Fairhill Classic MTB race and Mid Atlantic Super Series CX Finale
Rider: Nicole LaGorga
Cat3 Womens 40+
1st place in the entire Series
Omgosh. I'm super stoked to have won the Mid Atlantic Super Series CX. That was a lot of months of racing and a lot of races in conjunction with the NJ Time trial series, which I wound up abandoning halfway through in favor of this series. All of the races this summer were challenging and different in their own ways. Today's race was twice the distance of the rest of them, and even though Fairhill is not very technical, those hills and roots take their toll. I chose not to warm up as long as i normally do today because I thought the added distance would get me. Either that or the heat. So I stayed out front for the first few miles until i hit the first really long gravel climb. That's where I lost my podium finish. I tried to channel my inner Yolanda Neff, but that only got me so far- which happened to be one pass too short in the end. I had a great time, a solid race and a fun as hell summer in the woods with some badass ladies. And yes- that's a goPRO around my neck - so if you're wondering what its like to race something like this ( or at least the first 12 miles of it because my battery died for some reason) video footage will be available soon!
Date: August 22, 2015
Race: Masters & Rookies / Track
Location: Trexlertown, PA
Riders: Claudia Penaloza and Jo Johnson
Teammates Jo Johnson and Claudia Penaloza tested themselves on this warm day with some fast and furious racing. The three races of the day, 6-lap Scratch, 6-lap Handicap, 15-lap points race with sprints every 5 laps, were a definite challenge. A relatively large (14+) and young field added to the difficulty. Some of the riders were a bit aggressive, one rider broke a spoke from contact in the first race, which is quite rare on the track; the Chief Official was not pleased. On a positive note, Jo is staying with the group longer each race, an accomplishment in itself. Specifically, she managed to keep ahead of the field for an impressive 5-laps in the Handicap, and held on for 6th place. The addition of another gear-inch today also indicates gains in Jo's strength. Progress is slow but certain.
Claudia was late for the first race but managed two 4th places after that, unfortunately she found her legs only after the first sprint of the points race... and was one spot short of qualifying for the feature.
All in all, it was a good day and nice to share racing within the team.
Jo Johnson, survived
Claudia Penaloza, 5th place Omnium
Date: August 23, 2015
Race: Arsenal Criterium
Location; Philadelphia, PA/ The Navy Yard
Rider: Jo Johnson
This location and race is new to me and really close in distance being only 25 miles from home. The parking is ample and the atmosphere fun. The road surface is not too bad once you know where the man hole covers are and the rough surface in the last corner. A big incentive was the 30 minute free clinic which over 30 riders participated in. Four coaches were on hand to guide the riders through. There are always reminders of what you should do and usually some new tips to learn. A worthwhile time spent. It shortly was time to race for the Cat 4 Women. There were approximately 18 of us for this 30 minute race. After the start, I began to move up through the group and sat 5th wheel for the first lap, then in the top 10 for the next several laps but gradually i drifted back and thought I was alone behind the main pack. I turned around and saw 2 other riders sitting on. So I pulled off and let them through. We 3 ended up rotating around the rest of the race. I found sections where I felt strongest and could pull more and sections where I was feeling less aggressive. Like some of the turns. With 3 laps to go, I decided to pull off and let the youngsters work in front thinking I could give a good acceleration at the end. On the last lap, one of the youngsters jumped before the last turn and I went after her with the other youngster next to me. We did a drag race to the line but she had just a bit more than I did. It was a safe and good race. I will want to put this one on the calendar next year.
Many thanks to all the sponsors who help make this happen; EPS/ CSS pb Shebell and Shebell, Brielle Cyclery, Cannondale, Powertap, Castelli, Honey Stinger, OSMO nutrition and all the others. Special thank you to Team Manager, Teresa Di Sessa Johnson for all her efforts.
Result; not the last as I passed at least one rider.
Flanders Time Trial
Date: August 22, 2015
Race: Time Tri
Location: Flanders, NJ
Senior Women – Andrea Maher – 3rd Place
Non TT Women – Danielle Ferland – 5th Place
Category 4 - Nikki Ragonese – 2nd Place
It was a chilly morning for the last TT in the NJ cup series. This last time trial of the season does not allow for use of time trial bikes, so they playing field was pretty leveled across the board. This is also a time trial that includes the mile long climb up Naughtright road which averages close to a 10% grade and starts only one mile into the course. We all tried to get in a good warmup in anticipation of this really tough climb coming so early into the race. All three of us toughed out the climb and then the rest of the course was fun, fast and rolling with a long descent toward the end as well. I took second place for the Cat 4 women, Andy was third in the senior women’s category and Danielle 5th in the non-TT class. This was a tough but fun way to end a long season of time trialing!
Date: august 22/23, 2015Race: Chris Thater Memorial
Location: Binghamton NY
Race type: crit
Rider: Colleen & Deb
Placings: 20th/5th & 23rd/19th
New York was graced this weekend with a great two day race. The first day was an NCC and USA Crits race. It was 43 laps around a 0.7 mile loop with over 40 very talented women registered. The road was narrow and the race was strung out from the start. We finished the 30 mile race in less than 1 hour and 10 min... Fast! Deb and I were amongst the 29 survivors at the end of the race. We squeezed out a 23rd & 20th place. Sunday was the same course but run in the opposite direction, with an uphill finish. Again, it was a quick race but both of us improved upon our finishes from the previous day. We both finished in the money, placing 5th & 19th... A great EPS/CSS P/b Shebell and Shebell representation! :) we are both very pleased and will be driving back to PA as happy campers. Look for Deb in her next race... The Doyelstown Crit. My next race will be next weekend back out in California.
Date: august 21, 2015
Race: UCI Keirin revenge
Location: trexlertown pa
Race type: track
Rider: Colleen Gulick
Placings: 5th, 3rd, 2nd & 1st
Last night was my last Friday night World Series of Bicycling race of the year. It was a UCI evening with World Cup and Olympic qualification points on the line. There were 3 races over the course of the evening and an omnium scoring comprised of a combination of the results of all 3 races. The first race was the Keirin- where I placed 5th. The second race was a miss and out with the last rider pulled out of the race every other lap... I placed 3rd. The final race of the evening was a UCI 30 lap points race with sprints every 5 laps. This race is definitely not my forte due to its endurance nature but I found myself in a break for a bit and winning a few sprints... Placing me 2nd in this international race. Overall, the consistent high placings allowed me to finish off my track season with a win in the omnium! Thank you very much to our fabulous sponsors and Teresa for their support this season in order to make this the best track season possible. I am currently driving to NY to meet up with Deb and race the next two days of Chris Thater Memorial Criteriums. After which I will be flying back to California to resume grad school & work on Tuesday. smile emoticon look for more race updates after this weekend from Deb and I.
Race: Ambler criterium
Location: Ambler, PA
Riders: Deborah Leedale-Brown, Colleen Gulick & Alli McCabe
Date: august 15, 2015
The Ambler criterium presented a great opportunity for Team EPS/CSS p/b Shebell & Shebell to show their strengths. The women's field had a great turn out with 29 riders (more than the pro men). Out of all of the riders there was one clear standout... The queen of the day was Alli McCabe! Not only did she win the women's 4 race but then she jumped in a challenging women's open race and still managed to finish in the field! Andddd she did all of this after completing her usual 30 mile Thursday night training crit with the men at great valley. I don't think this girl will be a cat 4 for long. ;). Deb and Colleen also raced the Ambler crit, placing 6th and 3rd respectively. Two riders were off of the front and, despite our best efforts, we were unable to catch them. So, when it came down to a sprint finish Colleen won the field sprint and Deb was right on her heels with a 6th place. The women will be back in action next week for the Chris Thater Memorial in NY.
Colleen Gulick- 3rd
Deborah Leedale-Brown- 6th
Alli McCabe- 22nd
Alli McCabe- 1st
Race: Iron Hill Twilight Crit West Chester- NCC Level
Date: Aug 8th
Riders: Monica Volk, Deborah Leedale-Brown, Carren Stika
(As written by Deborah)
This is always a favorite race on the calender. Its an evening race for both the pro men and women, its in a the charming location of West Chester who's many restaurants and bars look to draw large numbers of spectators. This year was no exception, the weather was perfect and cycling fans and racers were out in force.
Upon first glance the women's field was not as large as last year, but that did not mean the race was going to be slow! Even with a slightly smaller field of 30 women the depth of talent was there. Riders who just completed Tour of Utah and Giro Rosa to name a few. After a small delay the women's race went off at 7pm to the roar of the crowd, just like last year the race started fast from the whistle and with premes being slotted in all the time the pace really did not ease off that much. The course at a glance appears to be straightforward, four corners. But its actually pretty technical, its a very short lap, the road is narrow in places and the corners all require an amount of braking. Combine that with a bumpy road surface, two sides with a hill and you have a race of constant braking and accelerating.
With the race being kept at a high pace, many riders were popped off the back within the first 10-15 laps of the 35 lap race. Monica was our designated rider and from where I was in the race I could see she was holding good position no more than 4-6 riders back from the front end. I was just aiming to keep myself up towards the middle and see if I could keep strong. A couple of breaks/attacks happened but there were enough of the key players watching and reacting so the race pretty much stayed together till the penultimate lap. The organizers threw in a 'gamblers preme' on the bell lap and so one rider (Tifffany Pezzulo) sprinted for the preme and then continued on her flyer opening up a significant gap for the last lap, as we came around the final corner she still had a gap and as she neared the line she made the error of easing off and sitting up, only to be got on the line by a flying Laura Van Gilder and Amy Cutler, who threw their bikes in unison. Laura won, Amy 2nd and Tiffany had to settle for 3rd, then the pack flew in just behind, Monica finishing a solid 7th, myself 14th & Carren 27th.
Monica Volk 7th,
Deborah Leedale-Brown 14th,
Carren Stika 27th
Location: East Hartland, CT
Rider: Andy Maher
Tokeneke classic road race in East Hartland, CT is the New England regional & CT State Championship. The course was 3 laps of a 22 mile loop around the Barkhamstread reservoir with 2100 ft of climbing.
It was a beautiful day and temps were in the high 70's, perfect for racing. Andy Maher was representing Team EPS in the women's 1,2,3 field. After a brief warm up I made my way to the start line and the race got underway.
The first few miles are fast downhill before the first turn and climb. From past experience the race usually splits within the first 10 miles so I was happy to find myself feeling good and with the lead group after the first three climbs. As we crested the third climb I had difficulty shifting back into my big ring and drifted to the back of the pack. After a few tries I got it and settled back in. Another uphill grade was approaching and I shifted gears accordingly. Once at the top I tried to go back into my big ring but this time it wouldn't go. A racers worst nightmare, a mechanical in the middle of a race! The pack started to pull away from me while I continued to try and shift. I fell off the back of the lead group and was alone for about a mile before being caught by the second chase group. Over the next few miles we rode a rotating pace line catching one solo rider and could see the lead group ahead. With about 5-6 miles left of the first lap comes a fast 7% down hill section. Without being able to shift into my big chain ring I couldn't hold my speed and watched the women I had been pace lining with ride away from me. The last 2 miles of the course are a steady uphill 5% grade and I started to claw my way back to the small chase group.
I had completed one lap but knowing he next few miles of the race were fast downhill and not being able to shift into my big ring I decided to abandon the race. A frustrating day!
Race: Nittany Stage Race; Women 3/4, Womens 1/2
Date: August 1-2, 2015
Rider(s): Evelyn Korbich (Cat 3/4) and Monica Volk (Cat 1/2)
Race Summary from Monica Volk (Womens 1/2):
The first race of the stage race was the road race. I was familiar with this course from the college season but this race included one more lap for a +60 mile race with three times up the infamous climb up black mo. I was happy to get the QOM title for the race and ended up getting 2nd in the race. Some one attacked in the lead break group I was in going up black mo the third time, a move I knew was going to happen but didn’t think would stick with miles left in the race. It was a smart and well timed move with bad judgment on my part. I finished second behind the leader about 40 seconds.
The second race Sunday morning was the 8km time trial. It was a nice course through campus that was definitely hard but overall a quick effort. I had a second place time in this stage.
The final race on Sunday afternoon was a crit. The flowing 6 corner course was fast but smooth. Attacks were made, breaks attempted, breaks caught; it was a moving race. I finished second in the crit as well... Talk about consistency. I also finished 2nd overall in the GC.
I had a lot of fun racing the Nittany Stage race, being at state college, and sharing these bike-racing adventures with good friends. Can’t wait to do it again next year.
Race Report told by Evelyn Korbich
Day 1: Road Race
Location: Moshannon State Park
Saturday August 1st dawned hot and sunny for day one of the Nittany Stage Race where the 3/4 women and I would be racing 42 miles, or two laps, on the road course. The first 5 miles was the descent of the course and we were neutral down it the first time in order to avoid early crashes. Once we had gone through the first turn and the group was together we were set loose to go up the two medium-sized climbs on the backside of the course. On both, a single rider went to the front and pushed the pace but on the descent of the second one she got a flat and was forced to stop. After that it was only a few minutes until the pack made the turn onto the main climb of the course. The group stayed together until the climb shot up in pitch and then 5 or 6 riders, including myself, pulled away from the pack. Some riders dropped off a few minutes later, leaving just four riders to push the pace until we made it to the QOM sprint. At that line, one rider took off, leaving the rest of us strung out as we crested the five mile climb and began to traverse the ridgeline. I was fourth at that point and was gaining on the other riders when 1st and 2nd place caught up to each other and started working together. As they sped into the distance I felt my muscles beginning to give out under the strain of chasing and was relieved when two riders caught me as the descent began again. I worked with those two riders up and over the two smaller climbs but a small group caught us after the second one. As we turned onto the climb once again my legs continued to feel tight and sore and I started to feel dejected as I realized that I was cramping and couldn’t keep my climbing pace up. As I neared the top of the climb a rider caught and stayed with me so we worked together to the finish where she beat me on the line.
Day 2: Time Trial and Criterium
Location: On and around the campus of Penn State University Park
I arrived on the Penn State campus with an hour and a half till my 9:30 time trial start time and I used that time to warm up and spin the soreness out of my legs from the day before. The TT was only 5 miles long with a headwind going out and a tailwind coming back. The time gaps between riders from the road race were great enough that not many places would be made up in the TT alone but I had a rival who was only ahead of me by one second and my goal was to beat her. I went out slightly easier than I should have because the wind was deceivingly tiring but I was able to make good time coming back. I beat the rider directly ahead of me in the overall standings so I moved up by one place and managed to secure 7th in the TT results.
Later that day, at what seemed to be the hottest part, all of us women were tired and sore as we lined up for the crit. It was going to be 40 minutes on a 6-corner, .7 mile course with a few time bonus premes. I was not looking forward to this event whatsoever but I gritted my teeth and grabbed a wheel as we rolled off the line. I was too far back for the first few laps so I moved up little by little until the bell sounded for a preme and I dropped back again. This happened twice more, except on the third sprint a group of four separated from the pack and I chased them down so I wouldn’t lose time to anyone. I managed to find myself a wheel 4th from the front with three laps to go and there I sat until the bell lap when I made a mistake and went to the outside of the pack while following a wheel. This move had me squished up against the curb as we came around the final corner and I had to weave my way out of it to join in the sprint. Luckily, I managed to sprint for a solid 7th place and hold my position in the overall standings.
Evelyn Korbich – Road Race – 9th
Time trial – 7th
Criterium – 7th
Overall standings – 8th
Monica Volk-Road Race- 2nd