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2007XCSynopsis

Synopsis of the XC Season

By Brett Kielick

Six Drexel riders took part in the ECCC's opening mountain bike race at Lehigh on the 8th and 9th of September. The cross country course was a very technical 6 mile loop filled with rock gardens, killer switchbacks and tough climbs. Matt Schoman ripped through the course in a time of 42:35, good enough for a 3rd place finish in the Men's C race. Trevor Booz, in his first collegiate race ever, placed an impressive 7th! Brett Kielick, after falling multiple times and looking like he took a shower in dirt, managed to finish 21st in his 1st collegiate mountain bike race. Ryan Shank, also in his first collegiate race ever, suffered a flat tire in the first mile but toughed it out and finished the rest of the race placing 33rd. Courtney Reid had an impressive 2nd place finish in 2-lap Women's A race. Not bad for just starting riding earlier in the year and this being her first race! Anna Fox demolished the women's B field, completing the course almost 2 minutes faster than the 2nd placer finisher. Three Drexel alumni, including one of the founders of the team back when it was the Drexel Fat Tire Club in the 90s, took part in the alumni race although only 1 managed to complete the race.

Brett, Matt and Ryan returned on Sunday to continue the mountain biking festivities with a blistering short track cross country race. The 1/2 mile loop was much less technical. The start line was on a wide fire road with a gradual uphill grade. At the top of the incline the course made a hard left into a slalom-like downhill with fast winding turns and returned to the bottom of the fire road incline for an uphill finish. Matt rode hard to an impressive first place finish while Brett managed to improve on his placings from Saturday and pulled off a 6th place finish. Ryan finished 15th.

Only Brett, Ryan and Courtney ventured up to the University of Massachusetts race weekend on September 22nd and 23rd. The cross country course was very different from the Lehigh race. It started up a long incline fire road before it narrowed down to twisty singletrack through the woods. The singletrack was less technical than Lehigh but still had tight turns, steep climbs, off camber portions (one of which Brett managed to fall on each of the 3 times throughout the course!) and some small log jumps. After spending some time in the woods, the course opened up into some very fast grassy fields with rolling hills. Brett managed to advance his way through the Men's C field through this section before it entered another section of wooded singletrack where passing was difficult. The course opened up yet again to some grassy fields before reaching the start finish line. The Men's C field did 3 fast laps on this course in warm weather. Brett had his best finish yet, placing 5th in a time of 1:16:40 while Ryan struggled through the heat to finish 24th. Courtney unfortunately took a nasty spill in the Women's A race and dropped out.

Sunday featured short track racing at the base of the ski slopes. The course featured a sweeping downhill at the start followed by a ridiculously steep short downhill section that blasted you onto rough terrain right before you had to negotiate a tight, off-camber switchback. The 1/4 mile course finished with a killer incline up a fire road. The race featured a great battle between Brett and a rider from Union College. The Union rider raced off to a blistering start but Brett managed to pass him about half way through the race. Brett was unable to press his lead over the rider and was passed back in the last few laps. A hard effort from Brett on the last lap on the final incline to the finish was not enough to catch him so he placed 2nd. Both riders were able to lap the rest of the field. Ryan had his best race to date and placed 8th.

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Page last modified on February 07, 2008, at 01:45 PM