Well, its the offseason and this kind of post was received well last year, so I thought I'd give it another go.
The Michigan Club Cycling team wrapped up its most successful road season in recent memory last weekend with the regional championships at Purdue.
Collegiate cycling is a bit of an odd sport with huge difference in ability throughout the 4 different skill level categories for men (D, C, B, and A) and 2 different categories for women (B/C and A). D is pretty much a beginner category with A's being filled by very serious cyclists, and some continental pros (riders from United Healthcare, Jelly Belly, Astellas, Twenty 16, Champ Sys Stans No Tubes, etc). We're not under the NCAA so its ok for riders to be pro during the summer and roll around on free bikes/geat that they get from their pro teams.
Team points are awarded based on finishes in all categories, with finishes in higher categories being worth much more than lower categories. We've traditionally been hamstrung by small teams without many riders in the upper categories, but this year we overcame some of those challenges.
We compete in the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference (MWCCC) with some other Big Ten schools like MSU, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Northwestern, and OSU. Other teams include Notre Dame, Case Western, Illinois Tech, DePaul, UIC, Kentucky, Michigan Tech, Louisville, Northern Michigan, and many others. Then we have our teams that operate as varsity programs that are traditional national powerhouses in Marian, Lindenwood, and Lindsey Wilson College.
Anyway, like I said, we had an outstanding year. We finished 3rd in the conference behind Marian and Lindenwood and just ahead of Notre Dame. So, we were the #1 non-varsity school as well as the #1 Big Ten School (in our conference, the western B1G schools are in a different conference.) Also, we more than doubled our point total from last year. We picked up wins in Women's B/C, Men's D, Men's C, 2 in Men's B, and the Women's B/C Team Time Trial at different points in the year and several more podiums across those categories.
As I mentioned earleir, this past weekend was the conference championship races at Purdue. Individual conference champions include our Women's B/C Team Time Trial team and Cat Culkin in the Women's B/C road race. Also bringing in a podium in Men's D's was Fred Feng. We had strong performances throughout the categories with a few riders narrowly missing their respective podiums.
We also had one rider in Men's A qualify for the USAC Collegiate Nationals in Richmond, VA (home of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships). However, he can't make it due to graduation.
Here's a photo of the crew that made it out to Purdue during the conference podiums. The team to our immediate left is Marian and on the far left is Lindenwood. We have a good group of riders that weren't able to make the trek due to it being during finals week.
The future is definitely bright for our club. The goal is to qualify as a team for nationals on a regular basis. Nationals qualification is based solely on points in the A categories, so we have some work to do there.
Most of our athletes will continue racing into the USAC season, many with the Ann Arbor Velo Club. Up next collegiate wise is mountian bike season in the fall.
For those interested in purchasing one of our kits: We usually do our orders in the fall. Follow us on twitter @MCycling for more information when the time comes.
In hindsight this could have been a diary. Mods feel free to move as you see fit.