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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.