Wednesday, November 19, 2008

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanks Saris!

After coming off of a strong 2007 season, the UCVC had its eyes set on another successful season for 2008.  The club attracted a record number of 90 members this year, ranging from elite racers to newbie’s having recently acquired road bikes.  The enthusiasm and skills of our racing members promised a successful season ahead for the collegiate racing team.

The biggest obstacle that we face at the University of Chicago is the endless winter that begins as early as October and can last well into April. A good 6 months of icy bike paths and frigid temps is enough to wipe out early season enthusiasm that forms under the sunny skies and beautiful weather of September.  In the past, group rides fizzled out as temperatures became unbearable and our riders were left to figure out how to stay in shape and get ready for the first collegiate races on their own. 

Luckily, this year we had a generous Saris Sponsorship to help us form team indoor training sessions.  With a fleet of Fluid2 Trainers and Aluminum Rollers, UCVC indoor training sessions began!  For some it was their first indoor riding experience on trainers, and for many it was their first attempt at rollers (which aren’t as hard as they look).  Often riding inside can be a gloomy winter experience, but being able to ride together with teammates made for fun times.

Winter training helped the team come together and kept the enthusiasm for racing high throughout the winter.  We had a record 9 riders come out to the first race in March, with 5 racers competing in their first ever road race!  We even came home from the weekend with two 1st place finishes and a 3rd and a 4th.  (Thanks to the Saris racks, we were able to easily transport the bikes to all our races!)  The success continued throughout the season for our racers, with 23 top-five finishes overall.  The strong results were enough for our team to win the D2 MWCCC Championship!  In addition, we had one rider win the women’s D2 MWCCC Championship and sent 3 riders to nationals. 

All of our Collegiate National Participants spent the season training on Cyclops Powertaps.  For Aspen Gorry and Carly Schuster, it was their first time competing at Nationals.  Devon Haskell returned after finishing 4th overall at last year’s nationals.  This year she came in 4th in the criterium and won the road race.  Her placings earned her the Omnium National Championship! 

Overall, UCVC has had their best year to date.  Thanks again for the Saris sponsorship.  The quality trainers, high-tech power taps, and easy to use racks certainly helped us in our successful season.

UCVC gives their pre-race prediction as they warm up on Cyclops Fluid Trainers

Saris trainers are great for warming up on cold days...

... and for downtown crits when there are no good roads to warm up on...

Thanks Saris!!