Missoula, MT– James Francisco earned 10th place in the Club-Division Downhill event as the lone qualifier from the University of Louisville for the 2018 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships on October 19-21.
“The course out here was really fast,” said Francisco, who pushed his limits each time he was on course, eventually reaching 45+ mph on his historic finals run.
His seeding time on Saturday of 3:15.9 placed him in Fourteenth place heading into finals the next day. With a national championship on the line, times dropped, and Francisco squeezed into the Top Ten with a time of 3:11.67. In the end, less than three seconds separated Seventh through Twelfth place.
“[Racing Nationals] was an unreal experience and I never thought I’d pull off a result like this,” said Francisco. “Thanks to everyone for your support this year, it’s been a great one!”
Francisco’s result comes on the heels of his dominant overall win in the MidWest Collegiate Cycling Conference season-long individual club team rankings.
Francisco’s MWCCC collegiate downhill season included a win at the Cardinal Cup in Louisville, a second-place finish at the Lindenwood Open MTB Challenge in St. Charles, MO, and a pair of podium near-misses at Michigan Tech and Marian.
Francisco earned the bulk of the points that boosted UofL Cycling into 4th place in the overall club conference standings behind Michigan Tech, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Notre Dame.
His efforts were buoyed by Josh Smithson in the Men’s B endurance and gravity categories throughout the season. Special contributions by Elijah Eisert, Alison Mackenzie, and Ben King throughout the autumn in the endurance categories were crucial to the overall team result.
UofL Cycling returns to collegiate racing action in the 2019 MWCCC Road Season in March.
UofL Triathlon is currently underway with the MECTC indoor triathlon season.
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