A lesson in criterium turns for Atlantic Conference at VCU and UVA

This weekend took the Atlantic Conference to Doswell, Virginia, and the Virginia State Fairgrounds for races hosted by both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. Both Saturday and Sunday were criteriums around the same loop, though with some changes to the parking lot section of the course. In addition to Saturday’s mostly flat and rectangle course, one end included a section of four quick 180-degree turns, providing more pedal scraping and occasional crashing than actual pedaling. Sunday, which was reversed, was bit more moderate, with only two 180’s in addition to the rectangle.

By Reid Beloni

This weekend took the Atlantic Conference to Doswell, Virginia, and the Virginia State Fairgrounds for races hosted by both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Virginia. Both Saturday and Sunday were criteriums around the same loop, though with some changes to the parking lot section of the course. In addition to Saturday’s mostly flat and rectangle course, one end included a section of four quick 180-degree turns, providing more pedal scraping and occasional crashing than actual pedaling. Sunday, which was reversed, was bit more moderate, with only two 180’s in addition to the rectangle.

Saturday: Crit 1

In the Men’s D race Nick Broyles of host school Virginia Commonwealth University won, followed by Eric Sekercan of Pfeiffer and Ryan McGovern of West Virginia University.

Small fields were the story of the weekend in all of the women’s fields. Paige Beard of Pfeiffer was the only Women’s C rider for both days, and won those races. The Women’s B was a little better with five starters. Stephanie Bunnett of Pfeiffer won followed by Lyndsay McKeever of Virginia Tech and Corinne Landis of Navy.

In the Men’s C, Steven Hill of UNC won followed by two University of Virginia host riders, Alan Vaughn and Will Canup in second and third.

In the Men’s B race, Duke rode to an impressive one-two with Gael Hagan winning followed by Maciej Balajewicz. The pair of Duke riders were followed by a pair of Virgnia Tech riders in third and fourth with Matt Dockins and Mike Breitenbach.

Something was lacking in the Women’s A field as only two riders took to the line. Kirsten Fee of Pfeiffer won all the available primes and the race followed by her sole competitor Peggy LeGrand of Navy.

The Men’s A race was dominated by an all-race break by Walker Owen of North Carolina State as he swept up all of the prime points. However his efforts took a toll as he was eventually caught by a small group. In the finish, Brock Denis of West Virginia University won followed by Owen in second and Gregory Leach of American University in third.

Sunday: Crit 2

Sunday saw some light course modification and a cool start for the Men’s D racers. Eric Sekercan of Pfeiffer won followed by Todd Latocha of West Virginia University and Matt Londrey of Virginia Tech.

The Men’s C race was won by Alex Chen of Duke followed by Matthew Kuhn of Virginia Commonwealth University and Nick Pence of James Madison University.

In the Men’s B race Duke and Navy filled the top four spots with two riders each. Joseph Stehlin of Navy won followed by Gael Hagan of Duke in second and Reiss Kohl of Navy in third

The Women’s B race started with the same five racers as the previous day and Stephanie Bunnett of Pfeiffer again topped the podium with another win. Martha Heath of University of Virginia followed in second and Corinne Landis of Navy finished in third.

The Women’s A doubled in size from Saturday to Sunday, from two to four. LeGrand Navy went back to her winning ways on Saturday, followed by Fee of Pfeiffer in second and Katherine Klausing of American Univ. in third. LeGrand still leads the conference overall followed by Fee and Cheryl Lefever of Navy.

John Crow of N.C. State also returned to dominance in the Men’s A race. Crow spend most of the day off the front by himself racking up five of six primes and the win. Following in a late race solo effort for second was Justin Crawford of Virginia Tech. Michael Robinson of Pfeiffer finished in third. The Men’s A conference overall remains unchanged; led by Crow, Zachary McIntyre of Navy and Cory Scott of William and Mary.

Next for the conference

The conference takes a rest weekend next week before heading into the mountains for the remaining three weekends of racing. Next for the conference will be Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, for much anticipated racing which will include some gravel roads.

Reid Beloni is a senior at Virginia Tech