Team Tackles Track Nationals and Mountain Bike Event at Clemson Over the Weekend

28 09 2010

Kyle Knott on deck for the kilometer

Another big weekend in the books: Collegiate Track Nationals in Indianapolis and a conference mountain bike race at Clemson University. Kyle Knott represented Mars Hill at track nationals in the kilometer, 200M TT, and points race. Knott posted solid times in both the kilometer and 200M TT, placing 22nd in both against fields as deep as 76 riders. At track nationals, Div I and Div II are combined for individual rankings, but amongst Div II riders Knott placed 5th and 4th in these events. For the points race, two qualifying heats were held due to an abundance of entries in the event. Knott drew what seemed the faster and more competitive qualifying heat and just missed out on gaining enough points to move to the finals. At the end of the weekend, Knott’s efforts secured Mars Hill 8th place team points at track nationals, which will buoy our attempt to improve on last year’s 6th place national ranking that includes results from all four disciplines: track, mountain, cyclocross, and road. Mars Hill is off to a much stronger start than last year when we had no representation at track nationals.

Back closer to home, a handful of team members competed at Clemson University’s mountain bike event. Representing Mars Hill was Klara Rossouw, Tim Jenkinson, Maitland Jones, Marco Riubenov, and Steven Bryan. Saturday’s first event was the short track. Rossouw finished 7th in the women’s A category and Jenkinson 29th in the men’s A category. Jones finished a strong 3rd in the men’s B category. In the afternoon, Rossouw competed in the dual slalom for the first time ever and set the fastest qualifying run and finished a very strong 2nd place in the women’s A race. Liubenov also raced well in the men’s C dual slalom, finishing in 2nd as well. Liubenov also finished 6th in the downhill event, which was this season’s conference championship.

The team looks forward to this weekend’s Mountain Bike Conference Championships hosted by Georgia Tech.  And then to the National Mountain Bike Championships held in Truckee, CA, on October 14-17.

Thanks to our sponsors for their support.

Kyle Knott on form for Collegiate and Elite Track Nationals

16 09 2010

Back in July, Kyle Knott turned his attention away from road racing and to the track in anticipation of Collegiate Track Nationals, which will be held next week at the Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis. Racing on the Trexlertown Velodrome in Pennsylvania, making repeated trips to the Dick Lane Velodrome in Atlanta, and taking advantage of track racing at Asheville’s own Mellowdrome, Kyle has been steadily ramping it up for the last two months and is now finding great form ahead of Collegiate Track Nationals and Elite Track Nationals in Los Angeles the following week.

At races last weekend at Dick Lane Velodrome, Kyle posted the fastest 200 meter qualifying time, besting a smattering of current and former pros in the process. He then went on to win the sprint final, win and out, and scratch race. Then on Tuesday at a collegiate preparation race, he again set the fastest qualifying time and then won the sprint finals. Later that evening he received word from USA Cycling that he had qualified for Elite Track Nationals. It’ been a blur of success for Kyle recently, and he’s motivated to carry it forward to a step on a national podium.

Strong Performances Continue at Lees-McRae

14 09 2010

Maitland Jones rides to a strong 2nd place in the short track event.

The team ventured up the road to Lees-McRae for our second mountain bike event of the season. Saturday started with the cross country race, which began in a drizzle and turned into a pour. The more technical sections were very tough to ride because of extreme mud. In the women’s A event, Klara Roussow finished a strong 5th despite losing ground due to a mechanical. Tim Jenkinson finished a strong 18th in the uber-talented men’s A category. Steven Bryan finished an excellent 4th in the men’s C race, his second mountain bike race ever. Later in the day, Marco Liubenov represented the team in the downhill competition at Beech Mountain. The course was super slick and muddy and many riders finished coated in gray mud. Marco’s run started well until he flatted about a third of the way down, but he still manage to finish with a respectable time despite riding a rear flat for most of his ride.

On Sunday, the weather was great for the short track and dual slalom events. Jones and Bryan started of the day with a pair of second places in the men’s B and C categories. Roussouw followed that with another fine finish in 6th in the women’s A. Jenkinson had another strong and consistent result in 17th in the men’s A short track. Liubenov finished in 5th place in the dual slalom event in the C category.

Overall, the team is in 5th place in the conference, but we still have two big events left that will determine qualifying spots for the national championships: one regular season event at Clemson on September 24-25 and then conference finals at Georgia Tech on October 2-3.

As always, much thanks to our SPONSORS.

6 09 2010

Great Group Ride Today

4 09 2010

Atop the steepest climb in Madison County. We call it "Little Tinker Bell."

Great team ride today; the weather was perfect. Check out our ROUTE.