SugarCRM Women's Cycling Team

SugarCRM Women's Cycling Team
Photos Copyright Garrett Lau

SugarCRM gets 1st and 3rd at the Metromint Giro di Francisco

Its all about the benjamins baby! -photos courtesy of Vangel Aktoudianakis

MaryEllen Ash - 1st
Starla Teddergreen - 3rd

With strong support from Kim Fong, Josie Morgan and Lucia Mokres who all finished with the field.

Team Success at the Giro

by: Mary-Ellen

After a long season of hard work and sacrifices, it all came together for me at the Giro. Lady Luck smiled down upon us and at the last race of the season, we got another team win! What a great way to finish up the long season. Leading up to the race, there were several unknowns. First up, on a personal note, my form was unknown. I had just sprained my ankle 2 weeks prior and my time on the bike was limited (sprained the ankle playing ping-pong – insert laughter). How many team mates would attend the race? Most of the gals were tired from the wear of the long season. Some were sick, some were just plain tired. But a bike race is an amazing lure and can convince the weary to come out and be heroic. To my pleasure, upon arrival at he venue, it turned out there were five (5) of the SugarCRM girls ready to race – Starla, Kim, Josie, Lucia and myself. Everyone just wanted to race and have a good time. Excellent.

There was no team plan. We knew if the race came down to a final sprint, that I was currently the strongest for a high finish. So we would try and keep the race together. But other than that, individual roles were just to cover any moves and ride as best as we could and to have fun.

The race rolled around for the first few laps with everyone just cautiously watching each other and checking out the course. Then the flurry of attacks started. Yukie (Metromint) got a good solo gap ~10 laps into the 30 lap race. I was able to bridge up and we just kept on rolling through together. Unfortunately, anyone being paired with a sprinter while in a breakaway usually spells doom. And right on cue, the peleton saw the danger and we were eventually caught. Thankfully, our efforts were rewarded with both of us grabbing some race primes.

The peleton was briefly subdued. Then the inevitable restless arrived and a very dangerous break went up the road. It contained a lot of strong engines – Jane Despas (2009 Cal Cup Champ), Jane Robertson (Metromint), Mary Maroon (Vanderkitten), and two other riders. They quickly got a good gap of 15 seconds. The problem was, no SugarCRM riders were in that break. We sensed the danger and with some splintering attacks and some help from from Colovita, Velo Bella, the break came back. Phew.

With about 11 laps to go, Amanda Seigle (Metromint) made a solo dig. It wasn’t particularly dangerous so the peleton just sat up. Almost instantly, the gap to Amanda became 30 seconds. OMG! Panic. Now that little solo dig was extremely dangerous. Personally I was kicking myself, because I was finally recovered from my early race break that I could have gone with her. With 8 to go, we magically got a SugarCRM team train going. Kim, Starla and Lucia all moved to the front of the race and rotated around taking long hard pulls slowly reeling Amanda back. I can’t tell you how great it was to see them in a line: it was beautiful team work in motion. I was getting teary-eyed. The team girls collectively worked together and the painfully slow and inevitable catch began. Each lap ticked away and the crowds were getting antsy wondering whether or not Amanda would be caught. Each lap I knew we were getting closer and closer and stronger and stronger. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until 5 laps to go when I became confident Amanda would be caught.

Finally with 1 lap to go, we caught her. Metromint gave one last hard dig in hopes of victory at their own sponsored race and sent two riders up the road. Their attacks were enough to rouse up the peleton and get us back up to speed and we were once again grouppo compacto.

As the group rode around the final few minutes I reflected on the words from friends at the start of the race: “The race is won into the final 2 corners.” It was now my turn to go to work. I had to repay my team mates for all their hard work. A podium would be okay, but a win was what we craved. Positioning into the final two corners would be crucial. Jane Despas, eager to secure her overall win in the Cal Cup Series, lead the peleton through the final corners. I was safely latched onto her wheel. Out of the final corner, Jane started her sprint early. I jumped off her wheel and was able to take the win by half a wheel. Starla, who had been sick all week, was able to sprint in for 3rd.

I was so proud of the team. It was a day when team work went perfectly – everyone chipping in and helping and ultimately getting the win. I love bike racing!

From me and the SugarCRM girls, have a great rest and off season. We’ll see you soon again at the races J