Club cycling concludes season by clinching Ivy League Cup
By Olivia Durr
Published on Friday, April 30, 2010
The Dartmouth club cycling team finished its season last weekend with two races at home. The team clinched the Ivy League Cup by scoring the most points of any Ivy League team during the season, and placed third overall in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference.
Cycling conferences contain many different sub-divisions, as riders are divided into groups ranging from A to D, with A consisting of the best riders.
Riders move up a group after reaching a certain number of points. All new riders start at the bottom of the totem pole, in a clinic category. In this group, young riders undergo technique development and learn how to race before starting competition.
At the Eastern Conference race, there was no D group and the A and B groups combined for the women.
Team president Elle Anderson ’11 noted that there were eight to 12 women in the A and B category — not many, but more than previous years.
As the cyclists sped down Dartmouth’s Webster Ave. on Saturday afternoon for the Frat Row Criterium, the Big Green had the advantage of being on home turf.
“Lots of people came out of the woodwork,” Anderson said.
Eric Schildge ’10 and Ari Filiberti ’11 won the men and women’s A groups, respectively.
Anderson noted that Schildge is a professional cyclist. He does not often race for Dartmouth in these types of events, but Schildge came out to compete for the Big Green in the Eastern Race.
Most of the racers for the cycling team don’t consider the team their main focus, she added. “It’s nice to have riders who have experience and accomplishments,” Anderson said.
Filiberti, who has been racing for Dartmouth since she was a freshman, thought her race went well on the challenging trek course despite tough competition from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Filiberti noted that the woman who finished in second place is not the top rider for the MIT team, but two of her teammates used blocking techniques to force her into the top position, before Filiberti passed her and won the race.
Blocking involves letting a teammate attack while other team members hit their brakes causing the riders behind them to slow down. This gives the new leader time to separate them self from the pack. Dartmouth did not use any of these tactics, thus Filiberti had to catch up to the MIT rider in the last 200 meters.
On Sunday morning, the competition continued with the Academy Hill Road Race. Dartmouth didn’t have any first place wins in the A groups.
In the women’s A group, Claire McKenna ’10 finished in fourth place.
In the men’s C group, Patrick O’Brien ’10 and Ben Hemani ’10 placed third and fourth, respectively, and Will Boylston DMS’11 came in seventh.
As a member of the ski team, O’Brien primarily rides for cross training. Still, this past weekend, he chose to compete in order to help the team gain points.
Dartmouth swept the podium in the Men’s D group. Omar Melikechi ’13, Jeremy Huckins GR ’13 and Russell Primeau ’13 placed first, second and third, respectively.
“Dartmouth has done really well in home races, helped in part by a large turnout of individuals who don’t do all the races during the season,” he said.
Dartmouth was one of the smallest schools and one of few club teams competing at the Eastern Race.
According to Anderson, Dartmouth held its own against the other Division I and Division II schools that have more team members and more resources. The 43 Big Green cyclists didn’t expect to perform as well as they did, but were very excited with how the races went, she added.
The team is sending six riders — Patrick Barter GR, Trevor Eide DMS ’09, Matt Nichols ’13, Anderson, Filiberti and McKenna — to the Collegiate Nationals in Madison, Wis., from May 7-9.