Leeana-Kate James is an Australian Criterium racer currently living in Melbourne. Here’s what she had to say in our pop quiz.
Year of birth: 1979
What do you ride?:
2017 Cinelli Strato Faster
Compact 50/34 11/28
Enve classic 45 wheels with DT swiss hubs.
Dura Ace 9000
Pro TT Saddle
Enve shallow drop handlebars
Cinelli Neos seatpost
How did you start racing? :
I got in with some guys that were already racing, and not wanting to be the girl that gets dropped, I just had to get fast to keep up. As I got fitter and faster, I was really encouraged to give racing a go… I won my first womens race by a solo breakaway, arrived 10 mins before the next rider… so I had a pretty good taste of winning… and I liked it… I was hooked and the rest is history.
Explain the scariest situation you’ve had on a bike:
My first ever fixed crit… Being on the startline of Red Hook Crit Brooklyn with 75 other chicks on fixed gear brakeless bikes and knowing the first corner was a righthand hairpin… Terrifying
Then actually riding into the hairpin….. next level scary shit….
Explain the best moment whilst riding:
Its pretty rad when sprinting next to a car at 50+ km hr, I love glancing over, seeing them looking at the speedo then looking over at the girl on the bike …. Their reaction is priceless… and yes Mr/ Mrs Car Driver… I’m just a girl… on a bike…
What are you thinking on the start line?:
In a fixed crit…. ‘Is there lipstick on my teeth?, God I hope I clip in quick enough’ …….my heart is racing at 180 bpm before I even clip in…..
In a road crit… ‘Is there lipstick on my teeth?, I hope I warmed up enough. Did I fill my bottle? Is there a gel in my pocket? Omg did I pump up my tires before I left? I got this’…
Who are your heroes? : Bike Heroes:
Red hook Crit- Team Cinelli Chrome riders Kelli Samuelson, Jo Celso, and my WBN? Teammates from this years overseas Race season Keira McVitty, Johanna Jahnke, Veronika Volok, Corinne Price, Jo Smith and of course my local home grown Melbourne talent…. Sarah Hammond, Trans Am, Race to the Rock, she was my inspiration to do my Everest
What’s the most flats you’ve had in one day? :
Two on the Boulevard.. at the first TT event that I did.. one in the front and one in the back.. They happened at the furthest point from the start line… I had to walk back 5km… ughhhhhhh.
What’s the most important thing you’ve forgotten to take to a race? :
I hear these stories all the time, but Im super organized… I have a checklist that Ive been using since I started racing, and a rad skingrowsback backpack that keeps my race life in check… I’ve forgotten gels, does that count? LOL..
What motivates you to keep riding? :
Constantly setting myself goals. Put them on a list… Then setting out to achieve them, by any way or means possible, including making yourself hurt, facing fears and ploughing through what you thought were physical or mental barriers.. HTFU and tick that shit off your list!
What do you like doing when your not riding? :
Thinking about bikes and riding … throwing around creative, styling and design ideas, for collaborations and future projects with apparel, baggage, photography and bikes
What would you say to kids starting out? : Just ride your bike, follow your dreams- whatever it may be, and never be defeated by anyone or anything.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be? :
Hmmmm it’s a tough one between less pro kit replicas…. And less dickhead drivers 😉
Learn more about Leeana-Kate James on her Instagram profile.
Find out how our other athletes answered the same questions.