Imagine going to your first bike race with your own personal coach guiding you every step of the way. That is the CRCA Women’s Racing Clinic experience.
Every year, the Century Road Club Association or CRCA – New York City’s largest bike racing club – offers a clinic specifically geared toward expanding the community of female racers. It is an event organized by women for women. This year, the Rockstar Games/Signature Cycles women’s racing team joined forces with the Radical Media racing team in running the event. There is an informational session component, where seasoned racers try to demystify the sport by speaking on topics ranging from nutrition to how to launch a successful attack. But, the biggest draw of the Clinic is the simulated race in Central Park. This is where participants, many of whom having never raced before, get a trial-by-fire introduction to the sport. It is an opportunity for novices to try racing in a semi-controlled and less intimidating environment. Many of our local female racers, myself included, caught the racing bug at the Clinic. Have you heard of Evelyn Stevens? If not, look her up. She’ll be competing in the London Olympics, and got her start at our Clinic!
NJBA Team Challenge and Tour of Syracuse
Saturday, 5/12 was the NJBA Team Challenge in Trenton which is a points race with sprint points on every 4th lap. The format is for five-man teams but Scott Hodder was the only entry for our team in the 35+ race and finished an impressive 4th place. Sunday was the Tour of Syracuse, and once again Scott Hodder brought home a solid placing at 5th in the combined 35/45+ masters race.
Mikael H did his first Du of the year (2m/20m/4m format) and was once again foiled by 2 very fast 20 something year old brothers from NJ (who have beat him for something like the 10th time over a 3yr span). He was 5th after the first run and moved up to 2nd on the bike (catching one of the brothers), but being nearly twice their age, he can’t quite seem to run those sub-6 minute miles on the 2nd run! Mikael finished 3rd overall.
Race Reports from the Women’s Team, who was very busy this past weekend!
Quabbin Reservoir Road Race
We had 3 team members in the Women’s Open field at Quabbin this weekend, Emily, Lucia M and Susan. From all accounts, it sounded like a really intense and difficult race, both due to the terrain and the stacked field of very strong Cat 1/2 women. Lucia M’s quote: “Quabbin. It sounds like a place from Lord of The Rings…and it felt like that.” Our resident mountain goat, Susan came away with the best result at 22nd, being able to hang on to the front pack the longest. Emily and Lucia M both really dug deep, working their way back to the main field, forming chase groups and picking off dropped riders along the way. With Battenkill and now, Quabbin being Lucia M’s first and second road races ever, she is clearly well on her way to clenching the title for “The Most Difficult First Year Road Race Choices Possible.” A really long and hard fought race for all – good job ladies!
Team Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles had a couple guys in action at the Grant’s Tomb Criterium, with Aaron M and Wilson T both racing the Cat 4 event and finishing in the field (Wilson would try a flyer with 4 to go, but alas got caught – or perhaps was saving his legs for his Collegiate race a couple hours later!). Emily U was in the women’s race, but unfortunately she got boxed out of the sprint.
Our CT based riders have been very active in the Bethel Spring Series and last weekend was no different. Jeffery took 9th in the Cat 5 race, the NYC Rockstar/Signature women’s squad had a nice size group at Bethel. Emily Underwood took 6th, with Luci Olewinski, Courtney Hehre, and Cheryl Wolf all having strong showings. In an action packed 45+ race that had an 8 man break that was caught 100 meters from the finish, Joe Straub placed 3rd, Brian Wolf was 7th, and Cheryl was 32nd. In the 3-4 race of about 90 riders, the team tried help 20-year old Neil Suto but he was unable to stay with us at the end. Joe Straub placed 9th and Brian Wolf was 11th. Nice work to all!
Team Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles had quite a few racers at the Bethel Spring Serieson Sunday, 3/4 and we scored a number of nice places:
Jeffrey Lesser was 4th in the Cat 5 race.
Emily Underwood took 7th in Women’s race.
In Masters 45+, Keith Hala was 6th, Glenn Babikain was 8th, Brian Wolf was 13th, and Steven Suto was 15th.
In the Cat 3-4 race, Neil Suto took an amazing 3rd place.
The Central ParkSpring Series race on Sunday in NYC unfortunately saw the finishes for the Pro 1/2/3 and Masters races neutralized. The finish of the cat 3/4 race was also neutralized as a bad crash occurred in the Cat 5 race. Our own Daniel Sommers was involved in that crash and is we’re sorry to hear that he is going to be sidelined for a while. We all wish you a speedy recovery Daniel!
We are thrilled to welcome the Gotham Girls Racing Team to Team Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles for 2012. This will be the first time that Team Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles has fielded a full women’s squad. We are happy to see our team grow in 2012, but we are particularly pleased to be able to support such a strong women’s racing team. As a CRCA sub-team, the team will be a constant presence at races in and around New York City, as well as traveling to larger regional events. We will be sharing their racing exploits right here so stay tuned throughout the season!
January 9, 2012 – Gotham Girls Racing, an amateur all-women cycling team, has joined forces with Signature Cycles and Rockstar Games to form a new women’s racing team in 2012. The team, racing as Rockstar Games/Signature Cycles, as a sub-team of the Century Road Club Association (CRCA), will compete in local club races as well as some of the premier races in the Northeast, including the Harlem Skyscraper Criterium, Tour of the Battenkill, Killington Stage Race, Tour de Millersburg and the Green Mountain Stage Race.