Francisco Wins Twice, Mountain Bike Squad Shines at Marian

By Abner Miralda

The University of Louisville mountain bike squad traveled to Indianapolis to earn nine total podium finishes including two wins by James Francisco at the Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference race weekend hosted by Marian University.

On Saturday, freshman James Francisco powered into third place in the B’s Short Track Cross Country race, earning his first result of the weekend. He went on to earn either a podium or a win in every event he entered. Fellow freshman teammate Josh Smithson crossed behind him in 4th place.

Foregoing the cyclocross scene this weekend, Kelsey Voit competed in her first collegiate mountain bike race. She used her ‘cross skills to secure 2nd place in the B’s Short Track race, the best women’s result the mountain bike team has earned to date.

Later in the day, Francisco won the Men’s B Four-Cross, a similar event to BMX racing, edging out teammate Kalem Fetters who settled for second. In the Men’s A Mark Renn was eliminated before the final round, finishing with the 5th best time of the day.

In the Men’s C, sophomore Matt Robertson, making his collegiate debut, led the final heat but crashed out, crossing the line in 4th without injury. Freshman Charlie Hamilton saved the event for the Cardinals with a 3rd place finish.

The following day in the Cross Country race, Francisco displayed his fitness once again by earning 3rd place finish in the Men’s B category through a twisty single track course that featured a steep gravel climb with a brutal 30% grade. Teammates Smithson and Abner Miralda followed thereafter finishing 6th and 7th respectively.

Voit willed her bike down the fast, flowing descents of the course into a 3rd place finish in the Women’s B while Elijah Eisert slotted into 7th in the Men’s C category.

Francisco who has become a top rider for the Cardinals this season, finished the weekend with a win in the Men’s B Downhill.

“The [course] had some awesome jumps,” he said of the rolling, pump-heavy course. “I liked how it had some riskier options.”

He beat 2nd place finisher and teammate Kalem Fetters in the Men’s B final by four seconds with a time of 1:22. The result was only two seconds slower than teammate Mark Renn who styled his way down the trail into 5th place in the Men’s A event.

In the Men’s C race, Robertson closed his weekend with a 3rd place run of 1:32, beating 4th place finisher and teammate Hamilton by a solitary second. Eisert chased soon after, earning 5th with a time of 1:48.

Francisco credited the squad for the results. “It’s a great group of people who love fun and helping out their teammates.”

The Cardinals will race next at Lindsey Wilson College on Oct. 1&2 in a Dual-Conference event with the South Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.

Follow Louisville Cycling and Triathlon on all Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @UofLcycling.

 

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Weekend Wheelhouse: MWCCC Road and individual recognition

The road team competed at the Lindsey Wilson College Road Race while Emma Coakley and Mark Renn earned individual recognition in the Shelbyville Triathlon Series and the Downhill Southeast Series.

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By Abner Miralda

After a week-long training camp outside Asheville, North Carolina, the UofL Cycling road team competed in the Lindsey Wilson College road race weekend in Columbia, Ky. Rikus Van Zyl, Jacob Holtgrewe and Abner Miralda competed in the Men’s C Team Time Trial and road race, with Van Zyl the top-finishing rider with 5th place. Ben King began the Men’s A race but equipment difficulties ended his race early. Caroline DuPlessis and Kelsey Voit both competed in the Women’s B, crossing the line together in a friendly sprint in 18th and 19th place respectively.

Emma Coakley competed in the second race of the Shelbyville Triathlon Series, posting the fastest swim times overall for both men and women en route to her age-group win.

Mark Renn completed the Downhill Southeast Series in 13th place overall after posting an 18th place run at Bailey Mountain outside Asheville, North Carolina.

The next time UofL Cycling will compete will be the University of Michigan Criterium in Ann Arbor and the Michigan State Road Race in East Lansing on April 2nd &3rd.

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

First Pop Up Cycle Station of 2015

Louisville, Ky.- The Student Cycling Coalition began its campus outreach of 2015 with this year’s first campus Pop Up Cycle Station. The SCC offered free bicycle repairs to UofL students, while the Engage Lead and Serve Green Initiatives Board was present to help register bicycles for the University Police database.

The event was held at the Humanities Quad, in front of Ekstrom Library. It started at 10am and ended at 3pm, stretching over a total of five hours. Five members were present to provide the free repairs and bicycle repair advice. John Francisco, Lance Biddle, Jacob Holtgrewe, Andrew Tursic, and Abner Miralda worked together to repair or attend to 23 bicycles. Ben Leamon and Kelsey Voit from the ELSB Green Initiatives Board were present to register bicycles for ULPD’s bicycle information database.

The success of this event would not have been possible without the help of generous sponsors BarryS Coaching, Middletown Cycling and Fitness, and VO2 Multisport. The University Interfaith Center also provided signage for the event.

For the latest info on the SCC follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or on Twitter!

John didn't want to smile.
John didn’t want to smile.
We convinced him otherwise. #GoCards
We convinced him otherwise. #GoCards
Kelsey Voit from the ELSB Green Initiatives Board holds up a yard sign advertising the Pop Up Cycle Shop.
Kelsey Voit from the ELSB Green Initiatives Board holds up a yard sign advertising the Pop Up Cycle Shop.

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!

School Starts, New Sponsor and Ride Schedule Unveiled

As school starts in August, so does preparation for the SCC’s fall Mountain Bike and Cyclocross seasons in the MidWest Collegiate Cycling Conference and the events it will host to promote safe cycling on campus.

The first team meeting on Sept. 2nd was full of new faces. Topics of discussion included the race schedules and the events that would take place this fall.

A new ride schedule was set that includes many rides throughout the week for both beginners and training cyclists. All rides begin on campus and will depart from the traffic island in front of the Ville Grill. The schedule will be posted shortly.

The MTB season will feature trips to Wisconsin and the Upper Penninsula of Michigan for the Ripon and Michigan Tech events respectively. It will also head to Indianapolis for the Marian race weekend and will conclude close to home in Columbia, Ky with Lindsey Wilson’s conference championships.

On Aug. 22nd, the SCC will partner with the Engage-Lead-Serve Board (ELSB) and Sustain Louisville to encourage bicycle registration in a new, annual Bicycle Registration event.

The SCC is also proud to announce Sommerville Sports as the official clothing sponsor. Uniforms will be unveiled before the 2014 Cyclocross season.

TTT Delivers First Win At Notre Dame

South Bend, IN– A four man group composed of Evan Kuhl, Abner Miralda, Erik Seibt, and Andrew Tursic traveled to South Bend for the Notre Dame University Collegiate Cycling Classic on April 12, 2014.

The group participated only in Saturday’s events, the Team Time Trial and the Road Race.

Erik Seibt fixes one of the many flat tires between the RR and TTT at the Notre Dame Cycling Classic on Saturday April 15, 2014.
Erik Seibt fixes one of the many flat tires between the RR and TTT at the Notre Dame Cycling Classic on Saturday April 12, 2014.

Starting at the Green Township Community Center, the Team Time Trial featured a four-turn 12km circuit that featured minor elevation changes, chip-and-seal roads, and gusty wind conditions. Prior to the start, serveral reports came through that shoe tacks had been found on course around the 4km mark. Many riders from multiple schools were forced to abandon the event because of the conditions. Miralda crashed on-course during the TTT, but reported only minor injuries. Seibt recorded a flat tire at the finish line.

Despite the setbacks the Men’s D TTT squad faced, they were able to beat the time set by Notre Dame’s D team to claim UofL’s first ever road win. The team’s time of 21:37 stood unbeaten through most of the C class.

The Road Race, beginning at the same place as the TTT, toured the Men’s D field of 46 through two laps of a 14-mile loop with varied road conditions, strong winds, and gradual elevation changes. Evan Kuhl was the SCC’s top rider, placing just outside the top 10 in the bunch sprint with a 13th place. Seibt finished 16th, with Tursic and Miralda finishing 29th and 30th respectively.

Other SCC news:

Evan Kuhl rode his brand new Giant Propel from Middletown Fitness and Cycling at the Notre Dame Cycling Classic on Saturday April 15.
Evan Kuhl rode his brand new Giant Propel from Middletown Fitness and Cycling at the Notre Dame Cycling Classic on Saturday April 12, 2014.

-The first Midnight Marathon fun ride will be tonight. Lights/reflectors for visibility and helmets are required. Pre-ride the Derby Marathon Course at midnight and celebrate with a midnight meal at the 24-hr Burger Boy Diner. More info here.

-Our very own Evan Kuhl will be running the Boston Marathon this Sunday, April 20th. Our faculty advisor Marion Hambrick will be running this year’s edition of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon. Good luck to our marathoners this weekend!

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.