WEDNESDAY RIDER PROFILE...Maria Dziembowska
Maria came to the ladies of EPS/CSS p/b Shebell&Shebell via the merge with Cawes cycling last year and boy are we glad to have her. Maria is always willing to jump into a race in any format (road, mountain, crit, etc) and has been a huge asset to the Cat 4 team!! Learn more about Maria by reading some bio questions we asked her earlier this year!!
What pays the bills? (Cause we know it’s not racing your bike): I work for a non-profit environmental conservation organization, as the Director of Outreach and Partnerships. Love my job!
Favorite color? Any shade of blue. Turquoise might be my fav
Favorite type of race? I really enjoy technical crits
Brownstown Road Race
Location: Leola, Pennsylvania
Date: June 25, 2016
Women’s Category 3-4 Field
Riders: Andy Maher and Nikki Ragonese
Results – Andy 6th place, Nikki 14th place
It was a hot day out in Amish country for this 25-mile road race on rolling terrain. We found ourselves surrounded by farm fields and the occasional horse and buggy! After a long warmup Andy and I headed to the staging area to wait for the race to start. It was moving at a pretty quick pace right from the beginning. I hung toward the back to get a feel for the field. In the second lap I started to move up and bit and I noticed to riders quickly sneaking up the side of the field looking to break away. I jumped on their wheels determined to either bring them back or go with them if I could. I was able to pull them back to the field and stayed up front with them for the rest of that lap.
There were two short but steep climbs right before the start finish line which strung the field out each time. On the third lap, I dropped back to Andy and after a quick discussion I decided to try to launch my own attack just to see if I had the legs and to see if I could get anyone to come with me. I didn’t get very far and wound up just coming back and doing some work on the front for a while. I dropped back again. On the fourth lap, the heat and the work got the better of me and when we came to the hill right before the start finish I popped off of the back with a small group of others. There were about six of us behind that worked together to try to catch back on to the field. As the lap went on we went quickly from six riders, down to four and then by the end only three of us remained. Andy hung with the main group and finished in a strong 6th place, while I came in 14th. It was definitely a great race on a fun and beautiful course and despite the fact that I lost it a bit at the end I felt good and tried to create some action in the field.
Date: June 25, 2016
Race: Masters and Rookies/ Track Race
Location: Lehigh Valley Cycling Center, Trexlertown, PA
Rider; Jo Johnson
What a great day for me. With sunny and warm temps and being a PA BAR event with a good field of approximately 14 fast riders I pushed myself again. Looking at the 3 races for the day, 10 lap Tempo, 5 lap scratch, 15 lap Points with sprint every 3 laps, I decided to challenge myself and go up another 2 gear inches to a 90 inch gear. I had not been in this gear for about 5 years. So I must be getting stronger.
First race, 10 lap Tempo, I wanted to go to the front and push the pace which I did for the first 3 laps then the youngsters upped their pace and I fell back to the back of the group but not completely out. I managed to hang with the group through about 8 laps before just coming off the back a bit.
Second race, a 5 lap scratch, I again went to the front and this time I pushed the pace a bit more and led through the first 4 laps before the youngsters decided to up the pace and went past. But I managed to stay with them this time and finished with the back of the group.
Third race, 15 lap points race became a 12 lap points race. This time I went to the front for the first lap then swung up track and caught on the single file paceline of riders. I hung in well when they bunched up a lap later, then with the sprint, I pushed the effort and stayed with the back riders. I was able to mix it up a bit with some of the riders and at the end, pass several of them coming to the line.
Results; Finishing better in the group and efforts getting better each week.
Date : Saturday June 25 , 2016
Race : Rt 29 Summer TT
Location : Stockton , NJ
Riders : Danielle , Victoria
Danielle - 3rd Non TT women
Victoria - 1st Junior women 15-18
I came across this race on bike-reg a couple of times and decided to give it a shot ! I was so happy I decided to go because the roads were in perfect conditions and the weather was beautiful . So before the race I wasn't feeling nervous I was feeling ready! I set a good pace during the race and a much faster one than normal so I was very pleased to see that . At the end there was a very small incline so i gave it all I got !! Rider Danielle killed it in her category !! She got down low and gave it all she got ! I was very happy not only with our performance but we both got podium !
Danielle - 3rd Non TT women
Victoria - 1st Junior women 15-18
Date: June 18, 2016
Race: Cranky Monkey #3 MTB series
Rider: Jessica Kutz
Results: Jessica-3rd place
That last race of the Cranky Monkey series snuck up on me. With a new puppy and Brad starting a new job that’s 2nd and 3rd shift I found myself not on the bike as much as I should have been. I don’t feel like I’m in great bike shape (though I’m in wonderful walking shape- compliments of the puppy). I was dreading the heat for this last Cranky Monkey race. I had a feeling I’d be in trouble given I hadn’t been riding much and the weather finally had gotten hot and humid here in Virginia.
The fast lady who has been out riding me wasn’t at this race but a friend who rides for the Liv-Giant team showed up. This racer, also named Jess, is in great shape….she and her husband have been doing lots of mountain bike racing this summer. I didn’t think I’d stand a chance against her (eek negative thoughts pre race) but I figured I’d try to ride with her and see what happens.
The gun went off and I tucked in right behind Jess (Liv-Giant). I could tell she was strong but we were in a nice big train of riders, which mentally makes it easier to just hold onto their pace, even when it’s faster than I might like. Jess (Liv-Giant) and I crossed the line a few seconds apart but I knew I couldn’t hold that pace; I decided to stop in my pit area to grab some water and food. The rest of the race I found myself riding alone. There must not have been a ton of racers out. Unfortunately, lack of fitness on my end made me unmotivated to ride hard solo in the woods, I’m much better when chasing. By lap four I really regretted not switching to the 3 hour race. I had the legs to ride another lap to finish 5 laps but mentally I was just drained, and the heat wasn’t helping. I’m not sure if other people struggle with this but it’s really hard for me when I’m not riding as fast as I feel like I should be.
I called it quits after 4 laps, finishing the day in 3rd since the woman behind me continued for another lap. It was a disappointing finish. Post race I decided I needed to reframe the day. Instead of being a lack luster day on the bike, I’m dubbing it day 1 of a new training block. The puppy is old enough to be crated while I train and Brad and I are still working on figuring out how to see each other with his new schedule but I’m ready to start putting in the miles again. I’m going to take most of the next month to get my legs back on the band wagon and hopefully hit a few late season mtn bike races…maybe even a road race or two!
Photo credit to James Corbett
WEDNESDAY RIDER PROFILE...Bonni Schervone
Bonni is a long time member of the EPS/CSS p/b Shebell&Shebell team and she has the endruance to match her time on the team!! Bonni loves to do LONG and very HILLY endurance rides along with time trials!!! Learn more about Bonni by reading some Rider Bio questions we asked her earlier in the year.
What pays bills?
Pushing drugs ( legally) nurse anesthetist
- dove milk chocolate and diet coke
Favorite type of race?
- used to love TT and mtn bike...now I'm doing lots of long climbing endurance events.
Date: June 19th, 2016
Race: Race Avenue Criterium, PA Masters Crit Championship
Location: Lancaster, PA
Rider(s): Deborah Leedale-Brown, Meredith Ehn, Evelyn Korbich, Sarah Iepson
The course is a very fun 4 corner crit with two long stretches - one that is a screaming 30+ mph false flat downhill, and the other that is a moderate riser up to the finish line. The race was extremely well attended with nearly 40 women on the line including 4 strong riders from QCW and 5 of the Action Wheels ladies. We knew that it was going to be a hard, fast race, so we made sure to do our best out there to contribute to that. As we lined up they announced that there would be 9 primes on the day. 9 primes in 20 laps. At first, the groans were audible... but, after Deborah nabbed the first one, we thought... hmmm... maybe we can get a few more of these!
The race started out fast with Meredith and Sarah trading off at the front for the first few laps to keep the pace high and try to slim down the field a bit. It worked and we settled in with a field of about 20 riders for the remainder of the race. With about 13 to go, Sarah jumped and stayed away for 2 laps, gobbling up two additional back to back primes before coming back to the field.
The prime laps kept getting called, and we kept going for them, ending up with 8 of 9 by the end of the day. With two laps to go, we began our finishing plan. Meredith went to the front with 1.5 laps remaining and began to string it out. As we heard the bell, Sarah and Evelyn moved into position at the front. Evelyn TORE down the back stretch like a diesel with Sarah, Meredith and Deborah in perfect position and creating a line of riders and no way for anyone to attack. Sarah took the final corner and opened up a sprint for an imaginary line. Meredith came around with Deborah hot on her heels and dropped her at the top of the finishing hill. Deborah opened up a LONG sprint, but held it to the line taking the win and the PA Masters Championship!
Result: Deborah - 1st STATE CHAMPION
Sarah - 17th
Meredith - 18th
Evelyn - 19th
Date: June 12th
Race: Race Historic Riverton (Crit)
Location: Riverton NJ
Rider(s): Deborah Leedale-Brown, Emily Underwood, Sarah Iepson, Meredith Ehn, Ali McCabe
This twisty and demanding course in a leafy Riverton neighborhood was enjoyed for the 2nd year in a row by the large field of Open women racers who attended. With a strong team for this race we had more than one plan, but our main goal was to drive the race and keep it active so we could execute either a strategic breakaway or a killer lead-out. With a mix of abilities in an Open race and a narrow course that has 6 turns it was important to start the race at a good tempo and string it out. That is exactly what we did and this thinned a lot of the field out. A breakaway went pretty much off the first lap and with one of our riders, Meredith Ehn in it we wanted to see if that would stick, it did not and a few other attempts occurred but everything was chased down and it came down to a sprint finish. The plan was for us to take charge with 2 laps to go and form a lead out train for Emily. This was executed perfectly with Meredith taking the pace up and ensuring it stayed strung out, then Sarah Iepson doing what she does best with her diesel engine. We were in prime position going around the final turn with me to lead out Emily (or so I thought!). My role was to fly Emily around the last corner and drive the finish to get a gap, Emily however was blocked off my wheel going into that corner and had to make up too much for that plan to work. Not knowing Emily was not there I continued my sprint to the line, getting 2nd place so a podium place was still a win for the team!
Result: Team Results
Deb 2nd, Emily 4th, Sarah 12th, Meredith 13th Ali 16th
Date: June 5th, 2016
Race: Oldmans Twsp ITT
Location: Pedrickstown, NJ
Rider(s) Andy Maher, Sarah Iepson, Deborah-Leedale Brown, Victoria Cotera
After a month long break the second half of the 2016 NJ Time Trial cup series resumed in Pedrickstown. It was a beautiful morning, blue skies, sun shinning, comfortable temps...perfect day for a bike race!
Andy Maher, Sarah Iepson and Deborah Leedale-Brown were representing the open women with Victoria Cotera in the junior women 15-18years category.
The course is a 8.5 mile flat loop with a few rollers and with freshly paved roads we were looking forward to a fast ride!
Victoria was up first in the junior category and looked strong. Andy was next in the senior women followed by Deborah just 30 seconds behind and Sarah one minute later. I got off to a good start and settled in but after the second turn my legs felt heavy and I struggled to keep my watts up. I pushed on and seeing the 1k to go sign gave me a little extra motivation to push a little harder. Deborah and Sarah both had solid rides and we ended the day with two podiums.
Open women results: Sarah Iepson- 2nd
Deborah Leedale-Brown -5th
Junior women 15-18 years: Victoria Cotera -1st
Date: June 11, 2016
Race: Masters BAR & Rookies/ Track
Location: Trexlertown, PA at Valley Preferred Cycling Center
Rider: Jo Johnson
Result: Finished, met all objectives.
The day was mostly sunny but OH MY, was it WINDY! I think the wind was at least 15+ mph. Even though being down a bit in the concrete crater it was a wall to work against. This was the day I wanted to put the race wheels on and give them a good test. The Women's field of cat 3,4 riders was a nice size of about 16. My goal always is to try tactics and hang on as long as I can.
First race was a 8 lap point a lap to the first across each lap. That means FAST in my book. Yes, it truly was. I start off the boards in the front but get swallowed up almost from the start but manage to hang in for at east 4 laps before I come unhinged. I manage to finish just off the back. The wind really was blowing me a bit as i was getting more comfortable with the handling of these 64mm dish ENVE wheels. They are light and wonderful.
Second race is also going to be very fast, a 6 lap Scratch race. This time I am off the boards just off the front and a bit higher up on the banking. The race is again FAST as I predict. And again I was just off the back at the finish and much better handling the wheels from my part.
The last race, a 15 lap points race with sprints every 3 laps was alot of fun. Now the youngsters are beginning to use some tactics and some of them are beginning to tire just a bit. That is good for me. I start mid pack this time and manage to hang in really well. Really close positioning. Can't be chicken when you have riders within an inch of your handlebar. Half way into the laps and after the sprints, I am on the back and looking for a new place to go to move up in the group. My speed is go hard and then go harder to stay with the group. Thinking now I should move more up track for an over the group move I begin to go up but that was just when a rare sprinkle of rain came down. I wait half lap and the sprinkles start a few more. At this point another sprint takes place and the group is strung out a bit. I am on the back, more sprinkles, catch one rider, keep going and see another rider just exiting turn 1 and I am just past Start/Finish. Another lap and I can catch her. But the rain now comes in earnest and the double pistol shots ends the race. Most of the gals head home even though the officials were willing to restart us with 5 laps to go. No one wants to restart. It is called. I finished feeling good about the race wheels and my efforts. Next race I may elect to try change to one gear higher. I must be getting stronger. Laps speeds are anywhere from 27-28 mph at the start becoming more steady at 23-25 mph. Ages are anywhere from 16 years on up with lots of 20-30 year olds. Some could be my grandkids! But hey, it is a real blast and I just do what I can.