Cycling races in Philly

MIT places 2nd with strong team time trials

The MIT cycling team traveled to Philadelphia this weekend for the third race in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) road-racing season. The weekend opened with the first team time trial (TTT) of the season. The TTT is generally MIT’s strongest event, as the teams make it a priority to practice together often — and the practice certainly paid off. The women’s A, men’s B, and men’s C teams won the event.

The next event was the road race, which consisted of 2–5 loops of a 6-mile course around Fairmount Park, complete with windy flat sections, several short hills, and some technical descents. Joseph P. Near ’10, who had just upgraded from the D level after winning both races at Rutgers, placed second in the field sprint of the men’s C race, despite spending most of the race successfully chasing down a rider off the front. In the women’s A race, Laura R. Ralston G and Katie J. Quinn G dominated the race. On the first loop, Quinn broke up the field by motoring up the first climb, and then Ralston attacked the small front group to get a gap on the field. Quinn let others do the work trying to pull in her teammate before dropping the group on the climb and bridging to Ralston. Ralston and Quinn time trialled together for the rest of the race, easily holding off the rest of the field to place first and second.

The weekend ended with a new course on Temple University’s campus. In the men’s C race, Matthieu G. Talpe ’11, Near, and Sebastien Gauthier-Perron G placed first, second, and third in the first prime, gapped the field and never looked back. They held off the field for the entire race to take the first three places. Teammates Andrew C. Lysaght G and Zachary W. Ulissi G were instrumental in blocking to help their teammates stay off the front, and Lysaght still managed to take second in the field sprint to finish fifth overall. Much-needed points in the higher categories were scored by Sam W. Hickey G, Adam P. Bry G, and Spencer D. Schaber G, who all finished in the top 10 of the men’s B race. The weekend ended with utter domination of the women’s A/B race by Quinn, Ralston, and Christina M. Birch G. Quinn, Ralson, and Birch took turns attacking the field, and finally an attack by Quinn stuck. Quinn soloed the rest of the race to take the win, and Ralston snatched second in all of the primes and won the field sprint. Birch took ninth overall, giving her a third-place finish in the B field.

MIT earned second place in the team omnium for the weekend, only 14 points shy of winner Penn State and with almost twice as many points as the third place team, the University of Pennsylvania.

Next weekend the MIT team travels to Troy, N.Y., for the RPI Tour of Troy.