Lauren is the current NJ State TT Champion and is a Cat-1 road and cyclocross racer, racing for the elite women’s H+H Racing squad and TEAM Elite Endurance. Lauren will be racing TT and Road Nationals in May, as well at Wilmington and the monument Bear Mountain Road Race.
Finishing in 2nd was Raquel Miller of Zimmer Capital Orthopedics and Julia Lonchar of the Chester County Cycling Foundation was 3rd. Atop the men’s Allamuchy podium was Steve Goldman, who won the men’s overall with a course-record performance.
Lauren’s Elite Endurance stablemates also had successful rides. Paul Cresti was 3rd in the Cat-4s and is now 3rd in the TT Cup overall. Mark Curran and Scott Sugent went 5th-6th in the stacked 45+ class. Chris Dawson was 3rd in the Eddy division. Shannon Grieb was 4th in the Cat-4 (after ripping 2nd at the Cape May TT). Richard Wolf was 6th in the 55+, a purposeful slower start to his year.
The next day at the Daniel Harwi Memorial Criterium, Lauren raced the pro event. “I honestly didn’t feel 100% about racing on Sunday, which slightly concerned me,” Lauren said. “I know if I am not there mentally, I won’t do well.”
The field was stacked for a local race with top local and regional talent. As she warmed up on the 4-corner classic criterium course, Lauren had 3-4 riders marked in her radar, who to follow.
The race started slow, which can annoy Lauren as she prefers a harder race. She did some opener efforts near the front of the field early on, to warm up the legs, keep them loose – legs can get flat with static race starts.
And then, her memory gets foggy. “I can’t fully remember how the race down,” Lauren said. “I attacked a bit, I chased when Van Gilder and other dangerous riders attacked. I did a lot of work and knew I had good legs for the sprint at the end.”
Lauren’s racing style is not to sit in. Many times, athletes can get anxious or bored – at this crit, Lauren wanted to work on some hard attacks with fresh legs. Lauren animated things by getting away for maybe a half lap, the field opting to instantly chase her down.
The race continued to drop women but at the front of the pace-making, a break never formed. “I made sure to be on Laura’s wheel in the full last lap,” Lauren said. “My plan was to attack before the last corner to get a jump through the turn and not be caught in traffic.”
Van Gilder jumped before the third corner, Lauren was too slow to respond, and Van Gilder accelerated away, another rider managing to leap and grab Van Gilder’s wheel.
Lauren was still in a good position, up front and third wheel into the final corner, but she didn’t sense she was on the perfect wheel. Lauren’s experience kicked in and she instantly sprinted solo early, and she was able to hold the field off and finish in 3rd.
Colleen Hayduk of Argon 18 Racing took the win. Laura Van Gilder of Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers finished 2nd.
“I had some good efforts in there,” Lauren said. “I was happy but bummed I missed that final jump, I need to be more aware. I don’t have that instantaneous power to jump super-fast. I am happy – I felt good, had a tough race, managed to stay consistent.”