University of Arizona Race Weekend

Racing in Arizona was awesome. This trip to Tucson was my first chance to race with the UCSD team and it was an amazing experience. The weekend started out with the long drive to Tucson with us (Matt, Alex, Matea and myself) arriving late the night before the first Crit.
When we got to the course the next morning, it was freezing and still dark. Being my first race, I didn’t really know how to prepare and looking back, I wish I had warmed up a good half hour more before starting. There were four of us racing in the Men’s Collegiate C category and none of us knew what to expect. To be honest, I was nervous, but ended up doing better than I had expected. I had a rough time clipping in, and took a few turns wider than I should’ve and got pulled with 4 laps to go as a result. In the end, even though I got pulled, it was a good experience and I learned a lot.
My second race that day was the Open Category 4/5. It was the largest field of the day, and the start was even more hectic than my previous race. It was much faster than the first race and there were several instances where I almost crashed due to my inexperience as well as the size of the field. I ended up getting pulled with 15 minutes left in the race, after having to unclip to avoid a crash, but even with that, it was a great experience and I learned a lot that I hope to use in our next race.
The following day was the 40 Mile road race. Again, it was our first time racing together and I personally didn’t know what to expect. We were racing with the Men’s 35+ Category 4/5, along with the Men’s Collegiate C in a very large field. I ended up getting separated from the main group at the end of the first lap, and had to chase for the last lap. Ended up finishing 15th in the field, so I was happy with that, but look forward to improving in the next race.
All in all, it was a great weekend with the team, and I was excited to get the experience that I did, meet people from different teams, and learn a lot about cycling!
– William Wright

As the motor pace pulls away from the front of the peloton and waives us through I am unsure of what to expect of the next 40 miles of racing. Almost immediately, someone goes off the front of the group, reminding me that this is in fact a race. Not only that, but it is my first race. The early jumper is quickly caught back up by the peloton, after all the first six miles of the race are a blistering descent that averages around 47 mph. While it is fun bombing down a hill for six miles it isn’t very productive towards keeping warm and when we make the right turn at the bottom of the descent I am cold. The pack is still together and we go into the rollers. I quickly warm back up as the riders pulling at the front set a pretty high pace up the rollers. On the flats people are talking to each other, murmuring about their race plans whilst dodging the chunks of rock in the bike lane. Then we turned right onto the climbing portion of the first lap and all hell breaks loose. Right away there is an attack by some UofA riders off of the front. I assume that since it is early on in the race they won’t be able to stay out in front. I soon realize that I am sorely mistaken, and that this climb was much different than I had anticipated. It was a very pitchy climb and some people could not handle the pace that was set up some of the steeper parts and were quickly dropped off of the peloton. At the top of the climb I found myself in a group with about 7 riders from different teams as the rest of the peloton had been left behind us. We quickly decided that in order to catch up to the breakaway we would need to work together. As we crossed the finish line and initiated our second and final lap, we also initiated a rotating pace line that kept the speed on the downhill section very high. We did manage to get the break away in sight again, but on the climb things changed up. Some of the riders in my group were energy zapped from their efforts in the pace line and didn’t have any watts left to help pull up the climb and into the headwind. I decided that I had enough energy to do a little extra work for the group, as they had been helpful to me and allowed me to work in with them even though I wasn’t on their team. At the top of the climb I hung on to some wheels until the final three turns and even though I didn’t manage to catch the breakaway I did manage to edge out a rider from a different category in the uphill sprint and snagged 6th place. Not too bad for my first road race.
– Matt Clemens

UCSD Results

Biopark Blast Criterium – Saturday, January 30th

Men’s C
12 Matthew Clemens
18 William Wright
20 Matthew Hung
21 Steven Liang

Women’s A
4 Matea Djokic

Women’s B
2 Alex Reich
5 Rachel Marcuson

Oracle Road Race – Sunday, January 31st

Men’s C
9 Matthew Clemens
18 William Wright
21 Matthew Hung
23 Steven Liang

Women’s B
2 Alex Reich
3 Rachel Marcuson

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alex

matt

will

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Thanks to the Damion Alexander Team for photos.

Collegiate Cyclocross race CXLA/CXLB 2015

Yet another new discipline for the UCSD Cycling team. Two members of the team decided to tackle the only collegiate cyclocross race of the season in the WCCC. For those unfamiliar with cyclocross (CX), it is the bicycle equivalent of a steeplechase/cross country race using a road bike; although at amateur levels, mountain bikes are allowed. The standard CX bike frames are slightly modified versions of road frames to allow wider tires, cantilever or disc brakes, and a more upright position than typically seen on road bikes. CXLA is the only UCI-level CX race in California, and one of 3 UCI-level races west of Colorado. Because the collegiate field was added only 3 days before the race date, few of the WCCC schools were able to add this race to their race schedule, but it still included a handful of WCCC cyclists and a couple more visiting from Fort Lewis College in Colorado. FLC had recently won the 2015 MTB national championships, so UCSD would have their hands full competing against these visitors.

CXLA had traditionally taken place in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, but was forced to move to El Dorado Park in Long Beach for this year’s races. The men’s collegiate race on Saturday was expected to be a showdown between SDSU and UCSD, but SDSU left San Diego late and got stuck in traffic, so the battle royale took place between UCSD, CSU-Long Beach, and the visiting pro MTBer from Fort Lewis College. From the starting whistle, FLC gapped the field, and Justin (from UCSD) decided to just focus on beating the competitors from the WCCC. Through the straight sections, one of the CSU-LB cyclists was able to stay on Justinís wheel, but Justin created a gap in the technical sections that followed and never saw his competitors again. The race lasted for 4 laps, and became mostly a TT effort for UCSD’s only racer this day. Although the collegiate men’s field was pretty small for the day, UCSD took the top place in the WCCC, and finished just 2 minutes behind the visiting cyclist from FLC. The women’s collegiate field on Saturday was even smaller with just one cyclist from CSU-Channel Islands.

Sunday was expected to draw even tougher competition for Justin, as visiting UCI cyclists from both FLC and Marian University were expected to race. Although FLC is known for winning national championships in MTB, Marian University tends to win every other national championship in collegiate cycling that isn’t won by FLC. Unfortunately this contest never materialized, as both UCI cyclists had gotten so worn out from racing Saturday, that they decided to skip the Sunday collegiate race to focus on the UCI race in the afternoon. So Justin was able to take a leisurely pace around the course as the only competitor. For the Sunday womenís collegiate race, UCSD was able to put up a strong showing with Kerri racing in only her 2nd day of cyclocross. Kerri had to face off against a tough competitor from Fort Lewis College. Although Kerri is fairly new to CX, she was able to learn from the course through each lap, and had negative splits. Kerri also competed in back-to-back races, as she compete in the open women’s Cat C race with only ~ 10 minutes of rest between the races. Although FLC proved too tough to beat, Kerri managed to stay within a couple of minutes behind her strong competitor for 2nd place.

Although beneficiaries of small fields, UCSD apparently won the WCCC this year in CX. With CX growing around the country, and NorCal teams having interest in the discipline, more WCCC collegiate races and larger fields are expected for the 2016-2017 season. SDSU has several younger CX racers, so UCSD will be facing some of their toughest CX competition in their backyard over the next few years. But with a mixture of experienced and new CX racers on the UCSD team, we plan to hold our own in the conference as the sport grows.

 

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Mountain Bike Conference Champs 2015

UC Santa Cruz Shreditation Retreat

Last weekend UCSD competed in its first collegiate mountain bike race, in Santa Cruz California. Having traditionally focused on road and track racing, we’ve been trying to get a mountain bike team at UCSD started for a couple years. It’s tricky because most other schools in our conference that compete in mountain bike are in northern California, so any race we compete in involves a 6+ hour drive. But we finally found a weekend that worked for us, rented a giant pickup truck, and made our way up to Santa Cruz for the weekend. The race was the conference championships hosted by UC Santa Cruz, consisting of four races: short track cross-country, super downhill, cross country, and downhill.

Short track cross country was the first race Saturday morning. As their first-ever mountain bike race, Holly, Dana and Kat competed in the Women’s B race. Short track cross-country is the criterium of mountain bike racing: 25 minutes on a 1-mile loop consisting of a climb up a fire road and a somewhat technical single-track descent. After a poor starting position due to an incorrectly advertised start time, Kat and Dana made up a lot of ground on the initial climb. At the first sign of technical feature, however, Kat lost control of her bike and did a face plant into the ground. After recovering, Kat and Dana rode the rest of the race together, placing 4th and 5th respectively. Holly finished 10th, and everyone was happy to have completed their first mountain bike race.

Kat Holly Dana and Kat

In the afternoon was the super downhill race: a 1.2 mile downhill course, slightly less fast and steep than a pure downhill. Riders are spaced by a minute and are scored by time. Eric and Zack competed in the super downhill, also as their first-ever mountain bike race. After a few practice runs of the course, they took off on the real deal. The course featured one intimidating feature: a 3-foot rock-drop near the top of the course. Apparently the drop was intimidating enough that in the lead-up to it, Eric’s wheel found a root and he went down. He got up and finished the rest of the course flawlessly, however, including the rock drop. Zack and Eric placed 7th and 10th respectively in the mens C category.

ZackEric

The crew woke up Sunday morning to steady rain. Mountain biking on wet trails is not only more dangerous for the rider, but can cause a lot of damage to the trails. The race directors announced that the races were delayed 2 hours due to the rain, after which they would re-evaluate whether the race would be held. Thinking ahead to our 8 hour drive home to San Diego, we decided not to wait around. The forecast showed rain continuing into the afternoon, and we thought it was unlikely the race would go on. (Unfortunately, we wrong—the rain cleared up for a while and they did end up holding the race). That meant that Daniel, who was planning on only competing in the cross-country race, didn’t get a chance to race that weekend. Luckily he got some riding in on Saturday with his friends from home to make up for it.

Overall, it was a great weekend in beautiful Santa Cruz. Many thanks to the UCSC students who hosted the team in their apartment for the weekend. We’ll be back next season with more experience ready to race!

Dana

(PC: Jorts Sports Photography)

Alumni and Friends Kit Ordering

Our dungeon master Vince Pham has designed a sleek new kit for the 2016 race season, and we’re offering all our alumni, friends and supporters the opportunity to buy them.
Here’s how it works:
  1. Check out the Item DescriptionsPrice List (clothing prices are at the CS10 LEVEL) and kit designs attached and decide what you’d like to buy.
  2. Donate $60 to the team to qualify for our team prices. You can PayPal our treasurer (treasurer@ucsdcycling.org) or send an email to arrange an alternate method.
  3. Once we’ve received your donation we’ll send you a link to place your order.
The deadline to order is NOVEMBER 29th.
Thanks to Tijuana Porobic, costume designer, for the assistance with the design of the UCSD clothing!

Collegiate Track National Championships

UCSD returned this weekend from one of its strongest ever showings at USA Cycling’s Collegiate Track National Championships. The championships were held at the U.S. Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Twelve Tritons traveled to race: Esther Walker, Holly Resh, Lily McCormick, Aileen Tran, Eric Geier, Daniel Yang, Daniel Freilich, Sean Lee, Masato Yoshihara, Todd Woodlan, Chris Bonner and coach Pat Jak. Team members were lucky enough to stay in the Olympic training center and get the real athlete experience (and get to take home their own OTC ID badges!).

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OTC ID Badges 

Competition consisted of three days of races, which ranged in distance from 200m to 30km. For those unfamiliar with track cycling, racers ride around a 333m banked concrete track called a Velodrome. There are a variety of race formats, each of which might play to a different set of skills. Match sprints pit two racers against each other in short, fast races. Racers face each other one-on-one, tournament style, until a winner is found. The individual pursuit is similar but racers start on opposite sides of the track to “pursue” each other, with final results determined by time. In the time trial each racer has the track to themselves in a race against the clock. The scratch race is a traditional mass-start race of 4 to 6 km – the first rider across the finish line is the winner. The points race is longer and more tactical – placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in certain laps earns the rider more points, and points are tallied after the race to determine the winner. There are team events as well – the team pursuit puts three to four teammates on the track to work together and earn the fastest time. The team sprint is similar, but each lap the team’s leading rider drops out to leave the final rider to sprint a solo lap as hard as they can.

 

Women's points race

Women’s points race 

Mas competes in the Individual Pursuit

Mas competes in the Individual Pursuit

Lily competes in the individual pursuit

Lily competes in the individual pursuit

Eric destroys the 200m sprint

Eric destroys the 200m sprint

 

Esther on the podium for the Individual Pursuit

Esther on the podium for the Individual Pursuit

The men's pursuit team ready to go

The men’s pursuit team ready to go

The women's pursuit team in action

The women’s pursuit team in action 

UCSD put up some great results, earning top-ten spots in the women’s individual pursuit, men’s match sprint, men’s 1000m TT, women’s scratch race, men’s scratch race, women’s team pursuit, men’s team pursuit, and co-ed team sprint. Both Esther Walker and Eric Geier earned 6th place in the overall individual omnium, and UCSD as a team placed 7th overall. UCSD showed they have what it takes to compete with the top schools in the country, and more importantly, have a ton of fun doing it.

 

Wow, that's steep!

Wow, that’s steep!

A happy (and exhausted) team

A happy (and exhausted) team

They wouldn’t be track cyclists if they didn’t celebrate with a donut (or several)

They wouldn’t be track cyclists if they didn’t celebrate with a donut (or several)

UCSD Results: 

Overall Omniums:

  • Overall Team Omnium: UCSD 7th place
  • Overall Individual Omnium, Women: Esther 6th, Holly 35th
  • Overall Individual Omnium, Men: Eric 6th, Yang 41st

Team Events:

  • Coed Team Sprint: 3rd place
  • Women’s Team Pursuit (Esther, Holly, Lilly) – 7th
  • Men’s Team Pursuit (Eric, Yang, Freilich, Lee) – 10th

Individual Events:

  • Women’s Individual Pursuit: Esther 3rd, Lilly 31st, Holly 42nd
  • Men’s Individual Pursuit: Eric 17th, Masato 47th, Yang 48th, Sean 51st
  • Women’s Points Race: Esther 7th, Holly 14th
  • Men’s Points Race: Eric 11th, Yang 27th
  • Women’s Sprint: Aileen 16th, Esther 18th, Holly 32nd
  • Men’s Sprint: Eric 5th, Todd 12th, Freilich 20th, Bonner 22nd, Yang 28th
  • Women’s 500m: Aileen 24th, Esther 28th, Holly 46th
  • Men’s 1000m: Eric 8th, Freilich 19th, Bonner 43rd, Todd 44th, Masato 60th
  • Women Scratch Race: Esther 7th, Holly 27th
  • Men’s Scratch Race: Eric 4th

 

Road Nationals Results


It’s been a few weeks since Collegiate Road Nationals, but we have big results from a big weekend. Congratulations to all of our Nationals racers for going and suffering through a largely climber favoring course! We’re looking forward to returning to Nationals next year with an even stronger team. Great job, Tritons!

Team Result – 2nd in the Women’s TTT, 7th in the Team Omnium

Gretchen – 1st in the RR, 1st in the Crit, 1st in the Individual Omnium (Ladies and Gents, we have another national champion on the team!!!!!! Congratulations on the killer results, Gretchen!)

Kat – 10th in the RR

Esther – 21st in the RR

Matea – 61st in the RR

Ben – 69th in the RR

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Gretchen absolutely destroyed the field in the D1 crit/ courtesy of Dean Warren

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The Nationals Team poses for a photo after the Womens TTT

 

 

 

San Diego Omnium Success

We had an awesome weekend at our First Annual San Diego Omnium! Several of our riders made it to the podium. In fact, in each of the women’s categories, we had at least one rider on the podium for every race. Our men did a great job hitting that podium game as well. See below for some highlights from the races.

Women's AsEsther and Gretchen bringing on the pain in the Women’s A’s. Congratulations on the podiums, Gretchen!

Women's B/CAileen, Holly, Matea, Dana, and Kat lined up for the Women’s B/C SDSU Crit before destroying the competition.

10406596_10205523215535502_4796566949657969498_nMy personal favorite… Aki got 2nd in the B’s with this epic pain face.

11024663_10204574208449041_9194677748679076014_oIs Daniel off the back of the D’s…? No. Definitely off the front. He was in a one man break the entire race and won definitively.

 

 

San Diego Omnium

If you haven’t noticed the amazing flyers floating around about the Omnium, you’ve been missing out. Let’s go ahead and fill you in. The First Annual San Diego Omnium is a joint event between UCSD, SDSU, and SDBC that will take place February 28th and March 1st. We are aiming to increase awareness and participation in collegiate cycling. Additionally, we are keeping up our mission to support women’s cycling with better prize purses for all women’s fields. February 28th, SDSU will be hosting a criterium race while SDBC will be hosting time trials on Fiesta Island the morning of March 1st, followed by a criterium on UCSD’s campus. This is a great opportunity to get some good racing in and support collegiate cycling. For more information, refer to our Omnium page under the Race tab.

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