Race Date: June 21-22, 2014
Race type: Stage Race
Location: Augusta, NJ
Riders: Andrea Maher, Erin Mandato, Cristina Cortés
This past weekend, I and two other teammates, Cristina and Andy took to conquer the Giro del Cielo (“Giro”) in Northern New Jersey. The Giro is a two day stage race that takes a racer through Stokes State Forest for a grueling 4.6 mile uphill battle time trial that provides one with picturesque views of breath taking mountains but hoping to avoid the occasional bear sighting, to a 1.5 mile loop crit course that allows one to watch competitive horse racing to finally a 5.5 mile loop road race course that leaves you flying down hills after pushing through the pain of climbing to the top all the while taking in the beautiful scenery of forests and farms. Not only did we have a beautiful venue but the weather was cooperative and provided us with warm and sunny weather leaving the rain we have endured for days behind.
The Giro attracts top racers and teams from all over, so it allowed Team EPS to compete against some new talent that we normally don’t get to endure. The downside to this was the fact that there were only 3 EPS teammates while some teams brought teams of 7 plus women which put us at a disadvantage during the crit and road races when it came to strategy. However, Cristina, Andy and I all provided each other with the moral support that was needed to compete in each stage, cheering each other on. Each stage was rough, the crit and road race were fast but our determination kept us in-except for myself who had the unfortunate chain drop on a climb during the road race which caused me to pull out but regardless I kept going.
Unfortunately, we didn’t achieve results that were desirable but we had great team spirit, camaraderie and overall a lot of fun. We had smiles on our faces throughout the weekend even though our bodies were crying out in pain but we were all together and that is what counts.
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