SCHNEIDER SISTERS BOND IN PELOTON
BRECKENRIDGE» The blood runs thick in the women’s peloton, with teammates often bonding like family.
For the Schneider sisters, a sibling alliance has grown from a lifetime of pushing and pulling each other into the highest ranks of professional cycling.
“I grew up watching her race and always dreaming that one day I would be joining her,” said 18-year-old Skylar Schneider, who finished last year’s season-long USA Cycling Pro Road Tour in third place, behind her older sister Samantha in first.
The Wisconsin pros — racing for their home state’s ISCorp Cycling, which is managed by their dad, Dave — are not the only sisters racing in the Colorado Classic peloton this week. Jennifer and Alison Tetrick of Northern California have spent their lives driving each other to the loftiest heights in sport.
“It seems like a lot of racers have that family background,” said 35-year-old Jennifer Tetrick, who races for TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank while her younger sister, Alison, races for Cylance Pro Cycling.
Whether connected by blood or jersey, the women of the Colorado Classic are a tight lot. They needed that coalition Friday as the women pushed up the grueling Moonstone Road, a 1mile stretch of pavement that climbs to more than 10,200 feet.
The Schneider sisters have raced together for five years as pro cyclists. Their kinship goes well beyond teammates. Their parents raced bikes — road and track — so, like the Tetricks, whose dad played football for UCLA and mom plays competitive tennis, the athletic gene is strong in their clan.
“We definitely push each other and help each other find ways to improve as well,” said 26-year-old Samantha.
“Yeah we can be pretty upfront about it,” said Skylar, 18.
Since the two train, race and hang out together all the time, “we know what to expect and we can really push each other,” Skylar said.
“For sure we are harder on each other than regular teammates,” she said. “But we will kill ourselves for each other or any one of our teammates. If we can put her on the top step, we are equally as happy as if it was our own victory.”
Jennifer Tetrick was a professional triathlete when she followed her sister into pro cycling. They’d always pedaled together as kids. They recognize each other’s subtle signs in the jostling peloton, like a pending attack. They often read and react with equal zeal.
“I know her style for sure,” Jennifer said.
But in a recent race in Southern California’s highly competitive San Dimas Stage Race, Jennifer saw her little sister crash and immediately hopped off her bike to help.
“You never want to see anyone crash but when it’s your sister, it’s extra hard for sure,” said Jennifer.
Cowboy JeJe, a.k.a. JJ Folsom, right, cheers on cyclists as they head up Moonstone Road during Stage 2 of the Colorado Classic.