Event: Cherry Blossom Bike Race - W1/2/3
Date: April 7th
Location: Newark, NJ
Riders: Amanda Rinderer, Andy Maher, Katrine Waterman, Taylor Armstrong (Women 1/2/3); Daneille Ferland, McKensie Walker, Erin Healy (Women Cat 4/5)
Race Report written by Taylor Armstrong about the Womens 1/2/3 race:
Cherry Blossom is a 2.2 mile circuit loop through Branch Brook Park in Newark. This was our first big race as a team and we were looking forward to testing out our legs after a long winter of training and seeing how our team bonding attributed to our teamwork. Our race was early, cold, and windy! All of us (including McKenzie, Erin and Danielle who were racing the 4/5) warmed up together in another section of the park, and then it was go time!
There was a super strong Cat 1 sprinter signed up, so our strategy was to get Amanda into a breakaway for our best chance of winning. Another strong Cat 1 signed up shorty before the race started, so we knew we had our work cut out for us! Andy got the pace going strong the 1st lap, then Amanda, Katrine and I took turns attacking. Amanda’s second attack stuck and she was in a solo breakaway, with one of the Cat 1 riders ahead of her.
The rest of us made sure to steady the pace, and chase down anyone who tried to bridge to Amanda. Everyone worked their butts off and Amanda held her break for a second place finish! Back in the pack finish, I tried to get Katrine on my wheel and push it as much as I could to the line. Katrine came around and rocked her sprint for a 5th place finish, with me coming in 9th and Andy in 10th. Team owners Teresa and Jeff were cheering us on the whole way :)
Overall we were SO happy with how well we worked as a team and cannot wait to race every weekend with these ladies!! We couldn’t do any of it without the selflessness of Teresa and Jeff and all of our sponsors. Thank you so much!!
Amanda - 2nd
Katrine - 5th
Taylor - 9th
Andy - 10th
Race Report written by Erin Healy about the Womens 4/5 race:
WOW! What an awesome first race experience! The day started off with a very early wake-up and a very informative car ride as Teresa, Jeff, and Taylor discussed strategies and things I should expect during the race. It was a pretty chilly morning but a warm-up led by Andy got us all warmed up and ready to go! I definitely had a case of the pre-race nerves but thankfully those disappeared as soon as the whistle was blown! Thanks to awesome teammates and team owners at the race (Teresa, Jeff, McKensie, Danielle, Taylor, Andy, Amanda, and Katrine) who all gave me tips, advice, and overall reassurance that I will be fine.
When the whistle went off, it was go time. I was relieved to clip-in seamlessly (something I was quite worried about) and off we went! Keeping in mind all the tips I learned through the past couple months and leading up to race morning, I started taking everything in. It was so interesting to observe the tactics and strategies of the cyclists in the group. At certain points during the 7 lap, 14 mile race, the group accelerated to speeds over 25mph and occasionally dropped down to about 15mph or so. McKensie and Danielle and a few other cyclists in the group each tried to make breakaways but nothing seemed to stick and the race came down to a sprint. This was a pretty exciting moment as everyone in the 14 rider group gave it their all to get over that finish line. McKensie powered across the line in an amazing 2nd place finish, I was able to cross the line in 5th, and Danielle made a super impressive comeback 9th place finish. Overall, I could not ask for a better first race experience and I am beyond thankful to be surrounded by such kind and supportive people in this new sport for me!
Results Womens 4/5
Erin Healy- 5th