Cycling is a team sport, a fact demonstrated by the eight members of the MHC Cycling “Green” Team who ventured down to Gainesville, Florida, for the first Southeastern Conference road events of 2010, which were hosted by the University of Florida. When all the points were tabulated Mars Hill came out on top and now leads the Southeastern Conference Division II team standings with 92 points. Furman, last year’s conference champion, earned 56 points and sits in 2nd; in 3rd is the University of Central Florida with 36 points; 4th is the College of Charleston with 23 points; and the University of Alabama-Hunstville and Georgia Southern round out the top 5 tied with 7 points each.
It was a consistent effort by all members on the team that led to the win. The team did, however, end up with several solid individual overall rankings. In the Women’s A events, Klara Rossouw proved that she is indeed a rider to watch. Not only did she claim two 1st places in the Division II time trial and criterium but she also showed that she can compete against some of the best riders in the nation by being competitive with the Division I women, including two current national champions. Klara finished 3rd to them in the time trial and was the only woman able to follow their attacks in the criterium. Alexis Dabroski from UF won the criterium in a solo attack for the second year in a row, which was impressive and the result of smart tactical racing by the UF women. Klara sits in 4th place overall in the combined Div I and II rankings, which is led by UF’s Jackie Crowell. Rossouw, though, has a strong lead in Division II.
In the Men’s A category, Paul Webb and Kyle Knott are now positioned in 2nd and 3rd overall in Division II, but they could not have accomplished this without the hard work and sacrifices of their teammates, namely Matt Willing, Nikola Milanovic, and Francisco Fuster. These latter three took control of Sunday’s criterium race, making sure that no breakaways escaped the field, ensuring that Webb and Knott would have an opportunity to place high in the final group sprint. Spencer Beamer from Furman won the criterium and leads the Division II individual rankings. The Mars Hill men also gained valuable points in the individual time trial on Sunday and also finished 2nd in the team time trial to Furman.
In the Men’s C events, Ryan Levander finished 3rd in the time trial and in a 3-way tie for 2nd in the criterium and now sits in 3rd overall in Division II individual rankings. Teammate Yonatan Arnold rode strongly in a supporting role. Brooks Bostick from the College of Charleston currently leads the C category.
Full results can be found at collegiatecycling.org/seccc.
As always, we are grateful to our team partners who provide us with the support necessary to succeed. This is your win, too. And thanks is also due to a couple of old school UF alumni for hosting us for the weekend. When it’s too hot in FL, you’ve got a place to stay in the WNC mountains.
The team will race in defense of its early season lead at Florida State University on February 20-21.