On a rainy Sunday, on a technical criterium course that included cobbles, MHC’s Kyle Knott finally had the opportunity to sprint for the win, and he did not disappoint. Sprinting from out of a 9-man breakaway that formed early in the 60 minute race, Knott entered the final corner in 5th, came out of it in 3rd, and came across the line in 1st, bringing MHC one of its biggest victories to date. Eric Thompson and Zach Felpel from Lees-McRae finished 2nd and 3rd; Thomas Brown from Emory was 4th; and Ben Zawacki from Clemson was 5th. Knott has consistently won field sprints all season, demonstrating his speed, but this time he made the break, suffered to hang on, and it paid off with a big win.
The 9-man break never worked smoothly together and constant attacks and counter attacks from Lees-McRae, Clemson, and Emory kept the pace high enough to hold off an organized chase that whittled down the break’s lead from 40 seconds at the halfway point to only 9 seconds in the closing laps. Knowing that MHC’s best chance for the win was to put Knott in a position to sprint in the last lap, MHC’s Paul Webb (who was also in the break) chased down numerous attacks to ensure that Knott had his chance. Webb was leading the overall individual conference standings heading into the Furman race weekend and sacrificed his own chance to gain valuable points in order to help his team win.
A report and video of the win can be found on the Carolina Cycling News website HERE.
Other strong performances over the weekend include Klara Rossouw’s 3rd place in the road race, Yolanda Colon’s return to form with a strong 4th place finish in the women’s A criterium, another 4th place for Melissa Holloway in the women’s B criterium, a top ten for Ryan Levander in the men’s C criterium, and a strong 3rd place finish in the men’s A Team Time Trial behind Furman (reigning TTT national champions) and Lees-McRae (former TTT national champions). MHC continues to lead the team overall rankings, and Klara Rossouw continues to lead the women’s individual overall rankings. Webb should remain in the top 3 in the overall individual rankings.
The next race at University of Alabama-Hunstville will be the final regular season event on April 10-11, followed by the Southeastern Conference Championships the next weekend on April 17-18, which Mars Hill College is proud to host.
As always, big thanks to the team’s sponsors and supporters.