Weather Update for #CardinalCrit

The leadership of the Student Cycling Coalition has kept a close eye on the weather for this weekend’s Cardinal Criterium. USA Cycling, Louisville Metro Parks, conference officials and the IN/KY Cycling Association have all concluded the weather will not affect the Cardinal Criterium on March 11 and 12.

Weather reports have changed nearly hourly, but as the weekend draws nearer, the forecast continues to predict progressively safer temperatures and a lower chance of precipitation. At the time of writing, the National Weather Service reported a 30% chance of precipitation.

Registration for the Cardinal Criterium is open and can be found at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit. It closes at Midnight on Wednesday.

5 Reasons Why You Should be at the #CardinalCrit

At face value, the #CardinalCrit is just a bike race, but if you look deeper, you’ll find much much more. 

Here’s why you should either race or show to support at the Cardinal Criterium on March 11 & 12.

The First Race of the Season

It’s the kickoff. The opener. The big one. Chances are, the Cardinal Crit is the first road race anyone in Louisville has done in 2017 which means there are always fireworks. Dark horses can win, favorites crumble and it’s all done in the name of improvement. A win here is no small feat– it can be a harbinger for future success, but losing here isn’t as disappointing as it is in the summer. 

The Who’s Who of Louisville

This race has changed names over the years, but two things have remained constant: the weekend of the event and the course. It’s a community staple and everyone knows it. That’s why the fields are so big and the community comes out to be a part of it. You’ll see all the local teams: Team Louisville, Texas Roadhouse, Clarksville Schwinn and VO2 Multisport among others. Be here and you’ll get connected. 

Bike Bling

Did we mention it’s the first race of the year? This means riders are rolling out with brand new bikes, sponsors, kits and rosters. It’s so cool to see and be seen with all the glitz and glamour of new Lycra. GCN needs to stop by and do bike checks. 

Fun Atmosphere 

The #CardinalCrit isn’t quite the #SSCXWC’s but it’s a fun mixture of young and experienced cyclists. The regional reach is big, so you meet lots of folks. Oh, and did we mention the playlist received the most Kudo’s out of any race I was at in 2016? Get ready for another fire mixtape.

$15 double-ups

Was one race not enough? Did you win? Or just training for the summer? We’re not going to break your bank. We understand you’re working toward peak fitness and want to help you. That’s why we offer $15 re-entries– as long as there’s room for you in the next race. 

Convinced? Pre-register for the Cardinal Crit at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit

What’s better in 2017: #CardinalCrit

“If you don’t evolve, you die,” is the quote every successful operation lives by. 

Although the Cardinal Crit moved pretty smoothly in 2016 there’s a few things we’re looking to improve. Here’s what’s better: 

Schedule:

Last year was pretty wacky. We wanted to offer the best possible schedule for collegiate riders, which meant putting Juniors and Cat 3/4 at the end of the day. 

This year we went back to a more traditional schedule, moving from lowest to highest categories through the day, allowing those faster racers to do another race. 

But what about the Juniors? The faster, older juniors can get even more races under their belts if they want– race Domestics on Sat, Juniors on Sunday, showcasing their abilities to the college teams in town. Younger racers will race the safer Shawnee course in plain daylight as opposed to last year, when they completed their races at Long Run Park in the twilight. 

Same as last year: $15 Junior entries, $15 entry for each additional race (savings of $20!) 

Circuits: 

The addition of Collegiate Races on Sunday at Shawnee Park add value and diversity to visiting college racers’ experience in Louisville, the cultural capital of Kentucky. Can you say “Y’all”?

 Same as last year: Long Run Park Circuit 

Officiating

There were a few hiccups last year with results coming out slowly. This year we’ve added a fourth official to help ensure the accuracy and speed of results tabulation. 

Same as last year: Beloved local officials Bev, Chris and Matt will be back!

Amenities

Last year we  got a few complaints about water, portable toilets, and the food vendor choice. 

Here’s how we’re setting it right: 

  1. The Louisville Water Company’s Pure Tap will be on hand with FREE drinking water for all! Not only does this keep plastic bottles out of the environment, but it promotes our lovely city while saving everyone money.
  2. We’ve doubled the amount of portable toilets for Long Run Park. And we’ll put them somewhere isolated… You guys know why.
  3. Fried chicken clearly didn’t do it for a few people last year, and in an effort to keep the European vibes going we’ve contacted a Crêperie! You know, those thin little pancakes stuffed with your favorite meats, sweets and fruits? If you’re not following, think of it as a European taco. 

 Same as last year: locally brewed Heine Bros Coffee will be on tap and local products will be for sale.

Bib numbers:

Last year the Cat 4/5 and the Cat 1/2/3 races were so popular we literally ran out of bibs and registrations. The circuits are wide, smooth and safe, so we’ve ensured this won’t happen again. 

Be sure to pre-register given entries are filling up… you may just never know what might happen! 

Pre-register here: uoflcycling.com/CardinalCrit

Why women’s racing matters: The new Collegiate C Women field at the Cardinal Criterium

USA Cycling reported in its 2013 member survey that only 15% of its membership is female. 

That’s an alarming figure. 

The first thing that comes to mind is: why? 

Bike racing can be a fun, social atmosphere. It pushes individuals to new experiences and places. It ‘s also an excellent way to meet kind, friendly people. 

But we all start somewhere, and I know I’d be lying if I said bike racing didn’t make me nervous at first. 

What ultimately did it for me was that I could enter a bike race where I knew the competition wouldn’t drown me, didn’t break the bank and would be a fun, judgement-free atmosphere. Collegiate cycling was that doorway.

An issue the MWCCC and other promoters have faced in the past is that entry numbers for beginner women’s racing doesn’t make an impact on the bottom line. Five to ten entries don’t make a whole lot of business sense, but this thinking ignores the human side of bike racing. 

That thinking lumps beginners into racing they’re not ready for and their experience can lead to disillusionment and an early exit from this sport we’ve all worked so hard to cultivate. 

I’m glad Matt Jones and the MWCCC decided to collectively approach the issue of beginner retention and added the standalone Women’s Collegiate C category. It proves that we’re in for the long haul of developing women’s cycling. 

It provides beginner women everything they need to succeed: similarly skilled individuals, collegiate comradery and the opportunity to aspire to higher categories that won’t pit them against professional racers.–I don’t mean that as a dig against the successful programs in our conference, but I’m pointing out the gulf in experience and skill our conference is looking to bridge. 

Women’s racing is equality, it’s diversity and even if it doesn’t make money now, it doesn’t mean it won’t in the future. The Cardinal Crit, being the first race of the season, will be the first ever MWCCC race to provide a dedicated Women’s C field. It continues our tradition of being innovative, entrepreneurial, and fulfills our ultimate mission to “promote all forms of cycling by racing, advocating and educating.” 

Learn more about the Cardinal Criterium at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit

2017 Cardinal Criterium Registration Now Open

The 2017 Cardinal Criterium course and schedules have been altered, eliminating all domestic categories on Sunday, March 12th and moving the remaining collegiate races to Shawnee Park. The venue at Long Run Park remains unchanged. Additionally, the online registration is now open and will close at Midnight on Wednesday, March 8. 

Following a series of funding setbacks with the Belknap Campus venue, the Student Cycling Coalition’s leadership opted to cancel the day’s adult domestic races, preserving only the Collegiate and Junior events and moving them to Shawnee Park.

“Our main goal is to promote collegiate cycling,” said president John Francisco. “That’s why we are scaling back our intentions for domestic races on Sunday.”

Shawnee Park hosted the 2016 Amateur Road National Championship Criterium and the Louisville Bicycle Club’s Shawnee Park Circuit Race in June of 2016. The collegiate categories’ venue change to Shawnee will not affect either event’s participation numbers.

“We hope someday we’ll be able to host a bike race on the Belknap Campus, but right now we’re thankful we have such a great parks system in this city.”

The remaining schedules for both venues only change slightly with the addition of the new Women’s Collegiate Category C and a renewed emphasis on a more traditional race schedule.

Registration and the updated flyer can be accessed at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit.

This post has been updated. The original post incorrectly listed the end of pre-registration.

A “Day On” for MLK Day

Louisville Cycling and Triathlon does more than just ride bikes.  We are dedicated not only to creating a bigger and better cycling community, but also to giving back to the Louisville community as a whole.

Several of our members spent their day off from classes as a day in memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and all that he stood for as part of UofL’s 8th Annual MLK Day of Service.

Team members Kelsey Voit, Jacob Holtgrewe, and Alison Mundell worked with the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association to pick up trash around the neighborhood.  They worked with several dedicated community members to tidy up the streets, with neighbors joining in to help and passersby thanking the group for their service.  

“It was really cool,” said Kelsey, “to see neighbors coming out of their homes to lend a hand or give us an extra trash bag.  We even saw next door neighbors make new connections through this day of service.”  

The work performed today by our team members, the Shelby Park Neighborhood Association, and all of the UofL students who participated in the event no doubt contributed to the creation of a stronger, more unified Louisville community.  What better way to commemorate Dr. King’s life work than through these positive impacts on our community?

2016 in Review: UofL Cycling 12th in MWCCC Road Season

The 2016 Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference road season was historic in some ways. It saw the addition of a new event, inclement weather and was the final season with divisional rankings that mixed varsity and club teams alike.  At the conclusion of the Conference Championships hosted by Purdue University, UofL cycling finished 12th of 16 teams in Div. I.

The third road season for the Cardinals featured a modest haul of results, but a key shift in participation from previous years. Four women raced for UofL and two men raced in the A category, the highest participation figures since the team’s founding. The team saw contributions from ten different athletes in four different categories, once again the most diverse group since the team’s founding.

Another point of growth for UofL Cycling is the Cardinal Criterium, the first race ever hosted by a cycling club out of the University of Louisville.

Relive each of the Cardinals’ races in the 2016 MWCCC road season:

Cardinal Criterium– March 12

The first-ever race hosted by the University of Louisville was held at Long Run Park. The race, a successful first event, drew some of the largest collegiate fields of the season.

John Francisco led the Cardinals in his only appearance of the season, finishing 12th in the Men’s A race. Ben King came in 33rd to begin his season-long ascent in the conference.

Rikus Van Zyl finished 6th in the men’s C while Evan Cruson finished 16th.

In the Men’s D, triathlon crossovers Nick Reader and Erik Seibt finished 13th and 22nd while Greg Lewis finished 52nd.

Representing UofL in the Women’s B/C field were Emma Coakley in 24th, Irina Miralda in 26th and Caroline DuPlessis, who after a mechanical was unable to finish.

Lindsey Wilson College Road RaceMarch 19 & 20

In the Women’s B race, Caroline DuPlessis and Kelsey Voit crossed the line together in 18th and 19th after completing the 25-mile wind swept course.

In the Men’s C, Rikus Van Zyl cleaned up a group sprint for 5th after a four man break attacked on the final climb. Jacob Holtgrewe ushered Van Zyl up the climb and settled in for 19th while Abner Miralda finished 26th.

Michigan State Strade Marrone & University of Michigan Criterium – April 2 & 3

A race weekend for tough athletes, it featured dirt roads, and sub-freezing temperatures accompanied by snow and sleet.

In the Individual Time Trials, Abner Miralda earned 4th place in the Men’s C category while Greg Lewis finished 7th in the Men’s D event.

The road race saw Miralda finish 12th and Lewis 28th in their respective categories.

Lewis went on to finish 21st in the D criterium while Miralda earned 9th in the Men’s C.

Notre Dame Cycling Classic – April 9 & 10

Cancelled due to heavy snow!

Lindenwood Road Extravaganza – April 16 & 17

The hilliest parcours in the MWCCC saw Ben King rise to 18th in the Men’s A race while Rikus Van Zyl rode to 7th in the Men’s C, followed by Jacob Holtgrewe in 13th.

The downtown criterium in St. Charles, MO featured a sharp turn with a long stretch of cobbles. King finished 17th in the A’s while Van Zyl raced to 9th and Holtgrewe to 25th in the Men’s C.

Purdue MWCCC Championships – April 23 & 24

In the Men’s D road race Greg Lewis finished 33rd while Rikus Van Zyl earned his best placement of the year with 4th place in the C’s. Kelsey Voit anchored the women with an 11th place in the B’s. Ben King finished 16th in the Men A’s.

In the criterium Ben King finished 32nd.

Hind sight is 20/20 and although the Cardinals failed to best 2015’s 6th place finish in Div. I with a 12th place finish, the group’s progress in diversifying and growing is promising as USA Cycling has split collegiate cycling from its past of school-size sanctioning. Starting in mid 2016, USAC moved to Varsity and Club divisions stacking up similarly resourced teams against one another.

The new alignment helps club programs, like the University of Louisville Student Cycling Coalition, stand on their own and out of the shadow of larger, better funded varsity programs.

2016 in Review: Ben King TT’s at Road Nationals

The 2016 USA Cycling Amateur Road Nationals were in Louisville on June 30-July 1 and fittingly, the home team was represented by Ben King at the Men’s Open Time Trial.

The 34k time trial course in Taylorsville, Ky featured two gradual slopes. The first, a right hand turn onto Overlook Road with an out-and-back turn and a final ascent up little Mt. Road with a turnaround leading straight downhill to the finish line.

“I had a good pace on the uphill,” said King. “There was a little head wind on the descend so you still had to work.”

King finished the Time Trial in 64th place with a time of 50:58.68.

“It was cool to race a national championship here in Louisville,” said King.

Throughout the spring collegiate season he contributed to UofL Cycling as one of the team’s only two Category A riders, earning the squad’s best result- a 16th place finish- at the Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) Championship hosted by Purdue University.

The 2017 USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championship will be hosted once again by Louisville from June 29th to July 2, 2017.

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UofL Cycling kit for sale!

You’ve probably seen other UofL jerseys at bike shops or online. Hideous white and red UofL bike jerseys. The material is more offensive to the touch than to the eye- itchy, thick and hot.

When we started our organization in 2013, we were given two options: buy those horrible jerseys and look amateur, or jump through the flaming hoops of litigation to make our own professional-quality attire. We chose the latter and since then, our racers have competed in national championships throughout the country in our very own designs.

In 2017 we’re stoked to share our kit with you at an attainable price. When you buy, you’ll help our club become stronger and more financially stable.

For the spring, we are offering two products:

  1. Road jersey – $95 + Free Shipping
  2. Triathlon front-zip suit -$180 + Free Shipping

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The products will be available for pre-order effective immediately until Saturday, January 14th, 2017.

Because the products are custom ordered, refunds will not be available. Shipment will arrive the first week of March 2017. 

You can purchase products securely through our Facebook page.

Registration (2)

 

Francisco Elected President, SCC Election Results 

The student members of the Student Cycling Coalition cast their ballots on Nov. 30 to elect the organization’s student leaders for the 2017 calendar year. Headlining the results is the selection of engineering student John Francisco as president.

Francisco brings years of experience to the leadership of the Student Cycling Coalition. A three year member of the organization, he has experienced and contributed to the growth of the organization. He has extensive knowledge of the cycling industry both from a retail and experience standpoint, having worked with the SCC’s partner bicycle shop VO2 Multisport and his racing in national and international events as a junior.

“I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the team,” said Francisco. “I will work to continue to grow and improve it.”

The former president, Jacob Holtgrewe, was elected to the recruitment position. During his tenure as president in 2016 the team grew it’s non-racing activity extensively and developed a strong mountain bike program.

Studio art student Nick Reader was retained as Triathlon Coordinator and will be joined by pre-med/biology student Chris Nupp as co-coordinator.

After organizing the mountain bike team to its best-ever season, Kalem Fetters will take the reigns as the Cycling Coordinator.

Elijah Eisert, a political science major, was elected secretary of the organization. He will manage both internal and external communication of the organization.

Engineering student Greg Lewis was elected controller and will manage the budget of the Student Cycling Coalition.

The uniform and merchandise coordinator will be Charlie Hamilton.

The new officers will begin their terms on January 1st, 2017.