Date: March 28, 2015
Location: Pedricktown, NJ
Category: Women 3/4
Rider(s): Nikki Ragonese
Result: 8th place
It was a pretty cold and windy morning to start off the season for me. The field was pretty large for such a cold morning with 21 riders. The race was full of breakaway attempts, even I went into a solo breakaway for a couple of miles early on in the race, but I knew it was too early in the race for me to stay away until the end. A crash toward the end of the first lap caused the race to break up, but I managed to stay safe and in the front group. Eventually one rider did break away in the last lap, but the rest of our group stayed together for a sprint finish at the end. It was a good start to the season for me and a good first race as a member of team Riptide. J
Location: Medford, NJ
Participants: Shannon Grieb, Nicole LaGorga
Today turned out to be an awesome day for a little Mayhem. Mud, muck, roots and stair descents. Super fun way to start the season!
Race: spring classic Grand Prix
Date: March 22, 2015
Rider: Colleen Gulick
Category: women 1/2/3
Result: 1st place
For the third race in the Ontario criterium series the women 1/2/3 raced for 40 minutes on the traditional 7 corner Ontario course. On a chilly (& that's chilly for California) morning we had a field of about 23 riders. The beginning of the race had plenty of attacks due to constant premes. The race settled down just in time to see 5 laps to go. A rider took a good flier with about half a lap (~1 km) to go. I knew she was strong so I closed the gap as quickly as possible, leaving it up to a sprint finish. I made a move early & was able to hold off the bunch in order to earn Eps/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell a win. Two notable elements to today's race was my new Lazar helmet with is amazingly comfortable, not to mention stylishly orange ;) Also, the white Eps anniversary kit seemed to bring me some luck (knock on wood). ;) currently, I am leading the Ontario crit series, which has three races in the books and four left to go. There are no criteriums next weekend but I'll be checking in two weeks from now with another criterium result. Sending good luck vibes to all the riptide women back on the east coast for their crits next weekend! :)
Event: 10th Annual Team Boot Camp
Location: Lincoln Park, NJ
Rider(s): Team EPS/CSS Riptide Cycling
This past weekend was the 10th annual team boot camp for Team EPS/CSS Riptide Cycling. This year teammates Andy Mayer and Nikki Ragonese hosted a great weekend. It started off Saturday, March 21 at 9:30am. Unfortunately, winter wanted to play one more time the night before causing unsafe conditions for such a large group on the roads. Thankfully, Fit Female, a local gym, opened it's doors to us so we could still train together indoors. The team completed a tough 1 hour and 45 minute race style trainer workout. After a delicious lunch provided by various teammates, we returned to the gym for a hour yoga session to stretch out our muscles.
Sunday, March 22, we woke up to freezing temperatures. The sun was shinning, the air was crisp and the team got ready to endure the brisk air. The ride started at 34 degrees and slowly warmed up to the 40s throughout the ride. It was a great route! The most challenging part of the ride was a 5 mile hill climb up Otterhole Road. The team did amazing! Everyone stuck together and thanks to Nikki's fiancée, John, we had a team support car to help keep us safe and carry extra gear if needed!
We ended the day back at Andy's where we wrapped up the weekend and headed back home. It was a great weekend of team bonding an a great way to kick off 2015 race season!!!
Date: March 15th, 2015
Race: 1era Válida del XXII Circuito de MTB Gatorade, Venezuela 2015
Location: Anare, Vargas, Venezuela
Rider(s): Claudia Peñaloza
Results: 5th place Elite Female
The first race of this year's Gatorade MTB circuit took us to the beautiful beach-side town of Anare. More than 2000 cyclists, to be split up into Sport, Expert, and Elite categories, made the trip. After a good season in Experts last year, I was allowed, and thrilled, to test myself against the world class Elite racers for the first time.
Elite men and women were sent off first and we promptly set out down the 10 km (6.21 mi) asphalt approach to the mountain course. Two groups formed early on; I was able to catch up to the first group, and join the would-be 1st and 2nd place Elite Females (Marcia Barrios and Nelismas Gomez, respectively), to draft off the men. However, as soon as we turned onto the dirt, a gap opened up and it was time to buckle down and race against the mountain; 6.2 km (3.85 mi), average 8 % grade, 543 m (1782 ft) gain was the first of many climbs I needed to conquer.
We labored up the mountain as fast as our legs would go, though mine felt a little sluggish. About half-way up the 3rd place Elite Female (Elsa Peñaloza -unrelated-), rode by. Several climbs and descents later, 4th place (Daniela Rosimber) inched by but I didn’t notice... ‘cause I was probably pulling my chain out or messing with my gears (I was a little “off” on my overall cycling skills, lets say. Nervous possibly?). I was surprised to catch up with Daniela (mostly because I didn’t know she was ahead of me), with less than 15 min to go… but another chain-suck quickly gave her the advantage. No worries, 5th place was mine and I was very happy with my performance, even more so when accounting for all the glitches. The five of us came in in the space of ~10 min, 1:17:34 for 1st and 1:26:08 for myself. I’m in the right category, now I need to work on those mountain skills!
Race Date: March 8, 2015
Race: Hungry Dog Criterium
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Rider: Jo Johnson
The Master Men and Master Women 40+ raced together on this 0.8 mile loop in a nice business park. The course has two 90 degree left turns and an elevation
of about 2% on the back half which becomes a slight downhill to the left turn leading onto the front straight in front of S/F. The sun began warming everyone up for the 8:40 am start and I removed the arm warmers I needed during my warm up time. The women would be scored separately but race with the men. I knew it would be a very fast race. It was. The 7 women took off with the men but only 4 women could stay with the men as they were at speeds over 25+. By lap 3 I knew I would be in the Best of the Rest group and wanted to finish strong and in 5th place. When the pack came around I jumped on and that was when I was able to drop the other riders. I could hang in the back of the men for about half a lap then I dropped back into a pace I could maintain. This race quickly became a fast TT effort to stay ahead of the other women to keep my place.
Thank you to all the sponsors who help make this happen; EPS/CSS, Shebell & Shebell, Brielle Cyclery, Honey Stinger, OSMO Nutrition, OGIO bags, Cannondale Bikes for my "white knight" bike, and Power Tap for my great wheels and Joule2 plus all the others who help in other ways.
Race: Southbay Wheelman Cup
Race type: Track (team sprint, 200m, 500m)
Racer: Colleen Gulick
This Sunday was a bit of a change of pace from the normal crit scene. The track had a great crowd of sprinters that wanted to throw down some times and mark their progress. So, I teamed up with Alyssa, a rider from NorCal, to do the team sprint together. Our combination proved successful and we were able to win the women's team sprint category. The 200 & 500m races were not for placing but rather to see times and evaluate progress. All in all not a bad day. Next week is a break from racing then back to the crits in two weeks. :)
Results: 1st, rides for time
Event: NJBA Awards Banquet
Location: River Horse Brewing in Ewing, NJ.
Participants: Erin, Teresa and Jeff, Maryanne, Nikki, Andy, Sue
Last Saturday, it was time for the team to hang up their kits and pull out some real clothes to attend the Annual New Jersey Bicycling Association’s Awards Dinner. This year the dinner was held at the River Horse Brewing Company in Ewing, NJ. Besides the abundance of great tasting beer, the food was delicious and was catered by a local BBQ restaurant.
The team had great representation with the following in attendance: Sue Seyboldt, Erin Mandato, Teresa DiSessa-Johnson, Andy Maher and new comers Maryanne Caruso and Nikki Ragonese.
Throughout the course of the dinner, awards were handed out for numerous categories. Our team walked away proud and our heads held high with the following awards:
1st Place- Time Trial Cup CAT 4 Women-Erin Mandato
2nd- Time Trial Cup CAT 4 Women-Nicole LaGorga
2nd Place-Women’s CAT 4 Cup-Erin Mandato
2nd Place-Maxxis Garden State Cup- Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell – Brielle Cyclery
2nd Place-Time Trial Cup Senior Women- Andy Maher
2nd Place- Time Trial Cup- Non-TT- Susan Seyboldt
Date: March 1st
Event: Elite Team Meeting/Ride
Location: Jackson, NJ
Rider(s): Teresa DiSessa, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Monica Volk, Evelyn Korbich, Carren Stika
With the start of the season just a week away, we knew that this meeting and ride had to happen. The weather was not in our favor and the girls knew that driving home would be a long and treacherous drive, but that did not stop them from coming. The Elite girls are dedicated and committed to Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell so the morning went as planned. The morning started with planning out the Elite Race Calendar, race goals, and personal goals. Everyone contributed and all worked collaboratively to put a solid calendar together for the season. We are excited to get out there and work together as a team. Immediately after the meeting we headed down to Teresa's basement for a nice group ride on the computrainers. With the snow coming down pretty hard we knew that riding outside was out of the question. The computrainers allowed us to ride together while staying warm and dry. We had a great ride pushing each other until the very end.
After our group ride the team enjoyed some Chili that Teresa made from a special mix packet that our teammate Audrey sent from Utah. It was delicious! Everyone made it home safely despite the poor road conditions.