Race: Doylestown Thompson Bucks County Classic
Date: September13th, 2015
Rider: Deborah Leedale-Brown, Carren Stika
Now in its second year hosting a women's race, the Doylestown Thomposn Bucks Classic is a great race with fabulous crowds and atmosphere, livestream TV and a superb 8 corner technical crit that has downhill, uphill, tight turns, speed turns, wide road and narrow neighborhoods. What more could you wish for? Unfortunately for whatever reason the womens field had a lower turnout than expected, however that's not to say it did not pack a punch An Irish national champ about to head to Worlds, an Australian champion, the one and only Laura Van Gilder and other riders representing the top teams of Fearless Femme and Colavita.
It was important to make this race go out fast and with a smaller field it would be much easier to keep things moving through the many corners. I decided to shotgun the first corner and take the race out at a good speed, and thats exactly what I did, not realizing that I was solo in my endeavors. So for the 1st lap I just kept the cranks turning and had fun allowing the TV motorbike to catch up, not much point in staying out there by myself so I slowed to let the race regroup. With the biggest team being represented by Fearless Femme it was important to cover their moves, with nearly half the race covered the eventual breakaway move happened up the finishing hill, unfortunately I was not able to jump on that and so set up chase with another couple of riders. The ensuing chase was not successful in catching the break of three and so finally the main pack were back together, nothing was really going to happen within the pack since the main riders were represented in the breakaway. The eventual race winner came from that breakaway and it was evident that we were racing for 4th place and beyond, the final right hand corner led to a long uphill finish, I was sat comfortably behind two or three riders who I knew would be sprinting so used them as my draft, with a hard kick to the line I managed to earn a 4th place in the field sprint and 7th overall, happy with my end of season performance and already looking to where I can improve for next year.
Deborah Leedale-Brown 7th place
Carren Stika 16th
Date: September 13, 2015
Location: Morristown, NJ
Rider(s): Teresa DiSessa-Johnson, Sue Seyboldt, Andy Maher, Danielle Ferland, Nikki Ragonese, Alli McCabe, Jess Kutz, Bonni Schervone - Guest riders – Sheila Wall and Beth Fayant
The team had a wonderful 107 mile ride yesterday at the New Jersey Gran Fondo. We were decked out in our power tap kits and were excited to ride, compete and represent our wonderful sponsor. We really worked hard to motivate each other on the timed climbs and throughout the entire ride. Riding 107 miles is a huge undertaking and teamwork was really needed to make it through. We each hit a wall at different points, but the positivity of the team helped all of us to make it to the finish. A couple of the timed climbs were really brutal, especially the ones around miles 75 and 80. I think we all had to dig deep, physically and mentally to work through these and I believe that we really did. The team had a great time riding and meeting other riders and teams along the way. Our hard work paid off with a close second place in the team competition, less than a minute behind first. It was truly a rewarding experience and a great day of bonding for all of us.
Result: Second Place in the team Competition
Top Individual Riders – Andy 6th, Jess 7th, Teresa 11th, Nikki 15th
Date: Sept 13, 2015
Race: Norwich ABC 10 mile TT
Location: Wortwell, UK
Rider(s): Bobbie Mach
It has been an off and on season for me this year I am calling it the "season of interruptions". There have been so many occasions this year where I have planned to race but something or other interrupts my plans and gets in the way. Be it weather, kids, husbands scheudle, races being cancelled, etc...it is the "season of interruptions". The theme of interruptions continued today but regarless the outcomes were good.
The time trial I did today was in the East of England and crossed into 2 different counties, Suffolk and Norfolk. Today's course was IDEAL for me....it is COMPLETELY FLAT! I arrived, checked in and started my warmup on the turbo but then was interrupted by a nice gentleman who explained to me that warming up on a turbo at morning races it not allowed. OK, change of plans. I jump off the turbo to avoid being DQed or even fined and continued my warm up on the road. After warm up I headed to the start and set my goals for the day! A few minutes later I was off and racing. Like I said, this course is completely flat so it was a tiche boring but it did allow me to really keep my attention on my watts to ensure I was pushing to my limits. The turn around was at a round about at mile 5.25+ and at this point was feeling really strong and was excited for the return trip because I knew I would have a bit of a tail wind. About a mile later "season of interruptions" stuck again. At the very last possible second I got passed by a lorry (semi truck) who pulled between me and 2 very slow moving tractors just as I started my move to pass the tractors. After slamming on my brakes to avoid running into his rear end I proceeded to be stuck behind the lorry behind the tractors for a good quarter of a mile. Feelings of frustration were overwhelming because I knew I had a great ride going up to this point. FINALLY I got around the tractors after the lorry had also passed them and I was off again, determined to make up the lost time and I pushed....HARD. I finished with a respectable time but was disappointed because I knew without the interruption of the tractors/lorry it would have been even better. After returning to HQ and seeing the results and the fact that I had won regardless of my interruptions I was stoked and now look forward to attacking this course again in 3 weeks...hopefully without any more interruptions!
Results 1st place female
Date: September 10, 2015
Race: Masters National Championships
Location: Ogden, Utah
Rider: Audrey Wendolowski
The host city for this year's Masters National Championships was Ogden, Utah, about an hour's drive from Park City, Utah. Spending the summer in Park City, Utah, I had to say yes to the chance to compete in Nationals given it's geographic convenience...my proverbial backyard.
The road race was held at Snowbasin, Utah, the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics Downhill Skiing event. The course varied in elevation from 5,000 to 6,500 feet. The 73k race started with a 1 mile climb and 3 mile downhill which were neutralized, followed by 3 or so more miles of screaming downhill, two rolling laps around Pineview Reservoir, and the final climb up Old Snowbasin Road, two sections of which were chip sealed and dirt. Five master's women age groups were combined beginning at age 55 for a total of 24 riders. It was a perfect weather day, and the energy of the racers was palpable. The pace was high the entire race, and our group caught the 45-49 group who had started 10 minutes before! Ultimately, when the road turned upward onto the final climb, the field shattered. This was the third Masters Nationals in which I have participated over the years - in 2006 and this year for Riptide Cycling - and by far the best one for me. Given the level of
competition, I was satisfied with a 6th place overall finish, and proud
to be representing New Jersey's Riptide Cycling Women's Team.
Date: September 4-7, 2015
Race: Green Mountain Stage Race
Location: All Around Vermont
Rider: Danielle Ferland
Stage One: Warren Store Individual Time Trial
Location: Warren, Vermont
Beautiful weather started off the stage race with a 5.7 mile time trial through Warren Vermont. The course reminded me very much of the Flanders TT by starting off on a steady climb for the first 2.5 miles or so, giving a small taste of what would be in store for all the racers for the next four days. Rolling hills followed with some fun descents allowed riders to pick up some speed before ascending the last hill to the finish. Learning my lesson from Flanders, I was careful to not blow all of my energy on that first climb and felt very pleased once reaching the finish. With a mix field of both category 3 and 4 ladies, I knew I had to play it smart to make through all the stages.
Stage One Results: 19th out of 24
Stage Two: The Bridges Resort Circuit Race
Location: Moretown, Vermont
For the second day, the 3/4 women faced 1.75 laps of a 19.9 circuit with hills of steadily increasing difficulty and steepening grades from the day before. Even with a neutral start up and over the first hill, the race started off at a high pace, a tone that would continue for the next 34 miles. Staying in a good position through the first lap, I felt confident in my legs. With 14 miles to go, I jumped on a wheel that was attacking for a better position to also improve on mine; however, at the start of another hill, the wheel I was following couldn’t maintain the pace of the pack and there was no openings to jump back into. Trying to surge around and catch the draft again, I went all out but it was too late - they had started their decent. If there’s any place to get dropped in a race, Vermont’s scenic mountain sides is not a bad choice. Still, I pushed hard and managed to not lose much time in the overall GC.
Stage Two Results: 19th out of 24
Stage Three: Champion System Mad River Road Race
Location: Appalachian Gap, Vermont
Day three… the 65 mile road race through Middlebury Gap, Baby Gap, and App Gap… around 6,000 ft in climbing in this stage alone… and by far, the race I was most anxious about. Racers staged at the base of Sugar Bush Ski Area, but by no means was it the bottom of the hill. The chilly morning start only felt colder with a neutral start down a long hill towards the town of Waitsfield. Once the race was on, mild rollers helped as a good warm up with a steady, but reasonable incline as we made our way to Middlebury.
The group stayed together as a whole pretty well as we breezed through the first 20 miles and the first major climb neared. It was on that climb that strung the pack out. Thankfully, I was able to climb Middlebury at about the same pace of another rider and we quickly became cheerleaders for each other as we made our way up the first monster hill. Seeing as how we still had 40 miles ahead of us once reaching the top, we worked together by taking turns drafting off the other. Our goal was to safely finish the race and still enjoy the ride.
The next several miles boasted stunning views and amazing downhills – definitely my favorite part of the course. Our little twosome managed to pick up another rider, just in time to see a patrol car come warning that another group of racers was coming – the pro men were hot on our trail.
Now… by no means do I not expect to get passed by the pro’s when their group to started a meager half hour after us on a 65 mile ride, nor do I think I’ll be able to keep their pace after only one season of racing, but we put the lead out to try to get to a safer place for their group to pass us. Unfortunately, it was too late and we hit a steep hill with a tiny shoulder and no room to pull off as we entered a twisty portion of road just entering the town of Bristol as the swarm hit. Their speed and handling skills as they passed were both awe insanely impressive and supremely terrifying; all I could do was hang on and hold my line.
The remainder of the ride was pretty uneventful albeit grueling – hard hills, the third rider we had picked up had fallen off our pace on one of the hills, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy and nervous to see a “1k To Go” sign before in a race. With the steepest pitch at over 20%, the last 200 meters were absolutely brutal and seemed to last for hours. I never worked so hard to turn the pedals over on a bike before, fearing that if I stopped, I’d lose balance and topple right over. But I made it! My legs felt like Jell-O and I couldn’t have been going more than 4 mph crossing the line, but I made it! Success!
Stage Three Results: 17th out of 23
Stage Four: Burlington Criterium
Location: Burlington, Vermont
This is the hardest crit I’ve done to date. While each lap was only 0.62 miles, 6 turns, hot humid weather, and a decent incline to the finish made it extremely challenging to do, even if I didn’t have tired legs.
The first half a lap was controlled but I had issues with my right clip and had to sprint to catch. Feeling like the sprint never let up, I left everything I had left in me all out on the course though it still didn’t feel like enough. Granted, it didn’t help having a Pro Triathlete and Lake Placid Ironman champ setting the tone all four days and this crit wasn’t any exception. (Super nice lady – very impressive to watch in action and awesome to talk to.) After pushing my limit for several laps, my races were complete. Overall, I had an amazing experience and met some stellar people, many of whom I really hope to race with again next season or sooner. I would absolutely do this race again next year, hopefully with a little more power in the legs to go with it!
Stage Four Results: 20th out of 21
Overall General Classification: 18th out of 24