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.

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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

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.

One week away, Cardinal Criterium changes venue

 

Race Flyer

The race venue for the Cardinal Criterium on March 12 will change to Long Run Park in the east end.

“It’s unfortunate that we had to make the change so late,” said event coordinator Abner Miralda. “Sometimes things come up that are completely out of your control.”

The March 12 opening ceremonies of the Speed Art Museum were a major factor in the decision. The museum is located three blocks away from the major intersection of 3rd Street and Eastern Parkway, a crucial part of the Cardinal Criterium course.

The race course would have shut down two of the three main access roads to the museum. Despite being fully authorized by Louisville Metro Police and the University of Louisville Police Department, the late decision came down to the use of parking lots located inside the course. The Speed Museum contracted with UofL Parking to use the lots for its patrons, putting in danger the safety of the participants of the Cardinal Criterium.

The 30-hour long ribbon-cutting ceremonies of the museum are planned to attract over 25,000 people and will include visits from Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the Governor of Kentucky, Matt Bevin. The museum renovation took four years and cost over $50 million dollars.

“The safety of our athletes and goodwill of our sport is paramount,” said Miralda. He cited that a road shutdown of that magnitude near a major event like the J.B. Speed Art Museum’s “30 Hours of Speed” would become a divisive issue among the entire community, pitting cyclists against non-cyclists. “We’re trying to grow the sport of cycling, and holding the Speed Museum hostage would be detrimental to our image.” He then added, “We did everything we could to coexist but in the end it didn’t work out.”

Long Run Park has been secured to serve as the venue of the Cardinal Criterium for 2016.

The 1.7 mile course will run counter-clockwise. The event schedule will not change. Parking will be adjacent to the course on Long Run Park Road.

“We hope to see the Cardinal Criterium on the Belknap Campus in 2017 regardless of the outcome this year,” said Miralda. “We will never give up on our mission to grow the sport of cycling and hosting prominent events is an excellent way to do that.”

To see the updated event flyer and register for the event, please visit UofLcycling.com/CardCrit

Any comments or concerns should be directed to UofLcycling@gmail.com