On March 19th and 20th, the Irish headed back down to Columbia, Kentucky for another great weekend racing at Lindsey Wilson College. The team was well rested and recovered from Spring Break and had a number of best finishes and impressive performances.
Races started Saturday morning with the Irish competing in three Team Time Trials. The Men’s A TTT consisting of David McKenna, James Pratt, and Tony Pratt finished 5th overall. The Men’s C team included Anthony Hall, Charles Hall, Connor Williams, and Ryan Green. They finished 3rd out of 10 teams competing in the C category. Finally, the Women’s B/C team of Kelly Valenzi, Laura McMillion, Paige Handy, and Sarah Cullen won their category, continuing their undefeated streak from last year in the women’s B/Cs.
Next up were the road races. The course was 25 miles long with over 1400 feet of climbing each lap. Men’s D and women’s B/Cs did one lap, Men’s C and B did two laps, and Men’s A did 3 laps.
In the Men’s D race, Charles Hall had his first podium finish with a 3rd place. Anthony Hall finished 11th, and Ryan Green finished 25th. Pete Freeman made his Notre Dame cycling Debut in the road race and finished 31st overall.
Connor Williams had an outstanding performance in his first race back after breaking his foot. He stayed in the breakaway group and finished the 50 mile men’s C race in 6th place.
David McKenna was the only men’s B racer, and he finished the 50 mile race in 15th place.
The women’s B/C field split up within the first 5 miles. A rider from Iowa attacked on the first big hill, and Sarah C chased for two miles and eventually managed to catch up. Meanwhile, another chase group including Paige and Laura formed behind them, and Kelly was in another group behind that. Sarah ended up taking second place. Laura came in just a few minutes after in 4th, and Paige finished right after in 6th. Kelly also had a good race and came in 10th place.
After being dropped, James and Tony stopped racing after the second lap of the Men’s A road race.
On Sunday, the Irish had many more great finishes in the criterium.
Charles Hall earned his first and the team’s second win of the season by coming in first place in the Men’s D crit. Anthony Hall earned his first top 10 spot, coming in 9th place out of 33 racers.
In the women’s B/C crit, there were multiple attempted attacks. None stuck, but each shredded a few more riders off of the back. At the end, all four Notre Dame women were in the remaining group of about 10 riders at the final sprint. Sarah came in 2nd, Laura 4th, Paige 6th, and Kelly came in 8th.
David McKenna represented Notre Dame in the men’s B race. David held on to stay in the front group, and finished 8th overall in a very fast race.
In the last race of the day, the Men’s A crit, James and Tony Pratt had great performances. Both Tony and James stuck in the pack the entire race, and Tony finished 13th, while James was right behind in 16th in a field of 40.
On April 2nd and 3rd the Cycling Irish will be heading North to Michigan State and the University of Michigan for another fun weekend of bikes!