Wednesday, January 18, 2012


If you haven't heard yet, the collegiate race schedule is out!  Hopefully this will help you plan out your training and provide some motivation. Anyway here it is:

February 25/26 Lindsey Wilson 
March 3/4 Mizzou 
March 17/18 Lindenwood (also part of NCCCC season) 
March 24/25 Ohio State 
March 31/April 1 Michigan/Michigan State 
April 7 Marian (with Easter April 8) 
April 14/15 Purdue 
April 21/22 Notre Dame (Regionals) 
May 4-6 National Championships in Ogden, UT

Here's what I think about the races (based on the courses they've used in the past):

Lindsey Wilson RR: This is the Saturday at the beginning of spring break so it will be a great stop on the way to Georgia.  The course is an awesome 25 mile loop with some sizable hills and the biggest one is about a kilometer long and goes right up to the finish line.  It's a great race if you're into climbs.

Lindsey Wilson Crit: This has a nice little kicker type of hill, but it's still a parking lot crit.

Mizzou: I've never done this, but the road race from last year looked like it was great.  The only problem is it would be a ridiculous amount of driving to go from Georgia to Mizzou and then Ann Arbor, but maybe some of us are crazy enough to do it.

Lindenwood RR: This one also has some intense hills on a big loop (about 20 miles last year).  I think this is my second favorite road race behind Lindsey Wilson.  Also Mack won the cat B conference championship here last year.  This year the North Central Conference will also be invited to the Lindenwood weekend so the fields should be extra big and we'll have the chance to race against some different teams.

Lindenwood Crit:  This crit is really classy. It has 3 corners and the last one is an almost 180 degree turn that puts you onto a brick road to the finish.  It's lined with a bunch of bars and coffee shops, so there are lots of great places to watch everyone else's race.  They might have also had an announcer last year.

Chris wins from the break at OSU
Ohio State RR: This course had one longish hill near the beginning and the finish consists of a long downhill into a 90 degree corner that leaves you like 600 meters from the line.  Other than that it's pretty flat and boring, but there are some rolling hills and it can get really windy.  Last year Chris won the B race here after getting in a breakaway that lasted all day - it was really impressive.

Michigan State RR: Last year this was just a big flat rectangle and Gracely demolished the C field in bunch sprint.  In the past they've had some dirt roads in the race and the word on the street is that they're going back to that which would definitely make this one of the coolest road races out there.

HOME CRIT: You can ride your bike to the race and the whole team will be there. What's not to love about that?

Marian Circuit: They've changed this course around a little bit in the past, but it usually involves a short steep hill and maybe some fun windy sections.  Plus since Marian is centrally located there's usually a lot of teams at this race.

Purdue RR: This course has a really steep hill right before the line which leads to some exciting finishes.  If you want to imagine yourself as Philippe Gilbert then this is the race you want to be in.  Plus the laps are really short so each field does a lot of them and it's great to just sit by the hill and people fall apart by the 5th time up the hill. Definitely the best road race for spectating. 

Purdue Crit:  This is the most painful crit ever.  You basically ride up a steep hill, fly back down and repeat i.e. it's a hill workout disguised as a race.  This will be the most fun crit to watch all season so I guess this means the Purdue weekend will be the best one to hang out at.  Plus if you want to take some cool photos this crit gives you the chance to get some shots of the field racing by the boilermaker statue outside Rose-Ade stadium.

Notre Dame RR: This road race is pretty flat and it has one section on a little windy road that's lots of fun.  The last mile before the finish is perfectly straight and flat which will make for some crazy fast sprints.

Notre Dame Crit: This is your standard downtown 4 corner crit.  The downtown part isn't as cool as you might imagine because there isn't much in South Bend, but at least there's a coffee shop to watch from.  The races here will probably also have some really fast sprints and it's also the last race of the season so every one will be trying really hard to win here.  That also means winning here will probably be the most fun.  In fact the winner of the A race here last year was Eric Young and now he's the national crit champ so...

John winning the MSU Road Race

Nationals: I don't know much about the riding in Utah, but it's probably real hilly and at altitude. Ask Collin for more info.  I want to go and hopefully I won't be the only one.

There are also usually about 2 individual time trials and 4 team time trials mixed in.  Last year there were ITTs at Mizzou and MSU and TTTs at Lindsey Wilson, Purdue, Notre Dame, MIzzou and LIndenwood, but they might be at different places this year (although there's always a TTT at regionals which is Notre Dame).

Get Excited
-- Adam

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