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!
HARLEM SKYSCRAPER CLASSIC – Marcus Garvey Park, NYC
We had a great weekend for racing with very favorable weather and a really nice turnout by our Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles team riders.
The Cat 4 team worked nicely with Stefan getting off the front on a couple occasions, as did Wilson, Mikael, and Peter. Aaron took an early prime, and while Mike N, Robert, and Laurent were all present at the front, we just couldn’t get past a late race crash to crack the top 10! Many of the races on Sunday saw their share of crashes, a couple of which either snagged one of our riders (like Stefan, late in the cat 4 race) or forced us out of the action (like major pile up on last corner which thankfully Mikael missed, but just barely).
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.
There were a lot of events in our area this past weekend … Team Rockstar Games / Signature Cycles had a solid presence at most of them!
Hunter Mountain Road Race
Jeffrey Lesser and Peter Nicolardi lined up for the Cat 5 race. The race consisted of two 39 mile laps with technical descending at speed over 50mph. A stiff tempo on the last big climb shattered what was left of the field. Two riders broke away on the last descent, leaving a group of three – including Jeffrey – to sprint for the remaining places. Jeffery came through in 4th, Peter in 15th.
Luci Olewinski took 3rd in the Women’s Cat 4 field at Hunter Mountain Road race this weekend.
Berkshire Classic – http://berkshirecyclingclassic.com/
Mikael H, Aaron M and Peter N made the trip to Lenox MA for this unbelievable ride. As a UCI worlds qualifier, this was not your Father’s Gran Fondo, but more of a no holds barred open category road race! It was also both most fun I have had on a bike in a long time and one of the most painful rides ever. An 81mi course with 6000ft of climbing that boasted about 350 at the start. The 1st natural selection came at a 4mi hill at mile 18, where I was dropped but caught back on thanks to some strong work by 4 guys from the Rapha team (lead group down to 100). Next selection came at 5mi climb at mile 31, where I lost contact over last 200yds and chased for 3mi with 7 others. Caught back on then puked (lead group now 30). Raced hard until some rollers at mile 70 and got spit out. Finished in 3:42 and 26th overall (4th in my division). Aaron finished in 3:54 (3rd in his division) and Peter in 4:14. Awesome ride and should be on everyone’s calendar for 2013!
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!
Augusta Training Series – Masters Race • Keith Hala 1st
• Joe Straub 3rd
After a rather uneventful start of the race Joe Straub dumped some serious wattage onto the pavement to close down a breakaway that had formed in the last few laps. This set up Keith Hala for some easy sprinting to grab the win. Joe, after all that effort, still managed to hang on to 3rd.
Augusta Training Series – 1,2,3 Race
• Keith Hala 4th
• Joe Straub 7th
• Glenn Babikain 8th Continue reading →
This past weekend was a tad more quiet than last. The big news out of the Bethel Series was a horrible crash in the 3-4 race that ultimately ended in very tragic news, the death of Markus Bohler. Our hearts go out to him and those he leaves behind.
In the other races during the day, Cheryl Wolf took 8th as the only Rockstar Games rider in the women’s race which had about 40 starters. In the Master’s race, Rockstar had two racers in the top 10, with Joe Straub taking 5th, Brian Wolf in 7th. I did not get any results from the Cat 5 or Cat 4 races, but heard we had riders in both events.
With temperatures hitting the 50s and higher already in February, perhaps we are all thinking that winter has forgotten us this year as we begin to eye time in the saddle out on 9W. I have already been up to Piermont or beyond several times this year, and as much as I want to jump on that occasional train of riders flying past me at 28mph, I force myself to resist the urge, remembering that the calendar barely says February.
Sure, competing in the Sunday world championships a la the ‘Rocket Ride’ over in NJ seems like a great idea for these very non-winter like conditions, but there will be plenty of time to do that after you’ve spent some quality time in the saddle accumulating those all important BASE miles.