Journal: Kelsey takes on Storm Eva Bandman as a Tomato

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Sunday, October 23rd, 8:10 AM. I slip my lights on, snap my helmet, chug the last of the water in my glass, grab my backpack, and head out the door. Today is a great day for cyclocross.

My sleepy muscles start to loosen up as I pedal the 6 chilly miles towards the river. I’m feeling both excited and nervous for the race because I haven’t ridden or raced cross in a month but I’m pumped to have the opportunity to do it again. I roll up through the greenway, and here we are: Eva Bandman. After registering and finding my teammates, we make our way to the start for a pre-ride, and well, let’s just say I realized that I hadn’t done anything technical in a year. But hey, technical courses are what most excite me about cross, so this should be all the more fun.

9:53 AM. I’m chilling at the start, admiring people’s costumes. This is Storm Eva, so folks are encouraged to dress up. Oh, I’m a tomato by the way. I roll up to the grid, adrenaline pumping. I think this is one of the larger women’s fields I’ve competed with – we have more than 3 rows.

10:01 AM. We’re off! I’ve had a bad habit recently of taking the hole shot and then not being able to sustain my own pace, so I’m glad that I managed to be somewhere around 7th in the field after my start. The first part of the course was pretty wide and grassy but soon came around the bend to a sharp hill, and I got caught behind a crash on the first lap. I’ll stop giving you the blow by blow and just leave a few highlights:

  •  THAT SAND PIT. I felt like I spent a solid 5 minutes every time drudging through the sand. Next time I’m at a beach, I’m going for a run.
  • Every time on a grassy straight, I could hear my tomato leaf flapping on my helmet
  • I ran up both of the longer steep hills, but there weren’t many Cat 4s riding up them anyways
  • A Cat 5 man crashed before the first of those hills a couple laps in
  • That quick remount after the boulder staircase was tricky
  • I passed somebody on that first grassy section as the UofL peeps were cheering which was fun
  • And shout out to everyone who cheered for me: Abner, Jacob, Alex, and whoever else was cheering at the UofL team tent; Rachel Langdon; and whoever was at the VO2 Multisport tent

When I crossed the finish line, I didn’t know where I’d placed, but I was pretty happy with my race. I could’ve done another lap or even two, which is good because I’m usually very much dead and out of breath, so now I know that I can give a little more next time.

I wanted to do well to represent not only UofL Cycling, but also women in cycling in general. As (currently) the only woman on the cycling team, I feel obligated to perform even better to make up for every girl who’s not on our team.

Anyways, the rest of the day consisted of hanging out with my wonderful teammates, selling Heine Bros coffee for the team, cheering people on, celebrating Jacob’s birthday (!!!), missing my podium and then taking a solo pic (thank you, Scheller’s, for the bike light), seeing a skeleton with a helmet on in someone’s passenger seat, and scheming for the Cardinal Crit (stay tuned!).

All in all, Storm Eva was a blast and made me feel less guilty about not being able to prioritize cycling because I was able to just enjoy being present and participating in my favorite sport – cyclocross.

On to the Derby City Cup this weekend!

-Kelsey

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MTB Season Begins With Two Wins, CX is Here

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​The mountain bike and cyclocross squads successfully began their respective seasons with two wins and several podium finishes

By Abner Miralda

The Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference kicked off the 2016 mountain bike season with a weekend of cross country, downhill and short track events hosted by the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater.

Leading the way for the Cardinals, Junior Mark Renn sped through the downhill course to a third place finish in the men’s A. “I was expecting a podium,” he admitted, but said a slight cold affected his form. “It hindered my performance in the pedaling sections of a very pedally course.”

In the Men’s B downhill, Freshman James Francisco raced his way onto the top step of the podium in his first collegiate race. The Men’s C team swept the downhill podium with Sophomore Kalem Fetters on the top step, Freshman Josh Smithson in second and Sophomore Casey Thomas in 3rd.

In the B’s short track cross country, Francisco finished 5th while Smithson finished 8th. In the cross country race they finished 5th and 10th respectively.  

The C’s cross country team saw Junior Elijah Eisert will his way onto his first podium in 3rd while Thomas raced into 10th.

“It was an amazing trip,” Mark Renn said. “We all worked together as a team.” The MTB squad will compete next at Marian University in Indianapolis on Sept. 24 & 25.

The cyclocross team began its preparation for the collegiate season at the OVCX-Lexington race in Lexington, Kentucky. 

The team was led by Rikus Van Zyl with a 4th place finish in the Men’s Cat 4, while Jacob Holtgrewe finished 20th.
Kelsey Voit pushed the pack in the women’s Cat 4 and finished 3rd, tallying her first podium of the year. 

Greg Lewis, participating in his first CX race filtered through the pack into 9th place. 

The CX team will race next at OVCX-Bloomington on Sept. 18th. 

Follow UofL Cycling on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @uoflcycling.

UofL Cycling & Triathlon partner with Hincapie Sportswear, will produce a UofL Supporter’s Jersey

The iconic cycling and triathlon clothing brand Hincapie Sportswear will be the official performance-wear provider of Louisville Cycling & Triathlon in 2016. UofL Cycling and Triathlon joins Hincapie’s Collegiate Program to race and train in custom, team-issue Hincapie clothing. In addition, UofL Cycling and the University of Louisville are partnering with Hincapie to produce high-quality UofL supporter cycling apparel.

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UofL Cycling & Triathlon will wear custom Hincapie clothes in all of its competitions. “It’s an exciting chance for the team to grow, and this partnership is exactly what we need since Hincapie has such an extensive catalog that fits all our needs,” says Irina Miralda, the team Clothing and Merchandising coordinator. UofL Cycling will race cyclocross, road, mountain bike and BMX in Hincapie’s full offering of winter clothing, jerseys, bib shorts, skinsuits, and tech shirts. Meanwhile, UofL Triathlon will race in the company’s draft-legal one piece suits. The official UofL Cycling & Triathlon uniform will be unveiled before the first collegiate road race on March 12th.

A different design bearing the logos of the University of Louisville will be produced for fans and enthusiasts of UofL Cycling & Triathlon and the University of Louisville. These items will become available for purchase through UofLcycling.com once a community membership with the Student Cycling Coalition is purchased for $10. The Supporter’s Cycling Jersey will go on sale on Feb. 1st­­, 2016.

Founded by former UCI World Tour racer George and his brother Rich Hincapie, the sportswear company embodies the two brothers’ passion for cycling and their desire to see the sport grow at all levels. Seth Withers, a Hincapie representative says, “We [support] collegiate cycling because these riders end up graduating and creating an impact on their cycling communities.” Withers explains the Hincapie Collegiate Program offers student-operated clubs like the UofL Student Cycling Coalition, “Financial means to continue growing.” The program provides Hincapie products to members of affiliated collegiate programs and financial returns to the teams themselves. Team President Jacob Holtgrewe says, “It’s exciting to see how eager they are to work with us and be part of our team.” In addition, Hincapie offers its affordable, high-quality clothing to Non-Profit Organizations, Events, and Bike Shops through special programs.

Hincapie Sportswear was founded in 1998 and operates out of Greenville, SC with a proprietary factory in Medellin, Colombia, the Hincapie family’s country of origin. The company also promotes the Hincapie Grand Fondo and sponsors several professional racing teams.

UofL Cycling and Triathlon are operated by the UofL Student Cycling Coalition and regularly compete in collegiate national championships. UofL Cycling competes in the Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) and UofL Triathlon competes in the Mid East Collegiate Triathlon Conference (MECTC).

To learn about Hincapie Sportswear, visit http://www.hincapie.com/learn_more/hincapie_story/

To order premium custom sports apparel or learn about the different community Hincapie programs, visit http://hincapiecustom.com/

Francisco 18th, King 43rd at Cyclocross Nationals

Asheville, N.C.– On a muddy and difficult course at the Biltmore Estate that featured more than 400 vertical feet of climbing in a roughly one mile course, John Francisco rode to 18th place while Ben King rode to 43rd place at the USA Cycling Collegiate Cyclocross National Championships. The event marked the fourth time UofL Cycling has featured at a national championship.

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By Abner Miralda

Francisco entered the race in excellent position, starting from the front row as the representative of the Mid-West Cycling Collegiate Conference after winning the championship in November. “It was really cool to start at the front,” said Francisco, “The field was stacked [with talent].” The UofL sophomore struggled through the technical sections of the course in the tightly packed traffic of the first lap, falling to a top-25 position. “My last lap was good, which made up for the first,” he smiled immediately after the race, managing to pull ahead from a handful of riders into 18th place. “It was one of the best courses I’ve ever ridden.”

Graduate student Ben King finished 43rd. King was off to a fast start from his grid spot near the back of the 75-man field, slinking gracefully past heavy traffic in the most technical sections of the course. “It was great for me because there were some really technical sections,” said King after the race, “but I didn’t have the legs today.” King was unable to respond to the surges of chasing riders on the long grassy straightaways and choppy corners, but was able to battle back at the tricky off-camber and wooded sections.

The race was won convincingly by defending national champion and Louisville native Drew Dillman, racing for Marian University in Indianapolis.

The 2016 Cyclocross National Championships marks the one-year anniversary since the first-ever national championship appearance for UofL Cycling when Francisco and King represented UofL in Austin, Tex. at the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships. Since then, UofL Cycling has been represented at Collegiate Road Nationals by Francisco and Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals by Mark Renn.

To learn more about the 2016 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, visit https://usacycling.org/cx/

To follow live tweets of UofL Cycling & Triathlon races, follow us at www.twitter.com/uoflcycling

John Francisco Wins Mid-West Conference Cyclocross Championship

St. Charles, Mo.- John Francisco became the first-ever Louisville Cardinal to earn a USA Cycling Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference crown, winning this year’s championship race, The Lindenwood University Cyclocross Challenge. Ben King earned second place behind Francisco for a Cardinal one-two in the top-ranked Men’s A field. In the Men’s B race, Rikus Van Zyl finished third, Abner Miralda fourth, and Jacob Holtgrewe fifth. In the Women’s B/C race, Kelsey Voit accentuated her inaugural season with a second-place finish.

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By Abner Miralda

Francisco dominated the field en route to his first MWCCC victory, leading the group out of the start line into the first turn of the course. “I got a good start, stayed up front, and kept it clean,” he said coolly after beating second-placed teammate Ben King by almost four minutes. King’s race was an entirely different story caused by a mechanical issue on the first lap, dropping him from second place to sixth. “I just concentrated on picking people off one by one,” said King who battled most of the final two laps with Lane Johnson of Lindenwood University for second place, eventually edging the burgeoning rider by a mere three seconds.

Francisco and King qualified for Collegiate Cyclocross Nationals in Asheville, N.C., on January 8, 2016. Both riders kept their predictions conservative, especially Francisco who earned the MWCCC front-row start spot—a call-up reserved for the best riders in each conference throughout the country. “I’m going to try to not get passed by too many people because I’m at the front,” he joked.

In the lower-ranked Men’s B event that competed earlier in the day, Rikus Van Zyl rode to 3rd place on the mostly frozen course. Abner Miralda held his own for fourth, while Jacob Holtgrewe pushed past the rest of the field into fifth.

In the Women’s B/C race, Kelsey Voit finished her first-ever race season with in second place behind Washington University-St. Louis rider Juhi Shah.

The creative course wound through the scenic campus of Lindenwood University, taking advantage of several steep grass hills, a tricky single-track section, and a lap around the lake at the heart of the Presbyterian institution. Rainy weather from the day before and freezing temperatures overnight created thrilling racing on Sunday, forcing riders to tread on thawing mud, perfect for Cyclocross. “[The course] was really well balanced, there were a lot of power sections and a lot of handling sections,” said Francisco, expressing his approval.

UofL Cycling has been selected to host the 2016 MWCCC Cyclocross championships in November 2016.

UofL Cycling was founded in 2013 as part of the Student Cycling Coalition, a 501c (3) student-operated organization at the University of Louisville. It is a sister program of UofL Triathlon.

UofL Cycling and Triathlon competes simultaneously in 3 cities, earns 3 wins.

By Abner Miralda

Louisville, Ky. — UofL Cycling and UofL Triathlon have historic weekend, earning three wins, two podiums, and two top-10 finishes simultaneously. Mark Renn earned wins in the Down Hill and Four-Cross disciplines in St. Louis, Mo. while Rikus Van Zyl rode to the top spot in a cyclocross race in Cincinnati, Oh. UofL Triathlon earned two top-10 finishes in Dayton, Oh.

Mark Renn opened up the MWCCC collegiate mountain bike season with dominating wins in the B class downhill and dual slalom events hosted by Lindenwood University. Renn’s downhill time of 2:52 would have placed him in 4th in the A class, a handful of seconds outside the podium. Renn is trying to become the first Cardinal to qualify and compete in the USA Cycling collegiate MTB nationals. To see the full MTB results, click Here.

In Dayton, UofL Triathlon competed in the University of Dayton Sprint Triathlon. Mike Baird led the Cardinals with a 4th place finish, gaining time on his opponents with the fastest transitions in the top-5 finishers. Newly added athlete Nick Reader sprung ahead into 6th place overall with the second-fastest run of the day, averaging 5:29/mile. Emma Coakley continues to outswim the competition, finishing the first leg 1st in the women and 4th overall. She went on to finish 10th in the women’s field. Evan Cruson and Sam Dugan finished their first triathlons for UofL Triathlon 24th and 29th respectively with breakthrough bike legs. To see full Triathlon results, click Here.

The UofL Cycling cyclocross initiative hit the season opener in Cincinnati successfully with Rikus Van Zyl winning the Cat 5 race while Jacob Holtgrewe rounded out the podium in 3rd. John Francisco finished 3rd in the Elite/1/2 race while equipment troubles dropped Ben King to 49th in the same race.  To see the full results of Harbin Park, click Here.

This is the first time the SCC has been split into three races in three disciplines.

UofL Cycling and Triathlon are supported by Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Members of UofL Triathlon after finishing the Dayton Sprint Triathlon.
Members of UofL Triathlon after finishing the Dayton Sprint Triathlon.
Rikus Van Zyl rides through sand in Harbin Park.
Rikus Van Zyl rides through sand in Harbin Park.
Mark Renn in his jersey.
Mark Renn

UofL Cycling Named Largest New Team in the Country

Louisville, Ky– The University of Louisville Student Cycling Coalition recently became the largest new team in the country with 17 licensed riders. As a reward for becoming the largest team, the SCC received a product sponsorship from American-based nutrition company, Bonk Breaker, an official sponsor of USA Cycling.  

Founded in 2005, Bonk Breaker is an American sports nutrition company that specializes in all-natural, gluten and dairy free energy and protein bars.
Founded in 2005, Bonk Breaker is an American sports nutrition company that specializes in all-natural, gluten and dairy free energy and protein bars.

USA Cycling asked current team president Abner Miralda how it all unfolded, and what the future of the team looks like. Here’s his response:

What instigated the formation of the team? Who was behind it and what did it take to make it happen?

The team was formed when Josh Goodman approached me about wanting to do a cyclocross race at Purdue University in the fall of 2013. At the time, Josh was fresh off his first ever bike race– a last place finish in the Cat. 5 race at the Derby City Cup—and I had never done a bicycle race before, didn’t own a ‘cross bike, and had no clue collegiate cycling even existed.

To our disappointment, we needed to be a part of a collegiate team to participate, so we were forced to sit out of that race.

We approached Andrew Tursic, the then-president of the Student Cycling Coalition at the University, and asked him if he was willing to work with us to create a team. He said exactly what we were all thinking, “Why not?”

Sure, we had no idea what we were doing, but we went on with the USAC paperwork (super easy) and dutifully drove 2 hours to Indianapolis the next week to race in the Cat. 5 cyclocross race on one-day licenses with plain red jerseys and borrowed bikes. We inevitably crashed and got heckled, but we hopped back on the bike and haven’t looked back since!

Ben King is a Bio-Engineering Ph.D. candidate. Photo: Kent Baumgardt
Ben King is a Bio-Engineering Ph.D. candidate. Photo: Kent Baumgardt

What is your membership like (Male/female, mtb/road, beginner/advanced, etc.)? 

Our membership is best described as “beginner” regardless of discipline. Only one rider had raced road before when we rolled up to the start line at Lindsey Wilson College’s Road Race. Only one rider had raced mountain bikes before when we travelled to Lindsey Wilson’s Mountain Bike Race, and all but two advanced riders are on their first full season of cyclocross. Bikes are cool, because they have brought together men and women from several areas of the university ranging from undergrad, to medical and dental students, and even engineering PhD’s!

What advice would you give to other teams for growing their membership? How did you grow the team so quickly?

Recruiting is a numbers game, so the more people with bicycles your members talk to, the higher chance you have of convincing them to go on a bike ride with you. Being friendly and relaxed is key, but dropping them on the flats is a bad strategy (I learned that the hard way).

We waged guerilla warfare on the broken bikes on campus, setting up a tent where bike traffic is high, and fixed bikes for free, registered them with campus police, and told people about our weekly, beginner friendly ride, #SlowRollMonday.

We also looked for business sponsors because the University does not give us any financial aid. We set up as a non-profit organization, and used the funds to pay for race entry fees to sweeten up the idea of going to a race for beginners. We wrote a detailed cover letter/sponsorship packet, and set out looking for sponsors. We were chewed out by a few University of Kentucky alums/fans (bad blood runs deep here) and businesses who did not believe in cycling, but we took it in stride, made several more phone calls, and earned some desperately needed dollars for the team elsewhere.

What do you see for the future of the team? How can you make this growth sustainable? 

John Francisco is a former Red Zone Elite junior and raced in Europe as part of the EuroCross Camp before attending UofL. Photo:Kent Baumgardt
John Francisco is a former Red Zone Elite junior and raced in Europe as part of the EuroCross Camp before attending UofL. Photo:Kent Baumgardt

In 2015, we will try a new, dual strategy for recruitment. There’s something in the water in Louisville, so there are large amounts of junior talent that we can actively recruit much like a varsity team. We learned this year it’s very difficult to convince college students to join a club to race bicycles, so the junior recruitment will grow the number of fast riders from the bottom-up.

In order to get more college students involved with the club, we will start a triathlon team to compete in the USATriathlon Mid-East Collegiate Triathlon Conference. There are lots of former high school cross-country runners and swimmers, so triathlons are an excellent way to put those talented endurance athletes on bikes.

The growth of the team would not have been possible without the help of multiple factors. Our sponsors Evergreen Rehabilitation, Raising Cane’s, Middletown Cycling and Fitness, Sommerville Sports, and BarryS Coaching believed in us when no one else did. Social Media, word of mouth, and our website UofLcycling.com, were unbelievably effective in spreading the word in a low cost way.

Cycling is fun, and even though starting/running a team can be stressful at times, it is an unbelievably rewarding experience.

Best,

Abner Miralda

SCC President

Editor’s note: since this article was written, the SCC has begun offering coaching scholarships to triathletes and cyclists with USATriathlon certified coach Barry Stokes and Red Zone Elite Cycling coach Joe Collins. VO2 Multisport has been added as a sponsor.

Then-SCC Membership Coordinator Joseph Wheatley- gave a thumbs up at a recruiting fair in January 2014.
Then-SCC Membership Coordinator Joseph Wheatley- gave a thumbs up at a recruiting fair in January 2014.
Evan Kuhl, Andrew Tursic, and Erik Seibt wait for the whistle before the TTT hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22, 2014. This was the first time any of the three riders pictured had raced before.
Evan Kuhl, Andrew Tursic, and Erik Seibt wait for the whistle before the TTT hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22, 2014. This was the first time any of the three riders pictured had raced before and raced in temporary jerseys.
Mark Renn was the only mountain biker that had ever raced mountain bikes before. He went on to finish as the Men's B conference champion in the Downhill and Dual Slalom events.
Mark Renn was the only mountain biker that had ever raced mountain bikes before. He went on to finish as the Men’s B conference champion in the Downhill and Dual Slalom events.
On-campus free bicycle repair!
On-campus free bicycle repair!
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The uniforms of the SCC for 2014-2015.

Cards finish 5th in Conference, 7th Overall in Inaugural Cyclocross Season

Louisville, KY- The SCC finished its first collegiate cyclocross season in 5th place in Div. 1 and 7th overall in the MidWest Collegiate Cycling Conference.

This year the Cards travelled to Wisconsin, Chicago, and Indianapolis for collegiate cyclocross races, finishing in 5th place in Division 1 behind the strong performances of John Francisco and Abner Miralda. The eleven-team MWCCC Division 1 features powerhouses Lindenwood and Marian Universities, taking 1st and 2nd places respectively. Then Purdue and Ohio State took 3rd and 4th, edging the SCC with better women’s results. Combining the two divisions, the SCC finished in 7th place in the 17-team conference.

Full results for the team and individual standings can be found here.

Conference director, Andrew Rizzo’s photo gallery of the collegiate championships can be seen here.

The SCC is now in preparation for the Road season in the spring of 2015. That race calendar has not yet been set.

Follow the SCC on Twitter @UofLcycling and like us on Facebook!

Josh Goodman poses with riders from Lindenwood University after the B race in Wisconsin on Nov 8, 2014.
Josh Goodman poses with riders from Lindenwood University after the B race in Wisconsin on Nov 8, 2014.
Ben King rides at the Conference Championship race in Indianapolis on Dec. 7th, 2014.
Ben King rides at the Conference Championship race in Indianapolis on Dec. 7th, 2014. Photo: Kent Baumgardt
John Francisco rides in the Conference Championship on Dec. 7th, 2014. photo: Kent Baumgardt
John Francisco rides in the Conference Championship on Dec. 7th, 2014. photo: Kent Baumgardt

Miralda Wins Cards’ first Collegiate Cyclocross race of 2015

Bloomington, IL- On a fast and cold circuit through the Hilton Indian Hills Resort, University of Louisville rider Abner Miralda won the first cyclocross race for the Cardinals of the year. Josh Goodman rounded out the podium with a solid 3rd place.

The two-mile course through the golf course featured several sweeping turns and multiple deep sand pits made of sand traps and a beach volleyball court. The final obstacle was a steep run-up that dropped into the long rise to the finish line.

After the race, 3rd place finisher Goodman said, “I had a really good start. The sand was my favorite part. The drop-ins into the pits were risky but fun and the sand itself was soft but rideable.”

The Class C winner, Miralda said, “I was a little nervous at first, but when the whistle blew I just focused on pushing the pedals.” His favorite part of the course was the run up at the end. “I got to heckle the hecklers for not being good at it,” he laughed.

The riders were impressed by the hospitality, the course, and the facilities. Goodman asserted, “It was a good race experience. I had a blast.”

The Cardinals will race next in Indianapolis, IN at the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series race on December 7th. The race is the Mid-West Collegiate Conference Championship race.

When in Rome.... You know what we mean @CardChronicle
When in Rome…. You know what we mean @CardChronicle
Golf course!
Golf course!
Josh Goodman showing his race face!
Josh Goodman showing his race face!
Abner Miralda just seconds before toppling over in the sand
Abner Miralda just seconds before toppling over in the sand
GRAB THAT DOLLAR IN THE SAND
GRAB THAT DOLLAR IN THE SAND #HandUpsAreNotACrime
Treacherous switchbacks mean lots of broken tape.
Treacherous switchbacks mean lots of broken tape.
Golf course!
Golf course!