Team Marty’s Wins the Highlands Gran Fondo

This past weekend Team Marty’s competed in the Giordana Gran Fondo
National Series in Butler NJ with hopes of a team win as well as putting
one of us on the top step of the podium for the overall.  The team
roster included Joe Petillo, Stefan Tessoun, Dan Montgomery and  Victor
Schepisi. Despite some nasty weather the plan was executed perfectly. Team Marty’s
was awarded first place in the Team Category, Dan Montgomery second place in the
Men’s Category and Victor Schepisi as the 2016 Highlands Gran Fondo
Champion

 

Next stop Gran Fondo NJ Sept 11 2016.

Vic Destroys the NJ State Championship MTB Race!

Team Marty’s Victor Schepisi had a great weekend of racing. He won the NJ State Championship Cat 1 title at  The Rumble in the Jungle H2H XC MTB race #3.   Here’s a quick recap.

Jungle Habitat is known for punchy climbs, rocks and roots and with the rain the night before I knew I had a chance to win if I could stay upright.  The start was a bit hectic but once the race settled down I knew I had to attack. I found an opportunity to pass, dropped the hammer and never looked back.  The race was nearly two hours of pure torture with my avg HR reading 175 bpm.   The last 15 minutes was the hardest mentally being so much can go wrong in a race with a flat or mechanical but my Trek Superfly FS didn’t miss a beat.  It took me 2 years of hard work to win one of these races. I was close many times, but this weekend it all came together.

vicracevicpodiumchampNice work Vic!

Jesse Fat Bikes the Shenandoah 100 MTB Race!

 

A few weeks ago an anonymous friend and I headed down to the Stokesville Campground in Stokesville VA for the Shenandoah Mountain 100. For those who are unfamiliar, the SM100 is a 100 mile MTN bike race with about 12,000 feet of climbing through the Shenandoah mountain range in VA.

The race took place on the Sunday over Labor Day. My companion and I arrived on Saturday evening in the college town of Harrisonburg VA dropped our stuff off at the hotel and hit the local Outback Steakhouse.  We want to bed early for our 4:30am wake up call and dreamed of climbing mountains all night.

In the darkness of the morning we were greeted with a surprisingly warm temperature which was encouraging for the day to come. On the 30 min drive to the campground we witnessed what legend has told. Jeremiah Bishop, an endurance MTN bike pro who is training for an event called “The Munga” in South Africa (look it up) was riding to the SM100 from Harrisonburg.  I yelled some encouraging words out the window to him, he was running front and rear lights as it was complete darkness out on the countryside. Jeremiah is a bad mofo.
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Back to the race: My buddy and I were riding our matching Borealis Yampa fat bikes decked out with HED carbon wheels and weighing in at an incredible 23 lbs!  We didn’t see any other fat bikes out there, but I heard that there were at least 2 others. The others could not have been as cool as ours 🙂

We lined up according to where we believed we would finish which was at the 11 hour mark. This was a bit of a mistake as after about 25 minutes into the race we hit the first section of single track and BAMM, there was a huge traffic jam. With 600 racers out on the course and most of them in front of us we had a long walk ahead of us which caused a big delay in our overall time.  I wasn’t too concerned because for me this was just a long day of training, but it was very boring walking through stuff I knew I could ride. On the bright side I met some nice people.

After I was able to get back on the bike, I pedaled at a very steady pace and didn’t stop this practice all day long. I passed people all day long, kept my rest stops simple and quick (with the awesome volunteers this was made much easier), and had a really really awesome race!

The course is absolutely beautiful, the volunteers amazing, and the scene is just plain old fun. I wound up finishing in 11 hours and 3 seconds or something like that. I feel as though without the traffic jams I would have had about a 10:15 finish time. I was extremely excited to finish in my predicted time, and after I finished I got to take an old school bath in the creek by the campground.

My companion and I both have small children at home so we decided to drive straight home after the race despite being very tired. We got some food, at a disgusting all you can eat Buffett which really hit the spot as at this point the owners of the buffet lost some money on us for sure.

It was a bit crazy for us to attempt this drive, but we’re tough dudes so we went for it. We basically drove for an hour and slept for an hour all night long and arrived in NJ at 5 am the next morning. It was a long haul after another long haul on the bike but as afore mentioned, we are a couple of bad ass dudes so it was not a big deal.

Team Marty’s women excel in New Jersey Time Trial Cup

Hunter Mountain Fall Classic

Hunter Mountain Fall Classic

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.

Nikki 

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.

2nd place Sandrinos Podium

2nd place Sandrinos Podium

Upper Freehold TT

Upper Freehold TT

Maryanne 

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.

Blueberry TT

2nd place Blueberry TT podium

 

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!