On April 7 and 8, MIT’s cycling team competed at the “Lux et Velocitas” races hosted by Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The three-race weekend took place in East Rock Park at the foot of the East Rock cliff, New Haven’s tallest landscape feature.
Saturday morning’s individual time trial (ITT) featured a 4.1-mile, 500-ft climb to the summit of the East Rock. In typical fashion, Points Series leader and team captain Katie J. Quinn G was the fastest female, turning in a ride of 12 min 26.61 sec, nearly 30 seconds ahead of second place. Captain Adam P. Bry G powered his way to third place in the men’s A with a time of 11 min 18.77 sec. Another twelve MIT riders finished in the fastest half of their categories.
The afternoon circuit races consisted of a number of laps of a course that included the East Rock climb. In the men’s A race, Spencer D. Schaber G broke away from the main pack with three other riders and won the circuit race with a powerful surge in the last hundred meters of the two-hour race. In the women’s A, Quinn finished second with teammates Yuri Mastumoto G fourth and Christina M. Birch G sixth.
“King of the Mountain” (KOM) jerseys were awarded to riders with the lowest combined ITT and circuit race times for each category. With consistent top finishes across the board, MIT collected the KOM jerseys in four of the six highest categories: Benoit Landry ’14 in the 59-strong men’s C field, Shaena R. Berlin ’13 in women’s B, and Schaber and Quinn taking honors in the most competitive fields — men’s and women’s A respectively.
Sunday’s criterium races took place around the East Rock Park on a flat, fast, 5-corner course.. The day started with two impressive performances with Ernesto Jimenez ’14 sprinting his way to sixth place in men’s D2 and Edrie B. Ortega G soloing to second place in the women’s intro category. In a spectacular display of teamwork, four MIT riders rode away from the pack in the women’s A race, guaranteeing a sweep of the first four places. Quinn headed the MIT lead-out train to the finish line, towing Laura R. Ralston G, Birch, and Matsumoto, to a 1-2-3 finish. Schaber was once again part of the winning breakaway and finished fourth in the men’s A race — thanks in large part to the efforts of the other nine MIT riders blocking at the front of the pack.
As it has become tradition in the past race weekends, the MIT cycling team won convincingly the weekend team omnium ahead of 36 scoring teams and extended its lead in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference team season standings. MIT now has 1381 points to second-place Penn State’s 911 and third-place the US Military Academy’s 769. Quinn continues to widen her margin as Points Series leader and yellow jersey holder; with three more race weekends in the season, she now has 40 percent more points than second place. The battle for the yellow jersey is more contested on the men’s side. Despite suffering two flat tires in the criterium, Bry tallied enough points in the ITT and circuit race to regain the coveted yellow jersey.
The MIT cycling team will look to defend its first place in the team standings and retain the two yellow jerseys when racing resumes on April 14 and 15 at West Point, N.Y.