No Pinz women’s team, who came in 3rd place in the most recent Premier League. Having been around so long, and been so involved with women’s Zwift racing, I know not only the women on Team USA but I know the competition well, which will help to develop good race tactics.

Jennifer Real

Katheryn Curi

Saris-NoPinz

Los Altos, CA

I have been a competitive cyclist for more than 20 years and was the 2008 Geelong World Cup winner. My most notable virtual result came during race eight of season three of the premier division.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

To pull on the Stars and Stripes jersey means so much to me as it is always an honor to represent your country in a top level competition.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I believe I bring to the team a dedication to showing up and giving 100% both in terms of performance and attitude.

Click here for Katheryn’s ZwiftPower, and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“Very savvy racer, an excellent climber who is also much of an all-rounder, and is incredibly encouraging to teammates.”

Katherine Curi

Maeghan Easler

Saris/ NoPinz

Des Moines, Iowa

Lab Technician

I have been a competitive cyclist since 2018. My best finish was in 2018 winning the cat 3 race of Gateway in Benton by a solo break TT effort. I took 1st-place in a Zwift community league WTRL Americas race and a 6th in the premier division.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

I must be dreaming? Haha. Honesty I’m still in disbelief about it but extremely grateful. I’ve worked really hard trying to become stronger and smarter in races and racing with a ‘give it all you’ve got’ kind of mentality and I just didn’t really think it would take me this far so I’m super grateful.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I’d say my strength is never giving up. I’ll blow up trying to make a key selection in a race if it means I’m not getting dropped battling it out for just 20th place instead of with the lead group, and I’ll attempt bridging gaps even if it seems wildly impossible. I guess I just am always willing to test those extreme upper limits and I’m willing to sacrifice every last watt for the ladies on this worlds team with me

Click here for Maeghan’s ZwiftPower, and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“A true fighter who races with heart. If you need a gap closed in Zwift, Maeghan is your gal.”

Maeghan Easler

Jacqueline Godbe

Saris/ NoPinz

Riverside, CA

Medical resident

I have been a competitive cyclist since the pandemic, I was a triathlete before that. I was 2017 ITU Age Group Women’s World Champion. I took 5th in the 2020 UCI Cycling Esports World Championship.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

An opportunity to race with my IRL cycling heroes regardless of distance!

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

My strength is my ability to suffer a lot for a long time. I hope that I’ll be able to help my team surge over the hills and gain speed on the downhills.

Click here for Jacqueline’s ZwiftPower profile.

Jenn’s DS notes—“Absolute powerhouse, incredible work ethic matched only by her humility.”

Jacqueline Godbe

Rebecca Larson

Dutch Diesel Cycling

Norman, Oklahoma

Professor (Exercise Physiology)

I have been a competitive cyclist for a long long time, since I was a teenager. My best road result was Winning the Athens Twilight Criterium! Winning a SRAM Send-It series race was my most notable virtual result.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

It is an exciting opportunity to race for Team USA again!

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

My strength is typically in sprinting but I can sometimes do well in races with short punchy climbs. I will help my teamates in anyway I can.

Click here for Rebecca’s ZwiftPower profile, and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“The ringer or dark horse. She can’t race premier due to her schedule so a lot of women won’t be familiar with her. She has a great sprint and dominated Americas east community league last year.”

Rebecca Larson

Liz Van Houweling

Saris/ NoPinz

Adel, Iowa

Cycling coach and personal trainer

I have been a competitive cyclist for 12 years. I don’t have many notable finishes on the road. I got 8th in collegiate nats in the crit. I’ve done more CX and MTB. I got 2nd for Masters CX Nats in 2021. I won my first Premier Division race in 2022! 

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

It’s absolutely incredible. It is something that I never imagined would happen. I know it’ll be such a different experience than an IRL world championships, but it is still just such a honor to be able to pull on the stars and stripes jersey and ride my heart out for my team and country.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I feel like I’m a pretty well rounded cyclist, but my biggest strength is probably my short term power. The KOM is very much like a stair step which could potentially suit me well. We have some very strong climbers that could benefit from a hard race so I’m hoping to help make a selection on the decisive climb to give the US the best chance for a win.

Click here for Liz’s ZwiftPower profile, and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“Excels at getting across lines first, whether primes or finish lines.”

Liz Van Houweling

Kristen Kulchinsky

Twenty 24

New York

Artist Goldsmith Designer and Esports racer for Virginias Blue Ridge Twenty24 

I have been on Zwift for 4 years but starting taking racing seriously 2 years ago. I only race on the virtual roads of Zwift! Just started to learn last summer to ride and plan on going outside again this summer! My most memorable result came during the sixth race of season one of the premier division.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

Oh, wow its such an honor to be on Team USA again for the second UCI esports world championships. Truly means so much to me and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity again!

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I love having fun while racing, working hard and climbing!

Click here for Kristen’s ZwiftPower profile.

Jenn’s DS notes—“Outstanding climber who likes to race aggressively.”

Kristin Kulchinsky

Arielle Martin-Verhaaren

AEO

Williamsburg, Virginia

BMX coach for USA cycling Elite program

I started racing BMX when I was 5yrs old, turned pro at 15yrs old, was on the national team for BMX from 2006-2013, first American woman to win a World Cup in 2011, Pan Am games silver medalist 2011, alternate for Beijing Olympics 2008 and qualified for London Olympics 2012.

I retired from BMX in 2013 after finishing tanked 2nd in the world in the uci BMX SX series and turned my focus to coaching and racing MTB (Enduro and slalom) I picked up the road bike to build fitness for MTB after having my second child and got sucked down the spandex rabbit hole and started road racing in 2021z.

My most notable result was August 2021 1st place Virginia State Criterium Championship Pro/1/2.

I finished second in the premier division race on Makuri’s Flatland Loop.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

I was lucky enough to represent team USA at the world championships in BMX from 2005 to 2013 and it’s always an honor to put that jersey on but I find it incredibly special to be doing it in a completely different discipline 9yrs after leaving BMX.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I’m a sprinter by background and it’s not a sprinters course, I also had an emergency abdominal surgery on January 23rd that I’m trying to recover from but I’ll do my best to support the team and make team USA proud

Click here for Arielle’s ZwiftPower profile and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“A highly accomplished BMX racer who has now found a new niche in esports.”

Arielle Verhaaren

Courtney Nelson

Saris/ NoPinz

California

Google – Data integrity program manager

I’ve been involved in competitive cycling for 5 years! My most notable finish was winning the Mt. Diablo Challenge in 2021! I recently PR’d the Alpe du Zwift in 38:43, taking 5th in the QOM.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

Pride and humility. It is a true honor to be selected to represent the nation in stars and stripes and work with the team to bring home a win.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

Climbing. Hope to bring some spice on each lap of the NYC KOM

Click here for Courtney’s ZwiftPower profile and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“The very definition of full send, and an incredibly inspiring racer. Climbing goddess.”

COURTNEY NELSON

Shayna Powless

Twenty 24

Jacksonville, Florida

Pro cyclist, coach and Dreamcatcher Foundation co-founder

I’ve been involved in competitive cycling for 24 years.  My best result on the road was 8th place GC Valley of the Sun Stage Race (2020). I placed first in the Pan Am Continental Esports World Championship Qualifier.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

Competing for Team USA is a great privilege that I feel incredibly honored to have.

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I am a punchy, diesel engine type of rider that can also sprint. I hope to help the team in the best possible way that will give us the best shot at winning and getting medals.

Click here for Shayna’s ZwiftPower profile and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“Great sprint and will be a good asset on the punchy rolling hills of NYC.”

SHAYNA POWLESS

Stefanie Sydlik

Canyon Wmn

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chemistry Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

I’ve been involved in competitive cycling since 2015. My most notable result was either winning the Mount Washington Hill Climb in  2019 or racing the Tour of California with the US National team in 2017. My most notable virtual result was a victory in the WTRL season 4 TTT with my Canyon Esports teammates.

What does being a part of Team USA mean to you?

It’s always an honor to pull on the kit to represent the USA. My last experience at the World Championships was in 2009 on the US Rowing national team, where I won a bronze medal. Shortly after that, I injured my shoulder which ended my rowing career. It means a lot to be representing Team USA again in a different sport 13 years later!

What is your strength and what do you hope to bring to the team?

I’m a good climber and teammate. I hope to be able to use my strengths to stick in there when the race gets hard and help rally and support my teammates to bring home the best possible result.

Click here for Stefanie’s ZwiftPower profile and here for her Strava.

Jenn’s DS notes—“An excellent climber who excels when the roads tilt up.”

STEFANIE SYDLIK

Good luck to all the women and men who have qualified to represent their country.

Your Words of Encouragement for Team USA!

Let them know! Comment below! Cheer the ladies on!


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