By Press Release
Boston, MA (April 3-4, 2003) – Hundreds of collegiate cyclists from the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) convened on the Boston area for the third annual Boston Beanpot Classic.
The races included the BU team time trial in historic Concord, a criterium on the Tufts campus in Somerville, and the Grafton Hills road race promoted by Harvard. Saturday night featured a catered banquet dinner by Wentworth with keynote speaker Jonathan Vaughters providing tales and tips to the hundreds of attendees. The University of Vermont took top honors in Division 1 for the weekend, and fought epic battles all weekend long with Division 2 winner Dartmouth College.
The racing began Saturday morning with a ten mile team time trial event featuring four-rider teams from each school. Penn State took top honors in the Women’s A event, turning in a 25:53. UVM edged out Cornell in the Men’s A event by 30 seconds over the rolling parcours. Perhaps one of the most notable results of the day was newcomer team Skidmore taking the first spot in the Men’s D category, a testament to the team cohesion they have built in just one month of racing.
Saturday afternoon brought the riders to the Tufts Campus for the classic six-corner criterium of ECCC legend. And the riders showed up in droves – over three hundred college students toed the start line to set the record as the largest regular season collegiate race in America. Early animator in the Women’s A race, Rosie Garlapow (Buffalo) immediately went to the front and blew apart the field.
Of the few riders to remain at the front, the final sprint was won by a tire width by Lori Romero (Rutgers). The Men’s A criterium turned into a Dartmouth/Vermont showdown of epic proportions. With all the major contenders in town, the fast pace from the start turned into a fast lesson in criterium riding for everyone. A six-man break formed with four UVM riders and two Dartmouth riders. It would take the ratio of two-to-one for UVM to neutralize the nearly undefeated rider fromDartmouth, Michael Barton. They continued to battle until Keith Jennings (UVM) and Tim Clement (Dartmouth) snuck away from the heavily marked riders Barton and Kevin Bouchard-Hall (UVM). Jennings would go on to win solo in a dramatic and emotional win for the Vermont team.
A catered dinner was provided by Wentworth Saturday night and featured Tour de France rider Jonathan Vaughters. Mr. Vaughters recounted some fabulous tales from his racing experience while discussing the amazing potential collegiate cycling’s has for developing talented racers. He went on to answer questions from the crowd as well as explain how he selected collegiate riders for his under-23 profession cycling team. His team, 5280/TIAA-CREF, will be selecting its 13th sponsored rider from the results of this year’s Collegiate National Championships.
Sunday found the riders at the Tufts Veterinary School for the Grafton Hills Road Race promoted by Harvard University. The 13 mile circuit provided two climbs and a venue for the next battle after Saturday’s criterium showdown. Riders were looking to settle the score or add even more points to their team’s total. Road race specialist Kate Stange (Brown) led the charge in the women’s A field, out sprinting her two breakaway companions Romero (Rutgers) and ECCC points leader Bickerstaff (PSU) for her first win of the season. The Men’s A race was predicted to be another UVM-Dartmouth showdown, but it was the University of New Hampshire taking advantage of the situation and sending two riders off the front after just two of 80 miles, accompanied by one rider each from UVM, PSU and Dartmouth. The UNH riders Nick Hight-Huf and Cory Burns were the only ones to go the distance, providing a nail-biting finish just 0:30 clear of a furious chase group and 2:45 clear of the field.
The UVM riders had lost the Men’s A road race battle, but won the war of the weekend, taking top honors overall with 987 points. Penn State came in second with 630 points, and Dartmouth finished as the first Division 2 school with 585 points. Of the host schools, Harvard came out on top with a 5th place overall with 548 points. The other promoting universities included Boston University, MIT, Tufts, Wentworth, Northeastern and Boston College.
The Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) includes colleges in Delaware, New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As they compete from early March through April, ECCC teams vie for the top of the season-long team points standings, Collegiate Nationals qualification team spots, and the Ivy League trophy. The inexpensive races feature team-oriented bicycle racing for all abilities with team pride, glory, and honor as the only prize list.
The full 2004 ECCC schedule and results can be found at www.eccc-info.com.