Weekly Collegiate Racing Wrap - April 24, 2012
This weekend, teams traveled from across Texas and Oklahoma – some for over 600 miles - to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for the SCCCC Conference Championships. Once again, severe thunderstorms threatened to make the weekend terrible, but riders were pleasantly surprised with possibly the most gorgeous weather the conference has seen all season. With large point gaps already separating team totals, most racers worked with their teams to gain individual podium placings.
The road race was held north of Baton Rouge on a mostly flat course surrounded by lush greenery and horse pastures. Without rough winds or sinister hills, making a breakaway stick was difficult. Despite it all, in the Men’s Cs, Ryan Barnes (Tulane), Carlos Perea (LSU), Sam Tennenbaum (Rice), and Andrew Abrenica (UT) broke away a few miles into the race, leaving behind a ton of work for Texas A&M. Barnes, Perea and Tennenbaum kept the breakaway to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
The Sunday crit was held in downtown Baton Rouge and centered on the Louisiana State Capitol building. Early in the Men’s As, Evan Bybee (MSU) and Shane Haga (Texas A&M) jumped off the front and held it the entire race, switching pulls. While the other men’s A finishes have been close all season, Haga blew the spectators away with the number of bike lengths he left between him and second place.
The 2012 SCCCC Road champion teams were MSU (Division I) and Tulane (Division II). The first ever 2011-2012 SCCCC Team Omnium award, which includes points from road, track, mountain, and cyclocross, was awarded to Texas A&M. Full results can be found here: http://www.lambra.org/results/2012/LSU_2012_r.html
NWCCC: Conference Championships at WSU and UI – by Evan Schmitt
The final weekend of the NWCCC brought the racers to the Palouse of Eastern Washington. The Palouse road race on Saturday morning was filled with sunny skies and 70 degree weather. Racers rode around a 23 mile course that had 1500 feet of climbing per lap and finished in the small town of Palouse, Washington. The mayor of Palouse was even on hand to send off all the fields and to give a warm welcome to his town.
The Women's A raced two laps and on lap two, Aleah Davis (Oregon) and Carla Schubiger (Washington State) broke away. The two riders stayed away and Davis took the win ahead of Schubiger. Washington's Marissa Carr won the field sprint for third.
The Men's A contested three laps of the course and the group stayed together on the first two laps. On the third lap, three riders broke away on the climb to the highest point on the course. Ryan Short (Western Washington), Dillon Caldwell and David Kuhns (Oregon) rode together to the finish. Short took the win ahead of Caldwell in the final run in to Palouse and Kuhns rolled in for third place.
Sunday's criterium on the University of Idaho campus used the classic four-corner course that has been the capstone to the NW racing season. Early morning clouds broke up for another clear and sunny day of racing by the time the A fields started with the ladies around 11 am.
Going into the criterium, 19 points separated first and second place overall in the Women's A race. Overall leader Kelly Plese (Washington) had her work cut out for her to fend off the hard charging Davis. Davis won three of the six prime laps, while Plese only won one of them. But in the end, Plese pulled off the win ahead of Carr and Davis and had enough points to keep her overall lead over Davis.
On the men's side, Short had wrapped up the overall victory with his win in the road race, so the men took to the course to figure out the best of the rest. The pack stayed together until under ten laps to go, when Short initiated a move that brought Caldwell, Will Neimann-Ross (Washington) and Brian Morra (Idaho) to his wheel. The four riders rode clear from a dormant peloton and stayed away until the end. Short took the victory ahead of Caldwell and Neimann-Ross.
With one weekend to go before the ECCC Championships, a smaller but dedicated field of riders headed to Dartmouth for L’Enfer du Nord.
Saturday began with a fast 2.8 mile ITT. High schooler Brendan Rhim (Killington Mountain School) crushed the A field by 13 seconds to show up the strong collegiate men of the ECCC. Katie Quinn (MIT) won the women’s A.
Saturday afternoon headed to Dartmouth’s Frat Row for a challenging criterium. The elite races of the day were some of the most memorable crit races of the season. Katie Quinn (MIT) attacked half way through the 50 minute race, putting in a ferocious effort lapping the entire women’s A/B field. In the men’s A field Spencer Schaber (MIT) and Joseph Reis (UVM) rode away from the field and came within 10 seconds of lapping the field, with a little help from their blocking teammates. Schaber outsprinted Reis to keep UVM winless in the men’s A.
Racing crossed over to the Green Mountain state for Sunday’s punishing Walls of Jericho road race. The Walls of Jericho were just that, an intense 1.5 mile climb which averaged 8% with grades that pushed 20%. The men’s A made eight trips up that climb, shredding the field leaving Edward Grystar (Brown) to ride in alone to victory. An MIT tandem rode alone for the majority of six laps in the women’s A/B with Yuri Matsumoto and Christina Birch took 1st and 2nd.
While the conference championships are next weekend, one champion was crowded this weekend. With a very deep field in this season’s “Jort Off” Jon Cusick (UVM) took home the coveted ECCC Jort Champions Jean Jacket.
MWCCC: Conference Championships at Notre Dame – by Michael Kubancsek
The MWCCC saw a varsity powerhouse and a club team repeat as conference champions at the end of the 2012 road regular season. Schools from all over the Midwest competed in South Bend, IN for the regional championship team time trial, road race, and criterium, and Marian University (DI) and the University of Notre Dame (DII) came out on top as team omnium champions for the second year in a row. Both teams racked up wins throughout the season and sealed the deal with solid performances at the race weekend hosted by Notre Dame, as A riders finalized their preparation for Collegiate Road Nationals.
The Marian women’s A squad remained unbeaten, taking all podium spots in the road race and crit, and the men’s A team showed they are ready to defend their TTT title in Utah. Lindsey Wilson’s Justin Lowe stole the win with a late solo flyer in Sunday’s crit out of a large break with Marian and Lindenwood also represented, but Marian’s Alex Wieseler’s sprint win on Saturday’s road race and second place in the crit sealed up his individual omnium championship. Last year’s Nationals crit champion Kaitie Antonneau (Marian) won the DI women’s individual omnium, and Notre Dame’s Joe Magro took home the DII men’s top honors for the conference season. Marian, Lindsey Wilson, Lindenwood, Northwestern, Purdue, Wisconsin-Madison, Notre Dame, and others will all be sending riders to Utah to vie for stars-and-stripes.
SECCC: Conference Championships at Brevard – by Liz Gerrity
Forecasts warned competitors to be ready for rain, chill, or both, but that didn’t stop the SECCC from assembling in Brevard, NC for the 2012 Conference Championships. This would be it—the final battle for the season Omnium title, Nationals qualifications, the whole shebang.
Saturday began with time trials: courses were about fifteen miles in length and covered beautiful, hilly North Carolina vistas that just can’t be properly appreciated when one is gasping for breath and crying over the amount of lactic acid clogging their thighs. Lees McRae College solidified their team victory over previously-first place FSU with a Women’s A run that put a great deal of men’s times to shame.
The road races began under the threat of rain, but the skies held back long enough for racers to cover the miles. The flyer claimed that the course was to appeal to the “all around rider”; however, the mountain at mile 7 made this assertion dubious at best.
LMC’s Rachel Warner quite literally crushed the souls of the Women’s A field in the road race; she launched a blistering attack up the course’s most difficult climb and did not stop pedaling until her lead topped eleven minutes on the nearest finisher. Mariske Strauss of Mars Hill College nabbed second place from the bunch sprint. The Men’s A race went off from the gun at a ridiculous pace. Sebastian Scherf of Mars Hill College emerged victorious, with Zachary Fepel (LMC) and Tommy Schubert (Cumberland) rounding out the podium.
Sunday dawned with the same “I think I might rain” vibe coming from the clouds. Brevard’s course snaked through a little over a mile of neighborhood near the downtown area and featured even more climbing. The course began on a gradual incline that whittled down to a steep kicker. The Women’s A race decided itself almost immediately, with a decisive breakaway being formed by MHC’s Klara Rossouw and LMC’s Cinthia Lehner. Cinthia went on to lap the field mercilessly and repeatedly; Rachel Warner chased for second place. The Men’s A field, as it is prone to do, proved a sufferfest of infinite pain. Zack Felpel of LMC came in first, with Brian Arne (College of Charleston) in second, and Joseph Welsh (LMC) in third.
Conference titles were handed out following the Men’s A crit on Sunday. Lees McRae continued its SECCC spankings with another first place Team Omnium; FSU took second and GSU took third. In DII, Mars Hill claimed the top spot, with King College in second and Cumberland in third. In the Individual Omnium, FSU’s Liz Gerrity claimed first place over LMC’s Rachel Warner and King College’s Stephanie Cucaz thanks to her relentless ITT participation. Neal Shepard of UF took first in the Men’s Omnium, with Sebastian Scherf of MHC in second and Ryan Sullivan of CU in third. Gerrity and Shepard took home the conference’s first ever leader’s jerseys, thanks to Jakroo!
This Article Published April 24, 2012 For more information contact: