Riders of all categories competed in the road race on Saturday morning. The course was mostly rolling with one large climb and steep descent per 19 mile lap through the wilderness of Defiance Missouri. Nate Lee and Josh Johnson got the action started for Notre Dame in the 38 mile Men’s C Road Race. Both rode strongly throughout the event and could be spotted towards the front of the field for much of the morning. On the final lap, with a leading group whittled down to only 10, both Nate and Josh put in strong sprints and finished in 3rd and 5th places respectively.
Next up for Notre Dame were Ethan Ferguson, Douglas Ansel, and Joe Magro, all racing in the 57 mile Men’s B category. As the riders rolled off the start line a cold rain began to fall and the wind picked up setting the stage for an epic race. The first lap was highlighted by the attacks of Ansel as time and time again he tried to break away from the main field. When the pace finally settled, Ansel’s accelerations had dropped all but 12 riders with both himself and Magro still in the mix for the win. By the top of the final climb at mile 45, only Magro remained in the shrinking front group of 8. Over the next 12 miles Marian University, who was still represented by three riders, launched attack after attack but Magro was able to match their accelerations. With 250 meters to go, Magro attacked himself and quickly distanced the other riders notching Notre Dame’s first win of the season by a comfortable 7 bike lengths.
Jenn Perricone represented Notre Dame in the Women’s A race. While originally scheduled for 57 miles, this race was cut to 38 because of the worsening weather conditions. Marian University dominated much of the race with their large team dominating the other riders. Four Marian riders broke away from the field, but Perricone was able to ride strongly on her own in pursuit and came in solo for the sixth place finish.
Sunday morning saw riders flying through downtown St. Charles, Missouri in the criterium event. The course was kilometer long with sections of cobblestones and one 150 degree turn. Josh Johnson was awake bright and early to compete in the Men’s C race. Things started well but quickly turned sour for Johnson as he found himself trapped behind a quickly weakening rider. As a result Johnson lost contact with the main field and although sprinting for two laps in an attempt to catch up he was forced to abandon.
Hoping to avoid the misfortune of Johnson, Ansel and Magro both made a point to ride towards the front of the Men’s B race. As was the case most of the weekend, Marian’s higher numbers allowed them to attack time and time again until a breakaway of 3 was formed with one of their riders. Both Magro and Ansel attempted to bridge the gap to the break but the winds were too strong to ride quickly alone. Realizing chase was futile, both Notre Dame riders stayed sheltered in the field until the final laps. Ansel finally reappeared with 400 meters to go as he railed the final turn and separated himself from the pack. The field wouldn’t see Ansel again and he finished first in the field sprint or 4th overall. Magro wasn’t far behind and capped off an excellent weekend for ND riders in Men’s B with a 7th place finish.
The Women’s A criterium was much the same as the road race the day before. Marian University attacked time and time again until their riders had all escaped together off the front of the main field. As more rain began to fall Perricone took it easy to avoid crashing on the slippery cobblestones but still finished highly in 12th overall.