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By Robbie Stout
The University of Vermont took the top two spots at the division I men’s Collegiate National championship road race on Friday, while Carla Swart (Lees-McRae College) repeated in the D1 women’s road race title.
In Division 2, Princeton’s Nick Frey solo’d for the men’s title, while Emma Bast (Mount Holyoke College) took the sprint in the women’s race.
Gale force winds from the Northwest were the common denominator for fans and competitors alike at the road race championship, held outside Fort Collins, Colorado. Running on the same course as last year, with an additional roll-out before climbing up the north dam of Horsetooth Reservoir, riders were given a chance, however small, to be a part of the race before it shattered on the climbs.
After a few steep climbs along the reservoir riders, made their way to the Masonville circuit, a ten-mile undulating loop. After completing the circuit riders then had to crest three climbs before descending to the finish line at Hughes Stadium.
D1 Women: a cold start
Though the skies were clear the wind was deceivingly cold, making a good warm up a priority for the D1 women, who kicked off the races at 8am. The power climbs along Horsetooth Reservoir were a decisive factor in the initial selection, as the field strung out nearly a mile along the reservoir after the first climb. Before entering the Masonville circuit, of which the women had to do two laps, a lead group of nine riders had already built an 80-second lead. After completing two laps of the ten-mile circuit the lead group remained intact with a comfortable lead.
Swart began attacking the group on the first mile-long, gradual climb out of the circuits. With two more short climbs before descending back down to the start-finish at Hughes Stadium, Anna McLoon (Harvard University) was the only rider able to keep up. Swart out-kicked McLoon in the final meters, winning by 3 seconds. The strongest survivor of the original lead group, Jacquelyn Crowell (University of Florida), rolled in 26 seconds later for third place.
Swart, who studies sports management with a minor in business at Lees-McRae, said that this year was much easier to win. “Last year I had a problem with the altitude,” she said. However this year she came straight from the SRAM Tour of the Gila, which is just about the same altitude as Fort Collins. At the Gila, Swart won the pro women’s criterium riding for the LipSmackers squad.
D2 Women: First climb was crucial
The D2 women’s race blew to pieces on the first climb up to the reservoir, but by the time the ladies finished their two circuits, two large groups had formed. The lead group stayed together to the finish, where Bast took the bunch sprint ahead of Rita Klofta (DePauw University) and Kimberly Geist.
Bast, a senior, majoring in geology at Mount Holyoke, and just two years into the sport, has had a rough start. Just before collegiate road nationals last year, she crashed at a race and only remembers waking up in the hospital. With potential for serious brain damage, doctors warned her not to race any time soon. She insisted and raced anyway, though not finishing very well. Again this year, she crashed in a criterium last week, but with no serious injury. Despite taking a few hits, she said that the crashes don’t frighten her and now that she’s finished with school she’d like to get onto a team and see how far she can take it.
D1 Men: Early crash disappoints many
In the men’s D1 road race an early crash left a few of the 155 starters out of contention. As with the women’s races, on the initial climb up the north dam, a handful of riders fell off the back. A lead group of about 17 formed before the Masonville circuits and a chase group formed at just about a minute back. The lead group hovered around 90 seconds ahead of the chase after the four circuits. Jamey Driscoll (University of Vermont) put in his race-winning attack on the first long climb back to the reservoir. With a healthy lead and just two small climbs before the descent to Hughes Stadium, victory was in sight.
Driscoll won ahead of the field by 44 seconds. Though the crowd at the finish line expected to see Driscoll arrive at the line first, the big surprise was his teammate, Will Dugan, who sprinted to the line first out of the bunch.
Driscoll studies mechanical engineering at the University of Vermont and is perhaps better known for his cyclocross prowess, finishing second to Ryan Trebon at the 2008 cyclocross national championships. In addition to racing ‘cross, Driscoll is a new rider for the Rock Racing squad.
Dugan is a pre-med, studying biobehavioral psychology and racing for CCB-Volkswagen when he’s not wearing UVM colors. On taking the sprint, he said, “Everyone hesitated coming into the sprint with about 350m to go,” and that’s when he made his move.
D2 Men: carnage on the opening climbs
The D2 men’s race saw more carnage on the initial climbs heading over the Masonville circuit. Once again the field spit riders out the back and a lead group of nine formed during the first circuit. The group held a comfortable lead of about four minutes over the peloton, which consisted of about 30 riders by the third lap. Feeling the pace ease up in the lead group, Frey upped the pace through the feed zone and before he knew it, the lead also fractured into smaller groups, which would add to his advantage. Heading out of the four-lap circuit, Frey had almost six minutes on the peloton, with just a few climbs before the finish. He finished four and a half minutes ahead of second place.
Frey, a mechanical engineer at Princeton University, is fresh off the Gila, where he rode for his non-collegiate team, Ciclismo Racing. He said the day went according to plan. He knew that with a north wind he could hammer on the way out to the circuit, which initially heads south, and not waste too much energy. Using the terrain and the wind as best he could, he was able to continually extend his lead. “I only drilled it during the headwinds,” he said, “I knew those were the times to go hard.”
On Saturday, Fort Collins will host the USA Cycling collegiate national criterium. Tune in for the race report.
Division I Men
1. DRISCOLL James University Of Vermont in 2.52’47”
2. DUGAN William University Of Vermont in 2.53’31” at 44″
3. LEIBOVITZ Adam Marian College in 2.53’34” at 47″
4. SWEETING Bobby University Of Florida in 2.53’35” at 48″
5. ISHAY Rotem Fort Lewis College in 2.53’35” at s/t
6. HEGYVARY Adrian University Of Washington-Seattle in 2.53’44” at 57″
7. PICKETT Evan Stanford University in 2.53’48” at 1’01”
8. SWITTERS Adam University Of California-Davis in 2.53’53” at 1’06”
9. JACKSON Scott Lees-McRae College in 2.53’53” at s/t
10. COLAVITO Kyle University Of Arizona in 2.53’58” at 1’11”
Division I Women
1. SWART, Carla Lees-McRae College in 2.28’21”
2. MCLOON, Anna Harvard University in 2.28’24” at 3″
3. CROWELL, Jacquelyn University Of Florida in 2.28’47” at 26″
4. MEYERS, Melanie University Of Arizona in 2.28’56” at 35″
5. FORSMAN, Chloe University Of Arizona in 2.29’26” at 1’05”
6. STACHER, Ally Lees-McRae College in 2.29’26” s/t
7. O’DONNELL, Courtney University Of California-Los Angeles in 2.29’56” at 1’35”
8. SHIRLEY, Margaret Columbia University-NYC in 2.29’57” at 1’36”
9. BROWNSBERGER, Rae Stanford University in 2.30’25” at 2’04”
10. CHANDOS, Amy University Of California-Davis in 2.32’48” at 4’27”
Division II Men’s Road Race
1. FREY, Nick Princeton University in 02:57:40.7
2. ROSSKOPF, Joey Pfeiffer University in 03:02:02.6 at 4:21.9
3. MULLERVY, Conor Mesa State College in 03:02:15.8 at 4:35.1
4. WINN, Brad University Of Colorado-Colorado Springs in 03:03:00.5 at 5:19.8
5. BARRIE, Sean Georgetown University in 03:03:13.3 at 5:32.6
6. JOHNSON, Trevor US Air Force Academy in 03:03:31.1 at 5:50.4
7. BUTLER, Christopher Furman University in 03:05:44.4 at 8:03.7
8. MORGAN, Shannon Colorado College in 03:05:54.1 at 8:13.4
9. MCGOVERN, Duncan Whitman College in 03:06:07.9 at 8:27.2
10. BROWN, Thomas Emory University in 03:06:18.9 at 8:38.2
Division II Women
1. BAST Emma Mount Holyoke College in 2.47’42”
2. KLOFTA Rita DePauw University in s/t
3. GEIST Kimberly DeSales University in 2.47’43” at 1″
4. TANNER Lydia Montana State University-Bozeman in 2.47’43” at s/t
5. RALSTON Laura Massachusetts Institute Of Technology in 2.47’44” at 2″
6. THOMAS Kendi Whitman College in 2.47’45” at 3″
7. CAMPBELL Lindsy University Of Montana in 2.47’45” at s/t
8. FILIBERTI Arielle Dartmouth College in 2.47’46” at 4″
9. BUCKLEY Martha Massachusetts Institute Of Technology in 2.47’46” at s/t
10. SKARDA Alexis Mesa State College in 2.47’47” at 5″