2013 Season Preview

2012 Review:


Team Ranking – 5 (1 D2)

Individual Ranking – Joseph Magro 11 (1 D2), John Pratt 29  (2 D2), Andrew O’Donnell 37 (4 D2), Douglas Ansel 43 (8 D2)

 National Championship

TTT: 11

Road Race: Nathaniel Lee 30, Joseph Magro 32, John Pratt 53

Criterium: Joseph Magro 35, John Pratt 41

Omnium: Joseph Magro 23

Key Losses: Nathaniel Lee, Brian Boyle

2013 Road

Returning Riders: Andrew O’Donnell (G), Douglas Ansel (G), Joseph Magro (SR), Brian Hurley (SR), Phil Palmon (SR), Patrick Handy (SR), Rob Piscatelli (SR), David Pratt (SR) Carolyn McCann (SR), Luke Tilmans (JR), August Kunkel (JR), Joshua Corcoran (JR), John Pratt (SO), James Snitzer (SO), Michael Chifala (SO),

Newcomers: Samuel Melgar (FR), Jason Koncsol (JR), Michael Vitek (SO), Brennan Lanier (FR), Domenic Canonico (FR), Ryan Twardzik (FR), Claudi Witzig (G), Paige Handy (FR), Christine Song (FR), Emily Kunce (FR)


February 23/24 @ Lindsey Wilson
March 2/3 @ Depauw
March 23/24 @ Lindenwood
March 30 @ Marian
April 6/7 @ Michigan State/ Michigan
April 13/14 @ Purdue/ Notre Dame
April  20/21 Conference Championship @Wisconsin
May 3-5 National Championship, Ogden Utah

 Season Outlook

An upperclass led Irish squad enters the 2013 road season aiming for their 3rd consecutive MWCCC D2 team title. After re-evaluating off season training and implementing a new fitness program for 2013,  Notre Dame will look to cement its place among the conference elite on the challenging Week 1 course in Columbia, KY. A combined MWCCC and NCCCC weekend at Lindenwood in late March will give A riders an early look at national competition, while the MWCCC stop at Notre Dame on April 14th will bring some of the best collegiate talent in the nation to the streets of downtown South Bend.  Key to ND’s success will be the progression of newcomers throughout the spring. Due to new conference scoring rules, if the large C and D teams perform, Notre Dame should not only be considered the clear favorite to take the MWCCC D2 championship, but also may displace some varsity teams atop the conference ladder.

Category by Category Analysis


Men’s A: Perhaps Notre Dame’s deepest A team ever, the Irish will look to cross swords with MWCCC varsity superpowers Marian and Lindenwood early and often in 2013. Two time defending D2 conference champion Joseph Magro will lead a squad containing 2012 National Championship qualifiers Andrew O’Donnell and John Pratt, as well as veteran Douglas Ansel who is fresh off an 11th place finish in the 2013 Collegiate Cyclocross National Championship.  With so many capable riders, count on Notre Dame to be a fixture in breakaways throughout the season, as well as a potential wild card in criterium finishes long dominated by the varsity teams of the MWCCC.


529371_10101319674423808_13754409_65076393_1975879017_nMen’s B: Composed of 4 physically gifted riders with little experience, expect Notre Dame’s B team of James Snitzer, Luke Tilmans, Michael Chifala, and Brian Hurley to let some races get away early before becoming one of the most dominant lineups in any category.  Both Tilmans and Snitzer will be called upon to reinforce the A team time trial throughout the season, while Chifala will look to strike on any hilly course. Hurley brings criterium sprinting power to the squad, whose overall success will be key to ND’s conference title defense. Expect if the Irish ride up to expectation in this category, some may move to A late in the season to play supporting roles at Nationals come May.


IMG_0655Men’s C: Phil Palmon, Pat Handy, August Kunkel, and David Pratt return for Notre Dame, while Bolivian newcomer Samuel Melgar will look to regain form which once found him riding among the world’s best at the 2010 Junior Olympics. Multi-sport athletes with plenty of finishing power, Handy and Pratt will give ND a presence in every criterium, while the most improved ND rider of 2012, Palmon, and Kunkel should be in the winning conversation every road race this year.


carolynWomen’s B/C: Led by senior Carolyn McCann, the women’s team enters 2013 young, but promising. A competitive swimmer for Saint Mary’s College, freshman Paige Handy begins the season in excellent condition and should quickly find her cycling legs.  Hailing from Fort Wayne, IN, Emily Kunce is no stranger to Midwestern riding and has been one of the hardest workers on the team during the winter months.  New to cycling, Christine Song will also try some races later in the season. Expect McCann to be a valuable mentor to these three early in the spring, before filling the void in Women’s A left by Jenn Perricone’s graduation in 2011.


Men’s D: In the perennial question mark category, Notre Dame will field a team of six riders, only one of whom has competed in a collegiate race.  Recent power tests suggest junior Jason Koncsol has the physical tools to be successful in the D field, while freshmen Brennan Lanier, Domenic Canonico, and Ryan Twardzik enter 2013 as big unknowns with much to prove. All eyes will be on the D squad throughout the season, as improving  on ND’s 2012 team ranking will be largely dependent on their performance.