Rutgers Race Report 2012
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This weekend was a declaration. The whole conference has been put on notice that MIT is planning on dominating the season like we have never seen before. MIT has won the last three season omniums, but usually just on the backs of their fantastic women’s squad. This year MIT stormed into the season claiming a flawless team win, the men’s yellow jersey and the women’s yellow jersey. While there are still eight weeks of racing left, any challengers to the thrown will have to substantially out preform this first weekend.
The opening time trial was an ultra short 2.2 mile effort along the Piscataway river. A heavy layer of mist and drizzle shrouded the course. Katie Quinn (MIT) and Lenore Pipes (Cornell) had a tight race for first place. Katie took the win by a mere second. Her teammate, Lauara Ralston (MIT), came in for third place eleven seconds back.
From the early laps of the road race, it was clear that only three women were going to be in contention for the win. Aggressive riding at the front end of the group shattered the field and left two A racers and one B racers to sort out the finish order over the remaining laps. Lenore Pipes (Cornell) dusted the other two women in the sprint. Katie Quinn was able to edge out Linsay Knast (Temple) for second place.
The women’s criterium was a display of brute dominance. Before the officials had even calculated the lap cards Katie Quinn attacked the field by herself, determined to race to the end alone. Durring the ensuing chaos to organize a chase, all but three women were dropped. Just Laura Ralston (MIT), Kelly Desharnais (Bucknell) and Lindsey Knast (Temple) were left together and chasing. Laura Ralston plaid the dutiful teamate and disrupted any organized chase and refused to take pulls. With several laps remaining, Laura attacked the other two, who were unable to respond.
The ITT was an early shake down for the Men’s field. Adam Bry (MIT) stomped his way into an early lead for for yellow jersey by winning the ITT by over five seconds. Steven Rusnak (USMA) clocked a second place finish. Wyatt Stoup (Penn State) was able to secure third place eight seconds back.
The road race provided a rare early season opportunity for the hard men of the ECCC to truly shine. The thirteen mile course featured strong cross winds and a thousand feet of climbing. With three laps to go, a break away group of eight riders were able to separate themselves from the main back. With a lap and a half to go, Robin Carpenter (Swathmore), Stuart McManus (Harvard) and Adam Bry attacked their breakaway mates. Those three extended their lead all the way to the finish line. In the finale Robin showed why his license says “pro” and virtually put on a clinic in sprinting. Stuart was able to edge out Adam during their sprint to the line.
The men’s criterium seemed to be a series of failed attempts. Throughout the race various attempts at a breakaway were made and subsequently crushed. While the course featured a stiff climb on the back side of the course, it also had a smooth hide speed downhill without any sharp corners. In the waning laps Adam Bry and Erik Levinson (Williams) successfully broke free of the main field.* They worked together flawlessly to ensure the main field wouldn’t have a chance to contest the win. Levinson lead out the sprint and was overhauled by Bry at before the line. Robin Carpenter was able to sprint in for third place.
* It is interesting to note that in 2010 Adam and Erik were racing together at Rutgers in the D2 criterium.