Date: April 26, 2015
Race: BLP 2209 Grand Prix
Location: Marlton, NJ
Rider(s): Maryanne Caruso, Nikki Ragonese, Alli McCabe, Andy Maher
From EPS rider Barbara Statton on the Womens 1/2/3 race:
This is my 4th race of the season, and I have been struggling in the open women’s races, after essentially having to take most of last season off. Each race finds me feeling a bit stronger than the last, so progress is being made. The ladies open had a small but stacked field of 15 riders on the line. We had riders capable of breaking away, and lots of sprinters, a good field with lots of talent.
From the gun, a Cawes rider hit it hard to drive the pace up and put us on notice that this was gonna be a fast paced race. Around lap two, I was still in and noticed that Deborah was on the front, I did not want her to get stuck there so I went up and put in a nice paced lap, unfortunately, I could not move back into the field before the slight rise and because an attack ensued up that hill, I got popped. It did feel great to be able to help my teammate, even if only for a lap!
As the race progressed, I could see Deborah maintaining a great position, with Andy hanging on towards the back. Attacks continued to come from both Action Wheel riders and H +H racing. With about 8 to go I was able to get back in with the field as the pace slowed a little and the cat and mouse positioning games began. At this point Andy moved to the front and controlled the pace for the next 3-4 laps, while Deborah maintained her position and marked some of the key threats in the race.
From Cat 4 rider Alli McCabe:
Sunday 4/26 BLP 2209 Grand Prix race was held at the Greentree Executive Campus. The Women's Cat 4 category lined up with 15 strong ladies. I was excited to be racing with teammates since it gave us the opportunity to put some valuable race skills into action. The first few laps were steady and it seemed as if everyone was waiting for Action Wheels to make a big move. After the 3rd lap there was no room for comfort zones! Attack after attack was thrown by various different riders. I found myself trying to bridge gaps and responding quickly to the attacks knowing that these ladies were strong and could hold a break. A group of 4-5 women kept talking about trying to break away together. I kept my eyes on them and a few times a break would gap, but was not held for long.
Maryanne and Nikki led out a few attacks to help string out the field. They worked hard to chase down breaks and keep the speed high. We tried working together to get a break, but nothing would stick. With roughly 3 laps to go a break stuck and I found myself too far back in the pack to catch up. I was trailing the break with 2 other ladies and in the final 2 laps I was pushing as hard as I could to hold my lead. The end was tough and the main pack caught us in the uphill finish.
Women's Cat 4
Nikki Ragonese-14th pace