Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brotherly love and bike racing, too!

AU Cycling sent several riders north to Philadelphia last weekend for the Philly Phlyer, re-affirming ECCC territory to be both “legit” and “heck-of-legit.” Following a restful night with Melissa’s family (thanks guys!), the first day of racing made thunder in Philadelphia’s West Fairmont Park in the form of a technical circuit race that made sure to keep the riders on their toes. Thankfully, crashes were few and the course’s layout encouraged gratuitous fracturing of race groups. Spectators: pleased. Temple University hosted a hard-won central-campus crit on Sunday - nice work!

It was Saturday that saw Melissa get 6th in the Bs in her combined Women’s A-B race!

Melissa Tabas' bike made motocycle sounds

Billy Hluchan, resolute of oomph and mighty of will, came back from a victory the previous week to snag seventh in the circuit race and fourth in the crit! Concerning the fourth place in the crit on Sunday: “I wasn’t in a good position coming around the last corner," Billy said. "There’s not enough room to set up AND make the move on that last straight before the line - you have to do that before you get there.”

Big Bad Buff Billy Boom Boom Boom

Coby Hutzler and Riley Spencer rode Bs and Ds, respectively, and used the weekend to look at birds and rehearse victory salutes at the back of the pack. Regarding plans for the coming season, Coby hopes to up his pre-race dosages of Euro Beats and Heavenly Visualizations, while Riley is eager to ride more and grow his fast. Who will improve? Tune in some other time!

Coby Hutzler thought about cheesesteak

All in all, a wonderfully-crafted two days of racing on the parts of Drexel, Penn, and Temple Cycling. Bravo! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Grants Tomb - NYC - BILLY WINS!!!!!

A rest week in the ACCC left the American University Cycling Club looking elsewhere to race this past weekend.  Fortunately, the ECCC (our neighboring collegiate cycling conference) was hosting a race in the upper west side of New York City.

On Saturday, Greg Leach, Billy Hluchan, and Melissa Tabas ventured to NYC to race in the Big Apple.

Billy warming up - he must have known he was going to win

Billy Hluchan was the talk of the day with his first cycling victory in the Men's "D" race.  This also was Billy's second ever race!  Billy dodged a couple crashes throughout the circuit race that featured a technical corner and a gradual uphill rear straightaway.  Going into the last lap, with the field whittled down in half, Billy attacked out of the last corner and powered his way keeping his lead to the finish line, saving just enough energy to give a Jersey Shores style fist-pump at the finish line.  Congratulations Billy!

Billy's finishing fist pump!

Melissa's race was next in the combined Women's "A" and "B" field.  This was Melissa's longest criterium against the toughest field she has ever competed against.  Numerous attacks ensued from the start and Melissa rode strongly in the front group navigating the technical corner with precision.  About three quarters through the race the field split in two and Melissa got stuck behind another rider in the second group.  Unrelentingly Melissa pulled the second group through the next couple laps and bridged to the first group with a super strong pull.  Unfortunately the field then attacked and Melissa fell off the back of the first group gassed from her epic pull.  Melissa proceeded to finish in a field that eventually broke completely apart.  Way to go Melissa for riding strong in a super tough and fast race!

Last but not least was the Men's "A" race.  This was Greg's second race of the day having ridden the Pro/1/2 USA Cycling Race in the morning.  Greg displayed his epic power from the moment the gun went off.  Attacking, attacking, and attacking again.  Each time the hungry peloton followed until finally he was able to get away in a break-away of 5 riders.  The rest of the race the break-away tore around the course with the peloton viciously trying to catch the break.  However, on the last lap the break was caught.  Greg managed to power to the line and finish 8th.

All in all great day for the American University Cycling Team!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Duke Race Weekend

This past weekend 4 of our team members (Coby, Elliot, Melissa, and Riley) made their way down to North Carolina once again to compete in a road race and criterium hosted by Duke University. The team got a late start to the road and arrived at the motel around midnight. Upon arrival, the team had to finish building Riley's bike so he could compete in his first race of the season the following morning. As the team packed the car to head out for the road race on Saturday morning, members of motel gathered on the second level to see the team off.

Melissa was first off, starting her race with Men's C and Women's B. The rolling hills of the 14 mile course in the North Carolina countryside caused an erratic pace in the main group of Men's C riders and a few Women's B riders. Melissa fell back from the main group, but fought hard and completed the course with an incredible third place finish.

Elliot and Riley were second off, racing with the Men's D and Women's C riders. Several members of the West Virginia team attacked early on, but were rapidly caught by the main group. The pace was set fast since the Men's D race was a single lap around the course. With 2 miles left, Elliot and a member of the West Virginia team attacked on one of the hills, but were caught with a little less than a kilometer left. Elliot finished towards the front of the main group and landed an 11th place finish.

The second day of racing began with rainy weather, which made many nervous since the criterium was being held in a parking lot. The rain ceased for the duration of the Men's D race, who were first off. Elliot was strong off the front and attacked with a member of the West Virginia team on the second lap. They maintained the lead for the rest of the race, with Elliot receiving a strong second place finish in both primes and second overall.

Start of the Men's D Race

Due to the rain, the Women's B/C race went off with Women's A who set a strong pace for the Women's B riders. Melissa stayed on the front of the group and scored 4th in two of the primes and second another. Melissa finished strong and scored a 4th place finish.

Tired from a long race weekend and a long day in the rain, the team hit the road to start their spring break's. On the way back the team continued their food tradition and replenished their bodies with a hearty meal from Bojangles' Famous Chicken n' Biscuits.