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Spirit of '69 Season Opener

March 7-8th 2009


ITT (2.8 miles)

  • Men's A (51 starters)
    • 33rd - Dan Lavelle (6:17.19)
    • 38th - Tim Manzella (6:19.24)
  • Men's B (48 starters)
    • 14th - Adam Leman (6:20.18)
    • 32nd - Ashley Doane (6:31.76)
    • 39th - Matt Schoman (6:35.84)
  • Men's C (93 starters)
    • 33rd - Dave Casale (6:31.57)
  • Men's D (122 starters)
    • 10th - Alan Fody (6:42.78)
    • 91st - Brent Heverly (7:29.89)
    • 101st - Ryan Morcrette (7:38.84)
    • 121st - Collin Hair (8:34.99)
  • Women's Intro (40 starters)
    • 2nd - Sarah Grogan (7:24.45)
    • 5th - Ali Flis (7:35.54)
    • 13th - Victoria Hanks (7:49.36)

Princeton Crit

  • Men's A (58 starters)
    • 23rd - Tim Manzella
    • 27th - Dan Lavelle
    • DNF - Brian Kall
  • Men's B (53 starters)
    • 28th - Matt Schoman
    • 33rd - Adam Leman
    • DNF - Ashley Doane
  • Men's C Division II(45 Starters)
    • 21st - Dave Casale
  • Men's D Division II(64 Starters)
    • 5th - Alan Fody
    • 28th - Ryan Morcrette
    • 35th - Brent Heverly
    • DNF - Collin Hair(Flat)
  • Women's Intro (35 starters)
    • 3rd - Ali Flis
    • 5th - Sarah Grogan
    • 7th Victoria Hanks

Sunday Rutgers Circuit

  • Men's A (55 starters)
    • 32nd - Dan Lavelle
    • 35th - Tim Manzella
    • 52nd - Brian Kall
  • Men's B (50 Starters)
    • 19th - Ashley Doane
    • 38th - Matt Schoman
  • Men's C Division II(40 Starters)
    • 1st - Dave Casale
  • Men's D Division II(55 starters)
    • 32nd - Ryan Morcrette
    • 39th - Nick Farber
    • 46th - Brent Heverly
  • Women's Intro (40 Starters)
    • 5th - Victoria Hanks

Race Reports

Though nobody took home any medals, a lot can be said about the Men’s D racers after the 2009 Season opener at Rutgers/Princeton. Saturday started off bright and early with a promise of warming temperatures. Racers showed up and began the long wait in the registration lines. As all began to get their gear together, many racers on the team were meeting each other for the first time. The rookies on the team could be overheard any number of times picking the brains of some of the senior team members. Some very beneficial teaching/learning took place throughout the weekend. I think the most valuable advice was from Dan Lavelle in saying that “it’s the first weekend, stay safe.” Many times throughout Saturday and Sunday Dan reiterated the safety factor and I think it is very noteworthy that no Drexel racers were involved in any of the many wrecks that took place, especially in the D category.

Learning Points:

ITT- It is important to know the course. Could we replay the weekend, I believe each of the new D racers would get out and scope the course out ahead of time while warming up. We were very rushed on time to get an appropriate warm up in. In the future we should focus on a longer warm up and more reconnaissance. By knowing the course we may have benefited by knowing when to start pushing real hard. For a few of us this was our first ever time trial, so we didn’t know what to expect. Look for much more improvement in the future!

Crit- Safety first. Especially in the lower categories, there are some unsafe riders out there. As senior team members pointed out, it is important to “find the safe riders around you.” Field positioning is also key, it’s important to get off the line quick, enter the first turn, and make a push to get to the front. We all learned that in a crit, being in the back only sets you up to be slowed down by crashes. One major crash separated the field on Saturday. If you lose the lead pack, as I did, it’s very difficult to catch back up. Special not of congratulations to Alan Fody, who raced this whole Criterium with a broken shoe clip and managed to hold on to the front and place fifth!

Circuit Race- The D racers again found out how one bad wreck can separate the field, and the chance of catching back up is slim. It isn’t easy to slam the brakes, unclip, and start from a dead stop in a big gear in attempt to catch back up to the lead pack that didn’t have any interruptions. In this situation it is very important to regroup as best as possible and work together with any and all racers possible to catch back up. We all found how much harder a race is when you’re working alone. Most importantly though, nobody from Drexel was involved in the accident as we all had that great advice in the back of our heads: Stay safe!

A great time was had by all, and those who had met for the first time Saturday morning were already joking with each other, laughing, and having a great time hanging out in between races on Sunday afternoon. Look for many more fun times, great stories, and most importantly, much improvement to be had in the skills and capabilities of these “rookies!”

Respectfully submitted,

Ryan Morcrette

Alright here's my take on the weekend, I'm not very funny so it may get boring...tough luck.

First off, all the new guys (and girls, girls, yes Drexel Cycling has girls!) did an amazing job and it made me feel like a proud parent seeing you all racing for your first time. My first day of racing ever was at Rutgers three seasons ago, and it brought back memories. Your eagerness to learn and ask questions, while at the same time remembering that you just there to pedal a bicycle was incredible. I think we're going to have a great season.

ITT or "I almost forgot what blood taste like until this morning": Travel went off without a hitch for the first time ever, probably because TomToms are the biggest waste of time ever. Although we got there and were a little rushed to get the D guys on their way, I think it was for the better because you weren't sitting idle waiting around letting the nerves pile up. You could taste the eagerness in the air around the cars while everyone mounted the trainer for their warmups. I got the worst warm up ever, and I also forgot that when I get nervous I have to pee alot - I must've gone to the bathroom at least six times before my start.

My time trial went OK - the freaking holder dropped me and I almost crashed. My first ever Men's A start and I almost bit it bigtime, "not off to a good start" I thought. For some reason he wasn't paying attention and just let me fall to the left while Johann counted down. "5-4-3..." and I was on my way to the ground so I had to unclip and do a trackstand for a second...whatever I thought, now I've got an excuse. Clipped in and started hammering, not much else to report other than the fact my early season ability to do 180 degree turns around cones is horrendous. I finished with more in the tank than I should've, but that was the plan to conserve my legs for later. 6:17 for 30th place

Crit or "Welcome to the big show": All of our D guys did awesome once again; If Fody had two feet in the pedals it would've been game over. My good buddy Brent was attempting to do pull-ups through every corner, you should see the pictures - he's either flexing for Michelle or he's got a death grip on the bars that would choke a rhino. Methinks the latter. Dave Casale get the award for "dumbest early season move that was still awesome" by being off the front hammering entirely too fast with no regard to the notion that he had to keep pedaling for another 25 minutes after he got caught. A bold move, and something I admire greatly...Jens Voigt would approve of such wreckless use of your legs.

My race was again uneventful as I was still unsure about what to expect; I knew I was running with some seriously fast guys and I didn't want to get in anyone's hair. I played it cool at the back and tried to find some good wheels to stick with while my legs came around, fortunately I felt better as the race went out. Unfortunately by the time my legs felt good the race was over. Racing A's is tons of fun though, the consistency of speed and the momentum that we were taking through corners was bringing a grin to my face during the race.

Circuit or "Who do you think you are, stealing my wheel?" Dave Casale gets the first win of the season, Farber makes his Lance- like comeback to the sport in epic fashion, and Ashley Doane was all over the front of his race looking like his legs were doing the talking instead of his ridiculous neon shades. I'd also like to give my dad props for coming out with yellow chalk and writing "Spin For Nance", "Dan --->" and "Livestrong" all over the finishing straight. If I could see straight at any point during my race, I would've probably been able to smile and give a thumbs up.

My legs felt awesome, awesome I tell you. However I learned one valuable lesson about Men's A - if you want to be at the front of the race you've got to earn it. There are some legit guys in my field, National Champions and Olympians - they don't just let anyone sit up there. I was fighting like hell to get up front and put in some attacks, but just as soon found myself at the back again. No one gives an inch, and it's very physical racing - I freaking love it. However it taught me that I can't get results the same way I did in the lower cats just using my legs, in A's I need to be smarter and more aggressive with how I ride. Did I mention we averaged almost 27mph for 80 mins? That was fun too!

I'd also like to thank everyone who stayed to watch our race - having you guys at each corner screaming for me and Tim was awesome, and it pushed me to work in those last 20 minutes when normally I would've just started fading. Brent, Farber, Ryan & Rachael, Ashley, Michelle, and my family were great. I'm gonna need you to show up during the Phila circuit race and push me up the hill, mmkay?

Alright that's all I've got, I'm all typed out. I really wish I was funnier, but I guess you can't be funny and good looking...only Ron Burgundy has achieved that honor.


Race Report- Rutgers/Princeton- women’s intro

After playing 4 years of D1 softball as an undergrad, where practices, games, and life were structured as if we were in the military, I was not to sure of how my first club cycling race would turn out. Would it be to relaxed for my competitive self? Lets just say I was not disappointed. I probable pushed myself harder physically this past weekend than I ever have in softball. And have come to appreciate the saying, “if you didn’t taste blood, you weren’t going hard enough”. It was a great experience to ride with and against other women for a change, and be able to compare myself to the field. On that note, it was awesome in general to be racing in a pack. I was lucky enough to have 2 other strong Drexel women competing in with me and pushing me.

ITT The time trial was quick and fun. I think it was good to do this before the crit and get some nerves out of my system. Like I believe Ryan mentioned, it would have been smart for me to ride through the course before it closed off.

Crit The crit was a lot of fun (besides the mini hill). I was great to see everything that we learned through the clinics come into play. The breakaway and collegiate clinics we went to over the past month were priceless. They were extremely helpful in getting us ready to races. Because of them I could take corners faster and was prepared to be in a tight pack.

In the crit I learned that in our intro category was better to get away from people as soon as possible. Because some of the women in the field were not comfortable through corners, there was a lot of breaking going on, which lead to 2 frustrating laps of breaking through corners and then having to stand and sprint to the next corner. All Drexel women finished top 10, I was great having teammates on the road to motivate and push you.

Circuit Sarah and Ali couldn’t make it to the circuit race, but am fairly sure that if they were there we would have been able to work together and get away from the pack (maybe next time). This was something I was trying to do the whole race, but no one wanted to work with me, they would rather leave me up front to die on my own. The clinics we attended really saved me during this race. I was up front and working too hard, but no one wanted to work with me, so I just slowed down the pack to the speed I wanted for the first lap. If they wanted to pick it up then they had to come up front. At the breakaway clinic we worked on tapping peoples wheels and bikes for a good hours on the grass. At one point I got stuck in the pack and a girl in front of me swerved into my front wheel, 4 times! Because of the practice we did at the clinic I was prepared; I stayed calmed, didn’t break, and avoided what could have been a huge crash since I was in the middle of the pack. The finish line was deceivingly farther away than I thought, so I stared my sprint too early… leading to a 5th place finish.

Moral of the story: Go to the clinics. I was better prepared because of these. I was more comfortable in the pack, better at corners, and avoided a few crashed by knowing what was going on. They also taught me about the tactical side of racing, and it was really cool to see everything we learned at the clinic play out through the races.

Sarah’s quote: the clinics were great because as a D1 athlete I wanted to be out in front and win, all the time, but in bike racing you can’t think like that…. why? Because you do you will blow up going up a hill like our buddy Dave.

Since the moment we finished our race on Saturday, Sarah and I are now officially “addicted”. We had a great time hanging out with the team, cheering on other team members and watching them excel, making friends from other colleges, and competing against other women. The guys on the team were very supportive knowledgeable, and fun to be around. Once we move up to B’s ask me to write another report, I might not be as excited! We are looking forward to some longer races, as the intro ones are pretty short.

As for the funniest thing I heard the entire weekend and probable in my life: (when a McGill guy was off the back of the pack and solo, he crosses the line) announcer: ‘hey McGill welcome to le chateau de pain!”

Looking forward to Saturday. Victoria

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Page last modified on October 24, 2009, at 08:31 PM