Date: August 12, 2017
Race: Flanders Time Trial
Location: Long Valley, NJ
Racers: Doreen Bridgman, & Danielle Ferland
The Flanders TT is always a personal favorite of Danielle, who has a temperamental love/hate relationship with hills. Being Doreen’s first time doing this race, her anticipation was running high. The course generally features a short flat section before a long climb that is actually only about one mile (but seem to go for much longer), but due to roadwork in the area, the course was diverted to the right at the base of the Naughright climb, going up Feildstone Drive instead. Compared to previous years, the Feildstone climb, while still challenging, was much more scenic and shaded, making the climb much more tolerable (almost enjoyable!). Once up the hill, the course featured the rolling roads and some fun, fast descents as previous years. Danielle placed 4th and Doreen placed 6th in their respective categories.
This race was also the last race in the NJBA Women’s Cat 4/5 Cup Series for 2017! After several ups/downs/race schedule changes throughout the season, the cup has completed 12 total amazing races. Although official results and rankings for the cup have not yet been announced, it is speculated that Danielle clinched 2nd place overall in that series. Stay tuned for full/official results!
Women Cat 4/5:
Danielle – 4th
Women Cat Non TT B 4/5:
Doreen – 6th
Date: Aug 5-6th, 2017
Race: Tour De Millersburg Stage Race
Location: Millersburg, PA
Rider(s): Cat 1/2: Deborah, Evelyn and Emily
Cat 3: Andy
Told by Deborah Leedale-Brown
What a great weekend of team racing it was, our only sadness was that Cheryl Clarke woke up the day before with fever and sore throat and so despite all her efforts to make the start line, it just wasn't going to happen. So our team tactics would have to change a little without Cheryl, but we were still determined to make an impact on this race
After Friday night storms, Saturday started out a little overcast and cool, with a significant wind. We all rolled out on our bikes, and headed off out of Millersburg to put in a long 10 mile group warm up, most important when its such a short TT
One by one we headed out on to the 8.6 mile time trial course. It was a tailwind out to the turn around then a moderate head wind back in. With only Andy and myself on TT bikes, and minus our strong TT rider Cheryl, we knew that our best results were needed to start this stage race off strong.
After the TT we were able to rest and refuel at our host housing for a of couple of hours. We headed over to the crit course with enough time to get the TT results and we were able to take 30 mins of lap riding as part of our warm up. I had come 5th, Andy 10th, Emily 12th and Evelyn ?? in TT, so our plan was to keep the crit fast and strung out since the course was short and narrow with a hill. With me lying in 5th it was planned that I would do very little in the crit and just stay out of trouble and in a good position to be either in a break or contest the sprint finish, Emily manned the front, communicated, and no attacks escaped the field. Going into the final lap, we were positioned well, it was the plan to have Emily drive the pace, this was complicated however by the fact we caught the rest of the field and lapped them just before we had a fast turn up the hill for our final time. I needed to stay focused and not lose touch with the top 3-4 riders, once up the hill it continued over as short straight gentle rise then went slight downhill to the finish. I was lying 5th as we climbed the final hill and rounded the corner I was able to move up to 4th and sprint. I did not manage to make up any further positions and crossed the line in 4th with a slight gap over the rest of the field. Day one of racing complete and everyone safe!
Our host housing was amazing and just like last year they catered for our every needs, so after lots of refueling, resting, floating in the pool on giant swans and flamingo's, and even a little cool down trampolining, we were ready. Day two, and race number three was just a good night's sleep away.
Road Race time! 3 laps of a 18.4 mile hilly/rolling loop, with one longer steeper climb with QOM points up for grabs that was always going to be a big decider on the results. First lap took off and the Tarry Hall QOM climb came only 2 miles in. It wasn't a QOM on lap one so that ensured the first lap was not super aggressive. I actually was not feeling well having suffered some gastrointestinal issues the night and morning before. I was not sure how I would be but knew I needed to hang on the hill to keep in contention. Emily was riding strong and we both were up the front end of the peloton as we rode lap one. Even on the first lap, there was a natural split early and Andy and Evelyn found themselves in a second group. As we rode through Main Street Millersburg ready to take on lap three I still was not feeling well or confident and knew that it would certainly light up on Tarry Hall Rd. Again Emily was right there and we both pushed up the front end to tackle the hill. I was certainly hanging on this time around, but hang on I did and and as we got to the top there was a definite attack that involved the top two GC riders and a couple of other key riders too. Emily was very instrumental at picking up the chase, the race was certainly on! One of the breakaway riders ended up getting a flat and then caught onto our chase group so we knew that left 3 riders up the road. Our group got somewhat organized to rotate a pace line in an effort to bridge to the three leaders. Emily represented our team tremendously and took good pulls allowing me to conserve my energy a little. As we entered the third and final lap we had not closed the gap to the leaders and our chase group was still relatively large. I did not have any energy as I was still not able to eat much. I knew I had to hang one more time for the hill. As we started to climb I felt the pace increase and that put me under pressure but I saw emily just ahead of me. As we got to the top I realized too late the girl in front had let a gap appear and as I came around to close I found my effort was just not enough. Emily was safely in that group just ahead of me, I was in no mans land for a while then decided I will let the group of riders behind me catch on then we can work together. I was content with Emily's position as I knew she had a chance of a 4th place sprint. I was definitely struggling but was not giving in to my GC position without a fight. I worked with my group for the remainder of the last lap taking soft pulls so as to ensure we did not catch Emily's group. As we descended into town I was left with a group of four riders, I took my pull then looked to slot in to 3rd wheel. Once around the corner I moved into second wheel and ready to launch as we hit the final finish straight. I did not want to leave anything to chance so I jumped early and crossed the line first in my group and unsure of how many riders finished ahead.
It was a solid performance. Emily had secured 4th to move her up to 8th GC and initially I thought I'd slipped out of top three, only to find I hadn't and in fact I held the 3rd place GC by just 1 point! An exciting close finish to a weekend of strong racing.
International Omnium Results:
Race: Masters & Rookies Races/Track
Date: August 8, 2017
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider(s): Jo Johnson
Another fast day of races despite the windy conditions. The youngsters just plain go anyway. There were about 10 of us and 4 gals came from Kissena to mix it up with the T- Town Regulars. The first race was a very fast 1 Km scratch race which turned out to be a 3 lap sprint to the line. I was in the front of the group until the last lap when I was out jumped in the last lap. During the break, I switched up the gear which helped some to stay with the group a few laps longer in the next race, a 9 lap point a lap. Though I managed to hang with the group for a few laps, I could not stay with them and finished off the back. The last race was a 12 lap points race with sprints every 3 laps. This time I stayed with the group for a few laps then a split in the group after the first sprint so I ended up working with the second group of about 4 or 5 riders. Coming in after catching one of the riders who had fallen back. Not a bad day. And talking with the "Kissena Tough” gals, as I named them, after the racing was nice as well. They are not so tough once you meet them. Perhaps I will see them again to mix it up. They have a different style of racing, more mixing it up. Described as a tough style but I did not mind the action though I did have to keep a close eye.
1 Km Scratch, 6th
9 Lap Point a Lap, 7th
12 Lap Points Race, 6th
Race: Masters & Rookies Track Races
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider(s): Jo Johnson
A cooler and windy day brought out some hardy gals and some of the youngsters. Tough racing against the 15-16 year olds in these sprint type races.
First race a 6 lap Tempo where I try a different gear but it was too small though I managed to hang and not finish last. Second race a 2 km scratch in a
bigger gear but due to the wind not quite what I normally use. This time I can go to the front and try to string out the field but am caught after 3 laps,
get back into the field but can not sprint past one of the riders to get into the group at the finish. Third race is a 12 lap Points race with sprints every 3 laps,
the distance is better for me and I am in the group until the last 3 laps but in contention battling 2 other riders coming to the line. I am able to pass
both these riders for another solid finish. I am still wanting more practice racing so I gain permission to ride the B Feature which will be a 12 lap points race
with sprints every 3 laps. This will be with the guys and 2 other gals in a large field of about 24 riders. This race is good for practice and I am able to stay with
the group for the first sprint then I swing off and catch the group when they come by again. I am able to stay with the large group until the last few laps.
More good practice.
6 Lap Tempo; 5th
2 km Scratch, 6th
12 lap Points, 5th
Race: Fort Lee Crit
Location: Fort Lee, NJ
Rider: Cheryl Clark
With Fort Lee being a 30 minute drive from home, I figured why not hop into a crit and see what came out of it. It was a gorgeous day a nice race vibe of spectators and racers. I rolled around a bit to warm up, chatted with some of the racers who I knew, and then off we went! The pace started out quick, but controlled, and I made my way to the front. Marlies, joined me, and there was no decisive attack, but a hard effort by the riders at the front, that cased a gap to form a few laps in on the straightaway coming off of the hill. I recognized the gap, and the riders that I was with (Emily Spence and Marlies), and knew this would be a strong breakaway, we immediately began to work together to increase the gap, and less than a lap later, Aimee Layton bridged to the three of us. We heard time gaps of 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 1 minute, 1:10, and we were pretty confident that we would not get caught, but kept the pace fast. I didn't mind doing work up the hill, as I knew the harder I could hit the hill each time around, the more tired sprinter legs would be, which would work in my favor. I was aware that this would most likely come down to a 4 rider sprint....ugh, not my strength! But I focused, and gave myself a pep talk. After we lapped the field approaching 3 laps to go, we settled into a rhythm, as I am sure we were all thinking about the same thing..."How am I going to win this sprint?" I led into the hill, punched up it, and at the top, all 3 riders came around me, which I actually acknowledged as a good thing, as I was going to try to come around a good positioned wheel, and start the sprint. I went left, and wanted to go sooner, but Marlies was hugging the left side, but once she swung slightly right, I laid down my sprint up the left side and just went as hard as I could to the line, surprised to hold onto second place! It wasn't a win, but will definitely be a fond memory I will remember forever, as I have rarely contested sprints, especially in a criterium. A beautiful day!
Race: Branchbrook Summer Classic
Location: Newark, NJ
Rider: Andy Maher
The forecast had been pretty ominous for this weekend but luckily mother nature cooperated and conditions were perfect for racing.
It was a pretty small field for the women's race but tough competition nonetheless. With four riders team CRCA/Dave Jordan racing went to the front and took control of the pace. I moved up to the front and pulled for a lap before the first attack came from a Rockstar games rider. There was a small gap which was easily bridged by the rest of the field. Not having a great sprint I decided to launch an attack myself with 2 laps to go. Another rider jumped with me but we were caught shorty after so I eased off the gas and the field was back together. The pace was slow as we made the last left, the men's 35+ race was coming up fast and we wanted to let them pass safely by us. With five hundred meters to go the accelaration started. I made the decision to take the left side but the rider in front of me moved at the same time causing me to have to hit the breaks. Should have gone right!
Result: 6th place
Race: Masters & Rookies Track Races/Track
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Rider(s): Jo Johnson
Another FUN day at the track although it was really hot and humid. A good field of 17 women this day gave me plenty of riders to go after. First race was a 6 lap scratch which was a really quick warm up race for me. I went out into the lead and was quickly swallowed up and spit out the back. But I think I managed not to be last. Next race was a 10 lap Point a Lap. I knew this would be quick so I went to the front again but did not stay long. I was in the group for several laps then was dropped a bit. Not wanting to be at the back, I redoubled my efforts to catch 4 riders and close on the group. The last race was an Elimination where one rider at the back is eliminated each lap. My goal was to stay in the group and not be the first one out. Each lap got just a bit faster than the last and I stayed in the group for 4 laps which is an improvement. We were only doing 30 mph!
Result: 6 lap scratch; 10th
10 lap Point a Lap; 11th
Race: Capital Region Road Race
Date: July 15th
Location: Albany, NY
Riders: Cheryl Clark
A beautiful day for a road race! Well, it was raining when I arrived, but the sun soon came through. I traveled in good company, with the FinKraft master’s team, and had plenty of time to get ready for the race and check in. I was able to catch up with Beth Ruiz, the race organizer, and it was very nice to see her and hear about her new triathlon adventures, along with everything that goes into organizing a bike race. All of the women racers lined up together, and it was a pleasant group of ladies as we rolled out with the 3 mile neutral start. After we made the first turn, the pace was calm and controlled and I was happy to be at the front, feeling out the course. When we hit the second hill, I started to pick up the pace to see how my legs felt and what gears would be best. I glanced behind me towards the top of the hill, and noticed a gap from the field had formed. I hesitated a moment, as I was a bit timid about trying to make a big effort, around mile 6, so early on in the 63 mile race, but after a few seconds of hesitating, I decided to commit, and went into time trial mode. For the first 10 minutes, I laid a lot of pressure on the pedals and kept an eye out on what was happening behind me. I knew there were chasers and I had to be smart about the distance that I was either gaining or loosing. I then let myself fall into a more ‘comfortable’ and sustainable effort, and received my first time gap information from the lead car, 52 seconds…I picked up the pace again, and received a second update of 1:10, I picked up my pace again, and the next time gap information I received was 3:15. I was more comfortable now, but knew it was still a long race ahead. I tried to stay smart about eating and drinking, and took the neutral water from the fed zone each lap around (thank you for supplying it, as it was a life saver!). I did not receive any more time gap updates, but just tried to stay within a pace I could carry to the finish line without bonking. I must say, every volunteer and spectator that I passed on the course was very supportive and yelled words of encouragement, which was amazing. I broke the race down into small segments to mentally process it better and to stay focused on my effort to ensure a win. Rolling up to the finish line solo felt so good, and that root beer at the finish was extra tasty! Thank you for all that made this race possible this year, I am thankful for the suffer fest and good people.
Cheryl Clark 1st place
Photo credit to Steve Thum
Race: Pottstown Crit
Date: July 16th
Location: Pottstown, PA
Riders: Deborah Leedale-Brown & Shaina Kravitz
A last minute decision to do this race for riders Deb and Shaina but since it was very local to them and it was a stacked field for such a local race, it was too great an opportunity to miss. It was a straightforward 4 corner crit, half the course was pretty chopped up and bumpy but it still rode well. With the whole Pickle Juice Pro team and the legendary Laura Van Gilder, along with other strong track and crit racers, we anticipated that the race would be faster and potentially aggressive. For the most part the pace was not super aggressive, but whenever it did slow down too much there was always a rider keeping it driving forward. Deb happily spent plenty of time on or near the front and even tested out her legs on one of the premes, unfortunately she got just beat on the line. As the race neared its conclusion it was evident that it would be a bunch sprint and a lot of sprinter legs ready to contest. The pace lifted in the final 2 laps to string it out and keep it safe. Everyone was jostling to get mark the Pickle Juice riders and LVG. It was a wide fast last corner with a fast slightly false flat finish. Deb ended up with her line slightly blocked as she was close to the cones where the road narrowed but ended up crossing the line in 8th and Shaina just a bit further back in 13th.
Deborah Leedale-Brown 8th
Shaina Kravitz 13th
Race: Honoring Sandrinos Sacrifice TT
Date: July 16, 2017
Location: Mullica HIll, NJ
Rider(s): Doreen Bridgman
It was a beautiful morning in Mullica Hill to honor Sergeant Alessandro Leonard Plutino, who was known as Sandrino. Sandrino was killed in action in Afghanistan on August 8, 2011. The course was a straight out 7.7 miles with some short rollers. There were 233 riders registered; 10 riders in the Eddy Cat 4/5. I had been off the bike for a couple of weeks dealing with a medical issue so I knew it would be a test to see how my power was returning; it’s almost there. It was a well-organized race enjoyed by all.
Doreen Bridgman-7th place