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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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.

UofL Triathlon earns team-record berths for USA Triathlon Collegiate Nationals

Mid East Collegiate Triathlon Conference unveiled its allocations for the 2016 USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals. 

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Nick Reader breathes as he swims alongside Rikus Van Zyl at the Ralph R. Wright Natatorium at the University of Louisville. Photo: Abner Miralda

By Abner Miralda

The University of Louisville earned two spots in the men’s draft-legal sprint race after impressive performances by Mike Baird and Nick Reader throughout the fall of 2015. The duo’s consistent top-10 performances were highlighted by Baird’s second place finish at Michigan State. The MECTC only awarded eight spots for the men’s race. The only other team to earn two spots was Miami University of Ohio.

In the women’s draft-legal sprint, UofL was allocated one spot out of the ten available. Emma Coakley put in the lion’s share of the work to earn the slot, consistently posting some of the fastest swim times in the conference for both men and women. Northwestern University and Miami University of Ohio both earned two spots each.

For both the Olympic distance races UofL was granted 1 spot in the day’s opening wave for both men’s and women’s races. This serves as the “wild card” slot for Wave 1 as the top five men’s teams and six women’s teams each get 2 entries each.

In addition, UofL earned one of the eleven team relay spots out of the MECTC. An honor granted only to the top ranked teams in the conference. The team relay consists of two men and two women.

USA Triathlon Collegiate Club Nationals are on April 22nd in Clemson, SC.

 

UofL Cycling & Triathlon partner with Hincapie Sportswear, will produce a UofL Supporter’s Jersey

The iconic cycling and triathlon clothing brand Hincapie Sportswear will be the official performance-wear provider of Louisville Cycling & Triathlon in 2016. UofL Cycling and Triathlon joins Hincapie’s Collegiate Program to race and train in custom, team-issue Hincapie clothing. In addition, UofL Cycling and the University of Louisville are partnering with Hincapie to produce high-quality UofL supporter cycling apparel.

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UofL Cycling & Triathlon will wear custom Hincapie clothes in all of its competitions. “It’s an exciting chance for the team to grow, and this partnership is exactly what we need since Hincapie has such an extensive catalog that fits all our needs,” says Irina Miralda, the team Clothing and Merchandising coordinator. UofL Cycling will race cyclocross, road, mountain bike and BMX in Hincapie’s full offering of winter clothing, jerseys, bib shorts, skinsuits, and tech shirts. Meanwhile, UofL Triathlon will race in the company’s draft-legal one piece suits. The official UofL Cycling & Triathlon uniform will be unveiled before the first collegiate road race on March 12th.

A different design bearing the logos of the University of Louisville will be produced for fans and enthusiasts of UofL Cycling & Triathlon and the University of Louisville. These items will become available for purchase through UofLcycling.com once a community membership with the Student Cycling Coalition is purchased for $10. The Supporter’s Cycling Jersey will go on sale on Feb. 1st­­, 2016.

Founded by former UCI World Tour racer George and his brother Rich Hincapie, the sportswear company embodies the two brothers’ passion for cycling and their desire to see the sport grow at all levels. Seth Withers, a Hincapie representative says, “We [support] collegiate cycling because these riders end up graduating and creating an impact on their cycling communities.” Withers explains the Hincapie Collegiate Program offers student-operated clubs like the UofL Student Cycling Coalition, “Financial means to continue growing.” The program provides Hincapie products to members of affiliated collegiate programs and financial returns to the teams themselves. Team President Jacob Holtgrewe says, “It’s exciting to see how eager they are to work with us and be part of our team.” In addition, Hincapie offers its affordable, high-quality clothing to Non-Profit Organizations, Events, and Bike Shops through special programs.

Hincapie Sportswear was founded in 1998 and operates out of Greenville, SC with a proprietary factory in Medellin, Colombia, the Hincapie family’s country of origin. The company also promotes the Hincapie Grand Fondo and sponsors several professional racing teams.

UofL Cycling and Triathlon are operated by the UofL Student Cycling Coalition and regularly compete in collegiate national championships. UofL Cycling competes in the Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) and UofL Triathlon competes in the Mid East Collegiate Triathlon Conference (MECTC).

To learn about Hincapie Sportswear, visit http://www.hincapie.com/learn_more/hincapie_story/

To order premium custom sports apparel or learn about the different community Hincapie programs, visit http://hincapiecustom.com/

Four Cardinals Compete in Triathlon Conference Championships

By Abner Miralda

Muncie, Ind. — Building on Mike Baird’s 2nd place finish at Michigan State, Cards earn a top-25 in the Men’s event and a top-15 in the Women’s group. The unique distance Muncie Man Triathlon served as the MECTC Conference Championship.

The difficult Muncie Man Triathlon featured a 1.5k swim, a 61.8k bike, and a 15k run. An Olympic triathlon typically consists of a 1.5 k swim, 40k bike, and a 10k run.

With double MECTC point-values at stake, Cardinals Mike Baird, Rikus Van Zyl, Nicole Knapp, and Emma Coakley turned out excellent results for the new team. Baird led the group in 23rd place with a time of 2:26:16, saving the day with swift transitions and dashing bike and run legs. Van Zyl, best known for his memorable performances for UofL Cycling, finished 39th in the men’s field of 63. His best leg of the race was the bike, with a time of 1:11:19.

Nicole Knapp led the women with a 15th place finish, pushing ahead with an overall time of 2:56:13. Knapp excelled in the run with a time of 48:15, placing herself in 2nd place behind eventual winner Elaine Sheikh of Michigan State. Emma Coakley slotted in at 31st in the women’s category, blazing ahead to 15th overall in the swim portion, 2nd in the women’s group only behind Meredith Bell from the University of Michigan.

Previously, Mike Baird finished 2nd overall in the Michigan State Spartan Sprint Triathlon on August 15. Baird became the first UofL Triathlon athlete to compete in the MECTC since the team was reinstated.

At the time of publication, the conference standings had not been updated. UofL Triathlon sits in 14th place ahead of Purdue University. The team is preparing to race at the University of Dayton Sprint Triathlon on Sunday, September 13th, in Dayton, Ohio.

UofL Triathlon is a partner of UofL Cycling and is operated by the Student Cycling Coalition, Presented by Evergreen Rehabilitation.

Rikus Van Zyl in the 60k bike leg of Muncie Man Triathlon on Sept. 5, 2015.
Rikus Van Zyl in the 60k bike leg of Muncie Man Triathlon on Sept. 5, 2015.
The 96-strong collegiate field in the water.
The 96-strong collegiate field in the water.
Emma Coakley runs out of the water into transition. She had the 2nd fastest women's swim.
Emma Coakley runs out of the water into transition. She had the 2nd fastest women’s swim.

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.

 

SCC Launches Kentucky’s Only Collegiate Triathlon Squad

UofL rejoins the MECTC for the first time since 2012.
UofL rejoins the MECTC for the first time since 2012.

Louisville, Ky- The Student Cycling Coalition launches Kentucky’s only intercollegiate competitive triathlon squad. The SCC’s board and sponsors have decided to re-launch the University of Louisville Triathlon squad for 2015. The team will compete in USA Triathlon’s Mid-East Collegiate Triathlon Conference (MECTC).

For 2015, the SCC is an official USA Triathlon Club.
For 2015, the SCC is the only official MECTC team in Kentucky.

The University of Louisville previously had a triathlon club in 2012, and folded due to a lack of interest. This year, the SCC is building upon its organizational success as a cycling team and as a Registered Student Organization to add triathlon to its involvement. The SCC is currently the only registered triathlon team in the MECTC from the state of Kentucky. It will be managed by newly-elected triathlon coordinator and vice-president, Evan Cruson. The coaching will be taken on by USAT Certified coach, Barry Stokes and his team at BarryS Coaching.

BarryS Coaching will coach UofL Triathlon.
BarryS Coaching will coach UofL Triathlon.

The SCC is a Registered Student Organization that falls under the same category as other student managed organizations such as greek organizations, community service chapters, and professional chapters. The RSO status allows the SCC the flexibility to sponsor both UofL Cycling and UofL Triathlon independently from the Club and Intramural Sports programs, while maintaining a focus of encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

The MECTC is comprised of universities from Michigan, Illinois,  Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.
The MECTC is comprised of universities from Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

All students that are University of Louisville full time status are eligible to compete in the MECTC collegiate indoor triathlons throughout the winter and outdoor sprint and olympic distance triathlons throughout the summer and fall.

The SCC will have its third meeting of the year on Wednesday, Feb 12th at 7pm in West Hall. All interested students are welcome to attend.

Follow the SCC on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

Written by Abner Miralda on 2/9/2015

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.