MWCCC Whitewater Race Recap

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James Francisco takes on the Men’s A short track field in Whitewater, WI

Last weekend, the team competed in the 3rd race weekend of the Mid-West Collegiate Cycling Conference mountain bike calendar in Whitewater, WI.

Saturday’s Cross Country event featured a technically challenging course and temperatures in the 90’s. Josh Smithson battled through the heat to finish 7th in the Men’s B XC race. Later in the day, James Francisco managed 15th in a very competitive Men’s A race that saw many other riders drop out due to the heat and the challenging course.

Sunday’s Short Track and Downhill races saw better temperatures than the day before. Josh Smithson earned an impressive 3rd place in the Men’s B event. In the next wave, James Francisco finished 6th in the Men’s A race.

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Charlie Hamilton en route to 1st place in Men’s C downhill

In the Downhill event,  Charlie Hamilton handily won the Men’s C race. James Francisco made in on the podium with 3rd in the Men’s A event, closely followed by Mark Renn in 5th place.

The MWCCC calendar concludes this weekend with the conference championships at Marian University.

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Weather Update for #CardinalCrit

The leadership of the Student Cycling Coalition has kept a close eye on the weather for this weekend’s Cardinal Criterium. USA Cycling, Louisville Metro Parks, conference officials and the IN/KY Cycling Association have all concluded the weather will not affect the Cardinal Criterium on March 11 and 12.

Weather reports have changed nearly hourly, but as the weekend draws nearer, the forecast continues to predict progressively safer temperatures and a lower chance of precipitation. At the time of writing, the National Weather Service reported a 30% chance of precipitation.

Registration for the Cardinal Criterium is open and can be found at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit. It closes at Midnight on Wednesday.

5 Reasons Why You Should be at the #CardinalCrit

At face value, the #CardinalCrit is just a bike race, but if you look deeper, you’ll find much much more. 

Here’s why you should either race or show to support at the Cardinal Criterium on March 11 & 12.

The First Race of the Season

It’s the kickoff. The opener. The big one. Chances are, the Cardinal Crit is the first road race anyone in Louisville has done in 2017 which means there are always fireworks. Dark horses can win, favorites crumble and it’s all done in the name of improvement. A win here is no small feat– it can be a harbinger for future success, but losing here isn’t as disappointing as it is in the summer. 

The Who’s Who of Louisville

This race has changed names over the years, but two things have remained constant: the weekend of the event and the course. It’s a community staple and everyone knows it. That’s why the fields are so big and the community comes out to be a part of it. You’ll see all the local teams: Team Louisville, Texas Roadhouse, Clarksville Schwinn and VO2 Multisport among others. Be here and you’ll get connected. 

Bike Bling

Did we mention it’s the first race of the year? This means riders are rolling out with brand new bikes, sponsors, kits and rosters. It’s so cool to see and be seen with all the glitz and glamour of new Lycra. GCN needs to stop by and do bike checks. 

Fun Atmosphere 

The #CardinalCrit isn’t quite the #SSCXWC’s but it’s a fun mixture of young and experienced cyclists. The regional reach is big, so you meet lots of folks. Oh, and did we mention the playlist received the most Kudo’s out of any race I was at in 2016? Get ready for another fire mixtape.

$15 double-ups

Was one race not enough? Did you win? Or just training for the summer? We’re not going to break your bank. We understand you’re working toward peak fitness and want to help you. That’s why we offer $15 re-entries– as long as there’s room for you in the next race. 

Convinced? Pre-register for the Cardinal Crit at UofLcycling.com/CardinalCrit

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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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.

Despite Freezing Weather, UofL Cycling Gets Results

East Lansing, Mich.- Greg Lewis and Abner Miralda earned three top-ten finishes at the omnium weekend co-hosted by Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

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By Abner Miralda

On Saturday’s road race, 40 mph sub-freezing gusts, sleet and snow battered riders as they traversed the dirt roads that characterize Michigan State’s “Strade Marrone.” In the Men’s D event, Greg Lewis slotted into 28th place of the 53-man field. In the Men’s C race Abner Miralda finished 12th in the bunch sprint behind the breakaway winners from Michigan State.

As conditions worsened later in the day, riders took to paved roads for an Individual Time Trial. Lewis surged into 7th in the D’s while Miralda gained on opponents to finish 4th in the C’s.

The next day’s criterium in Ann Arbor put riders through a stiff crosswind in near-freezing temperatures. Lewis improved his results, finishing 21st in the D’s just behind the main sprint. In the C’s, Miralda sprinted to 9th after a lone rider from the University of Michigan lapped the field.

The next race for UofL Cycling is the omnium weekend hosted by Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana on April 9 and 10.

UofL Cycling Set to Build a New Velodrome

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A multi-million dollar indoor velodrome on the Belknap Campus will be the new home of “Louisville Cycling & Triathlon.”

The venue was unveiled at a press conference on Friday, April 1st with a special appearance by the only American Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and a special performance by hip hop artist Young Thug.

“Cycling is an integral part of our operations,” said organization President Jacob Holtgrewe. “Now we’ll be able to ride our bikes in a circle and turn left just like NASCAR does.”

The team was founded in late 2013 by a group of students and has now taken over the spotlight in the school’s athletics scene.

“We’re proud to have these bright young women and men as part of our university,” said Athletic Director Tom Jurich. “They race clean and seem to only think about how much their bikes weigh.”

The velodrome will only provide access to single-speed, fixed-gear bicycles without brakes. The facility is planned to provide rentals, education clinics and racing events throughout the year.

On top of bicycle related activities, it is hoped the venue will play host to concerts, travelling attractions, intramural kick-ball and Easter egg hunts.

Funding for the operation has come from crowd-sourced donations averaging just $27 each.

 

Happy April Fools!

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.