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Lindenwood weekend prepares Midwest conference for nationals

2011 Lindenwood University race
Jennifer Perricone (Notre Dame) drives the women's A field in Sunday's criterium. Photo: Paul Baker
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (VN) — The Mid West Collegiate Cycling Conference regional championships were hosted this weekend at Lindenwood University, leaving many of the racers with sore legs and even some with bruised egos.

With the reigning collegiate national champions Marian University ultimately dominating each of the challenging races of the weekend, many of the races showed the best efforts of every team.

Saturday: TTT and Daniel Boone Home Road Race
Trying to avoid the frigid and rainy weather that had plagued Lindenwood’s race in 2010, many of the racers requested sunshine as well as warm temperatures. Unfortunately, the weather decided to take on high winds, cool temperatures, and misty rain.

The morning started out with a flat 8.5 mile team time trial course that was made challenging with the winds.

With a strong head wind starting out, the men’s A teams showed no sign of slow speeds with Marian University finishing in not only first place, but second as well with the two teams they entered. Lindenwood was only 6 seconds behind in third place. The women’s A Marian University team showed why they won the 2010 women’s TTT at nationals by beating second place UW-Madison by almost 2 minutes with Lindsey Wilson College coming through in third.

Other schools that took wins were Lindsey Wilson College in the men’s B, DePaul University in the women’s B/C, UW-Madison in the men’s C, and Illinois Institute of Technology in the men’s D.

The road race was unforgiving with a field shattering climb almost 3 miles into the first lap. The hilly 20-mile laps challenged even the strongest riders. The 80-mile men’s A race started from the beginning with attacks going into the climb. Alder Martz (Marian) made an attack around the second lap, bringing Greg Christian (Michigan State).

Weston Luzadder (Marian) bridged up and eventually dropped Martz. Christian and Luzadder spent the rest of the race exchanging pulls until Christian began his attacks in the last few miles of the race. He could not shake Luzadder, which allowed Luzadder to outsprint Christian for the win.

The survivors from the race were able to keep it together for a field sprint which was won by Alex Weiseler (Marian) to take third place.

The 60-mile women’s A race played out differently. With the field splitting on the first climb, it was a race of pure fitness. With a split field, teammates Jackie Kurth and Kaitie Antonneau (Marian) pulled away in the final laps to sprint it out for the win. Kurth rode away with the win and Antonneau in second. Kelley Hess (UW-Madison) took third.

Mackenzie McDonald Williams (University of Michigan) was the strongest men’s B racer winning his road race. Daniel Gerow (Marian) and Ian Baker (University of Kentucky) rounded out the podium in second and third.

The 20-mile women’s B race had an impressive ride by Regan Baum (University of Kentucky) soloing away to her win. Julian Tourney (Purdue University) won the men’s C race and Corey Anderson (Michigan State) won the men’s D.

Historic Downtown Criterium
For most, a night of recovery was necessary going into the final day of regionals. The criterium had the weather the racers had all hoped for racing in historic downtown St. Charles. Lindenwood found a great 1k, 3-turn course down the cobbled main street. The cobbles may have been smoother than the cobbles in Europe, but it allowed for a seriously fast day of racing.

The men’s D race started the morning out with Andrew Alseth (Univ. of Missouri of Science and Technology) taking a win.

Eric Battagilby (UW-Madison) started his morning off with a win in the men’s C race, avoiding the mid-race crashes.

The women’s-B race showed, yet another impressive ride by Regan Baum (University of Kentucky) who lapped many of her competitors and soloed away to her second win of the weekend.

The men’s B race had lots of potential for winning breaks, but the field would not allow any of them to stick. Daniel Gerow (Marian) made many moves, and they all paid off for him as he rode into the cobbled finish with the win. Alexander Martin (UW-Madison) took second and Taylor Ladd (Lindsey Wilson College) finished third.

The women’s A race turned up the speed with the Marian women’s team using their strength and numbers to their advantage. Many attacks and accelerations were made, but nothing was sticking.

Jackie Kurth (Marian) made her move before a very tight turn onto the cobbles and her teammates slowed the front of the field. Chasing was unsuccessful, which allowed Kurth to lap the field and sit in while the others finished in a field sprint. Kurth’s teammate, Allie Dragoo, made an impressive sprint for second, with Kelley Hess (UW-Madison) not far behind in third.

Many of the spectators were able to determine the outcome of the men’s A race once the winning break was decided. With five of the six riders being Marian University, Matt Brandt (Lindenwood) found himself in an inevitable position.

Brandt was a crowd favorite on his home course, receiving lots of support from the crowd as Marian sprinted in to take the top five positions. Alex Weiseler outsprinted his teammates Adam Leibovitz and Alder Martz for the win while the rest of the field rode in for their finish.

Looking toward nats

Lindenwood University’s weekend races returned lots of positive support from the racers and the community which will help build the hopes of gaining the collegiate nationals bid for 2012-2013. The course allowed for great previews of what is to come in three weeks for nationals, as well as giving the racers some of the best competition in the nation.

Complete results

Sarah Lukas races for Lindenwood University in the A category

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