Collegiate riders take Augusta, Ga. by storm
For the club women, defending omnium and road race champion as well as bronze medalist in the crit, Margot Clyne (Boulder, Colo./University of Colorado Boulder) will be back again. With a solid season in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) as the current points leader, can Clyne repeat her success from last year? From the Southwestern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SWCCC), Ceclie Lejeune (Tempe, Ariz./Arizona State University), could give Clyne a run for her money. Like Clyne, Lejeune podiumed at the majority of her conference events this year. Keep an eye out for these riders as they battle it out for the individual omnium title awarded on Sunday after the criterium.
In the road race, Clyne and Lejeune need to keep an eye out for Silvana Alfieri (Wilmington, Del./North Carolina State Univerity at Raleigh) who dominated the road season in the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference (ACCC). Another rider to keep an eye on during the road race will be Lauren De Crescenzo (Broomfield, Colo./University of Colorado Denver). With a bronze last year in the road race, less than a minute back from Clyne, she very well could take the top step of the podium this year. Something new for this year’s road race, the top-two American women from the club race who are not affiliated with a team already attending the Colorado Classic will be chosen to the USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star National Team. You can read more about the All-Star Team here.
In the criterium, defending champion Emma Edwards (Cambridge, Mass./Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is also back this year. Another rider to watch for is Elizabeth Huuki (Pipersville, Penn./US Military Academy). Having won every crit in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) this season, she should be a marked rider.
Defending silver medalist in the omnium, Eric Brunner (Boulder, Colo./University of Colorado Boulder) will be back this year. Brunner will be trying to move up a step on the podium and claim the omnium stars-and-stripes jersey for himself. From the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference (WCCC) Duncan Clark (Los Angeles, Calif./University of California – Los Angeles) will try his hand at his first collegiate road championship. With his dominance in his conference this season he should be one to keep an eye on for the individual omnium podium. In a talent-rich field in the RMCCC, Chaz Hogenauer (Boise, Idaho/Colorado State University), the bronze medalist from last year took the season overall title, showing the need for riders to be wary of him for the individual omnium title.
Having won all but one of the ACCC’s road races, Clayton Travis (Hudson, Ohio/Virginia Polytechnic University) should be a strong contender for the road race champion title. Similarly, Jordan Chapman (Moscow, Idaho/University of Idaho) in the Northwestern Collegiate Cycling Conference (NWCCC) has podiumed in every collegiate road race he’s started this season. From the other side of the country, Ethan Call (Jefferson, N.H./Dartmouth College) is the defending ECCC road race champion and should be right there with Travis and Chapman at the finish line.
For the criterium, Clark’s teammate Evan Christenson (El Cajon, Calif.) will be another rider to watch for. Christenson came in bronze last year, and is on the hunt for gold this year. The North Central Collegiate Cycling Conference (NCCCC) sprinter Connor Remboldt (Perry, Kan./University of Kansas) will be in the hunt for a podium spot.
In the team time trial, the podium for the women’s side is back in full, as well as University of Colorado Boulder fielding a team. Can University of Arizona maintain their gold standard for another year, or can Stanford University, MIT, or Boulder knock them off the top step. On the men’s side, University of Colorado Boulder is back to defend their title. Can bronze medalist from last year University of California – Los Angeles or any of the 13 teams take home the gold instead?
In the team omnium, University of Arizona is back and stronger than ever. They’ll have to put in strong women’s performances to surpass University of Colorado – Boulder in the division 1 team standings. In the division 2 competition, it’s anyone’s game. Defending champions MIT are back. But with United States Military Academy fielding one of their strongest teams ever, they could come away with the trophy.
With the top-three racers in the individual omnium all having graduated last year, this years women’s varsity omnium title is up for grabs. Manuela Escobar (Colombia/Milligan College), the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (SECCC) women’s road season champion, has ruled the racing scene in the SECCC, with podium’s in every event she attended. Member of the USA Cycling junior worlds team for both track and road, and leader of the Midwestern Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC), sophomore Alijah Beatty (Washington, Iowa/Marian University) will take a crack at the overall title.
For Saturday’s road race, Mckenzie Myatt (Canada/Savannah College of Art & Design – Atlanta) will be defending her title. With podiums in each conference event she attended Annika Teschke (St. Charles, Mo./Lindenwood University) is a threat to be sure. Like the club women’s road race, the top-two American women from the varsity road race not associated with a team already attending the Colorado Classic will be offered spots on the USA Cycling Collegiate All-Star National Team.
The action packed criterium in downtown Augusta should be fun to watch. Judah Sencebaugh (Toccoa, Ga./ Savannah College of Art & Design – Atlanta) earned silver last year, and is back this year to take another step up on the podium. Laurel Rathbun (Monument, Colo./Marian University) will be looking to complete her collegiate career with a stars-and-stripes jersey in the criterium.
Bronze medalist in the individual omnium last year, James Hillyer (Durango, Colo./Fort Lewis College) will be battling it out this year for the gold. Dominate in the SECCC Milligan’s Issac Bryant (Maplewood, Minn.) will be coming for the overall title. Bryant was the highest ranked rider in the SECCC in both road race and criterium standings.
Contesting the road race, South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference season champion Zack Greg (Roanoke, Va./Midwestern State University) should be a major player in Saturday’s race. Having taken the win in a majority of his conference’s events. RMCCC’s Alexander Marr (Fort Collins, Colo./Colorado Mesa University) is having a banner season this year with podium spots in four of the last five road races he’s done.
Defending criterium champion Jonah MeadVanCort (Ithaca, N.Y./Lindenwood University) will be back again this year to defend his title. Collegiate track national champion, Cade Bickmore (Longmont, Colo./Marian University) will be someone else to watch during the crit. With his explosive sprint, he’ll be going into this event as marked man. The SECCC’s Nolan VanderZwaag (Holland, Mich./Lees-McRae College) may be the surprise rider this year, having done very well through out his conference season.
Marian University is looking to make this their sixth continuous men’s team time trial title. Both Colorado Mesa University and Savannah College of Art and Design - Atlanta will try wrestling the title away from Marian. On the women’s side, Marian’s supremacy has an even longer history, and it looks like it’s not going to end soon, with their team having won all the conference team time trial events. Can in-conference rivals Lindenwood University break the streak? Or will SECCC champions Milligan University crack the code?
Like the men’s team time trial, the Division 1 title has been Marian’s for at least the last 5 years. Can they claim it again, or can Colorado Mesa or Fort Lewis take the top step of the podium? For Division 2, last year’s champions, Piedmont College, depended heavily on the contributions of Erica Allar. With Allar graduated, this year could be anyone’s.
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