Manasquan’s Brennan wins national cycling title

MANASQUAN — Andrea Brennan has always been riding a bike. The 47-year-old from Manasquan, grew up with a paper route in Howell and used a bike to get to her friends’ house. She would later do longer rides with her father when she was in high school. Years later Brennan started riding and racing with her husband Andrew, who helped encourage her to put together a pursuit team and compete in the Masters Track Nationals. Andrea Brennan and her South Mountain Cycle & Cafe teammates are two-time national champions in the women’s 45 and over team pursuit. Brennan and her teammates won the event at the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill South Carolina on July 2. Brennan and her teammates, Gwenn Afton of Reston, Virginia and Jenette Williams of Proctorville, Ohio, raced the three kilometers in 4:11, which is an average speed of 26.2 miles per hour. The same trio won the pursuit masters national title two years ago in Rock Hill. They didn’t get a chance to race two years ago since the masters nationals was rained out due to torrential rains in Indianapolis. It took some work to put the team together in event where unspoken communication is crucial. “Gwenn and I had been racing with each other on the track for quite a few years,’’ said Brennan. “One of our teammates said you should get together for team pursuit. We were looking for a third person for a while.’’ They found the third rider in Williams, who Brennan says is the strongest of the three riders. “Andrew helped us out a lot,’’ said Andrea of putting the team together. “With women you start with three and finish with three. You are timed by the rear wheel of third rider. The goal is to work together as fast as you can, but you can’t drop anybody.’’

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