Club cycling tests speed at Columbia

The cycling team raced in its second competition of the season this weekend. At Columbia University on Saturday, the team cycled its way into eighth place of the Grant’s Tomb Criterium.

Captain Anouk Dey ’09 and Ceci Davis-Hayes ’11 went head-to-head for second and third in the Women’s B bracket, Andy St. Louis placed 11th in the Men’s D bracket and new member Chris Estrella ’12 placed third in the Intro Men’s bracket.

The Criterium consisted of a short loop on a blocked-off section of Riverside Drive in New York, and the cyclers appreciated the opportunity to ride unimpeded by traffic as they circled the loop for about 25 minutes. Dey and Davis-Hayes worked together throughout the race, taking turns in the lead and eventually breaking out of the pack together in a sprint finish. The two were so evenly matched that their final positions across the finish line had to be ascertained via photos.

“It was very exciting that we were able to work together so well,” Dey said. Out of a pack of about 70 women, the two led the charge until a competitor sprinted ahead at the very end of the race.

St. Louis competed impressively in his second race of the season. The race was decided by a bunch sprint at the end for which he was not advantageously positioned, but he pulled out with a great finish as the only Williams competitor in the Men’s D field.

After joining the team just weeks ago, Estrella proved his mettle in the Intro bracket. Estrella maintained his position in about 10th place for the majority of the race, but he pulled forward in the final sprint to attain third place.

“The leaders of the pack started their sprint too early and got tired, and I sprinted up behind,” Estrella said.

Overall, the team had a very exciting day. Despite the fact that Williams had only four racers – most teams have contingents of about 20 members racing – Williams’ success in every race contributed to the eighth place finish out of more than 30 teams. The team will continue to compete throughout the semester.

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