Category Archives: Race Reports

The 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships Report

Road Nats crew resizedI cannot think of a single sporting event that is comparable to a one-day bicycle race. Many sports have their single, season defining event, win or go home—the Super Bowl, a game 7, the 100 meter final—but in football, you have one winner and one loser. 50% of the competitors win. In the 100 meter final, maybe it’s 1 out of 7 or 8. Even a cross country race, where dozens of people line up to vie for gold, there are only a handful ofcontenders: Either you can run 3-minute kilometers, or you can’t, and aside form the chance of a good day/bad day, it’s fairly easy to predict going into the event how things will pan out. A mountain-top finish, as one would see in the Tour de France, is similarly predictable: the folks climbing well on previous stages are more than likely to continue to do so. A one-day bicycle race, such as the road race that kicked off the 2016 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, on the other hand, is pure chaos.

Approximately 160 riders representing some 60 schools lined up at the base of a hill to start the event. Each individual had a nominal winning chance of 0.6%. Certainly going in some folks knew they were among the strongest, but an untimely puncture, dropped chain, or a touch of wheels can doom even the strongest rider there. Pack dynamics are impossible to predict, and race tactics ever changing, such that the actual odds of any given rider taking a win are so small it’s a wonder one emerges at all!

Stefan Rothe wins national road race champs
Best way to win: SOLO!

And yet one did, one special rider from Midwestern State University: Stefan Rothe.

I was asked many times going into the event how I thought we’d do. I was cautiously optimistic. I knew it was among the most talented university squads I’d ever seen. It was certainly the most talented I’d ever coached. The abilities of the riders complimented each other, sprinters who can climb, climbers who can time trial, and all-rounders who do it all. But as we saw in the women’s race, having a pair of the strongest riders there is no guarantee. In the crit, both our ladies were caught behind a crash as the field was fracturing into several small groups, and in the road race, a crash took down Hannah Ross as she was joining the group of 6 on the road who would ultimately contest the finale—a group she no doubt would have been able to compete with in a sprint. Maxyna faced similarly bad luck, facing a pair of mechanicals in the road race at a similarly inopportune time. Such is racing bikes, and while those two ladies joined Nicole Coetzer, a soccer player first who can only train properly for cycling once the spring soccer season is over at the start of May, giving her just a handful of days to prepare, in an excellent team time trial, placing 6th in the nation, fate was rather cruel to our women’s squad all weekend. Fortunately, Hannah was able to deliver an excellent 4th place individual time trial to get her 8th medal at a national championship in just two years.

In the men’s race, Bill Ash, John Paul Blanton, Josh Buchel, Pablo Cruz, and Garrison Horton joined Stefan to form a diverse and multi-talented team: Garrison & John Paul both hail from Texas, while Bill came to MSU from Philadelphia. Josh lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Pablo was born in Siguatepeque, Honduras. Stefan was born in Dresden in then East Germany. The breadth of the reach to MSU the cycling team provides, needless to say, is vast.

Break is rolling
The Breakaway getting the bell for 1 lap to go

Going in, we didn’t think an early breakaway hada great chance, but we didn’t want to miss it in case the chase was disorganized. Ideally we were to deliver our climber where he needed to be in the hills, or get our sprinter over the hills to be there for the final flat 15km. When reports that Bill & Stefan had made the main move of just four riders came in, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I still was skeptical a move of four could stay away for 110 kilometers. Yet I knew the pressure would be on others to chase, and with a man from Marian in the move, we knew their strongteam would not be actively chasing. I did not think another team could match our depth. Further, we had both a sprinter and a climber still riding in the main field, so if it came back, we still had options going into the final lap.

 

Bill inside out
Bill Turning Himself Inside Out Credit Weldon Weaver WeldonWeaver.com

Bill & Stefan ensured we did not need to revert to plan B (or was it D at this point?). Between the two of them, it was clear Stefan had the better legs. It thus became Bill’s sole purpose to make that breakaway stick. Bill turned himself inside out taking huge pulls to put the pressure on the breakaway rivals,and as their breathing turned frenetic on the final major climb under the impetus of Bill’s tempo, Stefan launched his race-winning attack.

Such was Bill’s effort that he, as the team’s strongest time trialist, was left going backwards, cramping up as he joined and then unfortunately dropped behind multiple chase groups. Thankfully, Pablo was there in the front group that would sprint for second and thus able to ensure a second top-20 rider for MSU. We also managed to outscore all other men’s teams, giving us first place points for the men’s road race in the overall team competition, edging out 6-time defending champion Marian.

It would have been easy to rest on their laurels there, celebrate a tremendous win, MSU’s first road race national championships since Alex Boyd won in Kansas in 2004, but this group of guys had further goals.

Jersey
Definitely going in a frame

The criterium was once again rather unlike most criteriums, featuring a 70 foot climb coming out of a hairpin turn each lap. Plan A had been setting up who we believed was the fastest man in the field, our own Josh Buchel, for a bunch sprint, but the course was so selective against traditional sprinters—and anyone who can’t do hill repeats at over 7 watts per kilogram—that just 13 men finished in the same time as the winner. It was no surprise to us that we were the only team with 3 of those 13, with Stefan, Bill, and Pablo finishing 3rd, 8th, and 10th, respectively.  Unfortunately, we ended up tied with Marian in team points here, with the tiebreaker going to them for cyclocross national champion Andrew Dillman taking 2nd to Stefan’s 3rd, giving them the highest finisher between us. Nevertheless, with numbers in our favor the impetus was on us to control the race, with Bill & Pablo doing multiple laps on the front, chasing down or participating in attacks form the nation’s fastest guys, all to set up Stefan for a top result. It worked, as his 3rd was enough to secure him the individual omnium championship: MSU’s first road omnium national championship since Paul Reed back in the 1990s. He bestowed to me an autographed national champion’s jersey that I will frame and proudly hang in my office for years to come.

The team time trial is, in my opinion, the most exhausting event in cycling. You have to pull well above your threshold, sprint back onto the back, and maintain an incredibly fast pace even while sitting on. It was an event we practiced for, every week since February. Our men’s goal was to average 30mph, which would have given us a time of 38:30, 18 seconds faster than the winning time for the previous year. When our boys blasted through the finish line with a time of 37:31.1 over 31 kilometers, I was positively elated. As team after team rolled through finishing with times in the 39-minute range, my confidence grew, but there was no doubt mighty Marian would make it a nail biter. I set up my phone’s stopwatch and watched for them to come in site. “Unless they come into view in the next minute, we’ve got it” I told one of the guys standing with me. My confidence was dashed fifty seven seconds later. The announcer grew loud an animated. Marian was passing Lindenwood, the defending silver medalists. They must be flying. Hope that they would fade grew to resignation, and before they announced the time, I knew they had pipped us: 37:28.2, just 2.9 seconds separated us from the nation’s powerhouse team. 0.04 miles per hour. 40 meters apart over about 40 meters: had they ridden side by side at those speeds, it’d have been 10 minutes before there was any daylight between them. That was heartbreaking. The boys were gutted, as was I.

women's podium
Hannah’s 8th medal and counting

How a team acts when they’re on top can be telling, but what’s far more illuminating is how they respond to adversity and disappointment. Hannah’s and Stefan’s individual time trials—after riding a long, tremendously hard TTT—give huge insight into the character of this team and those riders. Hannah smashed the winning time from last year by 15 seconds en route to her fourth place—easily the fastest among riders who’d competed in the TTT, and Stefan demolished the course, storming to gold, his third national title for the weekend, seventeen seconds better than second place.

Stefan ITT podium
ITT Champion on an Alloy Specialized!

We had some bad luck and some very close calls, but what this proves to me that next year, we will be back and better than ever. All but two of our entire team bronze medal squad, Hannah & Stefan, will be returning for the next two years at least. Nicole will be done with soccer next year and able to train properly all spring. Bill, Pablo, JP, Josh, and Garrison will continue to improve, and the incoming class looks poised to make an immediate impact. I, for one, cannot wait ‘til Fall.

This team
Third Place Team!

 

Be sure to Like us out on Facebook & follow us on Twitter. if you want to join the greatest collegiate cycling program the US has to offer, contact Cycling@mwsu.edu for info on joining, including how to get scholarships.

2015 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship Report

2015 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship Report 

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Midwestern State University is not traditionally a mountain biking school. Until three years ago, we had never had a single competitor at any national championship event that involved dirt. BMX—what’s that? Cyclocross–in the cold, with the mud? Fahgettaboutit. And MTB—where exactly do you think we’ll be practicing our dirt road climbing in Wichita Falls, TX?

Three years ago, that all changed. Three years ago, a great local business decided to step in and support the MSU Cycling Team with a large donation, enough to fly a handful of competitors to the Appalachians, put them in a cabin for a week, and allow them to compete against the more mountain-and dirt-inclined schools of North Carolina, West Virginia, Colorado, and the like. This company financed our first-ever BMX team that took 6th in the 2013 national championship. And it provided the funds necessary to compete at last year’s Cyclocross National championship. That wonderful company was First Bank.

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First Bank’s slogan is “Invested in our Community.” That could not be more true. Through First Bank, this writer has managed his family’s banking and secured his first home loan to accommodate its growth. They have offered the personal attention I’d never find at a national bank. Plus I can promise you they had nothing to do with the whole “bringing the world’s economy to its knees” thing that some larger banks not to be named did. Even through the Great Recession, First Bank remained well capitalized and secure.

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And so last Wednesday, our small but talented group consisting of Junior nursing student (and team captain) Cameron Lowery, Sophomore Pre-Law (and 4.0 student) Luke Allen, and Freshman business major (and worldwide leader in the Mike’s Bikes Business simulation competition) Bill Ash flew to Washington DC, then made the 5-hour, dark twisty drive with Coach Zamastil to Snowshoe Mountain, an area so remote, you lose cell reception 2-hours before you arrive.

Thursday we previewed the course, and it was generally agreed a full-suspension would be nice for the rooty, rocky XC course, but the Short Track XC suited Bill, our best climber, quite well. Cameron and Luke, more gifted technically but better suited to technical courses and descending, would have to fight through it even as the altitude made it difficult to breathe.

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Friday morning they were off by 8:00 a.m., and the pace was blistering from the get-go. Bill had a bad hole shot, and quickly realized his tire pressure was too high for the dew-moistened conditions he didn’t experience before. But even as his tire frequently lost its grip, he still managed the climb admirably, and he became the first MSU MTBer ever to make it all the way to the end of the Short Track race without being pulled. In the end, he came in 12th, just two spots behind the defending national champion Sepp Kuss of the University of Colorado Boulder.

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20151023_081131Cameron & Luke, starting from further back, picked their way through the crowds, particularly impressively on the descents, blasting by less gifted bike handlers left & right. In the end, Cameron worked his way up to 41st, in the top half of the field, finishing @6 laps to the leaders. Luke, who got our last team call-up, finished in 55th, just ahead of the closest intra-conference competition, so MSU had the 3 best finishers of the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference.

After the short track race, we headed back for some food and homework. A quick ride of the next day’s XC course interrupted the study session that went on into the evening. We broke briefly for a couple games of Settlers of Cataan, thereby cementing our status as either the coolest kids you know or utter nerds, depending on your perception. We’re confident you dear reader are wise enough to conclude the former. After dinner, we hit the books for several more hours before retiring.

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Sunday morning we were not so fortunate, as an early crash at the front of the pack forced Luke & Cameron off-course. This enabled a group of 12 riders to come through with an impressively sizable lead after just 2 minutes of racing, but at least Bill, starting in the second row, had made the split. Sadly, after about 30 minutes of racing, Bill came walking his bike back to the start area. While riding in the front group after the main challenges of the course—the opening 2 climbs and descents—Bill was still with the front group which had been reduced to 10, riding in third position when his rear tire began to lose air. With no neutral support this year, Bill’s race was over. Cameron and Luke were a couple minutes behind, fighting forward but out of contention for the win. After the opening XC lap, they came through separated by a handful of seconds, and that gap would remain; the pair finished with just two riders between them, less than a minute apart, in 51st for Luke and 54th for Cameron.

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Immediately after the race, it was time to pack up and drive the 5h back to a host home in DC, where we could stay for the 10 hours until our flight back to DFW took off. The 2:45 a.m. wake-up call was brutal, but we made it home in one piece, and we’re looking forward to returning to Snowshoe next year with a fuller squad.

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Thanks again to all those who made it possible! Be sure to check out the photo albums on Facebook from the event, and follow us on Twitter to keep up with the latest.

 

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MSU Track National Championships Team Bronze Medal Report

MSU Cycling Team 3rd at D1 National Championships

MSU Track Team Podium
Track National Championship Podium (left to right) Lindenwood, MSU, Marian, Fort Lewis, CU Boulder

The 2015 USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships are officially concluded, and what a championship it was! I have been around collegiate cycling since 2008, and the level of competition is exponentially higher than ever. American cycling stars have frequently passed through the collegiate ranks before moving on to the world tour—Brent Bookwalter, Ben King, Ted King, Chad Haga, e.g.—but when they did, their star shone so bright it eclipsed those around them. Nowadays, the future world tour talents square off against a host of future-domestic pros, future-domestic elite team members, and future-accountants-who-put-a-stable-long-term-career-utilzing-their-talents-learned-in-college-ahead-of-their-bike-racing-but-who-could-have-been-pro that belong in the same race. Winning a bike race can be as much about luck and timing than it can about raw strength when the talent pool is deep and the possible winners aplenty, and on display at this year’s track collegiate championships was how now collegiate cycling truly fits that mold.

Into this deeper than ever pool waded a host of 7 freshman, 2 sophomores, and a grad student from different backgrounds and walks of life, far off exotic locations like Africa, New Zealand, and Idaho. Idle time was filled with chatter about things called the “springboks,” the “All-Blacks,” and “potatoes.” This host was called the Midwestern State University Cycling Team, and they began the trip to Colorado Springs hoping to gain experience, but soon after arrival it became clear that experience wasn’t enough: they wanted to win every time they took to the line.

Podium tat
Even national champions get cat-5 tattoos

And win they did: that grad student from Pocatello, ID Hannah Ross, a swimmer-turned triathlete who has been racing bikes for less than two years, raced an aggressive points spending more time off the front attacking the race ahead of the sprints than mixing it up in the bunch to score 19 points, just enough to get a 1 point edge over her more explosive competition, getting the final point she needed with a 4th place final sprint finish. Hannah became our 35th national champion, and her name will be added to the illustrious list of national champions that adorn the MSU Cycling Trailer.

Our success is not just measured in wins though, as even though following Hannah’s points race was the only time an MSU rider stood atop the podium and received the coveted stars and bars jersey, there were many near misses where MSU riders’ guts, tenacity, and aggression made them moral victors, crowd favorites, and riders to watch in the coming years:

Freshman Bill Ash from Philadelphia, PA, a non-traditional student whose life was turned around and given new direction discovered through a passion for bicycle racing, became the crowd favorite through an aggressive race style. He lapped the field in all of his qualifiers and the points race final, and kept plowing forth, knowing he too had the best shot of taking max points by simply riding harder & longer than any of the faster sprinters. In the end, he came up half a wheel short of a national title, finishing fifth in the final sprint, just shy of the 4th he needed to take a one point win, ending tied for first on points at 48 but losing the tie-breaker. His points race was his second 2nd place of the weekend, as he also set a blistering pursuit time of 4:43 in blustery conditions early in the event. As the wind died down the times improved, but no one was able to knock Bill down until the defending champion on the final heat turned in a 4:34, breaking the collegiate 4km individual pursuit record that Bill had only just set.

Of course Bill’s ride was set up by the dedicated chasing and teamwork—allowable collusion in collegiate track racing—of Honduran road national champion, Pablo Cruz and South Africa’s junior Madison champion, Joshua Buchel. The pair of them exemplified MSU’s all for one, one for all mentality. Rather than trying to rack up three moderately high placings to secure team points, we opted to go for the national title, and put our two other racers on the front to drive the pace when it suited. Josh in particular was a tireless workhorse and certainly Bill could not have done it without him.

In fact, Josh emerged as a bright shining star—the consummate teammate with loads of talent. To call him a superdomestique would not do him justice, for he can lead just as well. Josh became the first MSU sprinter to go under 11 seconds, beating the team record set by Danny Robertson—who, coincidentally, nearly broke the national record in a flying 200 on site with a 9.9, now 3 years beyond his graduation—by two tenths of a second. Josh’s PR earned him a high ranking that allowed him to cruise to the quarterfinals in match sprinting, even though he had never match-sprinted in his life. He proved an adept learned, and ultimately placed 8th, even after having his shoulder dislocated by his opponent in the quarters. Match sprinting is rough!

Josh Track Bike
Josh Buchel had a 4:49 pursuit, 10.9 flying 200, and a 1:05 kilo

Josh also managed to go under 4:50 in the individual pursuit for another top 10, but it was his kilometer time trial where he really shined. Josh earned the bronze with a 1:05, and he too is one to watch for the future.

Maxyna Cottam of New Zealand, a junior national pursuit and scratch race champion herself, showed why the Cottams are a family to be feared in track racing all over Oceania, as she, in her first competition on American soil, was the women’s field’s most consistent placer, never going outside the top 12 in every single event she did. She also was instrumental in setting up Hannah’s points race win, including opening the door for Hannah to take 4th in the final sprint, when Max herself could have easily taken the points. She and Josh definitely were the teammates a captain could have!

Unfortunately we were not able to field a women’s pursuit team with just two women, but the men’s pursuit team of John Paul Blanton, Pablo Cruz, Bill Ash & Josh Buchel—3 freshman and a sophomore—were incredible. They gelled as if they’d been brought up doing pursuits weekly, when in fact, due to scheduling conflicts all summer & fall keeping them apart, they were riding full gas together for the first time: but full gas, with that talent, and a particularly gutsy performance from JP and Pablo to hang on the final two laps as the more experienced and explosive Josh & Bill lit it up—was enough for the bronze medal, and surely more medals are in their bright future.

What was most exciting for me, as coach of this young team, was not only the incredibly performances of a handful of stars, but the way even our new guys—Jake Lanoux, TC Porterfield, & Craig Abrahams–with just 4 days of track racing prior to their first national championships, whose bikes, provided by Specialized, ordered last minute assembled by the amazing mechanics at the brand new Endurance House of Wichita Falls, and paid for thanks to the generous contributions of the Hotter’N Hell 100 & First Bank of Wichita Falls—had something to contribute. We were still discovering their talents as they made mistakes; Craig, for example, started way, way too fast and spun way, way too small of a gear in his individual pursuit. But his second lap was well under 21 seconds—lightning fast! When one rider fell very ill on the final day and couldn’t compete in the team sprint, it was next rider up, Craig, and he positively flew around that track.

Track Team
The team never stopped having fun

In fact, the team sprint, the final event, is done in a uniquely collegiate way. The race is 6 laps long—2 long kilometers on the Colorado Springs track—where a female has to complete at minimum 2 laps and males can do up to 4. The tricky transition between has to be executed precisely with no overlap in order to avoid disqualification. It is a test of strength, speed, and team mechanics, and we executed flawlessly. We received some advice from US national rider and MSU grad Danny Robertson before the event: “Try to drop the people behind you. And everyone else behind you: don’t get dropped!”

Maxyna had her fastest starting lap ever. Hannah, who often struggles with starts, got up to full speed and into the draft just at the right time to keep the speed up through the second lap. The aforementioned Craig took off when it was his turn, pulling the team into the top position through the first four rounds at the halfway point. The crucial fourth lap, pulled by Garrison Horton, who had struggled to match some of his times from last year, was incredible. In a carbon copy of the previous year, Garrison nearly dropped Bill riding second to last. In fact, Garrison had the fastest 4th lap of the entire event! Bill, exhausted having raced into 6th during an aggressive scratch race, where Josh, riding anchor, had also gone full out to chase a dangerous breakaway down for Bill, pulled Josh into the final lap, and Josh scorched around the 333 meter course in a shade over 18 seconds! It was the team’s fastest average speed for a team sprint of all time, and it was enough for a yet another silver medal.

While we fell just short in a number of events, from Hannah’s IP silver, the team sprint silver, Josh’s bronze, Bill’s pair of silvers—we are keenly aware that next year well could be our year. We will be bringing back every single rider from the 2015 track squad, and almost definitely with some new additions to make us one of the teams to beat in 2016. We are the MSU Cycling Team, and we have put everyone on notice. We believe that we will win.

Full Team
The whole gang, from track, mountain, and road

Jessica Prinner’s Collegiate Nationals Report

Jessi wrote this up for her personal blog, The Prinner Posts, and we couldn’t resist sharing it.

“For the second year in a row collegiate road nationals was to be set in Ogden, Utah, home of mountains and Mormons.  I love travelling to many different places and seeing different ways of life, and the Salt Lake City area was certainly a cool one.

It took us three days to drive from Wichita Falls, TX, to Ogden due to a snow blockade on I-70 through a Colorado mountain pass.  We were stuck up on the mountain for hours, not sure if we’d have to camp the night.  Luckily we wouldn’t have to drink our own urine as the pass opened and we carefully drove down the mountain.

The first day of racing was going to be a challenging one for me, as I’d have to race two time trials in the course of three hours.  Up first was the team time trial, a 30km, out-and-back course along Antelope Island, a mass of land in the middle of the Salt Lake peppered with herds of bison.  In fact, we were all a bit concerned about bison wandering across the course.  I don’t know about my teammates but I wasn’t stopping for anything, especially during my individual time trial. Continue reading Jessica Prinner’s Collegiate Nationals Report

UT Race Weekend

Women’s A rider Jessica Prinner wrote up this fantastic race report of the UT Race Weekend, enjoy.

Don't worry Jessi, no ones back there.
Don’t worry Jessi, no ones back there.

“Going into my second collegiate road season, I was mentally prepared for this past weekend. Half of collegiate racing isn’t even about the racing; it’s about compromising among 15 people, 2 vans, lots of luggage, 4 people to a room, and figuring out where or what to eat. You can’t deny this is a big stress put on the body and mind, and it’s important to be prepared for anything. Amber Neben once told me a great saying she lives by in the sport of cycling: “Be flexible, be adaptable, overcome”. That saying pretty much explains itself.

Continue reading UT Race Weekend

UT Race Weekend

Women’s A rider Jessica Prinner wrote up this fantastic race report of the UT Race Weekend, enjoy.

Don't worry Jessi, no ones back there.
Don’t worry Jessi, no ones back there.

“Going into my second collegiate road season, I was mentally prepared for this past weekend. Half of collegiate racing isn’t even about the racing; it’s about compromising among 15 people, 2 vans, lots of luggage, 4 people to a room, and figuring out where or what to eat. You can’t deny this is a big stress put on the body and mind, and it’s important to be prepared for anything. Amber Neben once told me a great saying she lives by in the sport of cycling: “Be flexible, be adaptable, overcome”. That saying pretty much explains itself.

Continue reading UT Race Weekend

Baylor Cameron Park Classic

Teammate David Barrett wrote us a fantastic play-by-play from last weekends collegiate mtb race in Waco, TX, enjoy.

"On Sunday I rode my first collegiate mountain bike race. I was nervous for days leading up to the race. I have ridden in three other mountain bike races but that was twelve years ago when I first starting mountain biking. This was the first race that I was aware of what I stood to lose during the race (i.e. my dignity, my breakfast, some skin). In the twelve years since my first race I have mountain biked with some regularity and spent a lot of time in recent years on challenging single track in southern Utah. This year I trained on and raced road bikes for the first time. Despite all of this I felt like I was entering completely uncharted territory. 

 

 

Continue reading Baylor Cameron Park Classic

This Week We Roll Into the Cycling Performance Center

Before we take a better look at the lab, let's look at some results from our teammates David Barrett, Tony Baca, and Anthony Sequera who just got back to campus after a weekend of camping and racing in Waco, TX. The three competed in Baylor University's Cameron Park Classic, a two day mountain bike event hosted by the BU Cycling Club. After mechanicals sidelined both Tony and Anthony during Sunday's races, David was able to walk away with 1st place in the men's B category. Great job David, time to upgrade for conference.

Back on campus, "time off the bike" was everyone's motto. With the road and track seasons over, most teammates have been taking time away from the bike to catch up on some much needed rest and relaxation. Base miles for next season have yet to begin, so physical testing, mental preparation, and school work have been the focus. 

 

The winter "off" season means that it is time to hit the Cycling Performance Center on campus, where Dr. Wyatt and his graduate students can perform a multitude of tests, most importantly VO2max and Wingate analysis. Over the past week a handful of teammates have already made their way into the lab to chart their numbers. Testing often becomes a group activity with people coming to cheer as their teammates attempt to set new lab and personal records.

 

Continue reading This Week We Roll Into the Cycling Performance Center

The Summer Seasons Are Over and Fall Has Begun.

 

After a tough but rewarding three days at nationals last weekend, most of the team's track bikes have gone back into the garage; collegiate track season is over and fall has arrived. For many on the team this means a shift to the mountain bikes, but not for Danny Robertson

 

Danny has been in Carson, California all week preparing for and participating in USA Cycling's Elite Track Nationals. Competing against cyclist who, only two months ago, were going for the gold in London.

 

Over the weekend, Danny, seen here in his Allvoi professional team kit, was able to rack up two more medals for his cabinet. Thursday night saw a silver in the Men's Team Sprint and Saturday a bronze in the Keirin. That makes 6 national championship podium finishes in a week. What a way to finish off a season, congrats Danny!

 

While Danny was on the west coast racking up medals on the track, Tony Baca, Amber Vredenburg, Cory Scott, Caden Burross, and alumni Adam Biwan were in Copperas Cove, TX finishing off their road season with the Texas State Road Race Championship.

 

Saturday morning's races were held despite high winds and drenching rain storms that left the riders soaked to their bones and covered in grime from head-to-toe. Vredenburg rode to 7th in the women's open, Scott, after flatting out of the break, chased to 14th in the P1s, Biwan finished 10th in the cat 3s, and Burross, 15th in the cat 4s.

 

Sunday's weather shifted from torrential downpours to windy, cold, and overcast skies. Tony and Amber, our only teammates to compete in Sunday's age classification races, both finished on the podium. 

 

Amber won the gold and walked with the state champion's jersey in the women's 17-18yr old field.

 

Tony, after being beaten in the sprint by less than a wheel, took silver in the men's U23 classification.

 

While a handfull of the team were away this weekend, the rest were at home preparing for the remainder of the South Central Collegiate Cycling Conference's mountain bike season. Get ready SCCCC, MSU is coming for more medals, and this time it's in the dirt.

 

Our girls are looking tough out there, watch out!

 

Speaking of the ladies on the team, if you missed all the tweets and Facebook posts about it, Wednesday the 26th was Jessi Prinner's 20th birthday, go wish her a happy belated if you haven't already, AND tomorrow, Monday Oct. 1st, is Ashley Weaver's 21st, go wish her a happy b-day also. 

 

Cheers! 

 

 

The team WON BIG at Collegiate Track Nationals

After a hard fought three days at the EDS Superdrome in Frisco, TX, September 20th-22nd, MSU Cycling's Team Arrow returned home; medals in tow. The team racked up a very impressive grand total of five silver, two bronze, team overall silver, and even more podium finishes. To earn this many top placements was no easy feat considering this was not your ordinary weekend of racing, this was COLLEGIATE TRACK NATIONALS!Team Podium

Seventeen colleges from across the country sent their best to compete at Texas's premiere velodrome, a 250-meter wooden track known for it's 45-degree banked turns. The track cyclists raced, at times reaching speeds of 45mph, in individual and team events ranging from a 200-meter time trial to a 30-kilometer, 120-lap mass start race. 

 

The Team

The team was represented at nationals by Sean Brown (’12), Erick Goytia (’13), Fidel Goytia (’12), Jessica Prinner (’14), Danny Robertson (’12), Claire Routledge (’12) Cory Scott (’14), Amber Vredenburg (’15) and Ashley Weaver (’14).

 

Standout MSU cyclists included Robertson, who took 2nd in both the men’s kilometer time trial and the match sprint competition to multi-time elite national champion Matt Baranoski.

 

Prinner took 2nd in the 3km individual pursuit and 3rd in the overall women’s omnium.

 

Scott, a former road national champion, managed 4th in the points race—his second ever track race.

 

The women’s team pursuit squad of Prinner, Vredenburg, Weaver, and Routledge placed 2nd, and the co-ed team sprint squad of Routledge, Prinner, Erick Goytia, Brown, Scott, and Robertson narrowly missed the gold, losing out to overall omnium champions Marion University.

 

Charlie was exceptionally proud of the team’s performance. “It’ll be a while before Marion relinquishes its stranglehold on the team title. They’ve got the biggest budget and the most resources, including a velodrome right on their campus on which to train. But in the seesaw battle for second place, our team strength was the difference maker. I’m especially proud of our team sprint team and its anchor Danny Robertson, who made up a full second deficit in the final lap to win by six tenths of a second over Lees McRae.” 

 

Robert Clark and Howard Farrell, MSU vice presidents, were on hand Saturday night to present medals to the team, along with Hotter’N Hell Hundred Race Co-Director Ken Webb. "Having them on hand at the closing ceremony was a special bonus (for the team) to cap a weekend that saw MSU get VIP treatment because of a last minute sponsorship donation," said Zamastil. 

 

"While taking three silver medals in team events was more special because we received them from the men responsible for the cycling program being where it is today, Dr. Robert Clark and Dr. Howard Farrell,” long-time teammate Sean Brown said. “And for me, it was very special to receive my medal from a long time close family friend, Ken Webb, who has helped instill in me the drive to never give up.” Sean's dad has also been an instrumental figure in the cycling community, on and off campus, in Wichita Falls for years.

 

Thanks to help from Google+ and YouTube we were able broadcast the event live this year. Head over to Charlie's feed for video coverage of the entire weekend.You can also head over to our Facebook and Google+ pages for more photos from the weekend.

For complete race results check out USACycling.