The Jersey Devil

Men’s report by Garrett Lynch.
Women’s report to follow.
 

The ECCC’s Tour de New Jersey concluded this weekend.  With the third and final weekend of racing in the Garden State.

Men’s Report

Saturdays circuit race featured enough vertical to allow the strong men and women tip the advantage to the break aways.  Although the lap was only about 4.5 miles long, it featured several steep pitches and some strong windy sections.  Early in the race, series leader, Adam Bry (MIT) suffered an unfortunate crash, when several of his teammates tangled in front of him.  The resulting crash made both of Bry’s wheels unridable.  By the time he was up and running again, the field was minutes ahead.  After a futile lap of chasing, he decided to pull out and save his energy for Sunday.  Without Bry in the race, the door was wide open for Robin Carpenter (Swarthmore) to claim the leader’s yellow jersey he has been so clos to for the last couple of weeks; although, I am sure a crash wasn’t the way he wanted to earn it.

In the closing laps of the race, a strong four man break away was formed, containing: Cameron Cogburn (MIT), Robin Carpenter (Swarthmore), Rob Burnett (Franklin and Marshall) and Erik Levinsohn (Williams).  As soon as this break went, it became clear it was the winning move.  The gap to the main field quickly grew to over a minute.  On the final ascent, Rob Burnett was gapped, but made a perilous descent to rejoin the group for the finale.  Burnett led out the sprint, but was rapidly overhauled by both Cogburn and Carpenter. Those two raced shoulder to should right to the line, with Cogburn just edging out Carpenter.  

Sunday began with a demanding 4.5 mile hill climb ITT through Stokes State Forest in northern Jersey.  Erik Levinsohn (Williams College) laid down a blistering pace averaging 18.7 MPHs on a course with 750ft of climbing.  Levinsohn proved the importance of the aero helmet, which without victory would be inconceivable.  Lindsey Knast avenged her defeat saturday winning the women’s A.  Knast opted to comply with the spirit of the “no aero” rule and race without an aero helmet, still besting her competitors who opted for one.     

The weekend concluded with a flat fast criterium at the Sussex County Fairgrounds. Bunch sprints were the order of the day in the higher categories.  A six man breakaway with three MIT riders stood away for more than half the race.  Only to be inexplicably reeled in with three to go, by an organized chase lead by MIT, USMA, UVM and F&M.  Charles Salzer (Franklin & Marshall) took an emphatic field sprint victory, winning by over a bike length.

 
Women’s Report
To follow

Philly Phlyer Report

In case you missed it, this weekend was a beautiful two day span to spend in the Philadelphia sunshine, hanging out with your friends in the ECCC (because who needs to drink on St. Patrick’s Day when you could be bike racing?). While the weather was beautiful, it was likely a lot prettier for one team than it was for all the rest: though a few schools seem to be making a valiant effort at the team competition this year — notably Penn State and Yale — MIT proved once again to be untouchable in the points competition. Both their top men and women posted big results throughout the weekend.

Racing got underway early on Saturday with the season’s first team time trial, on a flat but windy 12.6 miles through Fairmount Park along the Schuylkill River. The MIT Men’s A team came in at 26:15, a full 1:23 ahead of the second-place team, University of Pittsburgh. In the Women’s A race, the Engineers also took the top spot, 36 seconds ahead of second-place Yale. Penn State won the Men’s B race, and the Women’s B prize went to the only team in the race, Yale.

As the early morning faded, the circuit races began to roll through the technical chicane sequence, down the hill to the river, around the harder-than-it-looks Strawberry Mansion climb, and back up to the start/finish to complete 6.3 mile loops. In the Men’s A race there were a few attempts at a breakaway during the first few laps, but no move was allowed to stick. However, on the last lap, Eric Levinsohn of Williams College attacked up Strawberry Mansion, and despite valiant attempts by the field, was able to hold off the group until the end. However, his win came down to the wire, and the field, led by Swarthmore’s Robin Carpenter crossed the line just seconds after Levinsohn.

The Women’s A/B race was less homogenous, with small groups forming after the first lap. As fans have come to expect, MIT’s Katie Quinn pulled away from the group early, although Temple University’s Lindsey Knast (in her second week as an A racer) stuck her wheel and kept up to the very end. The two pulled further and further away from the competition over the next hour, and eventually Quinn took the win ahead of an exhausted-looking Knast. The first chase group included top sprinters Mandy Marquardt (Penn State) and Mary Costelloe (Kutztown), along with Bucknell’s Kelly Desharnais in the ECCC leader’s jersey and Penn’s Allison Tetreault. In the long sprint to the line, Costelloe wasn’t able to hold off Marquardt, who inched ahead of her at the line. Tereault, the only B racer in the second group, took the Women’s B win.

After a long break got swallowed at the very end, the Men’s B race went to Vinnie DePalma (University of Pittsburgh) in a sprint.

On Sunday, the swarm of collegiate cyclists took over the center of Temple University’s main campus, and most certainly shocked the various hungover St. Paddy’s Day revelers (we know because they were both wearing green and looking green) doing the walk of shame through campus among hundreds of overly excited ECCCers in spandex. The dreary gray morning was significantly improved thanks to Bike Temple, the campus organization graciously provided anyone loitering near the start/finish line with unlimited free  bagels and fruit (yeah, if you missed that, you really missed out). But on to the bike racing.

In the Men’s A criterium, Carpenter took his second crit win in two weeks. Like many of the races on the .9 mile, four-corner course, an early break stuck and rolled in significantly ahead of the field. Originally, Carpenter and Edward Grystar (Brown) pulled away from the group, though later they were joined by UVM’s Matthew Buckley. The chase strung out the field, splitting it into two groups. Of the 50 starters, less than half ended up finishing on the same lap as the leaders. MIT’s Adam Bry took the field sprint for fourth place.

The Women’s A/B race was, once again, dominated by Quinn, who was marked for the first few laps by Costelloe, but eventually rode away by herself to a solo win (for the second time in two years on the Temple crit course). She came across the line on the last lap to a crowd literally bowing down before her. The small field behind her came down to a field sprint, which again was taken by Marquardt just ahead of Costelloe.

Harvard’s Heather McLaughlin was the first Women’s B to cross the line. Joseph Halo of Penn State took the Men’s B race.

Written and reported by Shane Ferro, with additional reporting from Chatura Atapattu (that means blame him for any inaccuracies in the Men’s A race accounts). Photo courtesy of Chatura Atapattu. Questions, comments, concerns? Email shaneferro@gmail.com.

Grant’s Tomb and Steven’s Circuit

Many thanks to Garret Lynch for providing this report.

Series leader, Katie Quinn (MIT), and eventual race leader, Mandy Marquardt (Penn State Lehigh Valley), lead the field in the Women's A/B race at Grant's Tomb. Photo Credit: Chatura Atapattu.


 

Grant’s TombSaturday ECCC racing made its annual return to New York City for the Grants Tomb Criterium.  Cold temperatures and blue skies greeted riders on the big wide fast course around Columbia University.  Racers from as far as Canada and the ACCC took part in the longest continued race in the ECCC.  The women’s A/B began slowly but a crash half way through, took down a third of the field, turned up the pace of racing.  Almost all riders return to the race, where track national champion Mandy Marquardt (Penn State-Lehigh Valley) won the bunch sprint.   Robin Carpenter (Swarthmore College) broke away from the field in early stages of the mens A race, later to be joined by Zachary Ulissi (MIT).  The two held off the field for the better part of the race, only to be joined by a small group with less than ten laps to go.  UVM and BU attempted to reel in the break, but their efforts were fruitless.  The breakaway held its hard-earned gap and   Carpenter easily sprinted to his second win of the young season.

Steven’s Circuit

Sunday temperatures warmed a bit for the brand new Ducks Country Circuit Race put on by Stevens Institute of Technology.  Two challenging narrow descents and a long false flat finish made for a testing course.  MIT continued their successful campaign as yellow jersey wearer Adam Bry lunged to the line ahead of Robert Burnett (Franklin and Marshall) and Edward Grystar (Brown University).  The tough uphill sections help shred the women’s A/B field, as half the field was pulled.  Lindsey Knast (Temple) came in alone for the win.

Last season UNH was voted the  ECCC Sandbaggers of the year and this year looks to be more of the same.  While the Wildcats weren’t able to make a big splash in any of the elite races, they were pretty successful in beating up on the Men’s B field (winning both Saturday and Sunday), Saturday’s Men’s C, and Saturday’s Women’s C.  There has already been plenty of grumbling, indicating UNH is well on its way to defending the Sandbagger of the year “award.”

Links to Photos!

Chatura Atapattu’s once again created an impressive photographic record of the race.   Check out: part 1 (MD & MC), part 2 (MC & W Intro), part 3 (MB), part 4 (WA/B) and part 5(MA).  Last year Chat was also selling his photos.  If you like what you  see, drop him a line.

The fabulous photos of cyclingcaptured.com can be found here.

Rutgers Race Report 2012

Editor’s Note:  We are still looking for additional contributors.  If you are interested in writing, please contact Sully.  Also, we would love to post photo albums, so please send them along.

Katie Quinn and Adam Bry enjoying the first yellow jerseys of the 2012 season.

This weekend was a declaration.  The whole conference has been put on notice that MIT is planning on dominating the season like we have never seen before.  MIT has won the last three season omniums, but usually just on the backs of their fantastic women’s squad.  This year MIT stormed into the season claiming a flawless team win, the men’s yellow jersey and the women’s yellow jersey.  While there are still eight weeks of racing left, any challengers to the thrown will have to substantially out preform this first weekend.

Women’s Racing

The opening time trial was an ultra short 2.2 mile effort along the Piscataway river.  A heavy layer of mist and drizzle shrouded the course. Katie Quinn (MIT) and Lenore Pipes (Cornell) had a tight race for first place.   Katie took the win by a mere second.  Her teammate, Lauara Ralston (MIT), came in for third place eleven seconds back.

From the early laps of the road race, it was clear that only three women were going to be in contention for the win.  Aggressive riding at the front end of the group shattered the field and left two A racers and one B racers to sort out the finish order over the remaining laps.   Lenore Pipes (Cornell) dusted the other two women in the sprint.  Katie Quinn was able to edge out Linsay Knast (Temple) for second place.

The women’s criterium was a display of brute dominance.   Before the officials had even calculated the lap cards Katie Quinn attacked the field by herself, determined to race to the end alone.  Durring the ensuing chaos to organize a chase, all but three women were dropped.  Just Laura Ralston (MIT), Kelly Desharnais (Bucknell) and Lindsey Knast (Temple) were left together and chasing.  Laura Ralston plaid the dutiful teamate and disrupted any organized chase and refused to take pulls.  With several laps remaining, Laura attacked the other two, who were unable to respond.

Men’s Racing

The ITT was an early shake down for the Men’s field.  Adam Bry (MIT) stomped his way into an early lead for for yellow jersey by winning the ITT by over five seconds. Steven Rusnak (USMA) clocked a second place finish.  Wyatt Stoup (Penn State) was able to secure third place eight seconds back.

The road race provided a rare early season opportunity for the hard men of the ECCC to truly shine. The thirteen mile course featured strong cross winds and a thousand feet of climbing.  With three laps to go, a break away group of eight riders were able to separate themselves from the main back.  With a lap and a half to go, Robin Carpenter (Swathmore), Stuart McManus (Harvard) and Adam Bry attacked their breakaway mates.  Those three extended their lead all the way to the finish line.   In the finale Robin showed why his license says “pro” and virtually put on a clinic in sprinting.  Stuart was able to edge out Adam during their sprint to the line.

The men’s criterium seemed to be a series of failed attempts.  Throughout the race various attempts at a breakaway were made and subsequently crushed.  While the course featured a stiff climb on the back side of the course, it also had a smooth hide speed downhill without any sharp corners.  In the waning laps Adam Bry and Erik Levinson (Williams) successfully broke free of the main field.*  They worked together flawlessly to ensure the main field wouldn’t have a chance to contest the win.  Levinson lead out the sprint and was overhauled by Bry at before the line.  Robin Carpenter was able to sprint in for third place.

* It is interesting to note that in 2010 Adam and Erik were racing together at Rutgers in the D2 criterium.

Ian Sullivan