Windy road racing marks opening of Collegiate Nationals

Fort Collins, Colo. (May 8, 2009) – Opening day of the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships saw the University of Vermont reign supreme, finishing first and second in the men’s Division I road race on Friday. Last year’s defending team overall road champion, Lees-McRae College however used a balanced attack by both its men and women, including another national title by Carla Swart, to take the early lead in the team omnium standings. In Division II the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference came out on top in both the men’s and women’s road races as Princeton’s Nick Frey and Mount Holyoke’s Emma Bast rode to victory, but it was Whitman College who took control of the team standings after one day of racing.
After a minor, early race crash things remained fairly quiet in the DI men’s race with riders breaking up into three groups on the rolling climbs around the Horsetooth Resovoir. Heading into the first of four laps in Masonville, a lead group of around 17 riders established themselves 1:30 in front of the peloton. Despite a few solo chasers the lead group held until former cyclo-cross national champion Jamey Driscoll (Jericho, Vt./University of Vermont) attacked on the first of three daunting climbs back over the reservoir toward Hughes Stadium. Driscoll was able to pull away for a 44 second victory, leaving his teammate William Dugan (Burlington, Vt.) to complete the one-two sweep, wining the sprint for the silver over Marian’s Adam Leibovitz (Indianapolis, Ind.).    
“Our big goal was to win the crit tomorrow, but now we’ll definitely be aiming for the team overall,” stated Dugan.
The story of the DII men’s race was Nick Frey (Princeton, N.J./Princeton University) who blasted his was to a nearly five minute victory over the 80-rider field. After the race broke into three groups Frey was able to escape up to the lead group of around 15 riders coming out of the feed zone on the third of four laps. He was then able to break away from the leaders on the finishing climbs and never looked back.
“I didn’t want to push it too quickly and then I just drilled it on the final climb,” said Frey, who also has a U23 time trial national title under his belt.
Pfeiffer University’s Joey Rosskopf (Decatur, Ga.) earned the silver in a close race for second over Conor Mullervy (Grand Junction, Colo./Mesa State) and Brad Winn (Colorado Springs, Colo./University of Colorado-Colorado Springs).   
Seventy women fought through 51 miles of brutally windy race conditions only to succumb to the same result as last year as multi-time national champion Carla Swart (Banner Elk, N.C./Lees-McRae College) sprinted to the win in the DI women’s road race. Swart was able to edge Harvard’s Anna McLoon (Cambridge, Mass.) after nine riders separated themselves from the field in the early going. The morning’s windy conditions made the already challenging course even more difficult for the ladies.
”It was like a hurricane out there,” explained Jacquelyn Crowell (Gainesville, Fla.), the race’s third-place finisher from the University of Florida. “The high-level competition and conditions made my race much more of a defensive one.”  
As the women hit the rough climbs up into the Horsetooth Resovoir, nine powerful riders were able to break away from the field. Swart and teammate Ally Stacher (Banner Elk, N.C.), Chloe Forsman and Melanie Myers (Tucson, Ariz.) of the University of Arizona, Margaret Shirley (New York, N.Y.) of Columbia, Jacquelyn Crowell (Ganiesville, Fla.) of the University of Florida and McLoon led a group that stayed away through the pair of ten mile circuits. Despite a strong chase put together by another group of nine, the leaders were able to stay together out front until Swart broke on the second to final climb. McLoon, Myers and Crowell were able to follow, making it an exciting race back to Hughes Stadium. McLoon was able to hold on to Swart’s wheel turning into a brutal headwind on the finishing straight. A tactically savvy sprinter, Swart was able to pour it on and collect yet another star-and-stripes jersey, crossing the finish line just ahead of McLoon.
“Given my strengths we broke a little early,” said McLoon a Harvard doctoral candidate. “She (Swart) is an intelligent and great tactical rider and I think that cost me the national championship today.”   
The DII women’s race played out in dramatically different fashion with the main group of 22 sticking together throughout the rough, 51-mile affair. In the sprint to the finish it was Mount Holyoke College’s Emma Bast (South Hadley, Mass.) who turned it on to take the national title in a photo finish.
“I just knew I had to be on the inside going into that last turn,” explained the senior geology major. “I thought I was going to get boxed in, but I was able to follow a wheel and then turn it on to get around her.”
Rita Klofta (Greencastle, Ind./DePauw University) pulled off the silver in the sprint to the line, while scheduled Pan American Road Race participant Kim Geist (Emmaus, Pa./DeSales Universtiy) finished third.   
With the team omnium battle heating up, racing will continue on Saturday morning the with the men’s and women’s criteriums in Old Town Fort Collins. Click here for a complete schedule.
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2009 USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals
May 7-10
Fort Collins, Colo.
For complete results, click here.
For team omnium standings, click here for DI and here for DII.
To view photos from the event, visit the USA Cycling photo gallery, here.  
Division I Men’s Road Race
1. Jamey Driscoll (University of Vermont) 2:52:47
2. William Dugan (University of Vermont) 2:53:31
3. Adam Leibovitz (Marian College) 2:53:34
4. Bobby Sweeting (University of Florida) 2:53:35
5. Rotem Ishay (Fort Lewis College) 2:53:35
Division I Women’s Road Race
1. Carla Swart (Lees-McRae) 2:28:21
2. Anna McLoon (Harvard University) 2:28:24
3. Jacquelyn Crowell (University of Florida) 2:28:47
4. Melanie Meyers (University of Arizona) 2:28:56
5. Chloe Forsman (University of Arizona) 2:29:26
Division II Men’s Road Race
1. Nick Frey (Princeton University) 2:57:40
2. Joey Rosskppf (Pfeiffer University 3:02:02
3. Conor Mullervy (Mesa State College) 3:02:15
4. Brad Winn (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs) 3:03:50
5. Sean Barrie (Georgetown University) 3:03:13
Division II Women’s Road Race
1. Emma Bast Mount Holyoke College) 2:47:42
2. Rita Klofta (DePauw University) 2:47:42
3. Kimberly Geist (DeSales University) 2:47:43
4. Lydia Tanner (Montana State University-Bozeman) 2:47:43
5. Laura Ralston (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 2:47:44
DI Team Omnium Standings
1. Lees-McRae College 143
2. University of California-Davis 137
3. University of Arizona 121
4. University of Vermont 104
5. Fort Lewis College 102
DII Team Omnium Standings
1. Whitman College 156
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology 115
3. Mesa State College 112
4. Princeton University 94
5. Mount Holyoke College 73
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This Article Published May 8, 2009 For more information contact: