Tina Pic started racing triathlons and duathlons after graduation from the University of Virginia with a BS in Finance and Marketing. After a few years racing and working for Molson breweries, she decided to go back to school at the University of Ga to take the sciences required to enter into medical school.
When running one day she ran into some women riding for the University of Georgia and joined the collegiate team. After winning Collegiate Nationals on the road she ended up getting opportunities to race for some great teams and put medical school on hold. Her focus originally was on longer road races and time trialing.
As the years progressed her focus became more on the shorter faster events. She’s been racing for over 20 years, been to worlds six times, double gold Pan Am Champion, five time NRC winner. She can’t wait for a new season with some great young talent and lots of experienced riders for a perfect mix of fun and success.
Kim Pettit was a former professional cyclist in the 90s racing throughout Europe United States and New Zealand. She has a BS degree from University of Oklahoma in dental hygiene before pursuing triathlons and eventually bike racing.
She was noticed and coached by Mike Waldon of the wolverine sports club who has coached multiple Olympic athletes. She coached at Waldon school of cycling in Orlando & Texas for 9 years while pursuing her goals of the 1996 Olympics. During Olympic trials Pettit suffered a heatstroke which curtailed her dreams of an Olympic berth. She then had two boys, Pierce & Price, who are now 16 and 18 yrs of age.
She got back into cycling in the fall of 2013 because of cyclocross and then started racing road again in 2014. Since then she has six national championship medals in Road including winning the criterium in 2016 while also medaling at the national cyclocross championships in Jan 2016. She is now racing full-time while raising her boys and working as a personal trainer and health & wellness coach in Tulsa Oklahoma
Payten Maness is a Cyclist from Dallas Texas finishing her Senior year in High School. She has been athletic all her life. She started her athletic career racing USA Elite Junior Triathlons until an injury forced her out of the triathlon world into cycling. She has never looked back. Her love of cycling has proven beneficial for her as she has accomplished much in the short time she has been involved in the sport.
In her first season of cycling, she earned a 3rd place finish at USA Cycling Amateur Nationals Road Race in North Lake Tahoe California. Last year was her first full season as a professional cyclist and was a very rewarding as she was a part of the winning team in the Pro Road Tour Rankings. She placed well at USA Cycling Amateur Nationals in all three disciplines, road race, criterium and time trial.
Payten was also invited to participate with the USA National Team in the UCI BeNe Ladies Tour in Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the UCI Tour de Feminin in the Czech Republic. In the Czech Payten was the youngest rider to finish the race with a respectable top 50% placing in a strong international field. The experiences she has gained while in Europe and here in the States will be a tremendous asset to her and her new team.
When not on the bike, Payten enjoys the outdoors, her dogs, coffee, and baking. She is making plans to attend college in the Fall and study Ecology.
Madison Kelly-Growing up was an avid equestrian since the age of five and always on the move with different hobbies including surfing, SCUBA diving, skydiving, and running. She started cycling summer of 2014 and bike racing January 2015, she's now 22.
Shortly after she stated racing as a cat 4, she won the FL state crit championship and rose through the ranks, winning nearly every Florida race she entered in 2015, to eventually cat up to 2 by June and to cat 1 by September.
After she graduated Eckerd College with a B.S. in Marine Science, she spent the summer racing Pro 1/2 races alone out of state such as Tour of America’s Dairyland, Boston Mayor’s Cup, Gateway Cup with solid results.
Her best results were in Hollywood Dash for Cash, USA Crit Hyde Park Blast Criterium, and Madeira Criterium with 3rd, 4th, and 4th respectively. The experience she acquired racing solo in the bigger pro 1/2 races around the country was extremely valuable, but she is excited to be racing with a team this year! As well as racing with the new team, she plans to start medical school in the Fall of 2016. She resides in Naples, Florida.
A dual Swiss and Italian citizen, Vanessa Drigo grew up in Switzerland in the French-speaking region of La Tour-de-Peilz, spending her vacations in her father’s homeland of Italy. As a young adult, she moved to California, where she lived for 17 years while also spending several months at a time during the summers racing mountain bikes in northern Italy. Most recently, she moved to Colombia, where she lives in a coffee-growing region, among vibrant green hills and mountains – incredible biking country for those who like climbing!
Vanessa says she has been biking “forever” – first for commuting (she used to “race” to the train station on her bike to catch the train to work) and later for fun and for travel. She caught the racing bug from her father, who started racing mountain bikes in Italy in his 60s. Cycling quickly became Vanessa’s chief passion. “Mountain bike or road, it doesn’t matter as long as I have fun on trails, traveling, or racing,” she says. Traveling by bike with her father remains one of Vanessa’s favorite things to do when not guiding, along with bike racing and hiking in the Andes with friends. She returns to the US in every spring to complete in criterium racing all over the country.
Debbie Milne, from Greenville, South Carolina, is a full-time clinical outpatient dietitian. Debbie has been racing for over 15 years - accumulating over 170 wins, including a win and 3 podium finishes at NRC/USA Crits series events and a 14th place finish at UCI event Liberty Classic.
She also has two Masters National Road titles (2009,2010), a 7th place finish in 2015 at the Pro Criterium National Championships and 8th place finish in the Elite Road National Championships in 2008. Other interests include spending time her 3 adolescent children.
Debbie also provides coaching and sports nutrition advice to select clients and produces her own nutrition bars for training and racing.
Christina Gokey-Smith became a fearless rider at an early age. At only 15-months her dad set her up on a horse. She juggled most of her life Competing in Equestrian and running track into college. It was not until she met her now husband Toby Smith whom introduced her to the sport of cycling in 2000.
She quickly went to the top in mountain biking. Competing at Worlds in ’06 turning pro that same year. Then winning her first National Mountain bike race in ‘08 and finding herself on a podium at an NRC Crit. She fell in love with crit racing and decided to race road full time with team Veloforma.
She was having a break out year in 2010 finding herself on the podium at Joe Martin Stage Race and Tulsa Tough then encountered a set back. She broke her back in freak accident on a horse she was training. Determined she came back stronger then ever in 2011. Riding for the top team Now & Novartis, earning several NRC podium finishes and winning the Omnion at Tulsa Tough. Then back to the dirt in ’13 earning several UCI Mountain bike podiums. She rode for Pepper Palace, and coming off of a great season with The Happy Tooth, helping her teammate win Gastown and earning the over-all USA Crit series win and holding on to the 2nd step herself.
She races Cyclo cross in the fall and continues to ride locally on the dirt for Richardson Bike Mart.
Christina holds a Bacheleor of Science in Kinesiology & Health and has a teaching degree emphasis in Coaching. She is a full time Cycling Coach, owner of CycleSmithCoaching . Spends her free time with her dogs at the farm.
Laurel’s love for cycling originated from triathlons which she began at age six. At age seven, her parents found local junior cycling races and set her free to race the boys on a purple Gary Fisher mountain bike.
After eight years of IronKids Triathlons, Laurel made the commitment to cycling full time with TWENTY12 Professional Team. In 2013, Laurel went to Jr. Track Worlds to race Individual and Team Pursuit for Team USA. In 2014, Laurel began her first professional Cyclo-cross season with Raleigh-Clement and also stared college at Marian University. In 2015, she raced her first World Cup at Cross Vegas and then a few months later represented the United States at the inaugural U23 Women’s Cyclo-cross World Championships.
In the spring of 2016 Laurel travelled with Team USA for a European training block in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. In the summer of 2016, Laurel was racing with United Health-Care at the Aviva Women’s Tour in Britain and suffered a terrible crash on stage four. She ended up with three broken bones, a concussion and severe nerve damage which she is still recovering from over six months later.
Laurel is in her Junior year at Marian University and is an accounting major. In the three years she has been at college, Laurel has earned eight national titles.
Sara Tussey Rains, from Winston-Salem, NC, is a licensed and practicing Doctor of Chiropractic. Sara is a huge sports fan, and she grew up playing many different sports. Her passion for endurance racing led her to two Ironman Triathlon Championships (2008, 2009).
After entering a few local cycling races for fun, she immediately realized how much she enjoyed the dynamics, tactics, and team aspect of cycling. Sara has gone on to win two Masters National Road Race Championships (2010, 2011) as well as one Masters National Criterium Championship (2011). Other career highlights include USA Crits Overall Lap Leader (2016), 2 x USA Crits Speedweek Lap Leader (2015, 2016), and a podium finish at the US Pro Crit Nationals (2016).
The people Sara has met and the relationships she has formed though the sport of cycling are invaluable to her. She hopes to be able to give back to the sport by continuing to race with passion, enthusiasm, and gratitude. She is very excited to race with her new teammates in 2017!
As the Team Owner/Director, Tish is no stranger to competition on the elite level. Coming from a background of elite national level tennis , and competitive swimming and equestrian sport , she knows what it is like to be a part of the best.
In 2007, Tish realized she loved another type of riding. But this style had two wheels instead of four hooves. Over the next four years, the lure of competition was too much for her to resist, and she started racing in 2011. She showed well in the Florida racing scene, and she carried that enthusiasm and excitement to her daughter, Madison. So in her senior year of college, Madison joined her mom on the starting line for her first race, and finished 2nd overall. After that Tish watched her daughter win pretty much every race she entered in Florida, going from a Cat 4 to a Cat 1 in 9 months. They then traveled the summer to many pro races where Madison competed well taking primes and " flys" and finishing respectively . All by herself, having a blast a blast whole time! Tish took great pleasure in being able to race along with Madison, and spending quality time with her.
It was in the fall of 2015, after a group ride with friend Papa John Schnatter, that the idea to create a team came to fruition. Papa John was so impressed with Madison, and the fact that she had only been racing for a short time, that he offered to sponsor her. Knowing that no team would take a chance on a young lady who had been riding a bike for only a year, Tish took the reigns again, and made the decision to form a team around Papa John's generous offer of sponsorship. With Papa John on board, Tish found additional sponsors who were willing to take a chance on a new team, and four more talented ladies who were in need of a team to race for. With that, Flamingo Racing was born.
Being a first year team with a limited budget, they drove to all the races with fast bikes, beautiful clothing, and wonderful attitudes. They went to a lot of races, won a lot of primes, climbed a lot of podiums, and kicked a lot of butt. The girls took on the Goliath's of the industry, beating some of them. But most importantly, Tish never stopped being a mom to the girls, and doing the most important thing that you should do in cycling..............To have FUN while you are doing it!