Sydney Guagliardo IL CX Champ

This post has an interview with elite CX Illinois State Champion Sydney Guagliardo, a fit guide update and some TSH Resort Cookies! Not necessarily in that order…

TSH started out as a diversion from regular work. Lets blog, lets write, lets photograph. The words “cycling brand” came as a surprise to us. We started designing clothes for our local squad and then things just started to happen. One minute the conversation was lets make a cool pair of socks and then next moment we get an inspiring letter from a young woman who road across the country in our designs. Now every week some amazing cyclist walks in our door and we get to learn a bit more about them. Enter Syndey Guagliardo.

We knew a little about Sydney as she rides for local Village Verdigris in the women’s elite category. She also happened to have an amazing battle for the Illinois CX championships which featured a breakaway foursome of Skylar Schneider, Sam Schneider and our own Tenspeed Hero rider, Dani Arman. The finale of the State Championships was more like a cat and mouse attacking of the final kilometers of a european classic. Syndey’s efforts landed her on the podium behind Sam and Skylar netting her the state championships as the highest placed Illinois rider.

Lucky for us we found Sydney at our front door holding an amazing box of individually wrapped TSH Resort decorated cookies.This pastry chef who has a history of working at some of Chicago’s best known restaurants also brought her daughter (mother of two). So cue the Frozen Soundtrack for the little one and – And let’s take some pictures for our fit guide and ask some questions of the Illinois State Champion Sydney Guagliardo.


Fit Guide

128 Pounds, 34 inch Bust, 27.75 inch waist, 38.5 inch hips, 20.5 inch Quads

168 cm Tall, 58 kilograms, 90 cm Bust, 70.5 cm waist, 98 cm hips, 52 cm Quads

(Small Jersey, Large Team Shorts)

Sydney prefers a small jersey across our line, Large team shorts, and Medium club shorts. Because she has a pretty long torso, the small jersey tends to ride up just a bit while she’s standing. She fits a medium jersey perfectly also, but she prefers the tightness of the Small. Sydney mentioned she had a hard time finding bibs with straps that are long enough to not feel restricting on her shoulders. This is one reason she wears a size Large.

Race Pictures and Interview

Who is Sydney Guagliardo?

Sydney: I’ll give a simple answer to a relatively complex question. I’m the wife of an incessantly funny and incredible husband (who is also my soigneur/mechanic- Shout Out… Woot Woot!), a mom to 2 wonderful and mischevious kids Roscoe (10) and Swayzie (2), a pastry chef/cake decorator, travel/cycling enthusiast, someone deeply spiritual and truly blessed with supportive friends and a loving family.

This year you won the Illinois State CX Championships. How did it feel to be in the final against the Schneider sisters and dani?

Sydney: I felt prepared but it was still pretty surreal as the race developed. The Schneider sisters are predictably fast, so experienced, total dolls off the bike. And Dani has ridiculous raw talent and an amazing drive to be successful. She’s a natural. Those 3 girls were definitely my main focus but honestly the Chicago Cross Cup always has a grid full of “lady-beasts” on any given Sunday, competition can come from anywhere. It was awesome to watch the Schneider sisters professionalism shine through in the way they controlled the race. So fun to see them function as sisters and teammates. I’m relatively new to competitive cycling with zero road racing experience so I enjoyed seeing them work together to execute a definite plan (spoiler alert, the plan worked). Dani on the other hand was more of a wild card for me. She spent a lot of time racing out of state toward the end of the season when I was starting to have bigger fitness & power gains. I felt strong going into states but I didn’t know for sure how things would play out against her. I didn’t really have a race strategy besides pedal like hell, stay focused, don’t lose the front of the race, and choose your moment if you can. And I think Dani would agree, the sand was a big factor this year for the less experienced racers. There was one pit in particular for me that was an uncoordinated repetition of mistake/dismount/run (insert emoji of crying laughter smiley face). In the end Sam & Skylar did what they do best. I was fortunate enough to find a spot where I could open up a gap on Dani but it was truly a learning experience beginning to end. It’s a gift to have strong female riders like them to compete with week in and out. Nothing but admiration for Sam, Skylar & Dani. Can’t wait until next year!

Racing + winning, working and being a mother? Any secrets?

Sydney: If anyone has the secret PLEASE PLEASE tell me 🙂 Jokes aside, I think it’s all about finding personal balance. I’m definitely not superwoman, I just constantly prioritize as I move throughout my day/week/month etc. And also a big part of it is accepting that you won’t always be successful in every aspect of your life all the time. Sometimes you fail. For example, last week I had a total mental/physical breakthrough ride, it was bananas… that same day my fridge was super empty and I sent my son to school with the most pathetic lunch the 4th grade has ever seen- Mom fail. Or I’ve gotten lost in the situation enjoying time with my kids and decided it’s not worth it to kit up- Cyclist Fail. I just try to make good decisions in the moment for me and my family. And once I make those decisions I commit fully and refuse to feel guilty. Fortunately my kids/husband are my biggest fans so they always unselfishly encourage me to train hard on the bike & create without limits at work.

As a pastry chef you have obviously worked in some of the top restaurants in Chicago? What is your favorite and why?

Sydney: Favorite restaurant is an unfair question, pure torture. I’m all about categories and cravings in the moment. You want the best dive? Dessert menu? Favorite burger restaurant? Craving the best Bahn Mi? Favorite spontaneous date spot? Best restaurant to celebrate your 10 year anniversary? Favorite old school menu? New school food concepts? Brunch? Best BBQ within one block of your studio? You see where I’m going with this. Give me a category or craving and I will absolutely always have an answer. And now you also understand fully why “race weight” is a dirty dirty phrase to me. I’m obsessed with finding and consuming perfect food regardless of the calorie content.

If you are going to eat a pastry before a race that pastry would be?

This is the only question I absolutely didn’t have to think about. My husband always makes me a peanut butter and apricot jam sandwich on grainy bread before races but if I had the luxury of eating a pastry it would be a Paris-Brest. Not only appropriate because its literally named after the Paris-Brest-Paris bike race that started back in 1891 but also because its the most ridiculously classic and delicious pâte a choux puff filled with hazelnut praline pastry cream and topped with toasted almonds. It’s an experience. Occasionally they have them at Floriole on Webster near Racine in Chicago. If you find yourself in a bakery state side or in France and they have fresh ones… Bury yourself in them without hesitation. You won’t regret it.