Wednesday, March 21, 2018

2018 Road Series: Philly Phlyer (3/17-3/18)

To begin the beginning of the collegiate race season, Bucknell descended upon the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia.

There would be two race days. Saturday saw the TTT (Team Time Trial) and the RR (Road Race) along the banks of the Schuylkill River. Sunday would includ a crit (Criterium) in the center of Temple University's campus. The TTT had Evelyn Korbich, Eli Bravo, Matt McGauley, and Andrew Schlicht race the 11 mile course in the Men's B category. A strong lead out by Evelyn allowed for Eli, Matty McG, and Schlichty to continue down the course at a strong pace. A crash partway through saw the group loose time, however, Matty McG and Schlichty were able to finish the race placing 3rd in their category.

A little over an hour later was the Men's C race, letting Matty McG and Schlichty ride together in the pack. With the field willing to chase down attacks, the pack stuck together, only dropping a few riders during the four lap race. Schlichty made it his goal not to repeat his crash on the 3rd lap in a sharp U turn from last year. Oddly enough, someone else in the field took on that role and crashed into the high walled curb, bringing down a rider or two. Not far behind the crash, Matty McG and Schlichty were able to avoid the fallen riders and proceed staying with the un-phased pack. So glued together was the peloton that it wasn't until the final climb that the field broke apart into a long strand. Matty McG was able to gain positions on the climb and Schlichty gain slots on the final flat stretch.

*Insert photos no one sent me of the TTT and Men's C race*

In the meantime Peter Kaladius, was in the Men's E race. A great learning experience for the new rider, Peter was enjoying himself crushing the climbs and blitzing down the descents. Unfortunately, this need for speed was his ultimate demise. Losing control on a descent lead to a crash that resulted in a flat tire, forcing him to drop out of the race.

Evelyn rounding an orange cone
We then saw Evelyn on the start line in the Women's A race. Evelyn's first lap and a half were at a conversational pace but things picked up on the second time up the backside hill. There, Evelyn and three other riders fell off the back when an attack was made; they would work together for the next two laps. On the fourth time up the backside hill, Evelyn was separated from her small group and road alone where the officials finished her early to make way for the Men's B race.

Eli in the heart of the pack

To wrap up the day Eli Bravo started at the Men's B race. After a lack of a gentleman lap, Eli realized this would be a fast race. Cheered on by the team from the sidelines, Eli found himself being heckled by his own field with sarcastic statements like "This is Eli must be a beast." Safely dropping water bottles, he was able to lose weight for the final climb and finish well in his race.
Yiwei pushing for the finish

Peter sprinting through Temple's campus
Sunday came and this time the lack of snow we experienced last year permitted for the course to be open. Unfortunately, the conference changed the race schedule twice during the day, once before the start of the first race and once again 30 minutes before the start of the Men's C race. This ultimately resulted in Matty McG and Schlichty missing their race. Disappointed, we remained at the course to support our next racers. Peter and Yiwei Wang however did not suffer such fate. Each racing in the Men's E field they hung tightly to the field. With the aid of coaches alongside, they were able to hone their cornering skills and pushed themselves to the finish line. Due to the rescheduling of the races, those for Eli and Evelyn were pushed back too far in the afternoon for comfort. Despite having all of Spring Break to do their homework, they stated that they needed to get back to campus to finish their work and therefore skipped their races.

Off on vacation, Papa K could not make it to the race. His lack of presence reminded the team just how great he is. The burgers, smooth jazz, hauling van, and warm personality were only a few aspects Papa K provides that the team missed. Despite his not being there, the team still has a few observations we would like to share:
1) The conference couldn't contact us despite having our contact info.
2) Where is West Point?
3) Don't dab mid-race, especially when you're in front of a pothole. (Figure below)
4) Either Matt's Garmin is wrong, or the conference timekeeper is wrong, we may never know.
5) Temple has a sculpture of a bison on their campus.
6) Peter can eat a full tray of cinnamon buns and will consequently fall asleep.

A great big thank you to the Bravo family for hosting the team once more this year. Their hospitality and willingness to help the team is unrivaled. They provided a splendid dinner for the team and family members of the teammates that were able to attend.

Eli mid dab, you can see the pothole right in front of him
- Schlichty

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