Race: Lower Providence (Crit)
Date: Sunday, April 24, 2017
Riders: Alexa Gubinski, Andy Maher, Alli McCabe, Cheryl Clark, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Emily Underwood, Emily Smith, Shaina Kravitz
Support Crew: Teresa DiSessa, Sarah Iepson, Jeff Johnson, Greg Dorsch
Lower Providence crit was one of the first races where EPS has a full squad! We controlled the race! What a great feeling it was to not have to do "anything" in the race as I had a handful of other riders cover attacks and create breaks.
This race though was just not about finishing well, but making sure we had our newer/less experience riders play a huge part in the race. Showing them tactics, like when to attack, when to counter and cover. I was making sure to check in with each of the riders throughout the race to see how they were feeling. If they were blown from doing a hard effort I told them to recover, stay on my wheel and don't get dropped.
I think a lot of people in crit racing when they get to the front try and "conserve" their energy. Crits need to string out for the safety of the riders. I find being at the front, you need to go hard and all out; this is only after being confident in your recover period after a hard effort. One of my main objectives was to show the girls that you can do a hard effort keeping the pace high and still be able to recover properly within the field. From doing this and launching attacks, we were able to make the other teams work. Direction from our director and crew on the sides of the course helped to keep the pace high and keeping an eye on the front and back of the peloton.
With 4 laps to go, we had Cheryl and Andy stringing out the field at the front. We also had Alexa on my wheel sweeping, making sure that no one was able to hop on my wheel. With Deb behind Cheryl in the final lap, I started giving direction to Cheryl on sweeping left or right, and pedalling faster. Last lap, after turn 3, we were on full throttle! Girls were getting lined up, and I told Deb to GO! Wow could Deb LIGHT IT UP!! Into turn 4, (on the book for the fastest and aggressive turns) we created a gap. One other girl on my wheel at this point, Deb had taking the corner perfect and literally sling-shot me out and around her. Still not yet gassed, head down, I went for it from my peripheral vision I saw no one. I went even harder, realizing I'm getting so close to the line I realized I'm going to win. I won!
And guess what...the second person to cross the line from our team was Deb in 6th. I say this because when a lead out train is successful, every single teammate who lead you out should be exhausted and out of breathe. I couldn't be more proud to see the work that team EPS put out on the course. There was so much learned, and we still have a lot more to learn, but for our first big team race together it was a success.
Emily Underwood 1st
Deborah Leedale-Brown 6th
Alexa Gubinski 18th
Alli McCabe 21st
Andy Maher 26th
Emily Smith 28th
Cheryl Clark 29th
Race: Chrono Vino Date: April 22, 2017
Location: Hammonton, NJ
Rider(s): Doreen Bridgman
Chrono Vino was the third TT of the season and the start and finish were at the DiMatteo Winery. As an extra incentive, the top three riders in each class were given not only a merchandise prize but a bottle of wine as well! The weather wasn’t really cooperating and the start ramp was almost taken away but the steady rain held off long enough for it to be in use. There were twelve riders registered in the non TT 4/5 category; ten riders participated. I was to go off tenth and planned to use the carrot strategy Teresa had given me for Cape May. The challenge was increased a bit as the rider in front of me didn’t race so my “carrot” was a minute ahead of me. Lesson learned-no need to clip in a full minute early and sit on the starting ramp; too much for both me and the holder. I got down the ramp okay which was the first hurdle and then tried to settle in for the ride. The course was 13 miles with some wind, short inclines and rain. I was able to catch a couple of the riders ahead of me but was challenged to keep my pace. Lesson number two-need to work on my pacing. There was some confusion about the course but luckily I made all the right turns and saw mile marker 12-1 more to go. I was able to pick up the pace again the last half mile and earned a third place prize. Bottle of white wine! Each race brings with a new learning experience; looking forward to the next one and racing with the team.
Doreen Bridgman-Third Place
This week the ladies of Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell would like to introduce our fierce and Elite leader of the team Emily Underwood. Emily started racing bikes about 10 years ago and this girl can sprint! Check out some rider bio questions Emily answered for us to learn more about Emily on and off the bike!
Favorite kind of race?
Where is the coolest place you have ever ridden your bike?
Do you have an embarrassing bike moment you can share with your friends and fans?
Besides the "stand still" fall, that's about it. (Knock on wood)
What inspires you?
Success other people have had.
What’s the strangest thing you have ever eaten?
What makes you feel accomplished?
Seeing my success from hard work
If you could give one piece of advice to women who are considering entering a cycling race what would it be?
Just do it!! Find a good team who is tight w/one another and knows how to work like a team! That's most important!
Race: Philadelphia Navy Yard Criterium (Crit)
Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Rider(s): Shaina Kravitz, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Alli McCabe, Emily Smith, Emily Underwood
The Philadelphia Navy Yard Criterium means the official start of the racing season for me. The battle is always a two-pronged attack against a talented field ready to test their early season fitness and the gusty, unpredictable spring weather.
With over 30 women set to line up, there was a nice showing of local teams as well as lots of super strong individual riders all hoping to get away on the traditionally windy course. The day called for low 60 degree temps with the small chance for rain at the 1:10pm start. The team met up to go over the plan for the day. Course recon revealed five wide corners with a significant headwind through the finishing straight. Others sides of the course were well shielded and would definitely be the places to watch for attacks.
Deborah took the lead and calmed the nerves. It was the first crit of the year for most of us and we all wanted to put in our best efforts for the team, stay calm and safe. Her ideal situation was one of us to get away in a break. The second, and most possible option based on past experience, was getting Emily U. to the line for the field sprint. We would want to start up at a fast pace to shake out the group and keep communicating throughout the hour. We had a good idea of the wheels to watch and where things could happen.
The roll-out and first few laps were spirited and smooth. I reminded myself to avoid the energy sucking yo-yo at the back and situated myself in the middle of the pack. Immediately, Deborah and Emily U. zipped up to take control of the front. They were amazing at maneuvering through the group to get the pack to follow and I am grateful to be able to race and learn from them this year.
A few attacks went off, but nothing was successful. Emily S. found herself driving the front for a bit before peeling off to rest. There was a sudden single rider crash that shook us for moment, but didn’t upset the pace. Deborah was quickly back setting the pace when at just under 10 laps to go Emily U. went out on a solo flyer. She stayed away for 3 laps before being brought back. I soon realized that she might not be in a position to sprint, and with five to go a single rider countered and started to go away through the start-finish. I came up on Emily’s left and nodded that I recognized the move as she assured me that this was the time to go.
I quickly bridged up to the rider and made a motion to her to keep moving. We were joined by one more and with her urging started organizing to keep the break going. I focused on taking pulls, keeping my power steady, maintaining speed through corners and slotting back in till the end. I wasn’t sure what was going on behind me, but I knew was we were holding at least a 10 second gap with two laps left. At the bell lap it finally occurred to me that we could really stay away. The last lap blew by and I readied for the sprint. I’m not much of a sprinter, but gave it my all. I was psyched to look over my shoulder and see the charging field rounding the last turn as I eked out the last bit of power left in my legs to cross the line third.
It was a combination of patience, timing, confidence and, most importantly, team work. I am beyond looking forward to the rest of the season to come with these strong ladies!
Shaina Kravitz 3rd
Deborah Leedale Brown 6th
Emily Underwood 7th
Race: Allamuchy TT
Location: Allamuchy, NJ
Rider(s) Andy Maher, Danielle Ferland, Doreen Bridgman, Sarah Hauze
Allamuchy is the third stop on the 2017 NJBA Time Trial cup series. The course is an 8 mile, mostly flat, out and back on rural roads.
Team EPS had four speedy women in three different categories for today's race. Doreen in the Non TT, Women's Cat 4/5, Danielle and Sarah in the Senior Women Cat 4/5 and Andy Maher in the Senior Women Category. After warming up on our trainers we rode the 2 miles to the start/finish line. Doreen was first off for us. After a great result last weekend at Cape May I was hoping she would be standing on the podium once again. The rest of us still had time to kill so continued to warm up on a nice stretch of road until it was time to make our way to the start. Danielle was next off followed by Sarah two and a half minutes later and I was last to go.
I got off to a good start and settled into my rhythm quickly passing a couple of riders early on. Before I knew it I saw the 1k to turn around sign and knew I needed to pick up the pace, I was being too conservative. I dug deeper those last four miles hoping to make up some time. As I crossed the finish line I heard cheers from my team mates who had all finished their races.
Great to see so many strong women racing this series. Tough competition but a good day for Team EPS.
Doreen Bridgman 3rd
Sarah Hauze 4th
Danielle Ferland 5th
Andy Maher 4th
Another busy weekend of racing ahead for the ladies of Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell and Shebell!! We have four ladies racing the clock at the Allamuchy Time Trial...GOOD LUCK to Andy, Daneille, Sarah and Doreen. And we have five ladies racing at the Philadelphia Naval Yard crits...GOOD LUCK to Deborah, Emily U, Emily S, Alli and Shaina!
The ladies of Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell would like to introduce you to another new team member thie year... Shaina Kravitz! Shaina has been racing bikes since 2011 and this girl loves to climb hills!! Check out some rider bio questions Shaina answered for us to learn more about Shaina on and off the bike!
Race: Cherry Blossom Challenge
Location: Newark, NJ
Riders: Doreen, Danielle, Sarah
It was a chilly morning for the Cherry Blossom Challenge but Doreen, Danielle and Sarah bundled up for a cold early morning start. The women's 4/5 had a nice size field of 25+ riders. Doreen and Sarah were a little nervous during warm up since this was their first race. Luckily, they had a very patient Danielle to show them the ropes and the guidance of team owner Teresa who came to support all three riders. The course loops through the beautiful Branch Brook Park and the cherry trees were blooming- a welcome distraction to the sore legs that were coming after the race! The first 6 laps went very quickly reducing the field from the initial size down to 10. Sarah and Danielle hung in to contend in the final sprint. Sarah ended the race coming in 6th with Danielle and Doreen close behind in 10th and 11th. After a quick post race meeting with team owner Teresa, everyone headed their separate ways all smiles from a very fun race.
Sarah H. 6th
Danielle F. 10th
Doreen B. 11th
Race: Farmersville Road Race
Location: Brownstown, PA
Date: April 8, 2017
Riders: Shaina Kravitz, Emily Smith, Andy Maher
This year’s Farmersville Road Race experience could be summed up in three words: wind, wind, and wind! I set off for the race in good spirits, excited for my first race as a Team EPS/CSS member and with two teammates to boot. Temperatures were about ten degrees cooler than predicted when we arrived at the venue, but we bundled up and hopped on our bikes to warm up together. We devised a few strategies in hopes of landing our strongest rider on the podium. However, the second the race took off our plans went out the window! The wind was absolutely howling, blasting us from all directions. Launching an attack and staying away from the group would be impossible today. We rolled along, all together, for several laps. I waved at the Pennsylvania Dutch folks riding by on their delivery bicycles and wondered what they thought of our neon-clad group.
Just after the start of lap two Andy had a bit of bad luck, with small mechanical separating her from the main group. On the last lap, I my own bad luck, getting caught behind a small separation through a chicane. By the time I chased across to the main group to help Shaina to the finish, we were already rounding the final corner. Even without a leadout assist, she managed to cross the line in 4th place. I sprinted through the remainder of the field for 10th. Despite battling the winds solo for two laps, Andy managed to finish right after the main pack. She definitely got in the hardest workout of the day!
Though none of us had the race we had hoped for, it still felt great to get out there and race again. And half the fun watch getting to catch up with the other racers, some of whom I hadn’t seen since last summer! There were plenty of friendly new faces on the start line as well. I’d like to give a special shout out to Women Bike PHL for sending a big crew of new racers to Farmersville! All in all Farmersville was a positive experience, and I’m looking forward to more races with my new teammates.
Shaina Kravitz 4th
Emily Smith 10th
Andy Maher 18th
Full results: https://www.bikereg.com/Results/rr/8626/farmersville-road-race-tm
Race: Cape May TT
Date: April 9, 2017
Location: Cape May, NJ
Rider(s): Doreen Bridgman
The TT season was kicked off this year at Cape May as Sandy Hook was cancelled last week. It was chilly but sunny and felt like a great morning to race. The Non TT women were the second group to go off so my start time was 8:15; that worked well because there wasn’t too much time to get nervous. I was the last rider to go and Teresa had graciously given me some hints on how to use the riders in front of me as "my carrots.” I was able to use that and passed two of the other riders in the first couple of miles so I knew I had a good chance to place. I was able to pass one more rider and then a fourth who caught me right about 100 yards from the finish line. My time earned me second place; very happy with that start to the season. Result:
Doreen Bridgman-2nd place