Fantasy Tour de France

With cycling’s finest descending to Dusseldorf for the Grand Depart of the 2017 Tour de France in just a week, it is time to enter the Notre Dame Cycling Fantasy Tour de France League!

Entry is simple. Create a (free) Velogames account, build your team of 9 riders, and then enter the ND Cycling League code to join our league.

League Code: 450075715

Prizes for Podium winners!

For questions regarding entry please submit questions to bike@nd.edu

Meet the Officers: Vice President Sam O’Melveny

Name: Sam O’Melveny

Graduation Year: 2018

Major: Civil Engineering

Minor: International Development Studies

Favorite Quote: “There are 50 grams of protein in this bag of tortillas” -Green Machine

I have been riding bikes for the last 5 years or so but started racing this year after James Pratt convinced me to help the team. One thing led to another and all of a sudden I was shaving my legs the night of my 21st birthday before the Michigan Criterium.  Although I love the Sunday morning group rides, I have found that there is nothing quite like being in a sprint you know you shouldn’t be in but thinking you’re gonna win. Being from Southern California people may expect my to be a surfer dude that wears Lulu Lemon shorts. While I do own a pair of Lulu Lemon shorts, I don’t think I fit the California boy mold. Off the bike I try to read a lot. I love reading American classics as well as about American history. If you need a good book or have one, please let me know. Next year my goal is to work with sponsors to start building a team infrastructure that lends itself to team building. I also plan to spread the Green Machine Bible: Big Gear, No Fear.  And remember, brakes are only for those who can afford them.

Meet the Officers: Treasurer John Caffarelli

Name: John Caffarelli

Graduation Year: 2020

Major: Environmental Science/Pre-Med

Favorite Quote: “There’s nothing wrong with having a tree as a friend” -Bob Ross

Born in the year 1997, I began development of my natural cycling talent through 11 years of baseball, 8 years of cross country, and eighth grade volleyball, then decided home was on the bike going fast, and sometimes even fast up hills. After my first year of racing last summer (2016) my development has been accelerated through motorpacing behind Tony Pratt and I now race as a competitive B (Cat 3/4), my top finish being tenth in a tough road race at Miami-Ohio. My greatest moment in cycling was a hard fought victory from a breakaway at Michigan’s Strade Bianche road race when my only competitor dropped his chain allowing me to solo to the victory, which I dedicated to my ancestral homeland Italy and residence hall, Keenan Hall. I have only resided in the state of Illinois, known for its endless mountain ranges. I am working this year with the other officers to push our club/team to the next level in terms of development and infrastructure. Growth of the team and its culture,as well as our A teams are my goals. Off the bike I am a passionate outdoors man, loving pretty much any activity in the wild. I also have been running the Twitter feed, which has been a good outlet for unused jokes and my vast (as some have described it) cycling knowledge.

Meet the Officers: President Anthony Pratt

Name: Anthony Pratt

Graduation Year: 2019

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Quote: “If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford
I am a Category 1 cyclist who has been riding/racing for 7 years. I started racing because my older brother was and it looked like fun. It has been so much fun, and, even though I’ve gotten stronger over the years, it’s never gotten easier. Racing is the best part of being a cyclist, but the training rides have an appeal of their own, offering a break from the intensity of racing and school. Most importantly, they help us prepare to ride harder at the next races. My goals before graduation are to podium at Nationals, win the individual overall in the MWCCC a second time, and to win a Collegiate race.

Meet the Officers: Secretary Elizabeth Boyle

Name: Elizabeth Boyle

Graduation Year: 2020

Major: Political Science & Peace Studies

Minor: International Development Studies

 

Favorite quote: “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis

Hello all!  My name is Elizabeth Boyle and I am a rising sophomore at Notre Dame. I am originally from Salt Lake City, Utah but have grown up in Manhasset, New York.  Coming from a family of avid cyclists, I have been called to the bike ever since a little girl.  This year will be my first full year on the team and I am thrilled to be serving as secretary!  Outside of cycling I am a member of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, I serve as Vice-President of Breen-Phillips Hall, President of the Model UN club, and a member of Student Government.  Being the ¼ of the officers who haven’t crashed, my goal is to keep up that statistic for the next year.  Go Irish!!

Miami-Ohio Road Race and TTT Recap

After a tough few days of training in the hills around Nashville, the team moved north to Oxford, Ohio for the second week of MWCCC racing. Miami-Ohio’s course at Hueston Woods was a tough 8.6 mile loop featuring 3 signature climbs, the final two within a mile to the finish. The morning started with the team time trials and then moved into an afternoon of road racing. Highlights include a top-5 finish for the Men’s A TTT and a top-10 finish for newly upgraded B rider, John Caffarelli.

Men’s B

The 52 mile affair featuring David McKenna and freshly upgraded John Caffarelli started slow with Marian riders content to spin out the legs. At the foot of the first of 18 climbs, attacks flew off the front as various teams worked to establish the breakaway. The chaos continued for the next two laps until the 18-mile mark when a 5-man break escaped on the flats. The chase was on for those whose teams were not represented, but soon the pace dropped as the gap became insurmountable. Both McKenna and Caffarelli were content to stay in the field after a tough training camp in Nashville. A group of two pushed up the road mid-race making for 6 men up the road (one of the original 5 dropped back to the field). The sprint for 7th place started on the penultimate climb of the race with a soft attack that worked to wither the field. On the final climb, Case Western took to the front and didn’t look back. Caffarelli followed the move, making the selection for the final sprint. Caffarelli finished 10th, a great showing in his first B race.  McKenna finished in 19th.

Women’s A
Sarah felt the training load of the week in her legs and was  dropped by the field on one of the early climbs of the day. Sarah was eventually pulled from the race after 34 miles, but could not have been happier about it.  Sarah was scored as 10th place, earning points for the team

Men’s A

TTT

The quartet of Tony Pratt, James Pratt, David McKenna, and John Caffarelli hit the road with a passion right from the start ramp and started to build rhythm and a sense of flow behind the diesel engine of Tony Pratt. Trouble came within the first two miles as McKenna found himself struggling to hold on after the first climb.  The trio of Pratt, Pratt and Caffarelli continued to push on, but moments later James Pratt suffered a front flat. Wheels were swapped, but the race was effectively over, the boys deciding to cruise into the finish, saving energy for later in the afternoon. Thanks to a poorly marked corner and other misfortunes, the team still managed a 5th place finish. Look for great things from this quartet later in the season.

RR:

The 68 mile road race with 3,000 feet of climbing was not suited for James and Tony Pratt,  both on the very tall side for cycling (over 6’), however they managed well. ND was represented in the early split of the day, but the field came back together during the second lap. For the remainder of the lap attacks were constant, but futile as no group found enough space up the road. However, on the third lap, the pack lost focus and a select group of 9 riders escaped, the day’s breakaway was established. They gained time on the main field quickly, ending the race with almost a 10 minute lead. James and Tony missed the break, and preserved energy for the final sprint.  Positioned well,  James finished 2nd and Tony 3rd in the field sprint for the line (12th and 13th overall). A breakthrough day for James, as it was his first RR finish in the Men’s A field. Overall a great day for the A boys on this challenging and hilly course.

Louisville Race Report 3/11-3/12

Louisville hosted the first race on the MWCCC and it proved to be the first real test for the Irish as they came off of an unexpectedly warm and pleasant winter for South Bend. The weekend featured two distinctly different and challenging criteriums, Saturday’s at the hilly Long Run Park and Sunday’s at the flat and smooth Shawnee Park. Highlights from the weekend include two top-5 finishes, many successful first-ever races, and numerous points earned for the conference title. In addition the weather was not ideal with temps hovering in the 30’s and 40’s.

Day 1: Long Run Park

Men’s D

Zach Llorens, Ron Mau, and Sam O’Melveny, started their racing careers with the Irish in the 30 min, 6-lap Men’s D race. All three were caught behind a crash early in the race, but managed to stay upright. Their chances to stay with the front group rode off into the distance as they picked their way through the wreckage. Sam O’Melveny (34th) had the best finish for the D squad after chasing back with a smaller group. Ron and Zach also found groups of their own as the field was splintered under pressure from the course. The three finished well and look to continue their development as racers.

Women’s C

 The cold temperatures did not let up for Theresa Smart, who represented Notre Dame in the Women’s Category C Race. With over a dozen competitors, Smart had her hands full  with opponents and managing the rigors of a first bike race. The strong morning winds did not add any warmth to her situation, but Smart fought hard. After the field suffered from a solo attack, the leaders of the peloton made efforts to catch the solo escapist. Theresa finished in 8th place, a fantastic top-10 finish for the first time racer in a completely new environment.

Men’s C

John Caffarelli, Anthony Hall, and Connor Williams raced in the Men’s C race and from the starting whistle animated what would be a slow cat and mouse affair. On the first climb of the day Caffarelli accelerated and found space up the road. Teammate Connor Williams made the bridge and the duo had a small gap over the sleeping field, that roared to life when they saw the men in blue and gold up the road.  The group was together for the rest of the race as the occasional attack flew off the front. Caffarelli covered a Marian 1-2 punch and the race stayed together for the remainder of the race with UW-Madison, Purdue, and Notre Dame controlling the front. Things got dicey in the final as Caffarelli was pushed off the road, avoiding a potential wreck. Williams sat up after he saw his teammate out of contention and both rolled in a few seconds after the uphill field sprint. The C men were pleased with team tactics and strength during the race, but felt they had missed an opportunity in the final.

Men’s B

David McKenna represented the Irish in the Men’s B race, a 45 minute affair around the loop at Long Run Park. A solo move from a Marian rider featured for a majority of the race as the field, including large efforts from McKenna, worked to pull back the lone wolf. The escapee was eventually captured near the final of the race and on the final lap, McKenna attacked on the penultimate uphill punch prompting the moves to the line. The effort proved to be just too far away from the line as the field eventually caught back and McKenna rolled in for a 13th place finish.

Women’s A

Sarah Cullen raced the 45 minute women’s A crit, a 11-woman field consisting of only two non-Marian or Lindenwood riders, Sarah and a Michigan rider. The pace was leisurely for the first half of the race, but attacks soon created gaps, and Cullen lost contact. She managed to chase back on. Two women were up the road on the final lap, and Cullen back in the group, who sprinted to a top-10 result in her first race of the season.

Men’s A

Tony Pratt and James Pratt were looking to showcase their strength in the Men’s A race and Tony Pratt was first to flex his muscles when early attacks began to fly off the front. Both Pratt men spent time near the front of the group throughout the race, an affair with odd team tactics from powerhouses Marian, Lindenwood, and UW-Madison, who all wanted a field sprint, but attacked nevertheless. Tony Pratt was very well positioned in the final and rode to a top-5 finish amongst the heads of state in the conference. James rolled in mid-pack confident with the state of his fitness, despite the finish.

Day 2:

Men’s D

Zach Llorens and Ron Mau raced the Men’s D race on the second day of the Cardinal Criterium in Louisville. Zach Llorens improved upon his finish from the day before as he found more comfort in the pack and held on to the main group before the pace started to ramp up with one lap to go. Ron Mau also had a strong showing, working with other dropped riders throughout the race to chase back on. The group never caught back onto the main field, but Ron enjoyed a small sprint to the line at the close of the race.  The weekend was successful for all three first time D racers (Mau, Llorens, O’Melveny) as they look to continue their development throughout the season.

Men’s C

The Men’s C squad found some redemption after a tough end to a strong opening race the day before with a top-5 finish, and 2 top-10s. The race started slow, with Connor Williams, John Caffarelli, and Anthony Hall content to follow wheels and “stay hidden” in the pack until the final. All stayed well positioned amidst the barrage of attacks and mid-race sprints as Purdue, Marian, and Lindenwood battled for prime points. The final prime came on the bell lap and all three followed the attacks into the finishing circuit. Caffarelli was well positioned at the front behind the UW-Madison leadout train when with 600 meters to go Williams attacked up the road, prompting the dash for the line. Caffarelli powered home to 4th, thanks to a well-timed leadout, with Williams finishing 8th, and Hall 10th. All three riders scored points for the team with their top performances and make-up for Saturday’s disappointment.

Men’s B

David McKenna raced in the Men’s B race and was active in the field in sprinting for primes, chasing down the solo move, and setting up for a fast finish. Due to the fast course and strong field McKenna was unable to finish as he wanted, but certainly didn’t have a race to frown upon. His racing strategies and tactics will continue to develop especially as teammates from the C team upgrade to B riders throughout the course of the season.

Women’s A

Sarah Cullen continued her success for a second day in the row, matching her best women’s A career finish.  The race was fast and strung out as the small field, dominated again by Marian and Lindenwood, worked to secure points from primes. Cullen hung on throughout the proceedings as attacks flew almost every lap, sometimes with prime laps in succession of each other, and sprinted past a few riders in the finish for 8th place. She was content with the result and overall pleased with her first race weekend.

Men’s A

The men of Pratt looked to continue early season success from the day before on a course that suited their flatland prowess.  Attacks started early and Tony Pratt was quick to follow moves, and made the first move of the day, an eight-man group that found some space for just over a lap.  The escapees were pulled back and while Tony recovered in the field for the next few laps, James Pratt spent time on the front pulling back the little moves as the day’s break attempted to be established. Mid-race, a 6-man move featuring the key teams in the race and key riders in the field created a significant gap .  Tony Pratt made a stunning bridge before the group was out of sight, and once involved in the move, the gap grew and held between 20-30 seconds. Lindenwood’s team leader was left out of the move, creating havoc for the break’s chemistry as the Lindenwood rider involved was unwilling to work. The Lindenwood train eventually pulled back the move with 4 laps to go and the Pratt’s, as well as the top riders who had been in the break, took shelter in the back of the pack. With 2 laps to go, James was locked onto Tony’s wheel at the front of the pack, in perfect position to launch into the finish. In the final corner before the bell lap, Tony Pratt was caught up in a crash between a Marian rider and his UW-Madison counterpart. James made it through and came around for the final time for a top 20 finish. Tony Pratt suffered a cut on his leg from a chainring, but otherwise is ready to race in Miami.

 

Overall a successful first week to build upon as the season continues. Race reports for Miami-Ohio RR to follow soon!

2017 Season Preview

 

The 2017 road season starts in less than a week when the Cycling Irish will travel to Louisville, Kentucky for the Cardinal Criterium featuring races both Saturday and Sunday. After two days of racing, the team will continue south to Nashville for a week of hard training. Before returning to life under the Dome, the Irish will stop in Oxford, Ohio for one race day including a morning Team Time Trial and afternoon road race.  Goals for this season include defending the MWCCC title and gaining experience for younger, developing riders. In addition, multiple riders are looking to book a ticket to race at Collegiate Nationals in Grand Junction, Colorado at the end of April.

This year’s team looks promising with several returning riders including three with national championship experience, and several new riders with previous race experience. A few will race for the first time this season, but have put miles of hard work during  training, and are eager to develop into racers.

Here is an overview of our 2017 roster:

Men’s A

 

  • James Pratt –James is a senior and fourth-year racer who has served as team president this season. This will be his second season as an A rider, after a standout debut year where he finished second overall in the Division 2 conference omnium. James continues to gain experience and consistently shows great teamwork with fellow Notre Dame racers in his category, traits needed for success at the highest level. Don’t count him out in a final with his quick top-end speed, something he hopes to showcase April 2nd in South Bend.
  • Tony Pratt – Tony is currently a sophomore, and entering his second year as an A rider. Tony  won the Men’s A D2 omnium during his freshman season, with multiple podium finishes. This year, Tony will work to continue his previous success in the overall rankings, but watch for him especially in flat criteriums and the Michigan State Road Race where he will be able to utilize his impressive horsepower.

 

Women’s A

 

  • Sarah Cullen – Sarah is a  4th year racer and senior who began competing in Women’s A halfway through last year. She placed 3rd in the D2 women’s omnium in 2016 and hope to continue her success this season. Road races suit her riding style, specifically her endurance. Expect top placings and another bid for Nationals.

 

Men’s B

  • David McKenna – David, a grad student,  will be racing for Notre Dame for his third season and he certainly hates to lose! David works well with other teams in race until he makes his moves. Look out for David in a multitude of races this season, and with the right cast of characters around him, on the podium as well.

Men’s C

 

  • Connor Williams – Even though this senior spends so much time training for triathlons, he still somehow brings in podium finishes. Connor has natural talent and endurance which allow him to follow any attacks made in races. Strength on the hills and a talented C team will allow Connor to succeed this season. Look for him in the B’s come April.
  • Anthony Hall – He may be quiet but watch out! This sophomore has incredible strength and makes hills look easy. Look for Anthony to take command and animate races this season. High finishes last season certainly bring the experience needed.

 

  • John Caffarelli – John is only a freshman, but rides beyond his years. His confidence, experience and knowledge, and aggressive will to win look to aid him in moving up in categories this season. Look for him in the final when the road turns up and the race gets animated.

Women’s B/C

  • Kate Ginsbach – Possibly the most overqualified women’s B racer ever, this graduate student is a Cat 2 mountain biker and has already represented Notre Dame at Cyclocross Nationals. Although she has never competed in a road race, we are confident her biking skills from other disciplines will carry over.
  • Theresa Smart – A graduate student and new racer. Theresa has been training hard this winter and we are excited to see her race for the first time!

Men’s D

  • Ron Mau – Ron is a graduate student and has been a great addition to the team this year. He will race for the first time this season and is really excited to start competing. Strong team racer who will excel in the D TTT and be a key feature in the lower category leadout train.
  • Zach Llorens – Zach is a senior who joined the team this year. He is a strong rider and very knowledgeable about cycling. Zach will be one to look out for in the Men’s D races.
  • Sam O’Melveny – Sam, a junior, joined the racing team recently after volunteering to plan the Notre Dame home race. He is a fun teammate to be around! His first race is coming up and he hopes to gain experience and place well in the Men’s D races.
  • Declan Kerwin – Declan is a freshman with a lot of riding experience. He has competed in a few races before. but will continue to develop and score points for our team!
  • Pete Freeman – Pete competed with the team last year and enjoyed his season. We missed him last semester as he was abroad, but are excited to have him back on the bike now!
  • Ryan Green – Ryan in unfortunately out this season healing from shoulder surgery. We wish him the best and can’t wait to have him back on the bike next year!

ND Practice Criterium

A group of Notre Dame Men’s Team riders took to a local loop for a short practice criterium to hone in racing skills a mere 19 days before the first race weekend in Louisville. Freshman John Caffarelli had a GoPro setup on his bike to capture the race in its entirety. Here are a few of the highlights…

On paper it was a strong showing by members of the team. The white team (Tony Pratt-A, John Caffarelli-C, Anthony Hall-C) was aggressive throughout the race, each member putting in soft and hard attacks. Hall’s attack with 2 laps to go, which was initially chased down by Sam O’Melveny, would’ve stuck without a ferocious chase by James Pratt of the Blue squad (Pratt-A, O’Melveny-D). O’Melveny had an attack of his own earlier in the race, and the elder Pratt covered his brother’s early jump and Caffarelli’s three attempts to escape throughout.

Hall was caught at the second to last corner with James Pratt on the front leading out two members of the white squad, Pratt and Caffarelli, in that order, but the race was extended due to traffic on the course.  On the added lap, O’Melveny started the dig for his sprinter, the tall, lean, but powerful J Pratt, while Caffarelli soon put in a MONSTER charge with his sprinter, the ever-handsome T Pratt in tow. It was looking to be a Pratt v. Pratt battle in the sprint, however James slipped his chain when the younger of the duo jumped for the line.

Tony Pratt took the overall win, followed by his trusty leadout steed and breakaway attempt expert John Caffarelli in a close second. James Pratt slid across the line moments after followed by the built and chiseled Anthony Hall and craft Sam O’Melveny. The white squad took home the hardware for this first race of the series.