Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome to Radical Media Cycling



Who We Are

Radical Media Cycling is a New York City-based women’s cycling team composed of ten riders who compete in top amateur and pro-level races in the New York metropolitan area, New England and the mid-Atlantic region. We are professional women in our 20’s, 30’s and 40’s – a literary scout, a goldsmith, an artist, an editor, a scientist, a producer, a casting agent, an interior designer – who love the sport of bike racing and are fiercely committed to it. We race every weekend from March to October, competing in single- and multi-day events, and are dedicated to continuing our rapid trajectory toward becoming a dominant force in local and regional racing while maintaining our commitment to the development of women’s cycling.

A special Thanks to Jon Kamen for being the best sponsor ever! We will make you proud again this year!

Meet the Team

Erica Adelberg
A competitive swimmer in her early years and a competitive runner through college, Erica came to cycling through the multi-sport world. Erica began her second year with the team by upgrading to Cat 3 after a seventh-place finish in the early-season Grant's Tomb criterium. And it only got better from there, with highlights including second place in an open women's field (!) at the Tour of High Bridge, fourth in the Giro del Cielo stage race and sixth at the ur-competitive Chris Thater criterium. Off her bike, Erica uses the quantitative skills acquired as a math major at the University of Chicago to manage a proprietary trading fund for a financial-services firm.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "Sweeping Maggie Shirley's wheel in the final CRCA race of the season as she took the podium, the Team Cup victory and the Jim Boyd Championship for 2008!"

Jaimie Epstein
Unlike most of her teammates, Jaimie had no competitive sports background when she got hooked by bike racing after a stint of recreational (read: social) riding. But she had developed a strong physical jones from years of training as a dancer, a jones more than satisfied by the discipline and intensity that are competitive cycling. Jaimie, one of the team's veterans, likes nothing better than to smack down for the benefit of the team as a whole, but thanks to big life changes she didn't get a chance to do that this past season and had to get her race thrills vicariously through her teammates. Sigh! Jaimie loves to telemark and is a yoga teacher and writer.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "That would be the night before the final Team Cup race, when the emails were fast and furious with last-minute strategizing and team spirit, the excitement was practically burning up my computer screen, and I so so wished I could be on the line with my teammies at dawn the next morning."

Dara Kiese
Dara could never keep up with her big brother. As a reactionary little sister, she not only hated sports, but became a pretentious anti-jock: an aesthete...and a nerdy bike commuter. A mountain bike trip to Moab in 1994 was a revelation for her inner athlete, but it took her until 2007 to find an outlet in her city life via NYCC club rides. After a couple of summers trying to crush unsuspecting opponents on friendly group rides, she's finally made it official and joined the team. She is ever-surprised at the complexity of the sport with its team tactics, rider psychology and the element of chance. And more importantly, is faster than her big brother. Off the bike, Dara lives and breathes the Bauhaus at MoMA and shares her love of cycling with her little boy, Arlo.

Jenny LaPlante
With two unsupported cross-country bike trips to her credit – one East to West, the other West to East – and several mere thousand-milers, it's safe to say that Jenny has more miles in her legs than any of her teammates. In 2005 she decided to take that base to the racing circuit and proved that endurance plus power was a dangerous combination – dangerous to her competitors that is: Jenny can keep going when others flag, like on the fourth day of a four-day stage race, when she literally rides away from the field! Jenny's huge engine is key to the Raddy leadout train, and her dad's incomparable Caesar salad is now key to our training table. Off the bike, Jenny, a University of Chicago grad, uses her huge literary engine to scout for international book publishers and even manages to read manuscripts during race weekends when the rest of us are too zonked out to even watch TV.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "The last Team Cup. The team was so amped up cause we knew we could do it, but it wasn't a sure thing. It was awesome being able to show what we were worth."

Emily Maynard
Emily Maynard is new to racing this year. Radical snatched her up at the CRCA Women's Racing clinic where she placed top three her first time out. She went on to get fourth as a Cat4 at her first road race, Housatonic Hills, and placed third at Union Vale. Emily has dabbled in other little-known sports like Nordic skiing, diving, and ice hockey, but as soon as she sat on a road bike she knew it was something different: "Cycling feels so natural to me, it feels like something I'm supposed to be doing. Running feels like work; cycling feels like play." Emily only started to ride last year as a NYCC member, but she is looking forward to a full racing season in 2010.

Besides her cycling ambitions, Emily is a Ph.D. student in clinical psychology. She will analyze you, but only if you ask nicely and don't hold it against her.

Donna McMahon
Donna McMahon has been a lifelong athlete with an ability to push herself beyond where mere mortals usually care to go. Running was her first sport, and she is proud to have won the Long Island Marathon twice, as well as other races of varying distances. Then she started racing in duathlons and triathlons -- and won several varying in distances from sprints to Half-Ironman. Hmmm, winning seems to be a theme here! Donna has competed in 12 Ironmans, including twice in the Hawaii Ironman World Championships. A professional triathlete from 1999 to 2007, she started bike racing last year, and says, “Nothing I have ever done compares to it, and I am hooked!” Donna is now focusing her tremendous physical talent solely on cycling. She LOVES the intensity of cycling races! “I have learned a tremendous amount and have a long way to go,” she says. “I am having a great season and look forward to the journey ahead!” Donna has a degree in psychology and is USA Cycling Certified Coach, USAT Triathlon Coach, personal trainer, and Core Instructor. She also works part time as a UPS driver. Her heart is in coaching and racing. She looks forward to learning and becoming a seasoned racer.

Fave Race Memory: “The Empire State Games. I learned a lot and won two bronze medals and a gold in the TTT!”

Rachel Lederman-Melendez
Rachel is a latecomer to the sport of cycling. But being athletic has always been part of who she is. Before Rachel started racing a few years ago, she was a runner and triathlete – she placed Top 5 for her age group two years in a row in the NYC Triathlon. Rachel loves racing. As a matter of fact she met her husband as a result of it. But life has taken a new turn for her with the birth of her daughter. She is now a full-time mom, part-time producer, part-time racer. The passion for the sport is still there, but the time to train is precious and challenging to carve out.
Rachel races locally whenever she can and supports the team by managing the blog and cheering loudly. Rachel has set her sights on upgrading to Cat 3 in '09, a goal that has eluded her in the past due to injuries and babies, but this year it will be done!

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "Racing with the team at Lou Maltese and being able to put some hurt on Radical's competition in the field."

Nanci Modica-Perera
One of the team's most talented sprinters and a track racer par excellence, Nanci has been balancing motherhood and racing since the birth of her first child, Frank, in December 2005. Fortunately, she loves racing almost as much as she loves her baby boy and manages to keep herself in shape so she can tear it up for her team in local events, with her husband and baby boy cheering from the sidelines. Nanci is proof that it's hard to keep a devoted cyclist and team player down. Nanci continues to be devoted to building the sport by finding ways to support new and young riders. A master goldsmith by vocation, Nanci makes customized accessories for designers like Ralph Lauren as well as one-of-a-kind pieces for private clients and gallery boutiques from St. Bart's to Las Vegas.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "Although I didn't make it to the finish line myself, watching my team win the season finale on our home turf was just beyond."

Cecelia Pleva
After Cecelia won one of her very first races, the Lou Maltese Memorial in 2006, we knew we had to scoop her up fast – and did. A week after she joined the team, we were off to the Owasco Stage Race in the Finger Lakes, and Cecelia, clueless but gung-ho, insisted on coming along. We warned her that stage-racing was a lot for a novice to take on, to just keep her expectations low and learn as much as she could. Well, she taught all of us a thing or two. This girl is indefatigable. She chases finish lines the way a rabbit chases a carrot. And that would be one fast rabbit: rumor has
it that Cecelia was a 5.5-minute miler in marathons and had an athletic scholarship in college. In the 2007 season Cecelia tackled the Altoona stage race in the pro field, a weeklong race with 100-mile days, and even that couldn't wear out her battery, but it did earn her lots of road cred and an upgrade to a Cat. 2. Cecelia's most recent day job was casting director on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" and she moonlights as an amateur pie critic. Just call her Piehole.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "After a freak fall during cross training last year that left me needing surgery to repair my ankle, I was just thrilled to be able to race at all – every race was my favorite moment!"

Ashley Prine
Ashley claims to have never been especially athletic, never involved in competitive sports, but we're not buying it. Not the way she rides. Away from the rest of us up hills. Always holding her own near the front of the pack, regardless of the race. Despite having a husband who races, she hadn't really trained when she came in second in the women's racing clinic in Central Park in '07. She soon discovered the exhilaration that comes from being pushed beyond your limits and took to racing like, um, a fish to water. This season, Ashley got herself a proper coach and pushed even harder, which resulted in her upgrade to Cat 2. Ashley is really excited that Radical has such a strong Cat 2 posse now and all the possibilities that holds for next year. Ashley is a painter and works as a senior designer at Sterling Publishing to keep herself supplied with tires and canvas.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "It would have to be Hilltowns. We had been climbing for just about five miles when I finally turned around to see who was behind us and couldn't see another girl in sight – there were just three of us left at the top and we never saw the pack for the rest of the race!"

Maria Quiroga
Maria never knew she was a masochist until she started bike racing in June 2006. She prefers longer races with climbs and for some reason actually enjoys uphill time trials – well, we said she's a masochist. Maria was a competitive swimmer, soccer player, figure skater and skier as a child but had been sports-free for 20 years until she discovered cycling. All that competitive juice must have still been coursing through her veins, though, because she had a whopping 20 Top 10 finishes her first season and has eyes (and legs) on a Cat 1 upgrade next year. When Maria is off the bike she can usually be found holding a camera of some sort (she just finished shooting her second documentary) or editing videos.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "I guess it would have to be Battenkill. I got dropped in that race last year and knew I had to challenge myself by doing it again. I trained hard and really gave it everything I had, but I really didn't expect to win!"

Maggie Shirley
Three words: Pro on board! Maggie Shirley started racing as a collegiate in 1999 and spent three seasons with Scuba Genesis, culminating in the year the pro team was ranked first in the nation. Maggie hails from the deep, deep South, where she learned two things: 1) when kicking a man's patootsky, do it with a smile and he might not notice, and 2) women are the eclectic foundation of the world. She is looking forward to her second season with Radical Media in "Yankee land," as she puts it, and spreading her doctrine. It also happens to be where she is attending med school, which she says is fun but hurts more than cycling! She's graduating this spring, so then we'll have a doctor on board.

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "When it all came together in the CRCA season finale. We worked so hard this year to race as a team, and the tactics were executed flawlessly, without a word being spoken. It was awesome!!!"


Evelyn Stevens
Evie is the kind of racer you'd love to hate if you could, but you can't, because while she is certainly a phenomenon she doesn't hold that against herself, probably because she doesn't believe it. Yes, once every few years a woman like Evie cluelessly plunks herself down on the start line, having just bought herself a bike and racked up a teensy bit of spring mileage, and by the end of the season she's a Cat 2. Spectators could get whiplash watching her upgrade so quickly, and it's been great fun for the team as well. We doubt the tennis she played at Dartmouth helped, but maybe being related to a cyclist (her sister rides) means there are cycling genes in the family. Whatever. We can't wait to see what the '09 season holds in store for Evie, or, rather, what Evie has in store for '09, and are hoping her day job at a Mezzanine fund doesn't mess with her training!

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "The last climb in Stage 3 at Green Mountain. It was exhilarating to race that hard and get a win. But it was also great getting in a break with Ashley at Hilltowns – it made me want to be on Radical!"

Kimille Taylor
Kimille's competitive spirit – she's a former equestrian and hurdler – is more than satisfied by bike racing, as anyone who has ever gone head-to-head with her in a sprint can attest. Kimille has quite a list of victories to her credit, including being a three-time winner of the Lou Maltese Memorial (once as a 4, twice as a 3) and wearing the green jersey on two occasions in two of the most prestigious amateur races on the East Coast: the Fitchburg-Longsjo Classic in Massachusetts and the Green Mountain Stage Race in Vermont. Kimille's goals for next year include upgrading to Cat 2 and having a little Raddy (i.e., baby), but she can't decide which to do first – decisions, decisions. Off the bike, Kimille loves, loves, loves being an interior designer. As she has famously said, "What could be better than getting paid to shop?"

Fave 2008 Race Moment? "The excitement and anticipation during the few minutes before the last Team Cup race, when we were really connected and united by our common goal and were finalizing our responsibilities and tactics. Of course, watching it all unfold and come to fruition was sublime. Makes my stomach tingle just thinking about that morning!"

Friday, September 18, 2009

GMSR Stage Race Sept. 4-7 , 2009 Dara Gets Yellow in the 3/4 Field

3 years before I started racing, I heard about the GMSR. I would check it out online, I rode some of the roads, I would hear reports from friends….it was one of the main reasons for me to take up racing. Sentimental, I know…but being there was a dream come true.

Stage 1
The TT was hard. What can I say about a TT? 5.7 miles. Hilly. Headwind. Heart rate. Go. The hardest part was after the crest of the final climb because there was still so, so far to go! After feeling sluggish on the flats because of the headwind, I was surprised to get second place, right behind my teammate Donna McMahon and within seconds of my other teammate in the 3/4 field, Erica . We were fortunate to start the rest of the race with an advantage—something I wouldn’t fully appreciate until later.

Stage 2
There were no surprises in the circuit race—30 miles and only one major climb. The group stayed together until the end, with a point sprint and QOM climb shaking up the pace a bit
As a team, we went into the race with the goal of getting Erica a placing bonus, but the strong headwind foiled our well-intentioned lead-out plans. We finished with the pack, with Donna maintaining her lead in the GC. I was passed by 2 riders and bumped down to 4th and Erica was in 7th place. It wasn’t until reading the results that I began to understand how critical every second was.

Stage 3
The road race seemed like the day that would determine the whole thing. 75 miles, some long climbs, and a very tough finish at the top of a steep Ap Gap. Going in with all three Raddies in the top 10, we hoped to be in any breaks and hoped that we had our climbing legs. The race started at an easy pace in anticipation of the first climb at around mile 20—Brandon Gap. We had a small group of 8-10 riders for the descent and fully expected to keep a break, but we were neutralized for several minutes because of a terrible crash in an earlier race which brought the whole field back. It seemed that the race was coming down to Ap Gap, the steepest, 3 mile-climb. Starting at Baby Gap (the 2.5 mile climb prelude), I sat on Fabienne’s wheel near the back of the pack and was patient. I had confidence in her ability to get to top of the mountain fast (she was QOM after all). Steady as can be, she slowly increased her pace as others dropped off the back. Donna was already out ahead at the 500 meter mark (wow is she STRONG. she won by 22 seconds), when Laura picked it up forcing us to work harder. I had wanted to pass Fabienne close to the finish, but she was too fast for me, pulling away before the line. I felt content with 3rd place, glad that I hadn’t made any mistakes and had done my best.

Stage 4

The criterium in Burlington turned out to be a total surprise. As a team, we thought that we were in a great position to have at least one rider on the podium. I had thought that Donna was unbeatable with her huge 38 second lead. I was very nervous about losing my 2nd place, with Fabienne and other good sprinters just a point sprint away from overtaking me. With a neutral start, I was taken aback when two riders shot to the front (Genevieve Bourgeois, Eva Devinci and Anne-Marie Morin, Garneau Club Chaussures)—in retrospect, it was nice of them to give us a warning that they were planning to go right off the bat. When the car pulled away, so did they and I made sure that I was with them. I didn’t think that a break could stick for the whole race and waited for the field to catch up—and my fellow riders expressed their annoyance with me. I went for all the sprints and after 20 laps finally knew that I had secured 2nd place because of the sprint time bonuses. It didn’t cross my mind that I could win the GC until the announcer talked about how smart my tactics were. Huh? I had no idea what to do! I wondered if I should slow down so that Donna could catch up, but clearly my teammates on the sidelines didn’t think so—I didn’t know where Donna and Erica were or how well they were riding that day and a field sprint at the end seemed risky. My cornering started to improve during the race, but still hurt me for the final sprint. I was over-confident that I had time to pass them after the last turn, but couldn’t do it—regardless, the two other riders had worked hard and deserved the win, and I won the yellow jersey. CRCA riders brought so much to this race—great competition, smart racing, and a reassurance that we were looking out for each other in the pack. Good fun. I can’t wait until next year.



Bear Mountain Road Race 9/13/09 Erica Tames the Bear

Due to some last minute changes, both the women's 1/2/3 fields and the women's 3/4 fields were to be run together and would only be 3 laps, but scored and awarded separately. The field(s) stayed pretty much together on the first series of climbs.

The psychological damage of yesterday's crash was MUCH worse than the physical. I tried to stay as far away from every other rider as possible.  I made it to the top of the climb with the lead group. Despite thoughts of abandoning the race anyway due to my panic, I decided to give the race another lap.

We'd dropped a number of riders already heading into the second lap, but got neutralized for quite a while as we waited for the Men's 5s to pass. We started downhill #2 as a big group again. The pace going up Tiorati was much more controlled, so most of us stayed together.

The 3rd time down the Lake Welch Hill was crowded yet again. Beth Miller came around the corner at or near the front, and hit it really hard going back up the hill. We were instantly strung out, with Dara up the road, Donna a little ahead, and Ashley and I about 10-12 riders back but with a lot of road to cover to cross the gap. Ashley kept a really hard pace going up the hill, and I stayed on her wheel as much as I could. I took solace in the fact that I would have a few seconds to recover before we made the final push up to the front group.

But the solace would not come. Kristen pushed the pace hard in that last hill just after the bridge, and I got gapped. The only riders near me from my field were Annelise Haines from NY Velocity and Nancy Ford from USI, the rest had been gapped. The 2 riders went around me as I tried to catch one of their wheels, but didn't quite make it. I figured we'd just consolidate on 7 lakes drive and paceline in together, since they didn't look like they were going to be able to regain the front group either. But somehow Annelise did. I give her a lot of credit. Nancy and I however came around the turnaround together and despite working together, we were not able to catch them again. But at least we were able to stay ahead of all the rest of the cat 3/4 field.

Going into the final climb to the finish Nancy was in front. Contrary to my usual approach of leading out my competitors, I got on her wheel and just stayed there. If she outsprinted me, so be it, but I wasn't going to make it easy for her. With about 100 meters to go I opened it up and sprinted as hard as I could (for an uphill finish anyway) and crossed the line 1st.

I thought this gave me 2nd place in my field overall, but it turned out that they have given the wrong number to an upstart cat 4 unattached triathlete, who had been up the road all along. I placed 3rd. I was thrilled to finally get a podium spot in a road race.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

GMSR Stage Race Report from the Pro-1-2-3 Feild. Another Great Race

Ashley's Race Report

Day 1: TT Friday
I rode the TT perfectly, having learned from my trial run on Thursday.  I figured out what worked and what didn’t. I figured I finished mid pack and I did finishing 15th. Not to worry as I usually feel better with every day- Sunday is what counts!

Day 2: Circuit Race Saturday
We were back on the old circuit race course after a change last year. On this course the race usually stays together- my goal was to finish in the front with the same time- Maria wanted to try for some sprints and the finish. On the climb I was super happy- I had my climbing legs back! I could dig in and find myself easily at the front with no signs of dying or holding on by a thread. Over the climb there would be a selection ( I made the selections) but by the end of the downhill we were back together and girls slowed way down until the sprint. Coming into the finish Maria got on my wheel letting me know she was there- the road opened up on the left for the last km- we were on the right I thought we would have some space but the right side got jammed up Maria then jumped off my wheel to sprint finishing 10th- that jam up didn't help! But we finished with the same time.

Day 3: Road Race Sunday
The RR was going to be 75 miles this year going over Brandon Gap- just like last year. Brandon gap is a steady stepped climb but it can be made hard with the right effort- and chasing after a world class pro moutain. biker from VT was hard!! I managed to stay with the front group-
3 of us started to come off the back of the front group over the top of the
climb- I was seeing stars but was close enough to tack on to the back for the selection- fantastic! But unfortunately we all got stopped on the decent because of a bad crash for about 10 minutes
Our race was all together now and we were just taking it easy up the valley when we got a warning that were going to be passed by the 3/4s in 2 min. We all decided that was not going to happen and we pace lined- (all 30 of us!!!!) for the next 20 miles- so much fun- and beautiful!
The race got spicy on the second KOM ( the kicker of a hill just before the dirt road section) I popped from the front group- and had to chase hard down the dirt road with 3 riders. We kept out efforts up- more girls tacked onto the chase group- we didn't give up- and caught the front by the top of baby gap! Yeah!!!!! Then at Ap gap.... we were all strung out again. I ended up finishing 10th. I felt good all day- so I was happy and looking forward to next year already.

Day 4: CRIT Monday
I was in 11th overall according to the posted results- sad I was not going to get a call up- but then they announced "from Brooklyn NY in 10th place!”
That was a good start to a very hard crit. The race was totally strung out for the first 15 laps. I kept getting gapped off by girls which meant I had to jump around to close a gap. A gap in that race can turn into a break in no time! We had one good attack from Silke that took 3 up the road- but we chased them down and the race came back together again- I maintained my position pretty well in the top 10 during the race- the pace was high for the whole race.
I was happy, I got 10th for the race.

GMSR Stage Race Sept. 4-7 , 2009 Raddies Do it Again!


Donna's 3/4 Report

Friday: Stage 1: Prologue
I was looking forward to the Prologue but I was uncertain how the knee and elbow would feel due to the recent crash. Glad the discomfort was not bad. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I got 1st and was so psyched that we all did so well and got 1st, 2nd, and 6th!

Saturday: Stage 2 Circuit Race:
The race was not as hilly as I expected but it was a good course..... I was a bit nervous in the pack because of the recent crash and did spend a little more time than ideal on the front. I tried not to push hard when at the front most of the time but there was some wind. I knew if I finished with the pack, we'd maintain the yellow Jersey. The woman who won that race got a 15 second time bonus and ended up being only 2 seconds behind me in the GC after this Stage!!!! This made me a bit nervous because she looked like a good climber. I was so happy to have the Yellow Jersey again but nervous about the hilly 75 miler for Stage 3!

Sunday: Road Race Stage 3
After the first QOM point, there was a small breakaway but it quickly came back together when the whole field was stopped for minutes due to a crash in one of the fields that started earlier than our field. The pace most of the time was pretty comfortable. With about 3K to go, I pushed the pace a little to try to get some distance! When I saw the '500 meters to go' sign, I was so happy...I knew I won and was almost there!....and then it got REALLY STEEP! At the end of the race I could hardly breathe....it was GREAT!
Dara got 3rd in the race and was 2nd in the GC again!!!!!

Monday: Criterium Stage 4
The last day of racing was the Criterium. I have only done a few. I figured as along as I stayed with the pack, I am safe and will maintain the Yellow Jersey! At the start of the Crit, we were told we would be neutralized for the first 1/2 lap; The pack did start hard right at the start; I didn't click in correctly (totally my fault) and was already in about 20th place before the first turn....I still thought as long as I stayed with the field, I'd be fine....but there was a breakaway of 4 from the start that I didn't even see. I learned about it from the announcer. At first I was thinking "OMG, I can't lose this for the Team"....but then I heard from the announcer there were no GC threats in that breakaway other than Dara. I was relieved that I knew we had secured 1st and 2nd because the woman who was third in the overall GC was with my pack.

I am so happy that we got 1st, 2nd, and 6th overall and that Radical Media was the only team the whole race with the Yellow Jersey! It was amazing to wear it for three days! Dara and Erica raced outstanding races and we rocked the field!!!!! Go Raddies!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evie Stevens Dominates in France

Click on the link to read all about the phenom Evie Stevens and her bright bright future.

Capital Region Road Race Aug 16, 2009 Ashley Prine Takes the Heat

Maria, Erica and I were there to represent Radical for a very hot day of road racing in Albany!

Although this race destroys me every year- I love it! It is a very difficult course that on paper does not seem that it should be so difficult. The course was 43 miles 2 laps-

The first hard climb comes quickly in the start of the first lap- I think around mile 4- Silke hit this climb hard- there were girls falling off left and right. The strongest players stayed with the front group- I at this point know I should be in the front group and am really struggling to stay on- after the first climb there were about 15 of us- but on the next roller Silke hit it hard again and I with 3 other girls came unglued- but I knew there was a long descent and I was going to get back on- luckily Erica was still with the front group-

We reattached ourselves never getting too far away from the front group- only to hit the wall of a climb that broke up the pack. Silke and Audrey got off in a 2-person break- Beth Miller was just behind (and did catch up to make a 3 person lead group) Fabienne was caught in no-persons land for a while- with our chase of 5 picking her up to be a chase of 6.

Our chase group worked together well- but man it was so hot- I kept having chills- thinking what is wrong with me- then Erica reminded me (thankfully) that we were all feeling like crap because of the heat and humidity- so I was not alone- but after shoving in 4 Shotblocks at once and downing half a bottle I started to feel better-

Our chase group stuck together through the second lap- Erica and I had a brief discussion about what to do- - we decided on a leadout situation- but in retrospect my first thought was to attack and counter in the last 2 miles- and think that we should have done that- Fabienne was sitting on the back of the group not working in the last miles - we should have broken the group up a bit- next time... our lead out did not end up working Erica told me to go for the sprint- I did the best I could- getting 7th; Erica 9th- ( I thought I had 6th@ ! but in the end I had 7th) Maria finished strong in the group just behind us- @ 14th-

Truth be told we were all seeing stars at the end of this race- we learned some lessons- but man it was tough-

Central Park August 8, 2009 3/4 Club Race Dara Keise and the Radical Women Kick Some A**!

We had a couple of goals in mind: attack/counter-attack to wear down the field and have a good lead-out to the finish. And this time, we did it!

Donna and Erica kept the pace high with their attacks. As the designated sprinter for the day, my goal was to slow the field and give them a chance to get away. I did my best to sit on chasers' wheels to let them bring me back to the front. I attacked a few times and once I got a good gap. I couldn't sustain the pace for very long so I slowed down to let the field pull me along again. With 2 laps to go, Erica and I broke away on the West Side thinking that with two of us, we might have a chance. Deb Killman thought so too and bridged up to us.

With the field narrowing the gap, I convinced Erica to give up... I mean to spare our energy. Donna was on the front controlling the pace for a lot of the race. On the last lap, she ratcheted it up on the East Side. Deb was on her wheel, with Erica and me following--a perfect set-up for the sprint.

As the field started to box her in on the flat section of Harlem hill, Deb took off, taking Erica and me with her. Finding ourselves alone at the top, Erica led us out with a kick-ass pace. Deb pulled off for the sprint. I should have stayed on Deb's wheel for a little longer, but overestimated the distance to the line. With proper gearing in place, I still managed to nudge past her for the win.

Thanks to some amazing teamwork, Raddies got 1st, 3rd and 4th place and gave the field a very challenging race to boot.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Evelyn Stevens, America's Next Great Female Athlete

Radical Media's own Evelyn Stevens got an amazing write up in The Wall Street Journal on August 7th, 2009!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Evie Second in Nats TT – Evie Captures Second Consecutive NRC GC Title

Click on the link to read all about our own Evie Stevens racing Nationals! Go Evie!!

VELO NEWS- Catching up with Rising Star Evelyn Stevens

Click on the link to read all about Radical Media's Evie Stevens in Velo News!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tour of the Hilltowns July 26, 2009 Dara Gets a Beautiful 2nd Place Finish

Tour of the Hilltowns 7/26/09 Dara Does it Again in the 3/4 Feild!


Hot day for a race. Lots of healthy, strong women at the starting line. And a boy standing next to me was saying things like "don't fall!" and "don't kill yourselves." The race starts with a very long descent---20 miles or so of easy riding on flats and down hill. Anyway, the race really started at about mile 20 when the climbing began. A woman tried to get away right from the get-go and broke up the field immediately. A few of us caught her and stuck to her wheel for a few miles as riders dropped one by one.

At some point, I was sitting on the wheel of #3 (she would come in 3rd), who was sitting on # 1's wheel. And this is where I lost the race--I understand now what people mean when they say to focus. I was staring at the hub in front of me...that's what I do on those long climbs...finally I looked up to see #1 20 meters ahead. I picked it up to catch her, but without going all out--there was still plenty of time with this never-ending climb...I thought. Rider #3 and I talked about it and didn't think it would be possible for her to stay away for 32 miles on her own. Now I know that I should have red-lined it to try to catch her (it may have been impossible anyway.)

After the major climbing was finished, there was a long stretch of false flats and rollers all along the top of the ridge. The winner was kicking it while the two of us took turns trying to catch her. We worked pretty hard and couldn't do it. We also lost time on turns--#1 seemed to know the course well.

Soon after 2 riders (Nancy and Annaliese) caught us, we lost sight of her. The four of us had a choppy rotating pace line for 25-30 miles. It hadn't taken long for us to give up our chase completely and then it felt more like a group ride than a race, although without really settling into a good rhythm. Finally, the climb we'd all been waiting for.

With about 6 miles (uphill) to go, #3 subtly picked up the pace. I stuck to her wheel and the others dropped back. She goaded me to take a turn on the front, but I didn't see the point. We were going for 2nd and 3rd, so there really wasn't a rush. I told her that she was welcome to slow down and sit on my wheel, but she didn't.

After the hairpin turn 200 meters before the finish, she stood up to pick up the pace before the all-out sprint. I stuck to her wheel...stood up...sat back down to change gears and get into a better sprint position, and then went for it. I beat her and placed a respectable 2nd.

Great course. Interesting experience for me to figure out dynamics of riding in a break with my competitors. And I won't underestimate a rider's ability to stay off the front alone again.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Central Park July 25 2009 Erica Gets Top 3

Field was a little smaller than usual, only 5 or 6 riders from Comedy, instead of their typical 10, along with a comparable number from Metro (which has merged with 3rd Nature by the way) and Teany, plus a few others. Since I was representing solo from Radical, my plan was to be primarily defensive versus what I figured was going to be numerous attacks from Comedy, and to let other teams do most of the work unless I felt like something was really going to stick, which meant really only being concerned about attacks with Sarah or Alejandra in them.

Race started off surprisingly strongly for a six-lapper, wth Gabby (from Metro now) setting the pace. I found myself a little further back than I usually like to ride, but I tried not to worry to much about it too much since it wasn't a huge field and it gave me the ability to keep a closer eye on Alejandra and kept my urge to chase everything down in check. There were a few attacks in the first lap and a half that were fairly quickly covered by the field. Alejandra tried to get into position to get away a couple of times, but found me on her wheel each time and cut her effort short. Then Comedy began a string of attacks and counter attacks. Towards the end of the second lap, Sarah got a decent gap on the field . The field started playing a bit of cat and mouse, trying to get someone else to do the work to bridge. Alejandra took advantage of this going up to Cat's Paw to try to bridge up to her teammate, but I stuck to her like glue in order to get a free ride up. She realized this about half way up the hill and sat up in an effort to gap me off but I just went right around and was able to get to Sarah with a decent gap on the field.

Alejandra finished bridging up shortly thereafter and told us that we still had a good gap and that we should work together to cement it. I wanted the succeed of course but was a little wary of doing to much of the work because with a 2 on 1 situation I figured they'd just try to work me over until my legs fell off. Also every time in the past that I've bridged up to Alejandra she'd sat up as soon as I got there, so I was a little wary of being in a break with her in the first place. But when I saw that she was in fact pulling through for a change, I let down my guard and did a couple of turns at the front as well. After all four laps is a long time to try to stay away if the field is motivated. As soon as we hit the west side however, my fears were validated, as Alejandra attacked from behind me while Sarah tried to gap me off. I was able to bridge back up, just in time for Sarah to attack, but got on her wheel as she went by. This sequence went on for another 3/4 of a lap, at which point Alejandra started yelling at me for not pulling through, which I thought was rather cheeky since she was the one who started attacking me. I replied that I couldn't pull through because she would just attack again, and she and Sarah claimed that they were only attacking me because I wasn't pulling through. Yeah, right. So anyway, we reached a truce of sorts for the next couple of laps, buy oh boy what a pace Alejandra was setting, I felt like I was being worked over almost as when they were attacking me. Sarah seemed to be feeling it as well though, which is probably why I was able to hang in there as long as I was.

Going up Harlem Hill the sixth time, Alejandra attacked hard. I knew it was probably going to happen, but I just didn't have the legs left to go with her. Once she realized she has a little gap at the top, she really hit it. By the time we go to 86th St., she was pretty much gone, but Sarah still refused to do anything but sit on my wheel. I started half-joking about how much of a shame it would be if the field caught us again with only a half lap to go, so Sarah generously offered to keep an eye out for them in back of us and pull through if she saw them. Thanks a million. So basically I gave Sarah a 3/4 of a lap leadout for the sprint. Needless to say, I didn't have much left in the tank at the end and it was all I could do to roll in for 3rd, but I was still pleased to have made it into the first Central Park break of my racing career and to have held on as long as I did to the 15.5 minute lap pace that we were hitting.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Giro del Cielo July 18 & 19, 2009- Dara Kiese On the Podium Again

Giro del Cielo Saturday, July 18, 2009 - Sunday, July 19, 2009 Dara Loves the Podium!

Time Trial

The TT was a gradual, uphill course through the woods. After going back and forth, I decided not to use clip-on aero bars because I’ve never used them before and because I didn’t think that they would help much with the hills. I made it to the start line with 3 minutes to spare—feeling ridiculous in my skin suit and with a lens missing from my glasses— 3 minutes to stand in line in front of Deb Killman thinking about her passing me during the TT. I couldn’t clip in and tried not to panic for the 20 seconds or so into the ride pausing to clip…no…pause…click… .No…pedal…click… whew.

Evie’s advice was to go all out from the get-go. I had had a good warm up on my trainer and went. I saw Corinne ahead and looked back to see Deb about the same distance behind me. The course was more gradual than I expected. I followed Ashley’s advice to take advantage of my ability to hammer on the flats while other people rested. I kept thinking that Deb was clicking her gears behind me, but didn’t look back. I realized that it didn’t matter where she was…all I could do was my own race. I seemed to settle into a sustainable level of effort and kept going—mashing on the pedals at about 70 rpms—too low! Eventually, I passed Corinne (whew…she’s fast) and while she could chat with me, I could only shrug or bark incomprehensible responses. I started getting tired and looked down to see that there was only .6 miles left…I kept it going…stood up near the end…and wheezed on top feeling good about my ride.

Criterium

The crit was just a few hours after the TT…not enough time to bask in the glory of a win, in my opinion. I didn’t really think out a plan or anticipate how it would play out. It seemed simple…try to get away with Deb and Peta. I planned to try for the prime points at lap 18 (out of 30) and didn’t care too much about the swag primes. Someone in the Cat 4 race crashed on the final lap minutes before we started and it freaked me out a bit about getting squeezed at the corners. The field was pretty small—19, I think. Betty attacked over and over and some others tried to attack and I was able to be there every time. Unfortunately, no breaks stuck…they just spread out the field until we all slowed down. I didn’t pay attention to the lap counter and missed the points prime completely (one lesson learned). I sat on Peta’s wheel thinking that I was saving my energy while they were all working so hard. Deb won it, got 8 points and was now leading in the GC. At the final lap, I thought that someone was attacking and I went for it. Deb was with me for a little while and then I think that she slowed down. I’m not sure what happened. I considered my options to slow down and do the mass sprint or to keep going and hope for the best. I was really tired by the halfway point, but the sprinters waited until after the final corner to start passing me.

Road race (6 times around a 5.5 mile circuit)

I went into this race with a bad attitude wondering which strategies I was clueless about, but should inherently know. I wanted to win, but thought it unlikely. Then I realized that all I needed to do was get 3rd to maintain my 3rd in the GC. Seemed possible. Or even better…beat the #2 and get second. The only way to get 1st overall was to win with Deb flatting. I rode a warm up lap alone. The roads were pretty, the terrain rolling…it was just the sort of riding I like. At the start of the race, Alaina (#3) was pushing the pace and trying to convince Deb to go—within the first 2 miles. Deb didn’t go for it and we all followed Alaina…happy to tire her out.

The race really came down to one section of rollers—where people pushed the pace—and the climb before the finish, and the sprint. The rest of the time, we rode as slowly as possible. There was no reason for the 3 of us to shake it up and everyone else grumbled but didn’t spice it up too much.

The second lap was a points prime and Deb advised me to go around the final corner at the front. Another climber attacked, Deb and I got on and we went hard until the line. I was on Deb’s wheel until I realized…hey! I can go faster than this! I went around and Peta went around on the other side. Peta and I crossed the line at almost exactly the same time, but apparently I was a few inches ahead. Most importantly, Deb and Alaina didn’t get points. The rest of the race seemed uneventful….a few short attacks, but I was able to be there.

At the final lap, I looked around and realized that I had been pushed to the back…I squeezed between riders and a mailbox and got better positioning. I’m finally learning how to vie for positioning early for the finish. Alaina and I traded off on Deb’s wheel. Edie attacked and Deb and I got on her wheel to stay near the front. We rounded the final corner and I found myself in the midst of the pack again. Riders started attacking on the steep climb and I stayed in the mix. I think that there was a pause in the intensity for a few seconds…then people starting sprinting…I started sprinting…we got close and I kept going until I passed everyone for the line! The slight uphill in the sprint was an advantage to me because I’m more power-horse than agile spinner.

I came in 2nd overall, losing by 4 points to Deb who raced consistently strong and smart throughout.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Union Vale July 12, 2009 Dara Kiese wins Cat 4 Race!

Union Vale, July 12, 2009 Dara Has the Race of Her Life

I had one goal in this race: to win. I didn't care about trying out strategies; spicing it up, the scenery...I wanted a straightforward, un-dramatic win. But it turned out to be little more complicated- -after all, it wasn't a solo ride.

We got going at a comfortable pace and I was pretty good at letting everyone else do the work. I thought that the real race would be on the long climb at the finish and for the first few miles, it seemed like they all had the same idea. Then we were on a gradual, steady climb--with Emily at the front and me on her wheel--when she started picking up the pace ever so slightly. I thought that I was giving her guidance when I said.... you don't need to pick it up so much take it easy.... Well, despite my pleas, she decided to go at about 5 miles in--I commend her for it now, but at the time I let out a little: "nooooo!"

I was so shocked at her chutzpah that when others started to talk about catching her, it didn't even occur to me that I should slow everyone down because she's my teammate. I didn't budge because I thought that there was no chance that she could sustain a break for 25 miles and still have something left for the final climb. It took me a moment to realize that my stubbornness was helping her--hooray! The others started to chase and I stayed with them without ever going to the front. It took them a little while to organize their pace line around me; I just hung out and didn't let them leave me behind. I spent the time wondering what the riding etiquette would be in that situation. While I was thinking etiquette, Emily was adding life to the race, tiring out our competitors and thinning out the front group! Nice job, Emily! (And a podium finish, to boot)

Anyway, after we caught her, Carolyn Gaynor and a rider from Kissena spiced it up with some attacks. I picked up the pace a couple of times, but generally just stayed near, but not on the front. My front tire went flat at mile 21 and I was gutted. I was totally rude to the nice wheel van man. When I complained to him that I had wanted to win this race, he said: maybe you still can if you hurry up. If he hadn't said that, it wouldn't have occurred to me to give it a try.

I caught a nyvelocity rider and we took turns pulling with my HR higher than I thought I could sustain for 5 miles. I couldn't believe it when we reached the pack, and still never imagined that I might actually have a shot at winning. I didn't think that I had anything left but tried to catch my breath during the mile before the final climb. Carolyn and the Kissena rider got away about a half-mile before the hill. I didn't do too much to chase them, but got worried when we reached the start of the climb and they were at least 50 meters ahead. We slowly closed the gap, dropping the other riders along the way. Finally, Lindsey and I passed them at a steady pace until I saw a sign that I mistook for the finish. I stood up and left Lindsey to cross what turned out to be only the 200-meter mark. OOF. I looked back and knew that I had it, but stood up again for the finish because it seemed like the right thing to do.

Finally, I had my first win. The first win of any real race in my life.

Union Vale July 12, 2009 Emily Maynard Places Top 3 in the Cat 4 race!


Union Vale, NJ July 12, 2009 Emily Maynard another natural joins Radical Media for a top 3 place.

My goal for the race was just to feel more comfortable in a pack and to try to anticipate breaks. It was comforting to be riding with Dara and to hear her advice from time to time, or to just see her nod at me when we were near each other.

We were on a long uphill on the first lap, nearing the top but still with the crest to go, and I decided to have some fun with it and attack. To my surprise, my attack stuck! And I just kept pushing it and pushing it and kept the break for a few miles. I knew that it was a foolish move because it was so early in the race and there was no way that I could sustain it (much as I'd to incarnate Evie), but I also felt like "What the heck! I'm only a beginner once!'" :) I can make all the silly mistakes I want to now and figure out things in the meanwhile. Besides, when else am I going to get the chance to feel what a break is like? It gave me some satisfaction that it took the group a while to catch up with me, and at least I shook up the race a bit! I think that the group broke into two at this point but I'm not sure...

So after that I just hung back and avoided pulling or doing any effort. There were a few short breaks from time to time but nothing that the front group couldn't pull back. The big event of the middle of the race was Dara's flat at mile 21 (of 30); Colleen told her she could use her wheels but Dara disappeared for about 5 miles and then all of a sudden she was there again, before the build-up to the end.

During the last half of the race, everyone seemed to be holding herself back in order to have enough energy left for the big hill. About a mile or so before the final hill Caroline from Proasshit and a Kissena woman broke away from the front group and we let them go; no one wanted to sprint to catch them so close to the end. At the beginning of the hill I was sure to position myself in front because I didn't want to have to wind my way around people falling back. I took the hill really steadily and was in 4th for most of it; Dara, Lindsay from Velocity, and Caroline were ahead for most of the way. I knew that Dara and Lindsay were too far for me to catch them but Caroline started to drop back and I pulled up behind her and passed her at about 300M. My father-in-law was right there and he kept yelling at me so I started to get out of my seat at 200M and had a bit of a sprint finish (it probably didn't look like that, but it sure felt that way!). I was sure that Caroline was going to catch me at the last minute but I stayed ahead of her and took 3rd!

Union Vale July 12, 2009 Donna McMahon Races for Radical


Union Vale NJ 1,2,3 race report by our new rider Donna McMahon

The race was amazing. Maria spent a lot of time either in the front setting the pace or blocking the wind for Ashley or me. She was riding really strong! Ashley was riding the hills looking strong and helped me out as well and offered advice throughout the race. Thank you both!

After one of the long downhills, Ashley and about 5 others broke away. The women in my group tried to pace line back and when it was my turn to pull, I didn't pull hard or long so that I could try to keep the group from catching Ashley's group. But Ann Marie Miller is so strong and she was the main one who pulled the group back to the breakaway.

As the up hill finish approached, Beth Miller, Yvette, and Ann Marie went ahead a little. As I was riding up this hill I realized I started getting a little closer to Ann Marie and Yvette and then passed them. As soon as I did that, Ann Marie surged passed me and this went back and forth a couple of times! I ended up burning my last matches :-( by doing this and they got a little lead on me. With about 300 meters to go, Kristen passed me. I gave whatever I had left at the end to make sure I kept 5th place. That was a great race. Hard course and I loved every second even when the pain was so intense!!!! But that's why we do this! :-)

I learned that I should've been a little more patient/consistent on that last up hill and I believe I would've had more left at the end.

Radical Media rocked at Union Vale!

Union Vale July 12, 2009 Ashley Prine Rides Again in Cat 1,2,3

Union Vale, NJ July 12, 2009

I had not done the is race in 2 years and was excited to see if my memory was correct of the course- mostly rolling with some hills that could be made to be hard- but with a pesky downhill that make breaks hard to stick… memory correct!

Maria set pace for the race on the first 2 laps and put in a few attacks working her butt off for Donna and I. The first 2 laps were nice and steady with the start of the end of the second lap getting a bit spicy with an escapee Anthem girl on the downhill and a nice attack by Maria at the start of the third- here we go!

My legs were feeling loose after a very stiff first lap, but I was breathing great and climbing pretty well- Anna M. attacked at the top of the feed zone climb to string us out a bit popping some girls off the back- then soon after in flat section Donna put in an attack and I countered- Audrey came after me pulled around and we then had a counter from Anthem- so fun fun!

So Anthem kept it spicy all the way to the fast down hill when 5 of us got a break on the downhill. It was a good one: Anna M, Beth Miller, Audrey, Yvette and I- we were missing just one person….. Ann Marie Miller! We pace lined and were doing our best to stay off the front for the final lap but Ann Marie dragged a few back up to us- thankfully Donna was with her! - We were about a group of 10-12- so we slowed down and took it easy a bit before the climbing started again- we got passed by the pros so that made the feed zone hill confusing but Anna M. attacked at the top. For some more spicy attacks on the hills- I was just trying to conserve what I had left for the finish.

The last selection stayed together going into down hill- some girls got a bit of a gap including Beth Miller who won- she started the hill first- the finishing climb for me was hard- I lost it a bit but finished 8th- but was reassured to see Donna up the road finishing strong!! For 5th place- Fun racing yesterday!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

50th Fitchburg Longsjo Classic 2009- July 2-5 EVIE BEATS THE PROS!!!

50th Fitchburg Longsjo Classic 2009- July 2-5 ERICA LOVES THE PODIUM!!

FITCHBURG, MASS July 2-5 2009

DAY 1- TIME TRIAL

The TT this year was on a beautiful rolling out-and-back 14.5 mile course that had a slight downward bias on the way out and a corresponding upward false flat on the way back, as well as a long bridge across a lake. The idea was to conserve slightly on the way out, and then really rock it on the way back, which as luck would have it would be into the wind as well. We had a chance to ride it the evening before, which really helped with the pacing visualization.
We woke up to such a major rainstorm that out hotel room sprung a leak. Pessimistically loaded the cars and drove in a blinding rainstorm over to Westminster for the TT. Fortunately there was an overhang under which we could warm up, and even more fortunately, the rain had more or less stopped by the time we had to race.
Dropping off the ramp I couldn't see my 30 second girl at all, and was fearing another blind TT, but within about a half a mile I saw both my 30 and 60 second riders, happy I would have someone to try to chase down after all. I passed the 60 second rider right away, but timed the 30 second catch rather unfortunately for the turnaround. Didn't slow me down too much though, and then I had the dubious honor of having no one else in my visuals for most of the way back. I finally saw my 90 second rider about a mile from the finish and used her to motivate myself to really push it to the end. Finished 100m in back of her, so I knew I'd beaten at least three riders but was thrilled and surprised to hear later that I'd taken 3rd. LOVE my new bike!!!

I had listened to David's advice to wait until after the TT to set up my goals for the rest of the race, so now I knew that above all my goal was to keep my podium spot for GC or move up from there. The first in GC was 40 seconds ahead, which would be difficult to reach unless I could out climb her. Second place was only 12 or so seconds ahead, but even more threatening was the 4th place rider, Jenny Ives from Anthem, who was less than half a second behind me.

DAY 2- CIRCUIT RACE:

The weather was beautiful the morning of the circuit race, which was a welcomed surprise because the forecast had been grim for the whole weekend. The course is a 3+ mile circuit some slightly technical turns into a downhill at the beginning of each lap and a somewhat challenging uphill double "wall" at the end of each lap. We had 7 laps to go. It was so nice to be called up to the front with the top 10, made getting to the line so much less stressful and going into the starting turns a lot less terrifying, along with positioning to start out the race. The field had gotten bunched up again by the time we came around to the bottom of the uphill, I heard a small crash in back of me but it didn't sound major. All of a sudden we hear the announcer saying "The race leader has crashed, the race leader is out!" So just like that I'm second in GC.

I don't plan to go for any of the points (struck laps 6-4-2 to go at the start/finish), in part because I can't seem to get positioned right, but mostly because I wanted to be ready to respond to any attacks that might happen after them. That turned out to be a decent strategy because there were attacks after two of them, and Jenny was quick to respond, but so was the new race leader, so it wouldn't have benefited me much from a GC standpoint for the break to work. I guess others felt kind of the same way so the breaks never really stuck. Plus we kept getting neutralized on the back side because there was an ambulance taking one of the riders of our field away, so other riders caught up then. So it was pretty messy going into the final sprint. My positioning wasn't great yet again, so my goal was just to stay in touch with the front group to get "same time." I guess I jumped on that just in time because I got 10th with the same time as the leaders, and riders in back of me got a 9 second time gap. Fortunately for me, Jenny was one of the riders who got gapped, so I had a bit more margin to play with. Unfortunately for me the rider who had been 5th in GC won the race, and got a 10 second bonus to put her into 2nd place GC, 5 seconds ahead of me. The new race leader took 2nd to push her even further ahead. The old race leader had gotten up and continued to race but she lost about 2.5 minutes on the day.

DAY 3- ROAD RACE:

Another beautiful day for the road race, such a nice contrast to the rain fest last year. Course is an 11mile loops, 1 mile down, 2 miles rolling, 5 miles up, then down again. The setup was a bit different this year than in the past because there would be no finishing climb due to construction on the road up Mt. Wachusetts. Instead, we did an extra half loop to end in Princeton Center near the feed zone, 3 miles or so into the hill. There was no KOM this year,instead there were points each lap at the finish line.

I again chose not to contest points, in hopes of attacking or responding to an attack just after. First time through the finish no one really killed it and most riders stayed together. Second time through however, the race leader went for points, and a few of us tried to get away, but she was way to strong and was able to tuck in with us. We got a good gap on the rest of the group but weren't working together too well, and then Jenny attacked hard on the downhill. I couldn't let that happen, and jumped to get on her wheel, but even the five foot gap she had on me was too much for me to hold it. I have no idea how she was able to descend that fast, it was very impressive. She had widened that gap to about a quarter mile but the time we got to the bottom. The race leader then jumped to get up to her, but the rest of us organized and were able to close the gap as a group. While we were catching our breath a few other riders caught back up from behind. Oh well.
Third lap we lost a few riders as well, but didn't even really make a pretense of working together or trying to stay away, figuring we'd just rely on the hill to separate us at the finish. I took the opportunity to launch my own attack on the rollers at the top, but I was too well marked and didn't make it very far. Jenny tried to attack again into the downhill but I was ready for it this time and got tighter on her wheel (with the pack on mine) and we made it down as a group. About five miles from the finish line we got neutralized by the break in the Master's field. Roger Aspholm had put 7 minutes on the field. They held us up for 4 or 5 minutes before they decided it was pointless or unfair or whatever to hold us any longer. Of course a bunch more riders caught us while we were lollygagging. We did drop them again into the finish but for those hill-climbers battling for the middle part of GC it was a bit of a bummer.

At the 500m to go point it gets really steep and really windy into the final turn up to the finish. One of our group who seemed strong but not necessarily the best climber jumped from the bottom of the hill. The rest of us waited a bit figuring there was no way she could hold it but despite a decreasing gap, she managed to finish 13 seconds ahead of the pack, and 7 seconds ahead of the race leader, who again showed impressive strength by gapping the rest of us into the turn. I finished 10th again with the same time as 3-12, but Jenny had gotten gapped again and lost another 5 seconds, so now I had a more comfortable 15 second advantage over 4th place GC. The race leader had increased her advantage to 22 seconds, while the rider in second finished same time as me, and remained 5 seconds ahead.

DAY 4- CRITERIUM

Another beautiful day! I had to decide what to do at this point, I no longer had quite the same imperative to just preserve my podium as I was now more than a time bonus ahead of Jenny. The only way to move up in GC would be to get 1st or 2nd today, and the only way to move down would be if Jenny got in a break (or I guess someone even further back, if it were a really big break), or of course if I fell down and couldn't get back up. The pace was pretty high from the start and the field was pretty motivated, so despite a few attacks here and there, nothing was going anywhere. Jenny launched one of her no-longer-surprising downhill attacks on the back side, but this course wasn't long enough and the hill wasn't steep enough for her to really go anywhere. With about 5 laps to go, a rider not too far back in GC launched an attack after a points sprint and kind of to the surprise of the pack, just kept going. She dangled off the front for about a lap, and then with only 4 laps to go actually began to increase her advantage. She probably wouldn't have gained enough of an advantage to knock me out of my GC spot, but I decided that it was more important that we close the gap and preserve my 3rd place than that I try to finish high at the end to go for 2nd, so I tried to bridge up. I was again pretty well marked so I didn't really get separation, but no one came around me either so now we're a little closer to her but not quite there. I tried again with 2 laps to go, and this time the group came around me to help close the gap. So on the positive front, we were able to get her back into the fold, on the negative, I've now been swarmed with less than 2 laps to go. So I'm pretty far back going into the final corner of the sprint, am able to pick up about 10 places in the finish to get an unimpressive 26th place, but that's still the same time as the leaders for this race so...

I PRESERVE THIRD GC!!!! Yay! Podiums are fun!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Radical Media Race Schedule July-September 2009

7/11 Club Race- power points- points on Harlem Hill and Cats Paw every lap

7/12 Union Vale

7/18 Club race- scratch race

7/19 Club Race- Harlem Hill Points race

7/18-7/19 stage race Giro Del Cielo (women cat 3 & 4 only )

7/25 Club Race- scratch race

7/25 Tour of Hill Towns

8/1 Long Medow TimeTrial (part of CRCA Team Cup)

8/1-08/2 Tour of Lancaster County ( women cat 3 &4 only)

8/2 Club Race- Club Championship Race

8/8 Club Race- Scratch Race

8/9 Tokeneke Road Race

8/15 Club Race-Scratch

8/15 NY Capital Road Race (Albany)

8/22 Mengoni – Central Park (cat P,1,2,3)

8/23 Lou Maltese- Central Park (cat 3 & 4 women)

8/29 Chris Thater Criterium

9/4-9/7 Green Mt. Stage Race

9/12 Club Race-Points race

9/13 Bear Mt. Nancy Morgenstern Memorial Road Race

9/18-9/20 Tour of the Catskills stage race

9/26 Club Race- Scratch

Monday, June 22, 2009

Race Weekend June 20 & June 21,2009. Evie Shows the World How its Done. Her Sisters Were There To Help

Race #1 Central Park June 20, 2009

Ashley, Erica and I were the Radical representation. There was a good showing from the other teams and we have a brief strategy chat on the line (trying to be discreet of course :). The first few laps were hard and fun, I would throw an attack in and Ashley or Erica would counter and then I would try to counter. Comedy started to throw some attacks in as well which made things even more fun. I believe it was lap number five when Ashley zooms by me on the way up Harlem hill and gives me this look like I am going to attack. So I get on the back of the train chasing her and then I attack over the top of Harlem. I get a way for a bit and then am caught by AMM, Sarah, Deb Kilmon and Fabienne. We weren't working too well together at first, so I threw some more attacks in. Eventually we started to pace line it a bit and then at Harlem hill I attack and get away. AMM catches back up to me and we work together in the last lap. We are going to horse poo alley when I see Sarah has caught back on, pretty impressive! Anyways, we ride for a bit, I am on AMM's wheel and Sarah is on mine. We get to the bottom of Cat's paw and I attack and get away for the win. It was a really fun race and AMM complimented Radical on how we were racing as a team and mixing it up!

Race #2: Housatonic Hills Race June 21, 2009:

Erica, Ashley and I were the Radical representation at Housatonic. There was a big showing from Anthem and Silke and Anna were there as well. The course is basically up or down. About 3/4ths of the way into the 1st lap Beth Miller, Silke and I got away on one of the climbs. The three of us rode a nice tempo together. We were climbing up one of the hills and I saw 100 meters sign for the QOM so I jumped and snagged it. Beth and Silke caught back up to me and we finished the lap together. We get to the big climb on the start of the second lap and I just chose a nice wattage number I could maintain and tried to stay steady up the climb. I got to the top and looked back and realized that I had got a good gap on Silke and Beth, so I decided to just try and go for it. I decided on a steady watt number for the flats, tried to go hard on every hill and then take the down hills fast, but also find some time for recovery. The course was beautiful and it made for a really pleasant ride. I was able to hold them off until the finish.




Race# 3: Harlem Crit June 21, 2009:

So the race promoter at Housatonic was really nice and did the women's awards first. So after that I boogied into my parent's prius (thanks dad!) and kyle and I headed into Harlem. I was able to make it to the race with about 20 mins to spare. Maria and I were the Radical representation at this race. I never really got my rhythm in this race, but it was fun nonetheless. Maria went to the front a few times and set a nice tempo which would allow me to attack. The atmosphere at Harlem is definitely exciting. I unfortunately didn't get myself in the best position for the sprint and came in about sixth. The girl who won it rode a smart race, I don't think I saw her at the front once and then she had a great sprint at the finish, props to her.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Central Park Club Race June 14, 2009- Erica Places top 5laces top 5!

Four Raddies showed up ready on this Saturday for the six lap power points race, joining 25-30 other women.

Points are to begin at the end of the first lap, and continue at the top of Harlem Hill and Cat's Paw through to the end. We're neutralized for the fist sprint. Our pre-set team strategy is not to worry about the first set of points up Harlem Hill, but to be with the lead group in case of a split, which we think is likely. I know Alejandra is going to go for it, given her great sprint and current fitness, so I get on her wheel at the bottom of the hill, and when she gets up to go, I go with her. She leads me over the line for third place. I'm as surprised as anyone, and am a little afraid that I've expended too much energy, but to recover as quickly as possible in order to be ready for a response from AMM or Jaimie Nicholson, which do happen but fortunately with enough breathing room that the pack is able to contain their attacks, along with a few other attempts.

Second sprint, the first at Cat's Paw, Lisa Force goes early, I get on her wheel, she leads me almost all the way up and I pass her near the line for second place. This is going well. David has warned me though that it is difficult to recover from Cat's Paw in time to sprint at Harlem so I'm a little worried that I've made a mistake. But fortunately we got neutralized again, right after the sprint this time, so we get a chance to catch our breath before the next HH sprint. I get on Alejandra's wheel again for this one, and end up with second again. How exciting! I'm wondering if I'm actually going to be able to pull this off for the whole race. I was unfortunately right to wonder. Next time up Cat's Paw I get on Lisa's wheel again but am only able to pull of around 5th, and am just lucky to have a teammate like Ashley who is on Jaimie Nicholson like glue when she tries to get away after the sprint.

Next time up HH a whole new crop of sprinters have taken over, with AMM and Deb now competing with Alejandra. I'm beginning to get a cramp in my calf and have lost my sprinting mojo, so I back it off just a touch over the top and try to jam it down the other side and help Ashley cover any attacks and gaps in the field. And so it goes. By the fifth time up Cat's Paw, Ashley is up the hill in front of me, I'm in mid-pack with Jaimie, so we switch roles and I jump on Jaimie's wheel when she launches her predictable post-sprint attack. I hear AMM say to Jaimie "I'm here" from in back of my wheel, and thought well if we do get away, I'm in good company if I can just hang on. That lasts about a second and the group is with us again.

Going past Tavern for the last time, Ashley comes up in front to set up a lead out for me for the finish. Cecelia goes in front to keep the pace high, we can't quite get on her wheel since she is on the other side of the road, but it helps string out the field a bit so it's not too messy going into the sprint. Ashley gives me a good leadout but the Teany riders, who haven't contested a single sprint all race, have timed their leadout and energy reserves perfectly, and Colleen Conway sprints across the line first for her first top finish (unfortunately that only gives her enough points to finish 5th, but kudos to Teany and Colleen for their excellent finish!). I'm not even sure who else finished ahead of me, but they place me 5th for the finishing sprint, with Cecelia finishing right beside me (or something like that?), and fourth overall for the race.

Great teamwork Raddies! Thanks so much for believing in my sprint more than I did.

Cheyney Road Race June 14- Ashley Was Feeling Good Again

CHEYNEY ROAD RACE

Sunday I headed down to Landcaster County- armed with promise of temps in the 80s and a clean cardiac bill of health.

There were about 25 girls lined up- it was a combined Women's field- and I really didn't know anyone but for Betty-

The course is a 10 K loop ( same as central park) with a pretty nice climb in the middle- well a 2-part climb. The first climb started out a bit steep at the bottom but was steady ( 1.5 k of climbing combined)- leveling out a tad towards the top. At the top of that main climb there were QOM points on all laps but the 1st. After the first climb there is a slight down-hill then a 2nd climb that was long and steady ( not as steep as the first) that leads into a face tech downhill- with the finish at the bottom- so fast finish.

2nd lap- I stick with the girls going for the QOM- legs a bit tight- and get 4th- but I realized that the other 3 girls had really gassed themselves and I had a lot more in the tank, interesting.
3rd lap- I pushed it on the hill setting the pace - I was not planning too, but no one wanted to go that hard- and I wanted a work-out so I pushed it a bit. One girl came with me, Laura McCaughey (Australian track champion living at T-Town over the summer- I didn't know this until after the race) she took the sprint just barely- and would sit up after the sprint- we had a huge gap- and I felt good- so I decided to just go- what the hell? I pushed up the 2nd climb got out of sight for a bit but they really made up the time on that fast downhill and I was caught after a half lap- I should have saved this move for the last lap but well- I was antsy I guess :)

So I kept up the strong climbing with Laura clipping me at the line every time- I encouraged her to go on the 4th lap- but she was not interested- why would she be- she will win the sprint!

So now I am a pretty marked woman and knew I would have to wait until the 6th final lap- the first hill we went pretty hard but they fought to be on my wheel- so I sat up a bit and decided to go on the second climb- the 2nd climb there was one team with numbers and they set up an attack counter attack- I went with the counter- she went hard- we got away! wow- a 2- person break! we made it down the hill coming into the finish with a group chasing hard and catching us on the line!!- DARN- there went my finish- I ended up in 8th- but had a very fun time- the best by far I have felt this year-

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Saturday June 6-Watermelon Crit- Erica Gets a Pineapple!

Watermelon Crit- June 6, 2009

About 16 of us line up for the women's open race, including a few ambitious cat 4s who had finished racing just an hour before. CRCA is well represented, with a couple riders from CC, a couple from Radical, a few from Teany, and much to our surprise given the prereg list, Ann-Marie Miller from Metro. A few NJ women show up as well, it is after all in their backyard.

I've warmed up forever because the races were running late. Good thing because the race is spicy from the whistle. One of the NJ riders attacks off the line and I chase her down. That set the tone for the first part of the race, with attacks coming into every corner and up every backstretch hill.

We finally chill out a tiny bit in the fifth lap, since we've successfully shelled over half the field by then. I'm keeping a close eye on AMM. She has instigated her share of attacks, but they haven't been as hard to cover as I'd imagined. I think I was getting a little complacent, because in the middle of our respite, she attacks really hard. I'm actually on her wheel when she goes and I still miss it. No one is able to bridge so we organize but not very well, several riders don't want to pull, and within a few laps she is out of sight. We still make some pretense of working together for a few more laps, but in reality Dara and I are taking a good part of the wind.

A couple of primes are called; I roll over the line for the first one in case it is two deep or for the field, but forget to check on it afterward. I think it would have had gluten in it anyway because Dara does the same for the second one and wins herself a cherry pie. The next couple of laps are uneventful; I'm trying to figure out when to throw in a really good final attack, when, 35 minutes into our 45-minute race they tell us we have three laps to go. Riders throw in a couple of final attacks, nothing gets away, I feel like I've missed my last chance and decide to save it for the sprint. Dara does a great job of protecting me with two laps to go, including keeping the pace nice and high on the backstretch to prevent any early jumps. A couple of riders start to go before the final turn, I jump onto their wheels as they come around, and pass them on the final stretch, only to be clipped by Anne Rappiocci, as always, at the line.

Still, second in the field sprint, third overall, and in addition to a little cash I get to take home a pineapple for my efforts, which was delicious.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Women's Race Clinic Central Park May 30,2009






















CRCA Women’s Clinic 2009

On May 30, Radical Media hosted the 2009 CRCA Women’s Introduction to Racing Clinic, a 3-lap simulated race around Central Park. Many of CRCA’s female racers got their start at this clinic, an annual event, including Radical Media’s own Evelyn Stevens, who, in one lone season, is already making her name known on the national circuit -- go, Evie!

Women’s cycling has been growing and growing and growing -- USA Cycling reported the highest number of licenses issued to female riders for the 2009 season. The turnout of 32 eager women, of all ages and skill and fitness levels, at dawn on that Saturday in May is testament to this trend.

The clinic participants got their jitters queled by a pre-race instructional talk conducted by CRCA/Metro Bicycle’s Ann-Marie Miller, who probably has more racing miles under her helmet than the whole female peloton. (Well, not really, but you get the idea -- she is the ur-veteran!) A four-time USA National Masters’ Champion, Miller covered a variety of race topics and even provided some last-minute inspiration drawn from her careers in racing and as a professional coach.

Members of the Comedy Central and Teany women’s teams joined Radical’s women to ride with the peloton to provide support and encouragement and coaching. (Thanks for coming out to help!) Although the field broke up pretty quickly into several groups, there were plenty of experienced racers to keep each group together and motivated. A small group initiated a break into the second lap, but unfortunately learned “how to crash,” with one racer committing the classic rookie mistake of touching wheels, which even briefly took out Miller. But everyone survived unscathed, if a bit more schooled in the realities of bike racing than anyone intended. As we say, “That’s bike racing.”

The uphill finish started with a group of eight at the bottom of Cat’s Paw but quickly shrank to three as Shane Ferro from Columbia University led the sprint to take the win. Lindsay Jacobson and Emily Maynard, took 2nd and 3rd, respectively.

Congrats, ladies -- well done! Members of CRCA, and Radical Media’s product and bike shop sponsors generously donated prizes and other goodies to reward the newbie racers for their efforts and courage. These included a private coaching session from Nina Strika (Deutsche Bank), a massage from Beth Renaud (Comedy Central), Chomper Body Natural Muscle Butter from Teany’s Tracy Wargo, a tune-up from A-Bicycle Shop, drink mix and bottles from Fluid Recovery, a variety of products from theSportique skin care line, water bottles from Piermont Bikes and a variety of product samples from Hammer Nutrition.

As usual, it was an exhilarating experience for all -- new racers and veterans alike. The veterans left the park knowing they’d done well in initiating the next generation of women to the sport. The next generation left the park with new skills and inspiration and the added challenge of having to ride home with goody bags filled to brimming.
*Thanks to Marco Quezada (marcoquezada.com) for the photos

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 24, 2009: The Infamous Sommerville Criterium by Evie Stevens

The second criterium of the weekend, the infamous Somerville Crit.
We get to the race seamlessly, get signed in, check out the course and then get a really good warm up in. The course is 4 corners, 1.25 miles with very long back and front stretches, overall not technical. Cecelia and I are waiting for staging when Joe Brennan, the official , comes up to Cecelia and she introduces me to him. He asked me what I have won recently (I know that they are doing call ups and I know he is the official for our race...) so I told him. I see him check my number and go up to the announcers and I am thinking SWEET, please put me at the front!!! So I get a call up, which was pretty exciting.

Here is an overview of the teams at the race, Colavita, Team Type 1, Australian National Team, Laura Van Gilder & Kristen Lasasso and a bunch of other big hitters. I was definitely a tad bit nervous!

The race gets on its way and I get myself into good position in the front. I try attacking a bit, hoping that no one is going to know me or care about chasing me so that I could potentially start a break. Well none of them worked. it was a fast and nervy race, since you had so much space on each of the long stretches people were darting around everywhere. Every now and then I would float back in the pack and get this look from Cecelia that pretty much let me know, get back up there. I must say Cecelia brilliantly held her position through out the race, she was always nicely in the top half.

Going into the second to last lap I was in a nice position and then the swarm came on and you hear the awful sound of crunching and screeching, fortunately I was in the front of this crash and so was Cecelia, but you knew it was a big one.

Going into the second half of the last lap, I hopped onto the wheel of the Australian woman who won Bike Jam last week and thought okay this is going to be a good wheel, she will definitely move up (we were in the middle of the pack now). So we hit the last turn and boom chaos goes down in front of me, I see the sparks from metal hitting the pavement, girls are dropping like flies. All I am thinking is oh gosh where is my out and boom there it was, the gas station! So I nicely veered off into the gas station and through the sidewalk and asked a couple to watch out so I could hop back into the race. At that point I was out of contention, so I rode hard up the last stretch, glad all my skin was on for somewhere in the high 20s. Cecelia was also behind the crash, she fortunately avoided it, but had to un-clip and put her foot down. All in all it was a fun race and a good learning experience.

Two takeaways: 1) Don't take the risk of going into the finish mid-pack, be at the front 2). Cecelia makes AMAZING homemade bread. I ate about 2 peanut butter sandwiches with it and I think she should open up a bread shop, let it become a huge success and then sponsor a professional woman's cycling team.

Evie does it again in Hartford May 24,2009

On Sunday, Cecelia and I made the trip down to Hartford and we got to the race with only moments to spare. We ran down to registration like frazzled monkeys, got ourselves signed up, jerseys pinned and chamois on.

We get to the line, there are actually about 60 women in the race, including Ann Marie, Silke and Mary Zider, so it looks like it is going to be a hard and fast race and it was from the gun.

I tried attacking a bit but nothing really stuck. I got myself into a nice position going into the last turn, as we hit the turn I slowed and moved onto Mary Zider's wheel which I thought would be a good bet since the finish was a slight incline and I know she is strong. I stayed on her wheel for a couple of seconds and then I jumped around and tried to envision myself as Marianne Vos and pull out a sprint. I could sense there were a few wpmen potentially gaining on me, but I was able to cross the line alone.

Cecelia came in 14th, partly due to the fact that she was watching my sprint finish. Haha.