Sugar Beets: The New Pro Elite

Sugar Beets. Photo credit Jillian Betterly @cliffrose_creative
Sugar Beets. Photo credit Jillian Betterly @cliffrose_creative


Bike racing along the Front Range can get competitive. Some new shiny stars are taking the podium at the local races,  Fort Collins’ elite women’s cycling team, the Sugar Beets. Not only are they fast, But The Beets’ mission is also “to grow women’s bike racing in the Northern Colorado region through community events, ride, and clinics; and to EMPOWER more women to compete in the awesome sport of cycling.” 


Co-Founder Jenny Gerow says, “we all want to race at the pro-level. We all want to see how fast we can get.  What are the highest levels of this sport we can reach, and how can we help each other do that?”

Sugar Beets. Photo credit Jillian Betterly @cliffrose_creative
Sugar Beets. Photo credit Jillian Betterly @cliffrose_creative

The Beets are pushing physical boundaries and rocking athleticism in a hardcore way. The team race pro-level in mountain, road, and, cyclo-cross. The team takes a mentorship relationship within the group. The Beets use each other’s gifts to build one another up, so they are riding their best, improving their skills, and working on their weaknesses. They also carpool to races and act as each other’s sports psychologist. They cook together and are huge into food. They particularly love donut dates after long rides.

“We all work full time, and then riding bikes and doing the team is our passion on the side of that,” says Co-Founder Samantha Welter. “So maybe Jenny needs a little help descending, and I’m a great descender. So Jenny, and I focus on just descending that day, or Celeste is a great climber, and I’m not so Celeste goes and help me, ” 

Samantha moved to town in early 2017, not knowing anyone. Sam moved to Colorado because she wanted to see how good she could get and how far she could take herself in her sport. Colorado seemed like the optimal place to train and ride. Jenny reached out to Sam, and they hung out the short track and the local races around town. Then that Fall Jenny came up with a crazy idea for the team and Sam ‘was like, oh, yeah, let’s do it.’ The Sugar Beets went from 5 members in the first year seven now. 

“We’re trying to grow opportunities for women to race at the pro level like us because there’s a huge gap to fill. We’ve got the women that race for Stan’s No Tubes and all the big teams that compete internationally at the World Cup,” Jenny says, “then we have recreational teams for women. Still, there’s not a lot of domestic Elite teams when racing the pro level,” Jenny says, “So that’s what we’re trying to do is to get more women out to those races and kind of bridge that gap between these super world-class women and local Pros.” 

Sugar Beets. Photo credit Jillian Betterly @cliffrose_creative
Sugar Beets. Photo credit Jillian Betterly @cliffrose_creative

The Sugar Beets are all about women having the optimal race experience, and they want to get more women on bikes. Just getting women to a starting line and getting in that zone and hear them say ‘Oh my gosh. I did it. I didn’t think I could, and I feel fantastic about myself,’ and as Jenny says, “we’re trying to encourage women. It’s about just showing up, and that is enough to start, and getting out there is a good experience. And so that’s what we try to bring to the table.”


The Members [per the Sugar Beets website]:


Original Beet, Master of Stoke: Jenny Gerow, Jenny competes in Road, Mountain and Cyclocross, and won this year’s Gowdy Grinder and is a Colorado Hill Climb State Champion.

Fearless Leader, Queen of Shred: Samantha Welter, Sam smashes it in XC, Marathon, and Enduro. She owns Empower Performance Therapy and is a certified personal trainer. She is targeting the Singlespeed category at USA Cycling XC Nationals this year.

Mistress of Monies, Princess of Speed: Celeste Cannon Works at Colorado State University as a Large Animal Technician. She’s competing in XC, Marathon, local short track, and occasionally dabbles in Cyclocross.  She is Colorado’s 2018 XC Pro women’s State Champion.

Digital Diva and Dirt Evangelist: Suzie Livingston is a web designer during the day, and competes at UCI XC and Cyclocross races throughout the country.  She makes the boys at the local short track races cry.

Director of Culture and Crusher of Souls: Bella Oleksy recently earned her Ph.D. at Colorado State University Graduate Degree program in Ecology.  Bella is mighty, killing it in XC, Marathon, and local short track.

Climbing Connoisseur and Baby Beet: Lauren Murray Former triathlete turned cyclist.  Lauren is a recent graduate from Colorado State University and competes in Cyclocross, Road, and XC. 

Mighty Mama. Singletrack Surgeon.  Anna Kelso.  Anna is a mother of two with an inspirational spirit that is infectious.  She is all heart and carries that into her racing, where she tears up the technical tracks in XC and marathon distance.

Ride with the Sugar Beets and learn from the pros at an event that suits you.

Upcoming Events: 


Beet Roots: Youth Mountain Bike Skills Program – Wednesdays July 10-Aug14


Sugar Beets’ FoCo DoCo Treasure Hunt  – July 21


GardenYards Party Ride – Aug 4th


Women Who Shred Mountain Bike Series – Thursdays Aug 15-Oct 19


Women’s Cyclocross Skills Clinic – Aug 24


Can’t Be Beet Scavenger Hunt – Sept 15th


Women’s Mountain Bike Skills Clinic – Sept 21


Contact for more info.


About Cynthia 85 Articles
Cynthia Reaves is the Managing Editor of The New Scene Magazine and North Forty News. Cynthia is multimedia journalist with a master's in New Media Journalism and a bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in Music Theory and Composition. She has a grassroots digital publication, Argento Studios. She was the social producer for Green Mile Films, PR for Women’s Grand Prix at the US Pro Challenge, and Chief Relationship Officer for technology company Studio Hyperset.

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