This past weekend marked the start of the MWCCC road season at Lindsey Wilson College! IU had plenty of representation across all categories with 30+ riders in attendance!
Team Time Trial
The weekend started at 8AM with the Team Time Trials. The 12km, rolling course was deceptively difficult after the turn around when riders would face a 2km climb into a 15mph headwind but IU was up for the challenge! First to go off was the TTT of Austin Venhuizen, Chris Passolano, Diego Rodriguez, and Joe Dempsey. They destroyed their competition by over 2 minutes to take 1st place in the D category! Next up was the A's TTT of Greg Bortz, Graham Dewart, Sven Gartner, and Chris West. The A's struggled to find their rhythm in the first few kilometers but hit their stride in the second half of the TTT. The A's ended up 6th overall in a very competitive A's field.
The next event on tap was the Road Race. The scenic 25 mile course consisted of 3 significant climbs, false flats galore, and a cross wind that would shatter any peloton. Overall, IU dominated many of the day's races. In the D's race (25 miles), Turner Duncan dislodged himself from the pack on the final climb to take 1st, followed closely by IU teammate Jacob Read in 3rd place. In the men's C race (25 miles), Eric Brodell was the first IU rider to cross the line in 5th place. He was followed by Paul Smith (10th) and Phil Sojka (12th). The women's B/C (25 miles) pack was shattered by 2 IU women and a Marian rider on the final climb of the day. When the smoke had cleared, Melissa Moeller had taken 1st place and Rachel Metherd was close behind in 3rd.
Unfortunately, IU did not fair so well in the Men's B race (50 miles). Tim Nixon flatted in the closing miles of the race and was unable to finish. However, he would get his revenge the next day in the Criterium! The longest event of the day was the Men's A road race (75 miles) and it was definitely a sight to see with over 50 men rolling off the start line! The race started with a flurry of attacks from the usual suspects; Marian, Lindsey Wilson, and Lindenwood. However, with a constant 20mph headwind, any early break attempts were quickly brought back. The fluctuations in speed did cause a wreck in the middle of the peloton and while the majority of the IU riders escaped the fray, some did not fair so well. A few IU riders (Greg Bortz, Tom Walsh, Chris West) were forced off into the ditch and had to chase back to the pack. Luckily, no riders involved were injured in the wreck. As the the early stages of the race progressed, the peloton took a 90 degree right hand turn and swapped their 20mph headwind for a 20mph crosswind! The crosswind shattered the pack into fragments and many riders were taken out of contention for the day. However, there were still 2 IU riders in contention at the finish line! RJ Stuart scored the first top 10 of the season by finishing 9th and Sven Gartner also scored points for IU by finishing in 19th!
The IUCC Women at the Lindsey Wilson Road Race
The criterium course was the classic oval shape with a significant hill in the course that would separate the strong from the weak in the final day of racing at Lindsey Wilson College! The day started with the Women's B/C race and it was IU dominating the podium again! Melissa Moeller celebrated her second race win in as many days and she was joined IU teammates by Rachel Metherd (2nd) and Emma Caughlin (4th). However, Melissa was not the only rider celebrating a double-win on the weekend. Turner Duncan took home his 2nd W in the Men's D race followed by his IU teammate Jacob Read in 3rd! The Men's C criterium saw even more IU dominance with 3 riders finishing in the top 10! Paul Smith lead the way in 6th place, followed by IU teammates Phil Sojka (7th) and Eric Brodell (8th).
Eric Brodell (Left) riding up the climb on the crit course.
The Men's C race rolling through
As stated earlier, Tim Nixon was out for revenge in Sunday's criterium. He did so by going solo off the front in an attempt to lap the field. Eventually, he was joined by riders from Notre Dame and Purdue, and the 3 worked together to lap the field! Tim ended up finishing 2nd on the day but it was no doubt an impressive performance and a show of dominance in the race!
Tim Nixon off the front of the B's race.
The final event of the day was the Men's A race. From the gun, the race was fast and only got faster. On the flatter sections of the course, the race was touching speeds of 35 mph! These high speeds shattered the field and made it extremely tough for any rider to hang in the race. Kevin Depasse hung strong in the main pack and lead the charge for the Hoosiers by finishing in 21st.
All and all, it was a great start to the season for the Hoosiers and things are only looking up for the squad as they progress into the season. The next race on tap is Mizzou this coming weekend. The schedule has a very challenging road race in store for the riders on Saturday with a series of TTT and ITT events on Sunday. Great job to all those that competed at LWC and good luck to those traveling to Mizzou!
Full results from this past weekend can be found here.