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May. 24, 2007
Stanford Cycling Wins Collegiate Nationals Team Omnium Title!
The Collegiate National Cycling Championships took place on May 11-13 in Lawrence Kansas.  The TCB-sponsored Stanford Cycling Team claimed the Division I Team Omnium title with a well-rounded and impressive team effort.  A big congrats to the Stanford riders!
Here are some bits and pieces from the team’s race report sent my way by Evan Pickett:

Going into Collegiate Nationals, in Lawrence, Kansas, we knew that we had a strong squad, but we also knew that it would take great individual efforts and a whole lotta luck to come away with a win or even a podium finish.  Our plan was simple—minimize the deficit following the team time trial on Friday, and stack the top 15 in the road race and crit.  If we did that, we’d get enough team omnium points to be competitive.

The women’s TTT squad of Sasha Richey, Rae Brownsberger, Arwen Bradley, and Cate McCullough turned in a great performance and finished third.  Rand Miller, Gavin Melly, Ryan Parnes, and Evan Pickett finished sixth on the men’s side, which was good enough for 3rd place in the team omnium going into the mass-start events.

Rand says of Saturday’s men’s road race:

“I went into the race intending to get into the traditional early breakaway—long story short, it turned into a 28 mile solo breakaway by yours truly and amounted to nothing but some awesome face-time…

Meanwhile, two of my teammates were forced to drop out of the race due to multiple flat tires, leaving us with only two riders in a field of about 100. My remaining teammate, Ryan Parnes, and I knew we had to both finish highly if we were to salvage a shot at the National Championship. Luckily, we both had good legs, and were able to stay near the front up the brutal uphill finishing drag. I finished 9th, and Ryan was 11th.” 

Rae describes Sunday’s women’s criterium:

“Paint your nails with stars and stripes. On the last lap of the crit, I was riding at my max heart rate, in more physical and mental exhaustion than I’d ever been before. Then I looked down, and saw my starry fingernails and thought, ‘That’s what I want, Stars and Stripes.’ I saw a new max heart rate that day…”

Rae went on to finish 11th, while Caitlyn finished 6th. Their finishes were enough for a team win in that event as well, giving us a points lead over Ft. Lewis going into the last event, the Men’s crit.

Rand describes the men’s crit:

“The Nationals Criterium is one of the most exciting and vibrant races I have ever entered, and it remains one of my favorite events… We needed to race the criterium of our lives in order to win Nationals. The race started fast and aggressive, and as always it was very difficult to move up in the pack. With about 35 minutes remaining in the race, I saw a small breakaway go up the road with several strong riders.

Instinctively (and against my own common sense) I attacked hard and set my mind on bridging the gap… A few other riders bridged shortly after I got across, but not one of them was from Fort Lewis! Upon seeing this, I went straight to the front and began driving the break as hard as I could—this breakaway was perfect, and gave us a great shot at the National Championship. Our break had a 1 minute gap over the field at the finish...

I… ended up 6th in the extremely close sprint for the National Crit Championship. My teammates Ryan Parnes and Elliot Holland finished 11th and 13th respectively, and our collective efforts were good enough to win the National Championship!”

Pro cycling and pro sports are great, but it’s hard to match the passion of collegiate sports. Each of the thousands of people in Lawrence that day had teammates or children or significant others in the race, and the finishing stretch was simply a tunnel of noise by the time the lap counter said “5 LAPS TO GO!!” Although their legs were surely burning from their efforts, no one in the breakaway could conceal their grins—years of training had paid off, and each of them had done the work get a Top-10 finish at Nationals. 

None of us can stress enough that teamwork played a huge role. We didn’t have any individual finishers on the podium. It was a team win from top to bottom.
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Le Sensation American
Events, Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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