Tuesday, April 26, 2016

2016 Road Season Recap

The 2016 road season was an extremely successful season for Lehigh Cycling in many ways.  Over the winter, the team began indoor training with hopes of achieving greatness in the short road racing season this year.  Weekly training sessions ensured a solid base for each member as the season approached.  A cold first few weeks of racing didn't deter the team from going out and giving it their all.  This season had the highest number of average racers per weekend from Lehigh in many years.

Many members were experiencing road racing for the first time, and were able to learn a lot from other conference racers and themselves.  Throughout the season, results improved for most members as their aspirations of upgrading racing categories became reality.  Although some members will be graduating after this year, they all look forward to racing in the future in both collegiate and non-collegiate races.

The team will be represented in North Carolina on May 13 and 14 for USAC Collegiate Road Nationals and is hoping to place well in both the road race and criterium.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

USAC Collegiate MTB Nationals

Lehigh Cycling had three representatives compete in the 2014 USAC Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships this past weekend at Beech Mountain, North Carolina.  Lenny and Andy raced downhill and Dean raced cross country.  The trip began on Thursday afternoon as the trio set out on their nine hour journey.  After many gas stops, rest stops, stretch stops, food stops and soda stops they finally made it to North Carolina.

Friday morning began with registration and finding some food.  There was a bit of disappointment as Andy discovered that his highly coveted and sought-after #269 number plate had already been claimed - nothing that a nice egg sandwich on a biscuit couldn't fix!  The rest of the day was used to pre-ride the courses.  Andy and Lenny headed up the lift to the top of the mountain for downhill practice, and Dean rode up the mountain to check out the XC course.  Later on, downhill seeding took place to determine when each person would start their race runs on Saturday.  Andy made quite the impression on the crowd when he blew his rear tire right off the rim going across the finish line - twice!

Bright and early on a cold Saturday morning Dean rode over to the mountain for the cross country race.  Men's Division II began at 8:40am.  Six laps for a total of 21 miles and 4200 feet of climbing made for a tiring two hours of racing.  After a few rounds of long climbs and fast descents Dean came in right behind fellow ECCC racer Ian from RIT for a 14th place finish.  He was pedaling so hard in the end that he lost traction and nearly fell over right before the finish line!

Lenny and Andy started their race runs later on Saturday around 4:30pm.  An injury on course interrupted Andy's run, but he was able to redeem himself with a free second run - what a bargain!  The two daredevils tore down the the course plowing through anything in their paths that they could, and jumping over anything that they couldn't.  When it was all said and done, Lenny finished 15th, and Andy finished 22nd.

This season as a whole was a huge success.  The team hasn't seen results like this in quite a while, and everyone is looking forward to continued progress and growth in the future!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

UVM Catamount Classic Weekend Recap

This past weekend the team made the trek far north for the UVM Catamount Classic.  Six members were there to represent Lehigh.  The cross country course was just short of four miles.  Seven laps for the top racers made for a long morning of racing.  High-speed fire roads and tight, winding single-track made up much of the course.  A fun section of fast berms and a short rock garden gave a quick breaks from frequent flat pedaling.

The dual slalom ran over a series of doubles and high berms.  Dry conditions meant that getting a bad start would leave you in the dust.  They also made traction a bit hard to come by.  Between the loose dirt and grassy descent across the line, everyone had a chance to get loose.  The final double led straight into the finish and was great for catching some big air and throwing whips.

Sunday morning's short track was through a snowshoe trail.  It was lined with roots on one side, with a quick dip through a muddy trench on the other.  A few rocks near the start made spectating a bit more interesting early in the morning.  The ability to power through roots and bumpy terrain allowed for the leaders to surge ahead.

The downhill course at Sugarbush began  with a sharp open berm, and then headed into the woods.  A short flow trail section led into the most treacherous part of the trail.  A long off-camber rock slab forced riders to maintain speed and control.  Those who didn't either lost traction or were forced offline.  Next came a muddy section with wet roots and a few dividing trees.  Sending it down two consecutive rock staircases and into a steep descent forced riders to jam their brakes for a sharp and loose turn.  A final descent through some trees and over rocks and the course was done.

Top finished by each racer:  Dean Zeffer 10th Mens A XC, Lenny Ancuta 8th Mens A DH, Andy Reslewic 10th Mens A DH, Matt Buell 17th Mens C STXC, Ian McCartney 14th Mens C XC, Lynette Sominara 4th Womens B DS.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Northeaster Wild Western Mass MTB Weekend Recap

Another great weekend of racing for the ECCC.  Northeastern University hosted their Wild Western Mass MTB Weekend, and it did not disappoint.  The XC races started off on a cool Saturday morning on Holiday Brook Farm.  A few early river crossings had everyone on high alert for the full race duration.  Some long, gradual climbs, and super fast descents made up much of the roughly three mile course.  There were plenty of pine needles and roots to go around.

The dual slalom started off right as the rain began.  The course was about 30 seconds of rollers, tight berms, and a few doubles.  Conditions quickly became more treacherous as the rain fell, and a few exposed roots and rocks claimed many victims.

Sunday brought the racers to Jiminy Peak.  The short track circuit was very open, with plenty of room for passing and maneuvering.  Mud and residual moisture from the night before made some racers question their cornering abilities.  There was one quick descent and climb on one side of the course, and many snaking turns on the opposite end.  Some found that cross bikes were favored as they worked their way through the open woods.

The downhill course was about four minutes long.  There were plenty of rock drops, a few opportunities to throw some whips, and enough pedaling through fields between sections to tire out some of the best riders.  A wood bridge drop across a fire road led into one of the better jumps on the course, with a quick brake check for a hard left afterwards.  Finding the best lines on parts of the course helped to shave off easy seconds for the best results.

Some top results for Lehigh's team include Lenny Ancuta finishing 8th in the Mens A DH, Andy Reslewic finishing 2nd in Mens C XC and 9th in Mens A DH, and Dean Zeffer placing 1st in Mens C DH and 7th in Mens A XC.

Monday, September 8, 2014

ECCC Mountain Season has Begun!

The Clarkson Season Opener was a blast!  The weekend began with a rainy XC race.  Two hours of playing in the mud really sorted the strong-willed from the weak-spirited.  For a flat and non-technical course, it required a lot of attention and determination.  Freeride skills were definitely favored.

Dual slalom followed the XC race.  The rain stopped, but that didn't mean a whole lot for the DS courses.  Confidence in the turns was a must.  It was great to watch and take part in all of the foot-planting, mud flinging, wheel-sucking goodness!

The STXC began on a much drier course Sunday morning.  A quick descent with a few jumps was followed by a tricky left turn covered with slick roots and a long, steady climb to complete the lap.  There was plenty of huffing and puffing to go around, but the course was fun enough to make you forget about the climb each time around.

The weekend finished up with the downhill events.  The course was a quick, one-minute speed test.  A steep drop in the beginning led into some roots and rocks with a steep chicane.  A nice double and hip jump were followed by the final rock garden into the finish.

This race was a lot of fun for the entire team.  Free camping at Seven Springs really topped it off.  There were plenty of activities available to pass the time from the races Saturday to Sunday.  Campfire, s'mores, and a bit of story telling added to the camaraderie and enjoyment of the weekend.  Looking forward to a fantastic mountain season!