UofL Cycling Wins MTB Conference Championships

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UofL Cycling capped off their best season ever this weekend at the regional championships, hosted by Marian University. Over the course of the season, the team earned 21 podium finishes (8 in the A’s), hosted a race weekend, and won the Conference Championships in the Club Division.

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James Francisco catching some air on the Short Track course.

Saturday’s races were at the Indy Cycloplex venue, with short track in the morning. The course was really fun, with a flowy descent and a mellow climb back up. Josh Smithson started the day off with an impressive 4th place finish in the Men’s B race. John Francisco followed that up with another 4th place in the Men’s A race, with James Francisco rolling in with 10th place.

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John Francisco en route to 4th in Men’s A Short Track.

The Four Cross event was that afternoon. The course was Marian’s BMX track, which has many small rollers and medium sized doubles. Josh decided to enter the Men’s B race at the last minute and pulled off a stellar silver medal finish.

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Josh Smithson warming up for the Four Cross race.

After a rainy night of camping, Josh, James, and Eric Smith took on the Cross-Country race at Southwestway Park. The course featured lots of climbs and long straightaways. Eric pulled off a 9th place finish in the Men’s A race, with James rolling in with 14th. Josh made his way around the course to earn a 6th place finish in Men’s B.

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James Francisco takes a corner on the cross country course.

That afternoon was the downhill race, with Mark Renn making his final collegiate cycling appearance. The course was very fast and smooth, with a few sendable jumps and lots of pedaling. James took the bronze medal in Men’s A field, with Mark bringing home 8th place and Eric rolling in with 12th. Charlie Hamilton had an exceptional performance in the B race, bringing home the win in a competitive field of racers.

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Mark Renn in his final collegiate mountain bike race.

The team earned enough points over the weekend to give them their first ever Conference Championship in the Club Division! Michigan Tech and University of Wisconsin- Whitewater rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd, respectively. In addition, Josh Smithson won the omnium for Men’s B. Overall, it was a fantastic season with a total of 21 podium appearances, 8 of which were in the A’s.

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Charlie Hamilton won the Men’s B Downhill Regional Championships.
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