Building on its success at the season-opening race at Rutgers in March, the cycling team delivered an impressive performance last Saturday in the Lux et Velocitas race at Yale. Eight members of the team traveled to New Haven, Conn., to participate in the 400-rider race. The Ephs competed in an uphill individual time trial early in the morning and a mass-start road race a few hours later.
Once again, Williams fielded a mostly young and inexperienced team in a conference dominated by schools with large and established programs. The courses for both races featured several difficult climbs and challenging, technical descents. However, the Ephs proved themselves more than capable of surmounting these obstacles.
Co-captains Erik Levinsohn ’12 and Hanna Saltzman ’12 won their individual time trials by comfortable margins; both had times that were approximately 25 seconds faster than the second place winners in their categories. Saltzman, who raced in the Women’s ‘C’ category, finished the mostly uphill time trial faster than the second-place rider in the more competitive Women’s ‘B’ category. Levinsohn, a Men’s ‘D’ rider, rode fast enough to have a time comparable to the best riders in Men’s ‘C.’
Four other Williams riders placed in the top-20 in their respective categories: McCullough Inglis ’13 took sixth in Women’s ‘C,’ while John Hawthorne ’13, Ian Nesbitt ’13 and Jonathan Galinsky ’10 placed 10th, 12th and 16th respectively in the 100-rider Men’s ‘D’ category.
Later in the day, Levinsohn provided another astounding performance in the Men’s ‘D’ circuit race. Launching a solo attack immediately as the race began, he soon put himself in position to lead the pack before breaking away on the final climb to claim victory and a special “King of the Mountains” cycling jersey. Again, Williams placed four riders in the top 20: Hawthorne claimed eighth, while Imran Khoja ’12 took 12th and Galinsky earned 15th.
Unfortunately, the fast pace and technical nature of the course resulted in several crashes in each category as well as mechanical problems: Nesbitt had to pull out of the race due to a flat tire, while Saltzman and Inglis failed to finish because Inglis suffered a nasty fall after about half an hour of racing and Saltzman stopped to assist her. “Although a crash unfortunately kept Hanna and McCullough from finishing the circuit race, their performances in the time trial clearly demonstrated their high caliber,” Levinsohn said.
Overall, the Ephs had an extremely successful weekend. “I’m incredibly excited that our small team came out and proved how much our motivation, team camaraderie adn high spirits can pay off,” Saltzman said.
Cycling will hopefully continue to improve and impress the competition throughout the rest of the spring season. The team will travel to Dartmouth on April 24 to race again.
Additional reporting by Imran Khoja, team correspondent.