UofL Triathlon inspires new generation of athletes at the University of Louisville

“I’m addicted to triathlons now!” said Jacob Holtgrewe with a bright, wide smile. “My favorite thing is being able to do three different activities all in one competition. I got to take advantage of different skills and put them together.” In his first ever triathlon, a sprint distance triathlon in Shelbyville, Ky., Holtgrewe finished second in his ‘18-25 men’ age group.

What makes Holtgrewe special? He is 19 years old, a number that defies a dominant trend of the sport of triathlon: in 2013, of all athletes that entered a race in the United States, 65% were between the ages of 30 and 49. Only 7% of the total athletes in the sport were under 25 years old.

Holtgrewe, along with several other students at the University of Louisville, are part of the Student Cycling Coalition, the parent organization of UofL Cycling, which was formed last year, and UofL Triathlon, which was formed this winter. Josh Goodman, a cyclist and founding member of the Student Cycling Coalition says, “Triathlon is an important part of our organization. It has a broader appeal than just cycling, so it can help bring in a much more diverse group of athletes.” Enter Holtgrewe.

Like many other freshmen, Holtgrewe looked for a way to get involved. A former soccer player, he looked for ways to stay physically active. He met Evan Cruson, the head of UofL Triathlon and Vice-President of the Student Cycling Coalition, through a personal connection and was quickly recruited to try out the new sport. “I just learned how to swim in January,” said Holtgrewe with a laugh. He was taught to swim by Cruson with the end goal of competing in the Shelbyville Triathlon. “I would not have been able to do it without my teammates who trained with me and taught me about swimming, biking, and running.”

However, Holtgrewe is not alone in the growth and expanding youth of the organization. Mike Baird, a 21 year-old junior at the university and experienced triathlete, transferred to UofL from Union College in Kentucky and began competing for the club, earning the overall win at the same triathlon. In an earlier race this year, Audrey Duke and Nicole Knapp went 2nd and 3rd in the women’s 18-25 category.

In a recent interview, Goodman said he isn’t necessarily concerned about youth, but about equality. “I would say triathlon helps increase female participation. For some reason a stigma exists that women don’t race bikes, but they like to do triathlons.” Goodman is right, the Olympic cycling development organization, USA Cycling, reported in its annual survey that only 15% of bike racers are women. This figure pales in comparison to the USA Triathlon figure of 40% female triathlon participation.

Adding triathlon has helped even out participation in the Student Cycling Coalition. In 2014, its inaugural year, the SCC had no female athletes, and a roster of 20 members that participated in three cycling-only disciplines: road, mountain, and cyclocross. When triathlon was added, UofL Triathlon brought in 20 members of its own, boosting the general membership to 44 members, including 12 women. According to USA Cycling and USA Triathlon, the members of collegiate cycling and triathlon clubs must be full-time status students as dictated by the institution. At UofL, graduate students performing research and any undergraduate with at least 12 credit hours stands as full-time. Goodman was ecstatic when he saw the Student Cycling Coalition grow, saying, “I’m excited that triathlon is branching the organization out more and getting more people on bikes!”

As far as race experience, UofL Triathlon has yet to truly test its race legs. The team will begin collegiate competition in the USA Triathlon sponsored Mid-East Collegiate Triathlon Conference, also known as MECTC, in the fall. It includes any collegiate team in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and now, Kentucky. In the official announcement of UofL Triathlon in the organization’s website, UofLcycling.com, the team points out it is the only registered collegiate triathlon team in the state of Kentucky. “It is a new way to put UofL on the map,” says cycling coordinator John Francisco.

Members of the organization are responsible for buying their training and race equipment, such as bikes, helmets, and shoes. “The barrier of entry to cycling and triathlon is pretty high, given how expensive the equipment can get,” says Francisco. “That is why we have a partner bike shop and industry sponsors that offer discounts to the team members.” However, going beyond personal equipment, funding for the organization comes from local business sponsors such as the Louisville-based care company, Evergreen Rehabilitation, to pay for races and racing expenses. “Racing can be expensive,” says Francisco. Collegiate cycling races cost $15 per entry, and triathlons cost $35, figures much cheaper than the average prices of $35 and $100 respectively for age-group races like the Shelbyville Triathlon that Holtgrewe entered. Then add travel expenses and expansive collegiate race seasons of 8 events in 4 disciplines each, and funding the hobby becomes daunting for a college student. In return for their investments in the team, sponsors get logos placed on the team jerseys.

When asked about how he recruits members for the team, Josh Goodman said, “I look for any person that is interested in getting fit, working hard, and being a good teammate. With those qualities, the possibilities are endless for what they and this team can accomplish.” Cruson put it just as eloquently, saying, “When recruiting, I look for anyone with a pulse. The brilliance of the sport is that it is for anyone.”

To find out more about the SCC, follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook. To learn how to become a member, fill out an interest form.

Written by Abner Miralda

Jacob Holtgrewe in the Shelbyville Triathlon.
Jacob Holtgrewe in the Shelbyville Triathlon.
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Audrey Duke, Carolina Ganon, and Caroline Duplessis all joined the triathlon team in 2015.
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Mike Baird in the Toughman Half-Iron Man distance triathlon in 2015.

 

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Team Time Trial 2nd, 9 Top-10 Finishes for Cards in opening Collegiate Race Weekend

Columbia, Ky.— Amid a weekend full of crashes and heartbreak for the Lindsey Wilson College cycling team, UofL’s Mens’ D Team Time Trial team earns second place, while several riders go on to contest top ten finishes in the inaugural Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference race weekend hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on March 21st and 22nd.

The Men’s D team set the pace for 2015 by earning second place in the first Team Time Trial event of the season. Evan Cruson, Rikus Van Zyl, Erik Seibt, and Josh Goodman crossed the line with a time of 14:27 on the hilly 12km course. They were edged out by the four-man team from the University of Chicago by 5 seconds.

The D men continued riding strongly, placing three riders in the top 10 in the Criterium. Rikus Van Zyl sprinted to 5th, barely riding past his lead-out man Evan Cruson who came in 6th. Josh Goodman crossed the finish line in tenth place ahead of teammate Erik Seibt in 12th place. Jordan Morris, riding in his first ever race rolled in at 44th. The team controlled the 50-man field effectively, but in the end a small breakaway swept the podium. The following day, Van Zyl missed the podium in the road race, finishing in 4th place after chasing a breakaway for most of the day. When the peloton rolled into the final meters, the D team surged ahead with Erik Seibt for 6th, Evan Kuhl for 10th, Jacob Holtgrewe for 12th, and Josh Goodman at 17th in the 50-man field.

In the Men’s B Criterium, Ben King rode into a 4th place finish, barely missing out on the podium during a bunch sprint. Jason Eisenmenger worked tirelessly for King and rode into a 21st place in the 33-man field. King later missed the podium again in the road race, finishing in 4th, while Eisenmenger improved his results with a 13th place finish in the 35-man field.

Despite riding without any teammates in the Men’s A criterium, John Francisco raced smartly into a 25th place finish out of 67. The next day he rode aggressively during the road race, making the 25-man selection into the final downhill sprint. The race officials limited it to a single lane, and Francisco was boxed out of the final push. He rode into a 12th place finish in the 69-man Men’s A road race.

Fourth year medical student Evan Kuhl was all smiles after the event was over, “This weekend showed how far we’ve come from last year.”

Despite the great results the SCC had, however, the overall weekend was marred when a crash in the Women’s A road race took out several riders. Many suffered minor injuries and several had broken bones but Hannah Hayduk, a senior student athlete from Lindsey Wilson sustained potentially life-threatening injuries. The future medical student was airlifted to UofL Hospital with severe head trauma and several other serious injuries. The UofL Student Cycling Coalition has reached out to Lindsey Wilson College athletes and family and will be providing host housing to Hannah’s visitors when she is moved out of the Intensive Care Unit. Lindsey Wilson cycling coach, Charles Mooney, posted on the team’s Facebook page, “She is in critical, but stable condition. They are monitoring her constantly and she is surrounded by great doctors.” To send a letter supporting Hayduk’s recovery, the address is listed below.

attn.: ‪#‎pray4hannah 210 Lindsey Wilson St. Columbia Ky. 42728

The SCC is currently ranked 7th in Div. 1, 9th overall in the MWCCC. The team is in full preparation for the next collegiate race weekend hosted by the University Michigan and Michigan State University on March 28th and 29th.

Evan Cruson leads the Men's D Criterium.
Evan Cruson leads the Men’s D Criterium.
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What place did you get in the Road Race and Criterium, Ben?
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Jason Eisenmenger in the Criterium
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Men’s D field in the Criterium lines up at the line. 

UofL SCC Full Results from Lindsey Wilson College

Team Time Trial

Men D 2nd of 8

Criterium

John Francisco 25th Men’s A of 67

Ben King 4th Men’s B

Jason Eisenmenger 21st Men’s B of 33

Rikus Van Zyl 5th Men’s D

Evan Cruson 6th Men’s D

Josh Goodman 10th Men’s D

Erik Seibt 12th   Men’s D

Jordan Morris 44th Men’s D of 51

Road Race

John Francisco Men A 12th of 69

Ben King 4th Men B

Jason Eisenmenger 13th Men B of 35

Rikus Van Zyl 4th Men’s D

Erik Seibt 6th Men’s D

Evan Kuhl 10th Men’s D

Jacob Holtgrewe 12th Men’s D

Josh Goodman 17th Men’s D

Evan Cruson and Jordan Morris DNF Men’s D of 50

Written by Abner Miralda

Francisco Leads Cards with 6th place finish in Conference Championships

Indianapolis, IN- The Student Cycling Coalition had 8 different riders compete in 4 different events in the Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) Championship race. John Francisco led the Cards with a 6th place finish in the Men’s A field of 32 riders.

The collegiate classes were combined with the general category fields of the Ohio Valley Cyclocross series race hosted by Marian University at the Indy Cycloplex and Major Taylor Velodrome.

Rain throughout the week made riding the already challenging course a muddy travesty. The 1.8 mile loop featured two main sections. The first featured a slick climb up the velodrome hill, a winding off-camber descent, and a long run up the back of the hill with several tacky sweeping turns. A steep descent unloaded the riders to the second part of the course, a flat winding path through an open field with soppy, standing mud and water.

John Francisco led the Cards with a 6th place finish in the A class, which had been combined with the Men’s elite race. Ben King was the other Men’s A rider, finishing 12th.

In the B race, also combined with the Elite field, Abner Miralda finished 7th.

The men’s elite field had difficulty keeping up with the blistering pace Marian and Lindenwood riders Andrew Dillman and Luke Haley set. Both are Louisville natives.

The Cards had four riders in the Men’s C field, Ryson Walden, Jason Eisen, Josh Goodman, and Jacob Holtgrewe, finishing 6,7,8,9 respectively. The race was Walden’s and Holtgrewe’s first experience racing cyclocross, and Eisen’s first for UofL.

In the Women’s B field, Ariel Reed competed in her first ever bicycle race, finishing in 15th place in the Women’s A&B field.

The Student Cycling Coalition is now in preparation for the Spring Road cycling season, that schedule is yet to be determined.

Follow the SCC on Facebook or on Twitter @UofLcycling!

Jason Eisen rides an off camber section at the Indy Cycloplex on Dec. 7th. Photo: Kent Baungardt
Jason Eisen rides an off camber section at the Indy Cycloplex on Dec. 7th. Photo: Kent Baungardt
Ben King shoulders his bike up the long, steep run-up. Photo: Kent Baumgardt
Ben King shoulders his bike up the long, steep run-up. Photo: Kent Baumgardt
Sticky mud everywhere!
Sticky mud everywhere!
Ariel Reed and Josh Goodman in line to power wash her bike. Photo: Ben King
Ariel Reed and Josh Goodman in line to power wash her bike.
Photo: Ben King
John Francisco rides his 'fresh' pit bike. Photo:Kent Baumgardt
John Francisco rides his ‘fresh’ pit bike. Photo:Kent Baumgardt
Men's C participants Ryson Walden, Josh Goodman, Jason Eisen, and Jacob Holtgrewe pose in front of Velodrome Hill after their race. Photo: Ben King
Men’s C participants Ryson Walden, Josh Goodman, Jason Eisen, and Jacob Holtgrewe pose in front of Velodrome Hill after their race. Photo: Ben King

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!

SCC Travels to Wisconsin, Miralda Finishes 5th

Cambridge, Wisconsin– University of Louisville Student Cycling Coalition traveled to Wisconsin to race successfully in the collegiate cyclocross race hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison cycling club.

The race was part of the local Wisconsin Cyclocross Series and was held at Cam-Rock Park in Cambridge, Wisconsin.

The representatives of the SCC present were Abner Miralda and Josh Goodman, finishing 5th and 6th respectively in the Men’s B field, which had been combined with the Category 4 race.

In a cold and muddy course, the race splintered early, with Miralda contesting 3rd place during much of the race. Goodman held  ground steady at 7th until the third lap when he moved up to 6th, edging University of Wisconsin rider Chris Beszhak. On the final  lap, while running the log barriers, Miralda dropped his chain setting up the interesting 4th place battle with Ian Seibert of  Lindenwood University. The two battled throughout the final lap, swapping positions often; first in the muddy off-camber spiral half-way through the course, then again in the final climb to the sprint finish. Miralda attempted to sprint around on the pavement before the finish line but Seibert’s well timed response nipped the Louisville rider’s bid for fourth place.

This weekend, November 8-9, the Cardinals are racing the Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky. John Francisco, Ben King, Evan Kuhl, and Owen Stone are racing on Saturday. Francisco, King, Stone, Goodman, and Miralda will race on Sunday.

The centerpiece of the course was a muddy off-camber spiral.
The centerpiece of the course was a muddy off-camber spiral.
Waiting patiently for the start time.
Waiting patiently for the start time.
The muddy entrances and exits of the spiral made things interesting.
The muddy entrances and exits of the spiral made things interesting.
A purely northern experience, we had a show and tell of a bison(?) jacket.
A purely northern experience, we had a show and tell of a bison(?) jacket!
Logs on the back side of the course before the climb leading to the spiral.
Riders pre-ride the logs and the climb leading to the spiral.
Josh Goodman poses with riders from Lindenwood University after the B race.
Josh Goodman poses with riders from Lindenwood University after the B race.
Saw this gem parked next to an Iron Man 140.2.
Saw this gem parked next to an Iron Man 140.2.
North!
North!

Strong Showing by SCC in Inaugural Road Season, Triathlon Joining SCC line-up

West Laffayette, IN- Amidst finals week at UofL, only one rider, Josh Goodman, travelled to represent the University of Louisville on April 27 at the Purdue Cycling Road Race weekend that served as the conference championships for the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference. During a sunny and windy day, Goodman closed out the SCC’s inaugural season by finishing in 26th place in the Men’s Class D road race.

The final standings in the MWCC are posted and in its first ever road season, the SCC finished in 13th place overall out of 20 teams in Division 1.

Other news from the SCC:

SCC to add Triathlon Racing to operations in 2015: During the Board meeting on April 26th, the members of the board voted unanimously to add Triathlon as a discipline to the operations of the SCC. Funding strategies for the triathlon category are still under discussion. The coaching and training will be parallel to the cycling club’s and will be done by Barry Stokes Coaching.

Join Team Louisville in the National Bike Challenge! The University of Louisville is a Silver-Rated University by the League of American Bicyclists, who are hosting the National Bike Challenge. The contest runs from May 1st until September 30th and any mile logged on a bicycle qualifies for the grand total mileage. For more info and how to join, go Here.

Midnight Marathon a Success! Over thirty-five riders joined the SCC as we toured the course of the KDF Marathon at midnight on April 19th. A great mix of cyclists turned out: from fixed gear riders, to beginners, to experienced road and mountain racers fun was had all 26.2 miles of the course.

SCC marathon count: In 2014, the SCC has had its members run in the Boston Marathon (Evan Kuhl), Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon (Owen Stone, Marion Hambrick), and the Land Between the Lakes Marathon (Evan Cruson).

Upcoming Events:  Joseph Wheatley will compete in the Tri-Fest at Taylorsville Lake on May 10 and 11. Abner Miralda will run in the Eyes That See 5k. Josh Goodman will race in the Espinazo Del Diablo RR on May 17, Mike Baird will be running Molly Dattilo 5k on May 10 and the U25 Pro Development Rev3 Triathlon on May 24.

Sponsorship search continues: If you would like to become a sponsor and/or give a tax-deductible donation to the Student Cycling Coalition please contact Josh Goodman at UofLcycling@gmail.com.

First Race at Lindsey Wilson College

COLUMBIA, KY- The Student Cycling Coalition competed in its first ever road race in Columbia, KY hosted by the Lindsey Wilson College Cycling Team.

Evan Kuhl, Andrew Tursic, and Erik Seibt wait for the whistle before the TTT hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22.
Evan Kuhl, Andrew Tursic, and Erik Seibt wait for the whistle before the TTT hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22.

The race weekend began at 8 a.m. CST on Saturday February 22 at Kellyville Church with a cold and relatively hilly 12 km Team Time Trial.  When asked about the course, third year medical student Evan Kuhl said, “The hardest part is going to be staying together on the hills.” At 8:06 the Louisville Men’s D team composed of Andrew Tursic, Erik Seibt, and Kuhl set off on its race against the clock. Tursic towed the team safely up to the turn around point and broke off the train leaving Seibt and Kuhl to finish out the last 6km on their own. After crossing the finish line, Kuhl said, “It felt good– good course, good effort; can’t complain.” The SCC finished the Men’s D TTT event in second place with a time of 18:32 min. The Indiana University Men’s D squad won the Men’s D TTT by posting a time of 16:34 that stood unbeaten until Marian University’s 3rd Men’s A squad took the course.

Results from the TTT hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22.
Results from the TTT hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22.

Later in the day, as the weather had warmed to 60 degrees, the team started the 25 mile road race in Purdy Church. Before the race, Tursic said “We’re going to have to play it smart,” while Kuhl added that the emphasis would be on “Good teamwork, and good communication.” The packed Men’s D field of 71 riders was set to roll at 1:15 CST through a winding 25 mile course that featured 3 short uncategorized climbs; with the final climb a mile away from the finish line. Lining up for the Cardinals was a team of five: the three riders from the TTT plus the addition of Joseph Wheatley and Josh Goodman. Early in the race, Tursic was caught in a crash that involved several riders but chased back to the main group. Riding together, Kuhl, Seibt, and Wheatley led the chase of the break away but were unable to reel it in before the final climb. Wheatley finished 22nd, Seibt 24th, Kuhl 35th, Tursic 53rd, and Goodman 54th. Chris Besaw of the University of Wisconsin-Madison won the D race, with the University of Kentucky and Indiana University placing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

The Men's D field lines up at the Road Race hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22.
The Men’s D field lines up at the Road Race hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22.

On Sunday February 23, the team participated in the criterium held at Adair County High School. The course was a fast 1/3 mile four corner circuit that featured a short steep climb on corner 3. Owen Stone represented the Cardinals very well in the Men’s B race, reeling in several breaks before Kenny Hall (Lindsey Wilson) was able to get away for a solo win. “I tried to stay near the front and watch for breakaways” Stone said. He rode to a 7th place finish in the bunch sprint following Hall’s impressive solo win.

The main group of the Men's B criterium hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22. chases an early break away after cresting the hill.
The main group of the Men’s B criterium hosted by Lindsey Wilson College on Feb. 22. chases an early break away after cresting the hill.

The Men’s D criterium team featuring Abner Miralda, Andrew Tursic, and Josh Goodman didn’t fare well in the criterium. They worked well as a team, and took turns fighting the strong headwinds, but eventually were caught by the leader’s breakaway that chewed up the field of 70 down to less than 20.  Michigan Cycling tweeted about their top D rider, “Doug Plowman grits out a top 10 finish in the D race that got splintered early and never slowed down.” Despite the setback of the Men’s D criterium, the team was happy with its overall effort in its first ever collegiate road race weekend.

“We’re excited for this new season,” said Tursic.

B4L 2014 Kick-Off

LOUISVILLE, KY. In its first-ever edition, the Bicycling for Louisville Bike Kick-Off brought together several members of the cycling community of Louisville at the Clifton Center on Wednesday, January the 8th. The three-hour event started with a greeting session during which 16 different local businesses, clubs, and government agencies were able to meet with the event attendees.

1389218102580Half-way through the evening Mayor Greg Fischer spoke in the auditorium to the congregation of more than 300 about his plans to increase bicycle safety and friendliness in the city. Following him a representative from the Parks Department spoke about the developments in the Louisville Loop, a 100 mile paved, mixed-use cycling trail surrounding the city, and the progress that the Parks Department has made in conjunction with the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association (KyMBA) in the development of new cycling trails in Jefferson County. Rolf Eisinger, the Engineering Technician for Bike Louisville, the Metro Public Works division in charge of bicycling infrastructure, gave a virtual tour of the progress that has been made and must be made in the city through its Bicycle Master Plan. Finishing the speeches for the night was Chris Glasser, president of Bicycling For Louisville (B4L), who spoke enthusiastically about B4L’s mission to promote cycling in the city, the budget improvements that have to be implemented by the government, and how to join and support B4L.

The Student Cycling Coalition was well represented by President Andrew Tursic, Vice-president Abner Miralda, and Outreach Executive Josh Goodman. It was the organization’s first public/community event and it allowed the members of the community their first chance to meet the people behind the movement.

20140108_181039The SCC is looking to fill its roster for the upcoming Road, Mountain, and Cyclocross seasons for the 2014 season. Any interested students are encouraged to visit the SCC booth at the upcoming RSO Fair on Wednesday 15, at noon in the SAC Multi-Purpose room. Don’t know where the Multi-purpose room is? You may know it as “The upstairs SAC cafeteria”.

Also, the SCC’s first meeting will be on Thursday, January 16 at 5pm in SAC room W303A. Dinner will be provided, the racing schedule will be discussed, and the coach and bicycle shop sponsors will be presented!

Interested in sponsoring the SCC? Send us an email at UofLcycling@gmail.com or use the contact for in our webpage!

OVCX at IndyCycloplex

Indianapolis, IN. On Sunday November 26, team vice-president, Abner Miralda, and outreach officer, Josh Goodman, traveled to Indianapolis to race in the first official race event for University of Louisville Cycling.  The Ohio Valley Cyclocross (OVCX) race proved to be an excellent testing ground for what is to come from the team. The race was hosted by the Marian University Cycling Team at the Indianapolis Cycloplex, a venue that seats the only velodrome in the state of Indiana, the Major Taylor Velodrome which will host the 2014 Collegiate Track National Championships.

With temperatures in the teens, the morning races proved to be a difficult challenge for the day’s racers. The difficult course featured a half-frozen winding section in the prairie, and a tough run up and muddy, windy descent on the hill next to the velodrome. In only their first and second cyclocross races, both Abner and Josh had plenty of issues to deal with. The pair raced in the Collegiate Men’s C category which was combined with the Men’s Category 4/5 race at 10:30 a.m. A race reserved for inexperienced/beginning racers.

Struggling early in the race, Abner suffered a rear wheel mechanical in only the third turn of the race, forcing him to fall behind the pack and chase for much of the race. Nearing the end of the first lap, Josh showed his lack of cyclocross experience when on the back side of the frozen hill had his wheel slip on loose rocks, sending him off the course and off his bicycle, injuring both his right hand and leg.

Despite the early and major setbacks, both riders persevered and pushed through to the end of the 30-minute race. Abner clawed his way through the field of 59 entrants up to a finish of 36th overall and 1st in Collegiate C, while Josh held on to finish the race in 40th ahead of the only other Collegiate C rider, Nicholas Hartman, a member of the Indiana University Cycling team.

Another UofL student, Owen Stone, raced against Abner and Josh for VO2 Multisport and finished in 12th overall, good for 1st place in Category 5.

Congratulations to all the riders that participated!

For more information regarding the activity of the UofL Cycling Club, follow us on Twitter @UofLCycling.