What’s Up?

C'mere n' let Gran pinch your cheeks.

The site has been on hiatus for a bit, but hopefully you’ve been able to keep up with our updates through facebook and the google group (for you teammates, current and former).

It seems that we’ve been doing so much that we’ve barely had time to stop and write it down.

Here’s a rundown of our accomplishments this semester:

  • Acquired 25 members, 6 of which are freshmen (!)
  • Attended 5 of 7 mountain races
  • Had TWO riders (Lukas Grob and Joshua Longenecker) attend Collegiate Mountain Nationals out in Angel Fire, NM. Hell yeah guys!
  • Received a Specialized sponsorship with help from Outback Bikes
  • Got on board with Hincapie Sportswear for our next team kit order
  • Bought a new team trailer for races and travel
  • Re-drafted our team constitution (boring stuff, but important)
  • Secured a spot in the 2013 Road Season calendar for March 9th and 10th; planning for an on-campus crit. Get excited!

So that’s that.

This weekend we are headed out to the very first, inaugural, preliminary Winter Bike League ride in Athens, GA (DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT). The Winter Bike League, commonly referred to as “WBL” in some circles, is one of the greatest group rides in Georgia, bar none. It’s organized, it’s fun, it’s long and it’s got prizes. What’s not to like? It goes from the first weekend in December to the last in February; every time using a different route. This weekend, Saturday the 1st, will be an 80 mile “jaunt” around Hoschton and back to Athens (map). It’s a great time with some great people on some awesome country roads. Get yourself a taste of the real Georgia. Check out their website here (WARNING: Do not click if you have epilepsy).

That’s all I got, for now.

– Christian

When It Blows…Cumberland Classic

I’m not going to speak for anyone but myself, but I think I speak for everyone here when I say that this weekend was shockingly difficult. Like, more difficult than ending a phone conversation with your mother. Or more difficult than trying to explain to a clueless mainstream sports fan why you shave your legs.  Yeah. It was that hard. You feel me now?

The finish to the men's B race saw a thinned chase group sprinting for third.

So, right off the bat, everyone seemed to experience just how tough it was. (Again, I’m speaking for “everyone” here, but probably, really, just myself). Saturday’s road race started innocently enough. Neutral zone, chatting, laughs, but suddenly, it sped up. Quickly. Within the first ten miles of the men’s B race, there were at least 5 attacks. Also within that span, roughly a quarter of the field (and yours truly) got dropped. To quote a Brevard spectator, it was “soul crushing.” But as for the main groups, I’m sure they were slightly taken aback by the sheer number and intensity of the rolling hills of the course. This was definitely a course for the “power” rider, even the finish was an uphill sprint. Just watching the men’s A race finish, sent pain back into my sore legs.  Seeing others finish, I noticed there were many that had given up, gotten into small breakaways or had remained in small chase groups. The fracturing of groups that occurred was more reminiscent of a mountain course; it practically was! Cumberland really did craft a deceitful and menacingly difficult race. Bravo.

Two A riders sprint uphill to the finish.

Again, Sunday was another challenge. Waking up to an unusual 28 degrees – for this winter at least – knee warmers and gloves were at the ready. Arriving at the venue, LP field granted great views of the city skyline and a sweet backdrop for photos with the ominously towering bleachers in the background. I surmised that since we were so close to the water, there would probably be a lot of wind. Unfortunately, I was all too correct. The 6-turn course offered a lot of speedy cornering and accelerations, but the wind nearly pushed you backwards on the backside of the course though the chicane and then downhill towards the finishing straight. It was demoralizing even when riding in a group. Alone, it was “soul crushing.” Even still, a few strong riders were able to battle through the gales. For instance the men C’s saw Georgia Southern rider, Jeff Millich, solo to victory. In the men’s B race, a Brevard and Lees McRae rider finished with roughly half a lap on the pack. Women’s A’s was dominated by a strong Lees McRae group of 4. Those who had the power threshold really succeeded this weekend, while other riders were just unable to hold on. We saw many emerging stars in the peloton across the board. Keep an eye out for those winners as we get closer to conference. They’ll probably be good wheels to follow. I know I’ll need all the help I can get.

Christian and Jackson working together impeccably to catch the chase.

This article is also featured on CCN’s website here.

Cool New Things: Merch and the Seminole Classic

Contrary to last weekend’s spectacular attendance by Georgia Tech at UF, only 4 GT riders were able to attend this weekend in Monticello for the Florida State cycling hosted Seminole Classic, but what lacked in numbers was surely made up for in points, with riders placing top 10 in both mass start races on Saturday and Sunday.

Somewhat backwards, Saturday began with individual and team time trials preceding the road races. The Spanish moss on the trees of northern Florida donated a serene feeling to the otherwise brutal racing that followed. Tech fared well in its TTT, keeping all 4 riders at the finish (results pending; come on SECCC!). The C’s road race began at 11 am, with Joshua Longenecker and Ben McAdoo representing Tech in the moderately sized field. For both the second race of their careers, they placed well in 6th and 8th place (respectively) in the final bunched sprint of the 28 mile race. The Men’s B field saw Sean Carroll and Christian DiCenso pulling hard throughout the 40 miles of their race. With individual breakaways out front at the end, the bunched sprint competed for 4th place, with DiCenso clinching 8th.

Sunday, to the disdain of everyone, awoke with a nipple hardening 28 degrees. The criterium ran clockwise around a fast and technical course in beautiful and quaint downtown Monticello and featured 4 characteristic turns: 1) wide sweeper through the central town roundabout 2) sharp right hander with an inside curb into a fast downhill 3) uphill right hander with bumpy asphalt buckling (good for getting some air) 4) slow and tight right hander into finishing straight. The cold however, was the most influential factor. Nearly half the field of the C’s race dropped out from the chill or from falling off the pack. Longenecker and McAdoo fought through the challenging conditions, scoffing at those who had given in. Longenecker had a fantastic race, finishing 2nd to a Kings College rider after pulling hard in a small breakaway in the final lap. Warming, the Men’s B race was underway. For 45 minutes, the group remained mostly bunched, with only one to three man breakaways that were caught by the group. Lees-McRae attacked hard and often however, and on the final lap, their man was able to hold a small gap for first. DiCenso sprinted in front of the group, nabbing 4th out of a cold, snot-faced and tired field.

See more photos from the weekend at Joshua Longenecker Photography and the GT Cycling Facebook page.