Race: NJ State Road Race 1/2/3
Location: Pedricktown, NJ
Rider(s): Monica Volk
Andy Maher, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Barb Statton, Carren Stika, Alli McCabe, Nikki Ragonese, Maryanne Caruso
Race Report Women's 1/2/3 from Carren Stika:
The NJ State Road Race was a great showing for Team EPS Riptide. We had 5 riders in the Cat 1/2/3, making a great time to execute teamwork tactics against some strong riders. The elite field had 21 racers heading into the 57 mile-long road race. The course was an 11 mile-long circuit with 2 very slight hills, so we knew the race would be more strategic rather than technical. Each of the teammates took turns at the front, helping keep the pace consistently strong. Monica came in feeling the best for the day so our goal was to protect and work for her. This race was Deborah’s first race back after a bad shoulder injury so this was her time to be an in-the-field domestique. Riders like Lauren Dagastino, Masha Schneider and other teams like CAWES and Action Wheels made the race very fast with attacks going off every couple miles. Carren worked at the front, driving the pace, chasing down attacks, and making attacks to wear the field down. 30 miles in, the race numbers started to dwindle and so did Carren’s gas tank. At 4 to go, an attack was made by Masha Schneider and Lauren Dagastino jumped on. That was the break of the day we all knew was coming and were hoping to get in. Unfortunately, we missed it and tried as we might, could not pull it back. Coming into the field sprint, Deborah drove through the last corner into the long uphill straightaway with a headwind yelling at Monica to get on her wheel. Together they made a valiant effort for the field sprint coming in just an inch behind Action wheels Katie Van Horn, getting Monica into 4th place for the team.
Monica Volk – 4th
Deborah Leedale- Brown – 10th
Andrea Maher – 11th
Carren Stika – 15th
Cat 4 Race Report
The 11.3 mile course was flat and fast with only had a few turns. 20 category 4 women lined up at the start, including 4 of our cat 4 riders: Alli McCabe, Maryanne Caruso, Nikki Ragonese, and Danielle Ferland. Questionable clouds loomed overhead as the riders took to their marks, but luckily, only a few drops of rain fell here and there throughout the 45 mile race.
The pace was fast yet steady as the cat 4 ladies made their way around the course. Team Action Wheels and EPS made up the majority of racers but all of the riders put up some fierce competition. Danielle helped out on the front taking pulls and keeping a steady pace. Action Wheels threw in a few attacks in lap 3 but the group seemed ready for it, preventing a breakaway. Alli decided to counter with an attack of her own, but was spotted before she could fully make the break. Deciding to use it as a way to tire the field out before entering the final lap, she settled back into the group waiting for the next chance to break away.
Just after the first turn at the start of the fourth and final lap, Action Wheels riders on the front took off and making a successful break. A group of 8 riders were able to lead a gap with Nikki making a great effort to try and catch it. Seeing Nikki in a solo break between groups, Alli pushed forward to assist Nikki to help block the wind and possibly catch the breakaway, but both riders ultimately settled back into the field. With the finish just a few turns away, everyone worked together to keep the intensity high until the end.
Alli McCabe – 13th Place
Danielle Ferland – 15th Place
Maryanne Caruso – 17th Place
Nikki Ragonese – 18th Place