Cyclists take third on Bear Mountain
By Jeremy Hylton
and Albert Lew
Kjirste Carlson G and Joe Armstrong G led MIT to a third place finish at last weekend's Third Annual Army Spring Classic. The Engineers finished behind Penn State and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, defending Eastern Cycling Conference Federation champions.
Racing started Saturday morning on the Bear Mountain State Park road race, run on the same course as the 1981 national championship. The hilly 14-mile course wound its way around Lake Sebago, and included a three-mile climb and two fast descents.
Armstrong and Tom Moyer G finished second and seventh, respectively, in the men's category A race. Over 80 riders were dropped from a field of 120 during the race's three laps. Carlson placed fifth in the women's division, finishing in a lead group of six riders, though 50 started the race.
It appeared likely that John Morrell G would take the final sprint in the category B race, but a flat time stopped him short of the finish line. Albert Lew '91 finished 13th. In the category C race, Chuck Benson '90 narrowly missed placing.
The Engineers competed in individual time trials on Sunday morning. Each rider raced against the clock, paced 30 seconds ahead of the rider behind him. Carlson took third place in the women's division, finishing the 1.5-mile uphill course with its 700-foot climb in 9:23. Armstrong finished 16th in division A at 7:29 and Lew finished sixth in division B, with a time of 7:53.
The classic closed on Sunday afternoon with a criterium that snaked its way through the hilly West Point campus and under Eisenhower Hall. The .9-mile course began at the top of a gentle descent that ends in an abrupt right-hand turn. The riders faced a short, steep climb up the tunnel under Eisenhower Hall before exiting the tunnel on a moderate grade to the start-finish line.
"This is an excellent course -- whoever gets through the tunnel first wins," exclaimed Moyer before the race, and his prophecy was fulfilled. Carlson led the leaders out of the tunnel on lap 15 and sprinted to second place. Carlson finished behind a Williams College rider, who broke from the pack early in the race and rode to a solo victory.
With 10 laps to go in the men's division A race, a Penn State rider broke from the pack and history began to repeat itself. Armstrong emerged from the tunnel ready to lead Moyer to the finish line and set him up for the final sprint.
"Coming up the steep hill, I thought I heard Tom saying, `Joe.' I was really excited about leading Tom out for the sprint. In the tunnel, I saw a lane open up on the left side, my eyes got real big, and I just went. I thought [Moyer] was going to come around me for the win," explained Armstrong.
Armstrong ended up winning that sprint to finish second. Moyer finished close behind him in fifth place. Adam Schwartz '91 placed 10th in the division B race.
(Albert Lew '91 is a member of the men's cycling team.)