A bit late, but reminiscing on the wonderful spring riding with a fantastic group of alumni and current teammates. Pictured include the founder of Boo Bicycles, CMFO of Boo, former coach, former collegiate national champ, graduating seniors…
We had our annual reunions ride on Saturday the 1st. A pretty good-looking crowd turned out! Here are a few pictures. As summer hits, the team page will quiet down a bit, but we’ll all be riding all summer long. For the Class of 2017, incoming grad students, or anyone who wants to join the team, be sure to bring your bike to campus with you in the fall if you have one. If you don’t, you’re still welcome to join the team and we’ll help you find a bike, but if you own a bike you should bring it to campus. If you need to ship your bike, send it to your Frist address just before you leave and someone on the team will be happy to help you assemble it when it arrives. Happy summer!
Dear Friends and Alumni of Princeton Cycling,
With the end of the academic year and graduation fast approaching, we wanted to send you a brief update on our races this spring and the team in general. We had sixteen different undergraduate and graduate students race with the team over nine weekends of racing in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) this spring, and each of those riders participated in multiple weekends of racing. This level of commitment shows that the work the team has done over the past several years has built a strong group of racers. Perhaps most exciting, our women’s team is finally really a team. With the addition of Holly Goodman GS’14 and Nicole Bunyan ’15, we had more women racing consistently than we have in the past four years.
While there were strong performances across the board, a few people really shone this season. In his first season racing, Eric Falcon ’15 turned in a number of strong, top-five finishes in the D category and is poised to move up to C’s next year. Nicole Bunyan ’15 likewise turned in some dominating results after her varsity squash season ended and she was free to race, taking second in the women’s C road race at Army (on the unforgiving but spectacular Harriman State Park course) and then winning the road race at Eastern Championships, which was held at Penn State and featured the infamous Black Mo’ climb. Tanner DeVoe ’14 started his season in C’s, but after several seemingly effortless top-five finishes, he upgraded to B’s and turned in solid pack finishes in the final weekends. Andrew Weinstein ’13 started his season in A’s after lots of hard work last season and seemed poised to qualify for Nationals until he broke his collarbone.
However, the true success story of the season came from grad student Jacob Lapenna. He showed up to the team’s first practice in the fall of 2011 on a steel single-speed bike, wearing a rock-climbing helmet. He wasn’t able to race much in the spring of 2012 and therefore began this spring as a C racer. He dominated the first few C races, upgraded to B’s and quickly won several races there, and found himself in the A category for the last three weekends of the ECCC season. In that short time, he scored enough points to qualify for Nationals, held in early May in Ogden, Utah. As the first Princeton rider to go to Nationals since 2009, Jacob turned in great results: he stayed upright and placed 41st to finish with the pack in a crash-plagued criterium, and he placed 33rd in the climbing-intensive 125 km road race, which he noted was “possibly the fastest 80 miles I’ve ever ridden.” It would be hard to find a better collegiate cycling success story.
The team would like to thank you for your support over the past years – we simply could not have done it without you. Though we’ll notably be losing Jacob, Andrew, and Becca Thorsness ’13 to graduation, we’re already excited about Princeton Cycling’s plans for next year. Be sure to check out our website, princetoncycling.com, for information about the team, race reports, and our fall cycling clothing order, and feel free to follow us on Twitter (@Pton_Cycling). Thanks again for everything, and we’d love to see you at Reunions or at our races next spring.
The Princeton Cycling Team
Jacob was our lone representative at Collegiate Road Nationals this past weekend (sadly, Andrew broke his collarbone earlier this season, or he would have been there too) but he put up a great set of races. Pretty amazing that he showed up to his first practice in the fall of 2011 in a climbing helmet on a steel single-speed road bike, and was a C rider to begin this spring season. What collegiate racing is all about.
You can check out information about Nationals here, but here are Jacob’s brief race reports from this weekend. He skipped the ITT on Friday to travel (didn’t want to miss his Thursday class) but raced both the crit and the road race.
Criterium – 75 minutes, fairly flat 8-corner (yikes!) course
Finished in the pack at 41st (56 finishers, plus 18 DNFs)
Probably one of the most sketchy races of the year. A lot of people don’t look before changing lines. I had to bunny hop up on a sidewalk twice to avoid bike contact. My goal was to stay safe and finish with the pack. It was no problem hanging on the back the whole time, and that’s what I did. I was right behind two crashes on the final lap and weaved through both of them unscathed. My time gap is due to slamming on the brakes behind the two final crashes.
Road Race – 125km, with nearly 3000m of elevation gain (all from 5,000+ feet elevation)
Finished 33rd in 3:07:43 (79 finishers, plus 6 DNFs)
Great race today. I stayed sheltered the whole time until the climb. People were attacking, breaking, and bridging all day. Though, as I suspected, no one was off the front at the start of the climb. I saw Cameron (MIT) hand his teammate his water bottle going into the climb and I knew it was about to getspicy. I tried to hang on but couldn’t. I dieseled my way up, picking off 3 or 4 stragglers. My lungs were at full capacity before my legs (probably the altitude). Soloed the descent, and a little of the flats, until I caught up with a guy from Air Force. We then TTTed it to the finish, passing one more guy. Ended with a 3 or 4 man sprint (barely caught the back end of a group ~100-200 m before the line). I wasn’t super pleased with my place (33rd) until I saw my time (3:07:43), which is possibly the fastest 80 miles I’ve ever ridden.
He finished up 31st in the D2 men’s individual omnium, and thanks to his efforts, Princeton was 33rd in the D2 team omnium! Sad he’s graduating, but excited to see what Jacob will do in the future.
This past weekend, Penn State hosted the ECCC championships on the slopes of the infamous Black Moshannon (“Black Mo”) State Park. Jacob, David, Tanner, and Nicole all raced, and Jon and I (Andrew) tagged along to watch and support the team. For the first time in three years, the sun was shining for the Black Mo’ road race, and the rain mostly held off until after the crits were finished on Sunday. We had a great weekend, and we’re sad to see the end of another road season in the ECCC.
The courses were the same as in the past few years. Saturday morning’s TTT was followed by the Black Mo’ road race, a 21-mile loop with several short hills, some fast descents, and one soul-crushing five-mile climb. Sunday’s crit was a six-corner course with a narrow, technical section in the middle and a long, flat finishing straight.
Women’s C: Nicole made a last-minute decision to race on Saturday, but she made sure that driving 3.5 hours each way for a one-hour race was worth it. She started in the middle of the pack but made her way to the front as the field traversed the rolling hills in the first half of the course. On the lower section of the five-mile Black Mo’ climb, she attacked, and soon she had dropped everyone except one rider from Penn State and one from Dartmouth. The Dartmouth rider then fell off the pace, and Nicole was locked in a duel with the Penn State rider as they crested the climb. Just before the short, fast descent to the final corner, the Penn State rider got a small gap, but Nicole wasn’t about to quit. After they rounded the corner, Nicole started a long sprint and stormed back to pass Penn State just before the line, taking the win. Congrats! In addition, despite only participating in two weekends, she finished the season 5th overall in Women’s C.
Men’s B: David and Tanner both raced in the B field this weekend. Both fought hard through two grueling laps of Black Mo’, with Tanner finishing 21st and David 32nd (he was happy to know that he beat 12 people!). In Sunday’s crit, they put out a strong effort, but both were eventually pulled (along with over a third of the field). Position is critical on this crit course, and it’s tough to hang on if you don’t get a good spot at the start.
Men’s A: This was only Jacob’s third weekend in the As, but he made it clear that he’s in the right field. In the first two laps of the road race, he lost some ground to the leaders on the climb but chased back with the help of a few others, and he was near the front of the lead group of 15-20 riders when they started their third and final lap. The ECCC’s best climbers – Cameron Cogburn (MIT) and Brett Wachtendorf (Penn State), who finished 1-2, and a few others – then set a blistering pace on the climb and shattered the field. Jacob hung on as well as he could, crossing in a very respectable 15th in a strong field. In Sunday’s crit, Jacob started in the last row, but he showed his impressive strength and chased through the broken tail end of the field to reach the main pack. Once there, he wasted no time in asserting himself with frequent attacks. He soon found himself off the front in elite company, with Daniel Holmdahl (Dartmouth) and ECCC overall leader Jeremy Shirock (Penn State). The three were slowly building a lead over the peloton when they crashed in the middle of the course. Fortunately, none of them were injured, and they all jumped back in the race after taking a free lap. That was the end of the breakaway, though, and Jacob rolled through in 18th after a great race.
You can find more pictures of Jacob in the crit here (photos by Jon and Andrew).
Jacob will be heading to Ogden, UT, for collegiate nationals this coming weekend, so wish him luck!
This past weekend was one of my favorites of the season, the Army races. The team finally got a chance to experience the Harriman road course, something we’d never had the chance to race (it hasn’t been run for the last 3+ years) but a course that our coach Jon, along with many other in the conference, peg as the greatest road race in the conference. It certainly lived up to the hype!
The road course was a 13+ mile loop (our various speedometers/Garmins/internal compasses disagreed on the specific length, though it was almost certainly longer than the listed 13.3 miles). It began with a screaming downhill with a 180 degree turn at the bottom. Then racers were faced with a 3 mile, 600+ foot climb which blew apart the races (separating the men from the boys, especially in the lower categories). The rest of the course was more or less rolling, though it featured a significant set of rollers in the miles before the finish. It was certainly not a course for the timid, but was absolutely gorgeous, located in Harriman State Park, with lakes, rivers, woods, and wildlife.
Men’s D2 (2 laps) – We brought a full D field with Eric, Josh, and Adam (first race back from his fractured foot). They all rode strong races. Eric was riding with the guy who eventually won when he crashed at the bottom of the big decent. He and his bike were both a little banged up so he didn’t end up finishing, though fortunately both were okay for Sunday’s races. Adam and Josh turned in strong race, finishing 21st and 23rd, respectively.
Women’s C (2 laps) – I (Becca) finally had another teammate, after Holly’s premature end to her season with a broken collar bone last month. Nicole made it to her first collegiate race, with the goal of not getting injured (as a really good varsity squash player, she has a bit more pressure not to crash than your average racer). She surpassed that goal and more, taking 2nd in the road race in a breakaway win, though she does need to work on that sprint. I got dropped on the first climb but finished out a very beautiful road race.
Men’s C2 (3 laps) – John was our lone Men’s C representative this weekend, as Tanner upgraded to the B’s. He rode a strong race, finishing 24th in the C2 field that broke apart a lot, getting intermixed with the B’s that started up the road from them. His orange helmet is pretty much perfect, thinking about making them a required purchase for everyone next year!
Men’s B (4 laps) – David, Anthony, and Tanner came up just for the famed road race. In his first B race, Tanner made an impression, hanging with what remained of the peloton for most of the race, eventually ending up in the second group at the finish. Unfortunately, there was a finish line crash in the first field of finishers that neutralized the rest of the race before the finish (the guy who crashed ended up okay, fortunately) so while Tanner never got an official finish place, he would have ended up somewhere in the early teens. David and Anthony were likewise lost in the messy results.
Men’s A (5 laps) – In his first weekend as an A, Jacob scored some nice points in the road race. The race was won by a Penn State guy off the front of the field by 30 seconds, but Jacob rolled (well, at 45+ mph on the downhill finish) in with the pack to finish 16th!
Hill Climb ITT (aka “Climb Trial”)
The Army ITT is well known at this point, clocking in at a hair under 3 miles, with 700 feet of climbing (from the Hudson to the top of campus) and grades up to 10%. Jacob, the first A racer on the course, was misdirected by marshals into a parking lot where he lost 45+ seconds. He still turned in a very respectable 30th place finish. Nicole absolutely dominated the women’s C race, winning by over 30 seconds (she’d have been 11th of 18 in the women’s A race!). Eric recovered from his Saturday crash to end up 4th in the D2 ITT; Josh was 11th and Adam 16th. In the C2’s, John was 26th.
The crit course is my favorite – a short climb followed by a tight (<90 degree) turn, a nice sweeping downhill, and a straightaway along the train tracks. Gorgeous views of the Hudson River, and right on the Army campus. Can’t ask for a better course.
Men’s D2 – Eric continued on his strong morning, nabbing 2nd in the criterium! Frustrating in that he though he had the strength to come around the guy who edged him out by a wheel-length if there’d been room to maneuver, but a really great finish for him. Adam and Josh turned in similarly strong pack finishes. Adam took some sprint points in a prime and finished 13th, Josh was 17th. Moving up to C’s is looking like a real possibility for these guys!
Women’s C – After dominating the ITT and road race, Nicole was most worried about the crit, and having to ride with other people. She pulled it off though, finishing 18th in a pack finish, though afterwards remarked she should have just gone for it off the front and seen how she fared. Next race! In my last collegiate race, I ended up 12th. It was a good race to go out on.
Men’s C2 – John continued the morning’s string of pack finishes, coming in 22nd. He clawed his way back to the pack on multiple occasions, and you could watch him get more comfortable cornering and riding with the pack as the race went on. Being off the road bike all fall while he was studying abroad in New Zealand doesn’t seem to have knocken him off his game at all!
Men’s A – Jacob stayed safe in the pack for almost the entire race, chasing down breaks and riding smart. Thus, it was so frustrating and heartbreaking when he went down with one lap to go, losing the pack. Fortunately barely injured (the Army medics gave him a Hello Kitty bandaid afterwards for a cut on his palm) he leapt up and chased hard for the last lap, and while he caught some stragglers he wasn’t able to catch the pack. But that happens in racing, and we’re just glad that he (and his bike, more or less) are unharmed.
Check out more pictures from the weekend here.
Jacob’s our only representative at the RISD/Brown race in Providence this upcoming weekend, but then we’ll send a good contingent to Easterns at Penn State. Jacob is hoping to qualify for Nationals in Ogden, Utah, too.
Check out our team Twitter account for real-time weekend updates.
Sorry we’ve been without race reports for the past few weekends, they kind of slipped through the cracks. Two weeks ago Jacob and Tanner hit up the Bard criterium, where Jacob won the B’s and Tanner took 4th in the C’s. The next weekend at MIT we sent a contingent to brave the hills. In the ITT (in Princeton, MA!) Jacob took 10th and Anthony took 27th in the B’s, and John McSpedon took 45th in the C’s. In the crit (basically just hill repeats, according to Jacob) Anthony ended up 30th and Jacob 20th (he paid for attacking from the starting line). Jacob and Anthony turned in some awesome finishes in the road race too (3rd and 28th, respectively).
We just got back from a very well run weekend at Shippensburg, PA, hosted by Shippensburg University. It was both the best weekend and the worst weekend we’ve had this year, with some stellar results and one season-ending crash. We’ll fill in race reports as people write them, but here are the spark notes.
Andrew (A’s) – Crashed out of the crit 100 meters from the finish of the last lap (and was having a great race and was poised for a finish in the points!), breaking his collar bone. Spent some quality time in the Chambersburg Emergency Room, emerged with lots of straps and slings to hold him together. Will post the x-ray if he agrees to it. Just some rotten luck…
Jacob (B’s) – Had a solid crit, ending up 5th – you know how good of a season he’s having when 5th is a solid result, not an astounding one. Ended up 14th in the mass start hill climb, had 4 mechanicals (derailleur ending up in his spokes) and was able to chase back on the pack after the first 3 but didn’t quite have it after the fourth. Was very proud of attacking on the shoulder, in the gravel, taking everyone by surprise! Spent two laps of the road race off the front but was eventually caught, ended up 4th in the final sprint. Secured enough points to upgrade to A’s, so after 4 weekends in the B’s he’s off to race with the big boys, and hopefully qualify for nationals in Ogden!
Tanner (C’s) – Finished with the pack in the crit after staying out of trouble. Had a great hill climb, finishing 3rd (though would have won it if he hadn’t though the finish line was earlier that in actually was). Had an even better road race, finishing 2nd in the bunch sprint. Maybe it’s time for an upgrade soon?
Josh (C’s) – Continues to improve with every race this year, hanging with the pack in the crit. Was pleased with his hill climb, since he doesn’t really think of himself as a climber, and picked people off at the end. Had a solid road race too – keeps getting better and better every week.
Becca (C’s) – Just raced the crit (threats of the Horsekiller climb were enough to convince me I should be a marshal and not a racer) but even that climb was enough for me – got popped off the pack but finished. Three weeks of avoiding the bike in deference to the thesis definitely got to me…
Eric (D’s) – Had a spectacular weekend, sprinting to 7th in the crit and ending up 9th in the hill climb. Finished 5th in the road race in the bunch sprint. Maybe it’s time to think about upgrading to C’s?
You can check out more pictures here.
This past weekend marked the Philly Phyler, and it was a race to remember. Not having enough folks to form a team time trial (it was the first weekend of spring break) we were able to sleep in on Saturday, though missed the best weather of the weekend. We arrived for the circuit race on Saturday with temperatures hovering just above freezing and an odd snow/sleet/hail mix falling from the skies.
Lawrence, racing men’s D, and Dennis in men’s intro both took advantage of the relatively dry roads (despite falling snow) to turn in solid races, finishing in the middle of their respective fields. Tanner and Josh were the first to get a taste of the weather in the men’s C race – over the course of the race it went from clear skies to rain to hail to snow! Tanner turned in an great 4th place finish in a combined C field, he’s racking up the points to upgrade to the B’s! I (Becca) hung with the field for the first half of the race, but was dropped on one of the short but still painful climbs and rolled in alone.
The circuit race marked Jacob’s introduction to the B field, and it was quite an introduction. As we all huddled in the van for warmth, emerging when the field lapped through the start/finish, Jacob and the rest of the field contended with snow, hail, rain, and sleet. The race was called one lap early, and the subsequent men’s A and USAC 1/2/3 fields were called after a few laps for “thundersnow”. Jacob spent much time at or near the front of the field, and finished a strong 17th, just out of the points in a big field sprint (complicated by the fact that the field was catching the USAC 4/5 field that was also on course with them).
Sunday’s crit at Temple University was without the precipitation of Saturday, though the cold temperatures remained. In D’s, Lawrence had a solid race, finishing in 20th place in a large, combined D field and with the first chase group after a large group of riders gapped the field. In the intro clinic, Dennis learned about riding train tracks that were simulated with brooms, and then turned in a strong race of his own. Tanner and Josh had good races in the C field, with Tanner rolling in with the main pack. I dodged multiple wrecks in the women’s C race to finish with the pack. But it was Jacob’s race in the B’s that was the performance of the day. He situated himself in a break of 4 riders (which eventually fell to 3) fairly early in the race, building a lead of nearly 45 seconds over the pack, and sprinted for 2nd. Those points, in addition to the preem points he accumulated throughout the race, make moving up to A’s before the end of the season a realistic possibility. No one would have thought the kid who showed up with a climbing helmet at the beginning of last season would be one of the strongest riders on the team this quickly!
We’ll have some people at the Bard criterium next weekend, and then it’s time to hit the road, with races in Boston (MIT), Shippensburg PA (Shippensburg University), West Point (Army), Providence RI (RISD and Brown), and State College PA (Penn State) to complete the season.
This weekend marked our second weekend of racing this year. As a whole, the team continued its upward trajectory from Rutgers last weekend, and with any luck we’ll just keep improving all year long!
Columbia’s crit is a favorite on the team – a great course, superb marshaling, and tons of fans. We managed to only get slightly lost driving there (a large improvement over wandering the streets of Manhattan in prior years) and arrived early enough to watch the USAC men’s 1/2 field tear up the course, inspiring us for our races later in the day. For those of you not in the Northeast, it had snowed a solid 3″ on Friday, but Columbia and the race promoters were champs and ensured a course free of snow. The weather was gorgeous and sunny, and by the end of the day there was almost no snow in sight. It was great to catch up with a number of alums who call New York City home and came out to watch the races and cheer us on.
Eric started the morning off well for the team, finishing 9th in the men’s D2 field (in the points) and winning the first prime! Even better, a handful of his friends from Princeton came up to watch him, impressed at his secret life as a bike racer, and walked away in awe. Eric’s had some great races this season, hopefully he’ll join the C’s this season or next year.
After the whole forgetting to keep track of the lap cards and subsequently not sprinting for the win last week, Jacob knew what he was doing this week. Jacob used the second prime as an opportunity to attack, quickly building a gap of 10 seconds. The gap expanded to 15 seconds until the last lap, when the field REALLY started to chase. Jacob held them off, and won by 4 seconds. Unfortunately, the ECCC doesn’t allow upgrades within a weekend, but he’ll be racing with the B’s next weekend in Philly. Josh and Kraus had solid races in a large C field (65 racers!) in which over half of racers were pulled and placed. Seems like there’s some real sandbaggers (ahem, Jacob) hanging around the C’s this season.
In the women’s C race, Holly and Becca hung with the main pack until a crash broke up the field halfway through the race. Both avoided going down, but had to slow considerably to avoid it and lost touch with the main pack. They teamed up with a handful of other riders in the same situation and rode a strong remainder of the race, with Holly winning the sprint within the group!
David had a solid race in the B’s, riding over from his apartment in Brooklyn as a warmup (and riding home for his cool down). He successfully maintained his strategy of hanging around the back of the field and staying out of trouble, avoiding 3 wrecks, and even moved up and tried to break away one lap! He finished solidly in the middle of the field, an impressive feat as he dodged a crash in the finishing sprint, veering over outside the cones and onto the shoulder.
Andrew has a rougher race in the men’s A field, losing the pack on the fairly technical and wet course (by the time the A’s raced, the snow was melting quickly). On Sunday at the Stevens circuit race, Jacob continued his winning ways by taking the men’s C field, yet again. Andrew finished just out of the points in the men’s A race. Check back next week for our report on the Philly race, including Jacob’s introduction to the Killer B’s!
It’s March already (how did that happen?), which means the 2013 ECCC racing season is under way! As usual, we kicked off the season this past weekend at Rutgers with the Frozen-Toed Season Opener. We brought 14 racers and had entries in almost every category, including a number of first-time racers. Saturday morning’s time trial was the same as last year: a flat, out-and-back, two-mile course that reminded us all how much you can make your quads burn in five minutes. From there, we headed over to the Rutgers campus for the three-corner Livingston Campus crit. On Sunday, we drove back to Thompson Park for a circuit race on the same course as last year’s crit, a short (<1 mile) course with a steep power climb every lap.
Charlie and I (Andrew) represented Princeton in the men’s A field. I survived (and enjoyed) my first weekend as an A, posting a mediocre time trial and finishing with the pack in the crit and circuit race. Charlie came in a few places ahead of me in the ITT, and in the crit, he tested his legs with a few attacks and made a valiant effort to bridge to the leaders on the last lap before being swallowed up by the field. Maybe if he were training for a bike race instead of a marathon…
David and Anthony returned to the “Killer Bs” and both raced well in the time trial. In the crit, Anthony had the misfortune of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and getting caught up in a crash…twice! Fortunately, he and his bike emerged relatively unscathed (other than losing his favorite water bottle), and he was able to finish the race. David rode a smart race and finished with the pack. David also came back for the circuit race on Sunday and hung with a strong field for almost the entire race, finishing just a little ways back; only 26 of 43 starters finished.
Men’s C was our most successful category this weekend, as Jacob and Tanner made sure that there was plenty of orange and black in the finish-line pictures. Jacob found himself in a breakaway in the crit and almost certainly would have collected his first win…if only he had remembered to check the lap cards! Still, he pulled in second place and Tanner won the field sprint for fourth. The two reprised that performance with 3rd and 5th on Sunday. John raced in the crit as well and had a good pack finish. The C races also served as Josh H.’s debut; he learned a lot in his first weekend and we’re confident that he’ll get some good results as he gains experience.
In men’s D, Eric kicked off his racing career with a top-10 finish in his first crit, and Lawrence and Josh C. weren’t too far behind. Eric also put in a strong performance in the circuit race on Sunday.
Dennis made his debut in the intro category on Saturday, racing well in the time trial and crit. Pretty soon, he’ll be ready to join his teammates in D.
Our women’s team consisted of Becca and Holly, both racing in C. Holly did a great job at her first race, grabbing a top-10 finish in the crit and scoring a few points in both events on Saturday. Becca was close behind in both events, though the lack of winter training is certainly apparent (darn thesis).
You can check out more photos of the team here!