The squad competes in national, regional and local races up and down the Eastern seaboard and across the country. We are primarily a category 1 and 2 NYC-based racing squad. We do travel throughout the extensive tri-state area and, on occasion, beyond. We focus on road races and criteriums primarily. Over the years, we have built for ourselves a reputation as one of the preeminent elite racing teams on the NYC scene.
After competing as a wrestler for 9 years, Eli transitioned to triathlons and cross-country running on a collegiate level. As a wrestler, he earned honors of All Conference 3 years in a row and as a runner, All Conference second team his Senior year in college. After graduating, Eli began racing bicycles for his local shop team, Team Cosmic. With Team Cosmic, Eli won the overall Rockleigh series before moving on and grabbing a handful of top 5s at the state championships, most recently a 5th place with Blue Ribbon in 2017. For 2018, Eli will return donning the Blue Ribbon kit with his sights set on the largest regional races in NYC and beyond.
Cecilia fell in love with cycling while living in France after college. She took podium spots at Tour of the Battenkill, Green Mountain Stage Race, and multiple CRCA races, as stepping stones towards earning her cat 1 license in 2013. She won a collegiate National championship in ITT in 2014 and won a spot on the collegiate All-Star team to compete at the NorthStar Grand Prix. After a serious bike accident and the rediscovery of running, she picked up triathlon in 2015, which she is pursuing professionally. While she doesn’t race pure bikes races often anymore, she appreciates the cycling community and companionship from BR and sporting the blue and black colors!
Born in Green Bay, WI, Camie was brought into the world immediately hating the cold. She moved to Milwaukee where it was somehow just as cold and she quickly developed her intolerant attitude towards long winter rides. An absolute menace on two wheels, Camie has secured incredibly inspirational results all around the world from NJ State Championships to World Championships in England . She appreciates every moment on two wheels and finds joy and inspiration in her races and friendship in her contenders once the ferocity of the race dies down. Camie has won the National Championships on 5 separate occasions. She has stood on the podium at the World Championships three times. And once, she made it all the way up the Ash->Tweed->Nike climb without stopping. Of course, these achievements pale in comparison to the love of her life, her little man Cristian. For 2018, Camie’s goals are to go faster.
For 2019, Ben is back for another season with the boys in blue. Hailing from Brooklyn, he can be found early mornings zipping around Prospect Park or heading south to Floyd Bennet Field during the summer months to hone his racing skills. He thrives in poor conditions and enjoys a bit of #critlean every now and then. Part of our U23 squad, he looks forward to lining up with his new teammates.
Having ridden with Blue Ribbon since 2012, Brendan has watched all forms of guard come and go. Brendan is the true all-around workhorse that has and can do it all. Brendan has served as super-domestique to Zach during his three-year reign at Rockleigh, he has served as the NJ state Road Race Champion, he has worn the leader’s jersey at Rockleigh himself and above all else, Brendan is known for his ruthless work ethic that leaves others churning in the back of the peloton.
Born in France, Christophe waited to fall in love with cycling after moving to New York: isn’t it weird?? He bought his first road bike 10 years ago and, after a brief tryout in triathlons, realized swimming and running were not his strengths so he decided to focus on riding bikes. 2 Gran Fondos later, he went on to compete in his first race (the White Plains crit) in June 2017. His first win was under a pouring rain in Central Park for the Lou Maltese race that same month. The next season and after a few top tens as a cat 4, his first real result was a win Trooper Memorial road race (cat 3/4) in April 2018. A month later at Bear Mountain, he was pretty happy hanging with the reduced field with one lap to go but remembered that Bear is a “sprinter’s race”. Knowing his (lack of) sprinting skills and wanting none of it, he decided to attack with 5 miles to go – no one came with him (merde…) – however the field didn’t catch him and he won the cat 3 NY State road championship! Christophe loves food and his favorite color is blue so it was only natural for him to join Blue Ribbon 😊 For 2019, he will proudly wear the team kit at local park races, Floyd Bennett and as many road races as possible around the region.
By profession, Edwin Morel was the head mechanic at a local prestigious bike shop for 11 years before starting his own shop, Talent Cycles, in 2013. His shop is located on 139th/Amsterdam on the CUNY campus. Edwin’s accolades are international and impressive. Among his many wins, Edwin is the 2016 Dominican Republican National Champion. He races as Category 2 and has recently held the title of Dominican Republic Jr. National Champion by the age of 16. Edwin is a former member of the Dominican Republic National Team for 4 years, a former U-23 National Champion. More recently, he has been a stage winner of the Vuelta Indepencia, a winner of the Classico of Caguas in Puerto Rico and a 3rd place finisher in the Mengoni Grand Prix. In 2018, Edwin launched a valiant late-race exploit at the Tour of Somerville to try and catch Jesse Kooistra. Edwin came up short but was able to hold off the charging field and grab the second step on the podium. This year, Edwin also held the polka-dot jersey at the Prospect Park series and the yellow jersey at Floyd Bennet Field.
A veteran fencer turned bike racer, Anthony comes to blue ribbon with six years of finely honed swashbuckling skills and, more recently, three years of experience ragging bikes along the east coast with the NYU cycling team under his belt. Whether floating away on double digit gradients or gleefully slicing through switchbacks, Anthony is decidedly a man for the mountains. When not on two wheels, he dons the guise of a teacher, short fiction writer and marketing goon. A firm believer in the endangered art of bike handling, Anthony says: “skids aren’t just for kids. Practice your tekkerz causs the #lesswatts life is a good one.”
Hailing from Brooklyn, Eamonn is a veteran of the CRCA development squad. While primarily a road racer, Eamonn has experience in cyclocross and track as well. He currently attends Oberlin college, where he studies astrophysics and endures sweaty trainer sessions in his dorm room. He has grabbed top steps at the Floyd Bennet Field racing series in his Brooklyn backyard where Eamonn will continue with his incredible momentum in 2019.
Coming from a storied season of wins all around the world, Gavi comes to Blue Ribbon for 2018 to ride with the friends he grew up with, racing side by side at his hometown races in the NYC area. Gavi enjoys close friendships with everybody he races with, from local sprinters to Tour de France breakaway specialists. His exploits in China and beyond are nothing short of legend which will set him up well for the next chapter in his racing career – donning the Blue Ribbon kit.
Thurstan works for Alphadyne Asset Management, a sponsor of the team. A displaced Londoner, he raced briefly with the CRCA in the early 2000s, and was Club Secretary then too. As a partner of Sakonnet Technology, he helped build the junior national racing team for which Gavriel Epstein and Phil Gaimon once rode. Thurstan has served on NYC Transportation Alternatives’ advisory board, and led their group rides for many years. Since 2013 he has organized a century TTT every Fall along the Delaware River between Easton, PA and Trenton, NJ. He is now exploring improving or creating roads, greenways and paths between the GWB and the new Tappan Zee Bridge, including a possible 22-mile rail-trail conversion on a disused line between North Bergen, NJ, and Nyack. Loves bikes with Reynolds steel tubing, gravel events, Boxer in Nyack and Caffe Latte in Dobbs Ferry.
As Michael has been known to do, he compiled a short, personal montage from the past years of his life when he was asked to draft a team bio: There were wheels. Wheels everywhere. On the ground, in the air, in the grass beside the course. And then suddenly, I was down amongst the wheels. On the floor. Again. For the umpteenth time this season. I vowed to myself then and there that when this was all over, I was going to get a tattoo of training wheels on my ankle as a reminder of this stage in my life. For it would go on. C’est la vie – and I would be cat 1. I just needed to get through this particularly crashy stage of my life so that I could continue on my path towards greatness with some of my best friends along the way – Zach, Mark, Eli, Brendan and of course, my soulmate Lauren. I will get through it. I will upgrade and upgrade and upgrade again. I will spend countless hours spinning my cranks in hope of some glory known only to me only to up and leave it all behind and begin the entire process over again in some foreign land. But first, let me lay here amongst these wheels one last time.
Thomas Pennell manages Pennell Venture Partners, a venture capital firm. Thomas started racing bikes in 2000. Results in the last year include podium finishes in the Spring Bear Mountain 40+ race as well as in the Bermuda Grand Prix 40+ road race, criterium and GC. Prior results he is likely to recall in times of poor form include a 4th in the Cat 3 Green Mountain Stage Race GC; 2nd place finishes at the Cat 3 Bear Mountain, 40+ Coupe des Ameriques road race, and masters Pete Senia race (the latter taking place the day after the far more significant birth of son Reed—yes, thank you Stephanie); as well as a solo road race win and GC win at the Bermuda Grand Prix. Thomas leaves to his teammates the squabbling over who has the best looks, quickest wit and greatest ability to exaggerate accomplishments.
A veteran racer with Blue Ribbon, Mark brings 25 years of racing experience to the table. Mark has been a successful elite bicycle racer for many years with results spanning the continent. A solid climber Mark managed victory in several of his favorite races: Nancy Morgenstern/Bear Mtn, Tokenke, Unionvale and Balloon Festival. With unparalleled team support Mark won 2 CRCA power points races. A resident of northern NJ, the roads of Bergen and Rockland Counties are Mark’s playground where he hones his deadly grit and determination he’s known for, both on the race course and off.
Jason came to cycling after a collegiate career in cross-country skiing as he was looking for a bit more challenge in his life. Riding with Blue Ribbon for 7 years, Jason is one of the most senior members on the team with scores of races under his belt. For 2018, Jason is focusing on blowing up the local race scene with his BR teammates.