The Irish started off the 2016 season in Louisville, Kentucky with the Cardinal Crit on March 12th. The team had a strong first showing and besides a small amount of rain, the day was warm and pleasant. Even though they were tired from the Spring training trip, the Irish had several outstanding performances.
The day of racing started off with the men’s D race. Charles and Anthony Hall made their Notre Dame cycling debut and both finished in the top half of the field. Charles finished in 24th, while Anthony was right behind in 26th. Returning riders in the men’s D included David Berno (32nd), Ryan Green (46th), and Joe Mueller (47th).
The women’s B/C raced next, and started the season exactly how they ended it last year-with a win. Laura McMillion surprised everyone by sprinting out of the middle of the pack to win her first race ever! Sarah Cullen was right behind Laura, coming in second, and Kelly Valenzi finished in fourth. The Irish women are working on gaining upgrade points to move up to the A category, and it would appear that they will be able to move up soon.
Andrew Koch and David McKenna raced in the men’s B. David picked up a prime during the race, scoring extra points for the Irish. McKenna finished the race in 13th, right behind Andrew Koch who came in 12th.
The final race of the day was the men’s A race. Freshman Tony Pratt made his ND cycling debut, and his older brother James Pratt raced A’s for the first time. Tony came in 27th, and James finished 45th.
Overall, this was a great start to the season, and we can expect even better results next weekend at Lindsey Wilson after the Irish have had more time to recover from Spring training.