Cycling kicks into high gear after successful spring break races

Last weekend, cycling traveled to New Haven, Conn., to compete in Yale’s Lux et Velocitas race weekend. This most recent performance follows two exciting weeks of Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) racing at the Princeton Jersey Devil on March 24-25 and the Philly Phlyer on March 17. With only three race weekends left in the season, Williams is ranked No. 7 in the ECCC’s Div. II.

At New Haven’s East Rock Park on Saturday, both the individual time trial (ITT) and circuit race featured fast, gradual ascents with a single steep climb near the summit of East Rock. In the ITT, women’s ‘C’ riders Gabi Azevedo ’15 and Alice Stears ’15 took ninth and 15th, respectively, with times of 16:20.38 and 17:38.15, respectively. In men’s ‘C,’ Thomas Bliska ’12 stopped the clock at 12:34.27 to claim fifth while Ben Dalzell ’15 took ninth with a time of 12:39.33. Ben Corwin ’15 and Henry Schmidt ’14 were close behind with times of 12:54.32 and 13:09.80, respectively. Corwin claimed 17th, while Schmidt took 24th. Competing alum Jon Levinsohn ’10 took first in the division with a time of 12:13.13. In women’s ‘B,’ Amy Levine ’14 claimed fourth with a time of 14:22.48, while captain Erik Levinsohn ’12 put up a blistering time of 10:58.12 in the men’s ‘A’, besting ECCC points leader Adam Bry of MIT en route to claiming first.

In the circuit race, the men’s ‘C’ squad put on an impressive demonstration of team strategy, with Bliska, Dalzell, Schmidt and Corwin using their strength on the climb to break up the peloton and put Dalzell and Bliska over the line in second and third, respectively. Schmidt and Corwin picked up the pace with Dalzell and Bliska drafting behind. As the pack strung out along the climb, Dalzell and Bliska shot past their teammates to claim the podium finish. Corwin and Schmidt finished 18th and 25th, respectively. In women’s ‘C,’ Azevedo rode to a strong 15th-place finish, while Stears took 22nd. Levine faced stiff competition in the women’s ‘A/B,’ with an early breakaway by three ECCC points leaders. Despite keeping up with the field on the climb, Levine had trouble staying in contact through the tight turns of the descent and ultimately finished 10th. In men’s ‘A,’ Levinsohn’s hopes of a third consecutive “king of the mountain” jersey fell just short after a four-man breakaway late in the race. Levinsohn finished with the pack in 15th.

Sunday’s criterium featured a flat, fast, five-corner loop through the Yale campus. In the men’s ‘C’ race, Corwin stayed in the peloton throughout the race but was unable to get good positioning on the final sprint to the line, finishing 29th. In women’s ‘C,’ Azevedo rode confidently, staying in contact with the pack and rolling into 14th.

On March 25, Williams competed in Princeton’s Jersey Devil criterium and ITT. Notable results included a ninth-place finish for Azevedo in women’s ‘C,’ an eighth-place finish for Bliska in men’s ‘C’ and Levine’s first win of the season in women’s ‘B,’ laying down  a blazing time of 19:36.80. The men’s ‘A’ field again faced a devastating run by Levinsohn, who rode at a blistering 18.7 mph pace to take the win.

Later that day, only three riders took part in the two-turn criterium on the Sussex County Fairground. In men’s ‘C,’ Bliska finished 11th with Schmidt in 29th. Elliot Chester ’15 took 32nd in the men’s ‘D’ race.

In the Jersey Devil road race on March 24, the Ephs put up a strong showing in every division. Notable performances included an 11th-place finish for Bliska in men’s ‘C,’ a seventh-place finish for Levine in women’s ‘B’ and Levinsohn’s fourth-place result in men’s ‘A.’

On March 17, Levinsohn registered his first win of the season with a stellar showing at the Philly Phlyer circuit race. In the last lap of the race, Levinsohn covered an attack by MIT, riding off the front of the pack and then shedding his fellow attackers on the final climb to take the win just ahead of ECCC points runner-up Robin Carpenter of Swarthmore.

“It was awesome to see us come off of the spring break training camp and see our riders looking strong and confident in the peloton,” said Levinsohn. “We’re expecting to put up a strong showing at the conference championship at UNH in a few weeks.”

Cycling will return to the course on Saturday at the Army Spring Classic.

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