Before pedaling her way into the world of cycling camps and coaching, Janel was a competitive runner, studious kid turned enginerd, singer, and happy when spending time with family, friends or playing outdoors.
While finishing up grad school and teaching high school full-time, Janel bought her first road bike in 2006. At first, she participated in Team In Training, but soon Janel’s competitive side surfaced, and she turned her ambitions to road racing. She began working with coach Arnie Baker and entered her first race in January of 2007. Janel, Arnie & road racing proved to be the perfect fit.
By the end of her first season on the road, Janel was invited to guest ride at a stage race for the California-based professional team Webcor Builders. An entry-level bike didn’t slow her down too much as she was able to help secure the overall win for her teammate and find her way to the podium in the time trial. Janel signed to race full-time with Webcor and her career as a pro bike racer began.
In 2008, she began racing in Europe with Webcor and she continued to head to Europe each year with either her trade team or the U.S. national team. Janel is at her best when the road turns up, but she is certainly no slouch in the time trials. That combination made her one of the favorites in difficult U.S. stage races such as the Tour of the Gila and the Cascade Cycling Classic.
Janel rode a breakout season in 2011 racing for Colavita – Forno d’Asolo. She won the Joe Martin Stage Race, her first National Racing Calendar (NRC) stage race victory. Janel also won the overall at the Tour de Toona and Oregon’s challenging Cascade Cycling Classic. Thanks to her consistency, Janel finished the season by winning the NRC individual title.
Janel’s 2013 season was highlighted by a solo stage win at the Tour of Gila, finishing 2nd the following day in the time trial, and third overall. She was also a key member of the US team that brought home overall victory from the Giro Donne in Italy. For Janel, though, all the podium results were overshadowed by participating in the Team Time Trial at the World Championships in Florence 2013 and Ponferrada 2014 with her Optum teammates. Other career highlights include being named to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Long Team.
Since retiring from pro road racing in 2015, Janel has directed her efforts toward individual coaching, running cycling camps and clinics, and staying active in the cycling community as a brand ambassador. In 2017 as a retiree, Janel focused on gravel events and won Crusher in the Tushar and placed 3rd at Dirty Kanza 200. She continues to ride her road, gravel or mountain bike almost daily in and around the Santa Monica Mountains from her home in Newbury Park, CA.
In addition to her cycling successes, Janel has a degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in education from the University of San Diego. Before turning bike racer, she taught high school math, physics and chemistry in San Diego.