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

Brianne Szolusha 3rd at SugarCRM Timpani Criterium

SugarCRM rider Brianne Szolusha showed her savvy by making the race winning break and scoring a fine podium place at this weekends Timpani Criterium.
Being a Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club organised event, the SugarCRM Womens Team did not want to dissapoint, and Brianne made the most of her position at the front of the field to fly the SugarCRM flag, while behind a strong contingent of SugarCRM riders covered the field.

Mary Ellen Ash and Karla Kingsley in the mix at Superweek! ME 4th at Chicago Criterium!

Mary Ellen Ash and Karla Kingsley pictured with Blue Competition Cycles Rider, SugarCRM Guest and friend and Cycling Legend Laura Van Gilder.
Photos by Craig Kingsley

SugarCRM was superbly represented at the world famous Superweek International Criteriums in Wisconsin/ Illinois by Criterium specialists Mary Ellen Ash and Karla Kingsley, both who have raked in great results this year on the NCNCA and NRC circuit. With Mary Ellen having scored a brace of major podiums this year, and Karla winning the Oakland GP the past week and being a winner of a 2008 stage of Superweek, this formidable tag team was well suited for the 7 days of consecutive high speed criterium racing that lay ahead. And they did not dissapoint, animating the racing everyday in front of large crowds and against some of the bigger teams. In the final shakedown Mary Ellen was 18th on GC, Karla was fast enough for 16th for a double top 20 in the fastest Criterium series in the world.

Here is Mary Ellen's overview and report of her 4th place in the prestigous Chicago Criterium:

So superweek:

I came to event with a less than desirable level of fitness. Due to a few tweaked vertebrae and ribs, I was forced to take 6 full days off the bike only 2 weeks before the event! Even sitting on the bike was incredibly painful. Only after several chiropractic treatments was I able to get back on the bike. I was lucky to get healthy just in time to participate in two local criteriums. The suffering was great and it was a huge acheivement just to ride my bike. Those two races were all the intensity I would acquire in my legs leading up to Superweek '09.

The first race was a big disappointment. It contained in the infamous "Brewer's Hill." It didn't go very well as I was quickly spat out the rear of the peleton. Over the next few races, I gauged my efforts and tried not to over-exert myself. Karla and I had 5 consecutive races. Karla's goals were to be aggressive and try to initiate or follow a break. My goal was simply to finish strong and conserve energy. If I could help Karla get away or at least control the pack briefly, I was satisfied. After that, it was down to securing solid results - I wanted to be consistently in the top-10 whenever possible.

Happily, with each race I was able to get stronger and stronger. It was so nice to be able to animate the races again. Karla was super supportive and patient. Unfortunately, neither of us had any luck getting into the 'right' breakaway. It was tough b/c there were a couple of close calls. Ultimately, I am proud of what we accomplished and we did well together against the other teams.

Chicago Criterium:

This was a the 7th race on the list. Since last years race was won by a break, the goal was to get KArla into a breakaway. The back-up plan was to get a podium in the sprint finish. Gotta aim high.

I must say, we got really great weather. Sunny, a slight breeze and 80 degrees. We couldn't have asked for a better day to race. I'll admit my legs were a little lethargic on the start and they were fried a couple of times during the race when the peleton was in a single-line thanks to hard attacks from Team Kenda and Laura VG. There were a couple of solid breakaway attempts, but nothing was sticking. With ~5 laps to go, it was going to come down to a field sprint. Karla was excellent and protected me from the wind in the closing laps. In the end, even with the dicey riding, I was able to hold my position and came out of the final corner in ~6th position. Unfortunately, my legs didn't have enough juice for me to pass the top-3 ladies and I had to settle for 4th. I'm a little disappointed to finish off the podium, but considering who beat me to the line, I can't complain.

Liza Rachetto 2nd to Kristin Armstrong at Boise Twilight Criterium

Liza Rachetto used her form from Giro d'Italia and Giro Trentino to place 2nd to Olympic Gold Medallist Kristin Armstrong in the Cervelo Test Team rider's final ever race as a Professional on American soil.
SugarCRM rider Lindsay Myers used the race and time in Boise as prep leading into the Cascade Classic and was instrumental in controlling the tempo of the race from the outset as riders from Vanderkitten, PROMAN, Bobs Bicycles, DFT treads and BODE Cycling tried desperate attacks.
After 15 minutes, Liza was able to manage a solo breakaway that gained up to 26 seconds on the chasers, and stayed out front for nearly half an hour, much to the delight of her hometown crowd which numbered in excess of 10 thousand people. However the field was not content to let Liza steal the limelight and reeled her back in with 15minutes to race.
With 2 laps to go, Armstrong launched a final bid that drew Tiffany Pezzulo from the field. On the final lap and with two corners to race, Rachetto bridged the gap and in an exciting sprint managed second to a delighted Armstrong. Myers was 8th.

Starla Teddergreen on the cobbles of Belgium

Diminutive pocket rocket Starla Teddergreen has raced 4 races in her first week based out of Blaubeg, Belgium. It is great to see her flying the SugarCRM flag in International races against top teams including Lotto Bedisol and Flexpoint.
Starlas take on some of the hardest racing in the world is upbeat, descriptive and humorous- remember to check out her blog at and support this Bay Area rider!

Story by Jono Coulter Profisc

Karla Kingsley 2nd at Lodi Criterium, 7th at San Rafael

Karla Kingsley pulled off another stellar sprint to finish 2nd at the Lodi Criterium behind Vanessa Drigo of Honda Hopkins Racing. On a day when the mercury soared to 103 degrees, Bri Szolousha opened the SugarCRM account by driving a 30minute long 3 rider breakaway that soaked up crowd priems and had the other teams scrambling to chase back time.
When the move finally came back in the closing stages Mary Ellen Ash and kim Fong had covered enough bases for Karla to make the final 6 rider selection. Despite the frantic efforts of the two Wells Fargo riders in the move, who took turns at attacking over the final 5 laps, Karla used her sprint to garner another top finish for SugarCRM.

Karla wins Oakland Grand Prix!

The SugarCRM team finished off a great weekend of racing in Oakland yesterday, here's Karla's report....

This entire weekend worked out well for the SugarCRM team. We went into the 4th of July race with a concrete goal and we achieved it. Our goal was to set Starla up for the win, we did that and she delivered like a rock star. Today our goal as a team was to set me up for the win since it was my hometown race. We wanted to be active, but since there weren't many of us we knew we had to be careful with how we spent our energy. We thought there was a good chance of a break being able to stay away since the course was a bit technical and it was a windy day. So SugarCRM was vigilant and always represented in moves that went off the front. Kim Fong was extremely active with chasing down any threatening moves off the front, while Starla and I were also careful to cover attacks. As the race came down to the final laps, the whole peloton was together and it looked like a bunch sprint would be inevitable. With 3 to go, we were at the front getting set up for the final sprint and keeping the pace up. At one lap to go, a Proman attakced and created a good gap off the front of the field. Starla quickly came forward to chase, with me sitting right on her wheel. I was a little worried that it was too early, since we still had a full lap to go, but she put in a huge effort to lessen the gap and make sure noone would come around us. With half a lap to go, I knew the time was right to slingshot around Starla-I sprinted to make contact with the Proman rider, and the was able to come around her before the final corner. I just put my head down and didn't look back during the final straightaway, and in the end, I crossed the line first!
Karla winning the field sprint (photo courtesy of Garrett Lau)

I'm extremely proud of how our team worked together this weekend. Both times we were up against strong fields, and both times we stuck to our plan and pulled off the win. There's nothing better than teamwork that feels like clockwork.
The winning team at Oakland Grand Prix (photo courtesy of Garrett Lau)
Thanks for reading,

Starla's Davis Crit Race Report

After a week off the bike, I was not sure where my legs would be today. I only knew one thing, they would be dead to me or ready to storm. The plan was to check in with each other during the race and if my legs wanted to come out to play, I would get a lead out by Lindsay and Karla for the win. The plan was also to cover attacks the first half of the race and then be more aggressive in the second half and see if we could make something stick. If not, we would lead it out for the sprint.

Soon out of the gates there was an attack. I was in position so I went with it. It looked like we had a gap so I look over and say "hey why not" she nods and says "ok". We take turns pulling and stay away for a few laps. They ring the bell for a $100 prime (oh yes I want this), we are starting to get pulled back and I'm a little tired and think to myself if we get caught now I have no chance of winning the sprint, so I attack and manage to stay off and take the prime ( woo hoo!). I sit up and sink like a stone until I am in the middle of the pack. I hold position there so I can get a little recovery. I look to the front and am happy to see Lindsay, Karla, and Kim ready to cover.

Now I'm not going to get the order of this right but you will get the picture. More attacks, Karla goes takes a prime, Lindsay goes takes a prime, I go again take another $100 prime (what can I say I'm thinking money for Belgium). More attacks Karla covers, Kim covers, Lindsay covers, and somewhere in there I take another prime. It's getting late in the race, we start to attack. Tibco is working hard, so is Metromint and other riders to keep up the pace, but we are there to cover every move.

Two to go I find Karla, I'm on her, now I'm not. Lindsay gets me back up closer to Karla, now I'm back on her, then I'm not, ok for real now, I'm on! She's killing it into the last turn and I take off ( I say to myself don't shift down, try sprinting in a smaller gear, I learned this is a smart move and works for me). I'm sprinting and it looks all clear when a wheel starts to creep into my peripheral on the left. It's Carol Irving of Touchstone. I know she is a strong sprinter, we have been here before, but I put my head down still sprinting, she is gaining on me (in my head noooooooo). I dig deeper, I'm pulling ahead, there's the line and it's a W!, hands up super excited for a win.

The team rode amazing. We had a plan, we stuck to it, and it worked! Karla gave a phenomenal lead out. Lindsay launched some aggressive attacks and Kim rode like a champ covering some tough attacks.
Thanks for reading,

Starla Teddergreen Wins Davis 4th of July Criterium!

Photo Courtesy Bob Cullinan,
Starla Teddergreen cemented her place as a dominant force on the US Cycling scene today by winning the coveted Davis 4th of July Criterium in front of a quality field.
"I wanted to win this race wth a vengeance" explained the diminutive Starla, ater a stellar mid year which has seen her compete successfully on the NRC circuit.
Her success was in no small part to her SugarCRM teammates, Karla Kingsley, Lindsay Myers and Kim Fong who rode textbook tactics to collecticely garner 4 of the mid race priems in front of riders from TIBCO, Touchstone and Vanderkitten and set up the punchy Starla for the finish.
"I was away early and managed to collect a couple of priems, and when i eventually came back to the group Karla and Lindsay managed to cover successive moves and gather further priems. With 5 laps to go i was surfing Karla's wheel and she was riding awesome. I momentarily lost it and Lindsay picked up with two to go and delivered me back to the front of the field. Then Karla picked me up and dropped me off at awesome pace into the last corner, I had to drag race Carol Irving (Touchstone) to the line. She was coming up fast, but i was determined to win"
The ride caps off a great Spring/ Summer campaign for Starla, who can add the victory to her two top 10 NRC finishes as she heads to Belgium for a stint of international racing on Thursday. For tomorrow though, her focus is on helping SugarCRM in tomorrows Oakland GP.
"Karla Kingsley's home race tomorrow, we have been on tour together alot this year and she took care of me today. We want to help her as much as possible in the finale for Oakland"
The SugarCRM girls stepped up today, stay tuned for news on their performances at Oakland.

Lindsay Myers 6th at Nevada City Classic

On a day when record crowds descended upon Nevada City to witness Lance Armstrongs first win in 4 years, SugarCRMs Lindsay Myers made the most of her climbing ability to place 6th behind Promans Shelley Olds. Lindsay ended up at the front of a select group of riders, after previously driving the winning break only to fall back after a succession of attacks from Old's Proman teammates.
For Lindsay, she was just happy to be back racing on US soil at Americas oldest bike race after returning from a stint in France. "Nevada City is one of my favorite races because of its technical, tough nature. With all of the crowds cheering on the sidelines it was fun, no matter the result"