Team Marty’s women Nikki Ragonese and Maryanne Caruso enjoyed a successful run of competition in the 2013 New Jersey Time Trial Cup. Both captured 2nd place overall in two of the Cup’s categories. Nikki grabbed the Category 4 women and Maryanne, the Eddy (aka non-TT bike) category. They also represented Marty’s in the New Jersey State Time Trial, to gain State Championship status with Nikki taking the gold 1st place medal and Maryanne landing the bronze 3rd place in their respective categories.
They capped off the road season on September 7 at the Hunter Mountain Fall Classic road race. Nikki finished in the top 10, and Maryanne in the top 15.
We invited them to share their experiences.
I decided to give time trials a shot this year as a way to ease into bike racing. For me, coming from a triathlon background, time trials seemed to make sense as the next logical step. I already had the bike for it and was used to racing on my own, with no drafting.
My first TT of the season was a short one, only about five miles, and I wasn’t really sure I understood the appeal of getting up early on a damp and chilly April morning for such a short race. I definitely didn’t have the right mindset and made a lot of mistakes that day (I didn’t warm up enough; I almost fell over at the start when I was released to go). However, as the season went on, I learned from my mistakes and realized that I could push myself much harder than I believed possible. I feel like I really understood the TT mindset, after the state time trial, where I was able to push myself at 22 MPH for a little over 25 miles. Every time I wanted to back off and slow down I didn’t give in and just continued to push harder. I never would have thought I could hold that speed on my own for that many miles, but it definitely taught me that I am much stronger than I believed. I think the time trialing has also made me a tougher and more confident cyclist in general.
In terms of racing, I started with a blank slate this year. While I followed a structured training plan, I had no real strategy going into the season other than few TTs and maybe a road race or two.
My first TT for the season was Readington and I did OK – 5th place. I followed this race two weeks later with the High Point TT, a 5.5-mile climb into High Point State Park. At this point I was in good position in the standings and decided to commit to the Cup series.
Being new to racing, I wasn’t the most experienced or the strongest, which essentially meant I had to show up at every TT for the rest of the season in order to keep advancing in the standings. I was expecting to finish 3rd overall so was pleasantly surprised to move into 2nd place after the Blueberry TT. More importantly, I kept seeing improvements in my performance. For example, I averaged about 19.5 MPH at Readington. By the end of the season I was averaging between 21 and 22 MPH depending on the race course.
Nice Job Maryanne and Nikki! It looks like you had some nice results and it was great to see you both improving. Thanks for supporting Marty’s. We appreciate it very much!