Riders Hold Record
UVM Clubs Seek Conference Title
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 18:10
Boasting more than 70 active members, UVM’s club cycling team is one of the largest student-run sporting clubs on campus. UVM cycling competes year-round against top competitors in the Northeast and is a participating member of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC), the largest collegiate cycling conference in America.
Race weekends consist of tournaments in a number of different styles including mountain, road, track and Cyclocross depending on the season with both male and female categories being represented.
In the fall season, mountain bike racers compete in a total of six races throughout New England. The mountain bike races are split up by endurance with cross-country and short tracks.
“For mountain biking this season, we have more than double the points of the team in second place,” junior cycling club president Robbie Galloway said. “So we are winning a lot right now.”
This winning record is not an anomaly for the Cycling team. Competing in the ECCC gives cycling athletes the ability to compete against some of the fastest collegiate racers in the country and with a consistent winning record over the years, UVM cycling is the team to beat.
“Since I’ve started mountain biking here, I don’t think we’ve ever lost a race weekend,” junior cycling club team coordinator Jeff Meyer-Lorentson said. “I’ve asked a bunch of alumni and no one can remember a year that we haven’t won our conference.”
Winning the conferences consistently has given the cycling club a number of opportunities to compete in national tournaments. The club has already earned multiple national titles including wins in road and Cyclocross.
While the winning record may seem as if all racers are highly skilled, the club team prides itself on being open to all levels of experience.
“People come in that have never gone mountain biking before,” Galloway said. “One of the great things about collegiate cycling is that they have races at different levels.”
For mountain bike races, the categories are divided between A-C for men and A-B for women. The C races are shorter and considered more manageable than A courses.
“You can come in and race C races right off the bat,” Meyer-Lorentson said. “I started racing mountain bikes last year and before that I had only been riding them for a year.”
The road races begin in the spring season with races starting in early March and going through May for roughly 11 weekends. Similarly to mountain biking, road races are divided up into categories of different lengths, speeds, and skill level. While many of the road races are long distance tracks, some of the races known as crits are held on a short course.
Both seasons for club cycling highlight the array of skills that are present on the team. While many upperclassmen see success fairly regularly at races, the team also contributes a lot of their success to their rookie athletes.
“One of the reasons we are doing so well this season is because one of our fast rookies is actually a USA Cycling Pro and has his professional racing licensing,” Galloway said. “We actually have pro athletes competing in our races.”
“We’ve got one freshman who has won nearly all the cross-country races he has entered,” Meyer-Lorentson said.
Unlike many other organized sports, the Cycling club has a fairly relaxed stance on some of the elements of participation. Practices occur somewhat spontaneously as individuals in the club post on the online listserv if a member is going out on a group ride. Team members are also not obligated to attend every tournament weekend.
“It’s not really like a team where you join and you have to go to every single race,” Meyer-Lorentson said. “It is more like if you want to go for a race you sign up and show up for it.”
The cycling team is always open to new members joining in at any point in the season. General meetings for the club occur on Tuesdays at 8:15 p.m. in the Mount Mansfield Room on the 4th floor of the Davis Center.