Thursday, March 23, 2017

2017 Road Series: Philly Phyler (3/18-3/19)

Philadelphia was still feeling the aftermath of the massive blizzard that smashed the East Coast a few days prior when the team started trickling in for the ECCC’s first race weekend. Saturday’s racing was punctuated by still-melting snow banks and Sunday’s criterium was cancelled due to parallel-parked cars on the course trapped by snow pack. But at Saturday’s Team Time Trial and Circuit Race along the Schuylkill River, it was cloudy skies and cold rain that prevented all but the toughest riders from braving the conditions - so naturally, Bucknell Cycling fielded eight racers.


Two seniors and fourth-year racers of the team, Ward Prescott and Steven Robare, were joined by two first-year riders, Matt McGauley and Andrew Schlicht, to start the day with a Men’s C 11 mile team time trial. Though this was the second race this season for the first-years, it was their first in the ECCC. All four boys put in a great effort, riding for the first time together and placing 6th out of 8.

The Men’s C TTT team hardly had a break before jumping into their 26 mile circuit race, followed closely by the Men’s D 20 mile circuit race which featured two more new riders, Mitch Warner and Peter Merhige. The course showed no love for the boys - Matt suffered from a puncture on the first lap, and in the last lap Andrew went down in a crash (but fortunately rejoined the race unscathed to finish in the top half). But the rest of the team not on-course cheered all six racers on, and sophomore Mitch scooped up 18 points for the team with a second place finish in the Men’s D field.

Senior and second-year racer Ellie Perry scooped up 9 points for the team with a 6th place finish in her first Women’s C race (26 miles), and senior and fourth-year racer Alex Breakstone matched with another 9 points from his top-half finish in the shortened Men’s A race (40 miles). Both races saw a mobile squad of Bucknell Cyclists cheering on the peloton, particularly their teammates in the race. Full race results can be found HERE.

Congratulations to all the first-time racers - we are looking forward to more excellent finishes from our Young Bucks! Keep an eye out for the debut races for our young Lady Blues, new women riders to join the team this year, in the coming weeks.

Other News

This weekend the team was generously housed by president Eli Bravo’s family, and as Philadelphia is a relatively central location for many other Bucknell Cycling families, the highlight of Saturday was a massive potluck dinner at the Bravo house. Thank you to the Breakstones, Schlichts, Warners, Merhiges, McGauleys, and especially the Bravos for somehow managing to provide more delicious food than the team could possibly eat! Thanks always to Papa K (Gary Kahler) who kicked off yet another season working with the Bucknell Cycling team, and thanks to junior Kurt Schlosser and sophomore Eli Bravo who, though not racing, were instrumental in supporting the eight racers.

The team would also like to thank the Lewisburg Panera Bread for their generous donation of dozens of bagels and Country Cupboard (vis-à-vis Matty’s Sporthouse Grill)  for their donation of cookies and other treats to fuel the team’s adventures, as well as all of our other sponsors for their contributions to the team!

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