Sand pits and barriers seem to be the norm in almost every cyclocross course, but how about sandy climbs, turns and barriers throughout a majority of the course? North Carolina State (NCSU) gave the Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference (ACCC) just that this past weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The course, located in Lions Park, contained varying surfaces with frequent curb-drop transitions from the sand to the pavement. Many riders found themselves struggling up the sand-covered run-up, especially through a large crowd of loud supporters.
Even though the collegiate race was the last race of the day, many supporters lined the course to witness cycling’s future in the works.
The Women’s A race remained close throughout the course. Allison Forker of Appalachian State (ASU) took the win, with Megan Garlapow (NCSU) and Rachel VandenEnde (ASU) finishing only a few seconds behind. VandenEnde holds a narrow lead over Garlapow for first in the ACCC, which makes the next three weekends critical for the Women’s A field.
The Men’s A race started race with its biggest field yet. Andrew Oishi (Duke) and James McCabe of Wake Forest (WFU) led the group into the back end of the course. McCabe dropped his chain on the fireroad, allowing for Reid Beloni (ASU) and Aaron Oakes (NCSU) to chase down Oishi.
Once Oishi was caught, Beloni attacked with three laps to go. Oakes chased down the attack, and eventually passed Beloni and dropped Oishi. Oakes rode to a solo victory, while Oishi finished safely in second. McCabe fought his way through the field to catch Beloni on the pavement leading up the finish, but Beloni had one final push left to secure third.
With Oakes remaining undefeated in the conference, North Carolina State leads the Division 1 standings with Appalachian State biting at its heels.
The point’s rivalry between NCSU and ASU will certainly intensify as the conference turns towards its final three weekends of racing. Wake Forest continues to build its Division 2 lead over the College of William & Mary.
The next ACCC weekend will take place in West Virginia, as West Virginia University hosts the fourth cyclocross race.