Kicking off the year, UCSD made history by sending its first ever enduro mountain bike team up to Stage 1 of the California Enduro Series in Fontana, CA. The stages were challenging and the heat was intense, but that didn’t stop Sofia DeWolfe from placing 1st and getting “Queen of the Mountain” in the Beginner category.
After a tough but well fought road season, UCSD placed 6th out of 28 teams in the conference. We consistently placed top 5 in all races that we attended with 18 for Women’s A, 1 for Men’s A, 20 for Women’s B, 3 for Men’s B, 15 for Women’s C, 3 for Men’s C, and 5 for Men’s D. That’s a total of 66 top 5 finishes! Some notable individual overall performances include: Katherine Ellis (6th), Esther Walker (14th), Drew Ceccato (7th), and Lillian McCormick (20th).
Thanks to the support of numerous sponsors and community members, we were able to send four women’s A riders across the country to compete at USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals. For the second year in a row, it was located in the scenic and hilly mountains of North Carolina. Our four riders, PhD student in Cognitive Science Esther Walker, PhD student in Electrical and Computer Engineering Kat Ellis, PhD student in Chemistry Katherine Nadler, and graduating undergraduate in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution Alex Reich competed in three grueling events: a 77 km road race, 50-minute criterium, and 30 km team time trial, as well as 3 of the 4 riders also putting down the 20 km individual time trial.
Competing at the national level is a unique opportunity that motivates and inspires the team throughout the collegiate season and really pushes our athletes to perform at their best. This year, our riders took home three top-25 finishes in the road race, two top-20 finishes in the criterium, BRONZE medal in the team time trial, and a 6th place in the individual time trial.
It’s also worth noting that the bronze medal in the Nationals team time trial pushed UCSD to 11th place in the overall national team omnium. This is significant because we are one of about 3 non-varsity teams to finish with such high rankings against much better funded varsity teams, and demonstrates how competitive we are on a national level.
After the road season ended the UCSD Cycling team once again hosted the 22nd annual Tour de Donuts in conjunction with the UCSD Triathlon team and the Campus Bike and Skate Shop. This year, the standing record of 18 donuts held by Ian MacNeill was smashed by Roger Ainslie, who devoured an incredible 21 donuts, and claimed the title of “Gluttonous Champion”.
Our future team goals are to make cycling more accessible, affordable, and fun for new members, and expand further into other cycling disciplines, specifically mountain and cyclocross. Our competition goal for each discipline this coming year is to qualify for nationals and ride hard, have fun, and eat cake.
We hope to carry our momentum over to track season, as well as next year’s road and mountain season, where we plan to further develop and grow the UCSD Cycling team into a nationally-recognized name.