team somerset | from the President's Desk

President's Message - Year End 2011

Always a fitting time of the year to reflect on the past twelve months, racing season, team activities, accomplishments etc. At the start of the year, we all tackled 2011 with some trepidation. Based on the economy, we were unsure about our sponsors, certain segments of the team began losing membership, and we were all anxious about the promotion schedule as always. Also, would we be able to continue the success with the junior program we had based on the program's inception?

I am happy to say that we came out on top on mostly all of these fronts. We more than held our own with sponsors. While the days of large Corporate Sponsorship may be over, we diversified our portfolio, so to speak, and this came in handy when several stepped forward to sponsor the 75th Anniversary event that we had in November, in addition to offers of prizes and food for our races. We expected this (the 75th) to be mainly an expense to celebrate our milestone, but we actually came out ahead and everyone had a wonderful time at the event.

Our promotions were all very successful. 4 TTs, a Road Race, and joint Stage Race with Skylands that was the most successful ever. Yes, as always, there was anxiety and uncertainty about the events, weather, volunteers, results etc. That being said, all went very well and the additional income brought by promotions, such as the Giro Del Cielo and Readington TT, added to our bottom line. Even with a fairly large expenditure in clothing for the past year, we ended 2011 in a good financial position for an amateur team that does not operate for profit. Additionally, each of these events was successful due to the efforts of the promoters, volunteers, sponsors, and riders of course. There are no other NJ Teams that attempt to tackle as many promotions as Team Somerset. All done with care, pride, detail, and enthusiasm. Would personally like to thank our team promoters for their efforts - Joe/Dottie, Brian, Mike Granigan and Brooke.

In addition to the support shown by sponsors, members, and families to make these events go, we also had some pretty strong racing results this year. We had our team award event at the 75th for the road/track and we'll celebrate more certainly at the NJBA dinner on Friday, January 27. Too much to list here, but some highlights included Betty's dramatic return from injury to grab 6th in the GS Cup, 2nd in the TT Cup, and propelling the ladies team to 2nd place overall in the standings. Also, season long dominating Masters' performances by Rob Ryan and Rick Anderson in Road, Track, Cross, etc. to grab podium spots covering all the disciplines. Also, Joe and Dottie continue to defy the hands of time and perform at an extremely high level and bring home the awards in road, track, and CX. Eric and Katherine will also be getting awards at the NJBA dinner for podium spots in CX. From a team perspective, Team Somerset won the CX Cup, and the Women and 45+ Men's team took 2nd in the Garden State Cup. I am sure we would also be honoring Ken Drake here, if not for his mid-season terrible crash. Ken is on the road to recovery and we continue to wish him the best and he is looking pretty strong from what I have seen. Thanks to all for the support there.

Our team continues to also grow membership. In addition to our successful Junior Program, we added quite a few new adult members. In fact, Paul Cresti, Sean Smith, and Amy Umgelter had great seasons and finished strong in their respective TT and CX Cup classes. We already have some new members joining for 2012, including a member of the board at Skylands, Jon Boub, that will be racing in our 55+ class. Scott Breed raced well in the Eddy and has been instrumental in keeping our Sunday training rides moving.

Last, but by no means, least, our Junior program was the shining star this year with a successful schedule run by Doug Antelman and the junior committee and coaches. All the training paid off as we had Cup winners in Olivia (what didn't Olivia win?), Perry, Elissa, and an overall outstanding year by Sean Rice - including 2nd at Nationals for his age group in the RR. Sean won our most improved rider of the year, with Beth Rice as volunteer of the year.

I could go on and on with 2011 kudos, but will end there and just say it was a great year period. So, what is next for 2012? Well, we are hoping to build our junior program more to segment training/racing for our higher level riders to provide the opportunity that other large/elite junior programs have. This is currently a work in progress. Also, we have seven (7) potential promotions in the NJBA calendar, including TTs, Road Races, and a potential criterium. And, with a growing membership and several injured riders coming back this year, we hope for bigger and better things/results in all the local, regional, and national events. It also gives us enhanced training opportunities with diversity on the team.

So, take a bow for 2011 and savor in what we did. Enjoy the holidays with your families and thanks for everything you all did in 2011 and best for the Team and all of you in 2012!! Look forward to seeing everyone on the road training, off-road training, at races come March, and at the Awards dinner at the Olde Mill Inn in late January.