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.

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Cards Finish 2016 Road Season

This year’s Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) road season came to a close in West Lafayette, Ind. Strong performances at Lindenwood last week and solid finishes this week helped UofL stay afloat in the conference rankings.

Ben Fast
Ben King at the Lindenwood Criterium in downtown St. Charles, Mo.

By Abner Miralda

Last week, the hilly Lindenwood road parcours outside St. Louis, Mo. whittled every field to select groups. Ben King rode to 18th in the Men’s A in a race that saw nearly half the field DNF. Rikus Van Zyl and Jacob Holtgrewe finished 7th and 13th in the Men’s C while Greg Lewis wrapped up the day with 25th in the Men’s D.

The three-corner, partially cobbled criterium in downtown St. Charles, Mo. saw King finish 17th in the A’s, with Van Zyl and Holtgrewe finishing 9th and 25th respectively. Lewis finished 22nd in the D’s.

At the conference championships hosted by Purdue University, the mostly flat road race with an uphill finish saw Ben King finish 16th in the A event. Rikus Van Zyl headlined with an attempt to win with a solo breakaway, ultimately getting caught to finish 4th in the Men’s C. Kelsey Voit rode hard in the Women’s B, just missing the top ten with 11th. Greg Lewis finished 33rd in the Men’s D.

In the criterium, Kelsey Voit finished 16th in the Women’s B, while Ben King finished 32nd in the Men’s A.

Also racing this weekend was John Francisco who participated in the SECCC Championship hosted by Clemson University, finishing 15th in the criterium.

This weekend marks the conclusion of the 2016 season. UofL attended every race on the calendar and only lacked Men’s B and Women’s A riders. The efforts earned the Cardinals a 12th place finish of 17 Div I teams in the MWCCC, 16th of 34 overall. To see the full table click here.

The development of the team continues into the fall for the MWCCC mountain bike season.

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

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