Cycling Team Has Very Successful Opening Race Weekend

Cycling Team Has Very Successful Opening Race Weekend

March 19th and 20th marked the kick off to the 2016 ECCC Road Racing Season! The classic Philly Phlyer opened the season this year with their TTT, road race, and criterium. Seven racers from Brown participated, including four first time racers.

DAY 1:

Lauren Montieth, Dani Morshead, Rachel Pedersen, and Maggie Mathieu raced together in the Women’s C team time trial (TTT), a first for all four women. TTTs are timed based on the second person of the team to cross the finish line and teams are started 30 seconds apart.

By the first downhill, the women of Brown had already passed one team. They cruised on the flat part of the course at about 22 miles per hour and on the second lap, they passed two more teams. With about 1 km to go, Dani and Maggie broke off and tried to keep up with a team. Realizing they were one lap behind, Dani and Maggie began the climb to the finish line. They finished with a time of 38:19 to earn the second place!

Next up for the day was Jonathan racing the Men’s C road race. Jonathan is a junior in his third year of racing for Brown. The Men’s C field was large with over 80 starters! The Philly Phlyer road race is a staple of the ECCC calendar every year. It features a flat section down along the Schuykill RIver, with a short punchy climb up near the Belmont Mansion before looping back around in front of Memorial Hall.

Jonathan started well but was unfortunately caught behind an untimely crash that caused him to be split off from the front group. He was able to dust himself off and finish the race with a respectable 46th place.

Maggie, Rachel and Dani all lined up for the women’s C road race. The first lap saw Dani and Heidi Miller from Princeton start to build a lead on the main group of chasers. The efforts by Dani and Heidi started to split the race apart and Maggie and Rachel were caught out on the road by themselves. Dani ultimately finished in 2nd place, with Rachel coming in 17th and Maggie in 19th. Amazing performances for their first road races!

Freshman Grant Fong and Lauren participated in the new ECCC Men’s E and Women’s D categories and Intro clinics. The clinics are E/D races are designed for new riders who don’t have as much experience riding in a group and want to have the opportunity to race and also work on skills like cornering and group riding. Grant finished 13th in the Men’s E race and Lauren finished 31st in the Women’s D.

Lauren crests a hill in the Women’s D Road Race

Last up for the day was Kyle Helson racing the Men’s B road race. The Men’s B field started slowly but ramped up as the race went on. All of the attacks and breakaway attempts were reeled back in by the field until the last lap. Two riders lept off the front with 1 km to go. Kyle tried a late attack in the closing 400 m but faded near the finish line and finished 12th.

DAY 2:

Sunday March 20 featured the classic Temple Criterium. Located in the heart of Temple’s campus, the crit course is a flat, fast, traditional 4 corner crit.

Jonathan and the Men’s C field was up first. Jonathan looked good and was constantly sitting top 20 in a very large field. He swung to the front in time to take the final prime lap as well. When the racers heard the bell for the final lap Jonathan launched an attack. Unfortunately he was caught with about 700 m to go, but finished a respectable 19th.

Maggie and Dani were up next for the women’s C crit. In similar fashion to the previous day’s road race, Dani found herself with Miller from Princeton off the front of the group with a large, 30” lead over the closest chasers. Maggie was firmly planted in the largest chase group with about 12 riders. Dani again finished second to Miller from Princeton. Maggie was able to beat half of her chase group compatriots and finish 14th.

Dani finishing second in the women’s C criterium at Temple U

Grant and Lauren again participated in the intro clinics and men’s and women’s E/D category races. Criteriums can be intimidating for riders without fast group riding experience because they usually feature high speed cornering in tight groups. Grant finished 10th, and with two excellent performances in the Men’s E field, looks to move up to the D field in the coming weeks. Lauren finished a lap down on the field in 26th place.

Kyle was again the last race up for the day. The race unfolded very similarly to the prior day’s road race, with the large team from UVM controlling the race and shutting down any attacks. There was a large crash with about 5 laps to go that temporarily split the field. Several riders attacked late in the last lap and stayed off the front. Kyle finished 19th, getting 16th in the field sprint.

Kyle warming up for his race while watching the Women’s D crit

The team had an amazing first race weekend to kick off the 2016 ECCC Road Racing Season. Stay tuned for more updates as the season rolls onward!

Photo Credits:  Elisabeth Reinkordt (‘05) and Velocity Results