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Collegiate nationals continue with criteriums

Marian University leads the Division I team omnium standings while Colorado Mesa University pulls away in Div. II

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Marian University’s Coryn Rivera defended her national title in the Division I criterium on Saturday during day two of the CapTech USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships in Richmond, Virginia.

The criteriums were run under sunny skies on a 1.5km downtown circuit.

Rivera and teammate Allie Dragoo controlled the Div. I women’s race — sweeping the six premium laps that awarded points in the season-long standings — before Rivera claimed the win by two bike lengths ahead of Judith Wexler (University of California-Davis). Lenore Pipes (Cornell University) took third.

“The first half of the race I had to feel it out and see what the field wanted to do and what their intentions were today,” said Rivera. “When it came down to a field sprint, my teammate, Allie Dragoo, led me out from the back side and I put myself into a position in the last corner and started my sprint right out of it.”

In the men’s Div. I criterium, Dean Haas (Fort Lewis College) launched a solo break and stayed away for nearly 45 minutes before Matthew Bruner (North Carolina State) caught on with five laps remaining. Haas and Bruner tried to work together, but the field reeled them in two laps later.

Marian University brought defending champ Colton Barrett to the front as the field prepared for the sprint finish, but Lindenwood University’s Brandon Feehery nipped Barrett at the line. Barrett’s teammate Stephan Hirsch took the bronze.

“When Colton jumped, I jumped right on his wheel,” Feehery said. “I stuck in his slipstream until the end of the sprint and just went right around him. It was a close finish at the end. I had to use the bike throw to get him at the line.”

The men’s Div. II race saw a breakaway succeed as Charlie Hough (Furman University) and Timothy Jenkinson (Mars Hill University) worked to build a 15-second advantage with eight laps remaining. The two stayed away, with the field unable to organize a chase, and Hough pulled away by a few bike lengths to roll across the line first. Garrett Hankins (Santa Clara University) took third.

“I was surprised we got away that easily,” said Hough. “Our gap built up to about 20 seconds pretty fast within two laps. At the end, I waited until Tim started ramping it up with 300 meters to go and I came around him with 100 meters to go. It was a pretty strong headwind coming into the finish line so I waited until the last second to come around him.”

The Div. II women’s race came down to a field sprint with Ariane Horbach (Colorado Mesa University) hitting the line first. Jennifer Caciedo (King University) claimed the silver medal with Dessie Weigel (Whitman College) earning bronze.

Marian University has opened a 109-point lead in the Div. I team omnium standings. The University of California-Davis sits second with 256, 13 points ahead of Lindenwood University.

Colorado Mesa University is pulling away in the Div. II team omnium standings, leading by 152 points over their closest challenger, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. King University holds down the third spot with 192.

The CapTech USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships conclude Sunday with the road races. Women will race 78km s on one the 9.7-mile circuit while men race 109.2 km.