By Mark McGraw | The Campus Gypsy
For those of you who missed the LSU trip, here’s a rundown from my point of view (riding in Men’s C with Carlton Mathis, James “Rosie” Rosenbaum, and Chris Standley).
Team Time Trial (Saturday morning) – beautiful, windless, smooth, flat 10 mi. loop near the Mississippi River south of Baton Rouge.
The four of us took 20 second pulls, rode hard and smart and did a good job of talking to each other. We only needed to finish with 2, so we intentionally rode hard enough so that at least one of us would have to drop. Chris Standley valiantly hung with us to about the 8 mile mark, gave a ginormous final hard pull and the remaining three of us finished in a sprint. Rosie and Carlton edged me at the line and Rosie’s wheel counted for our time. As it turned out we needed just about every second to edge out UT and LSU to get 2nd in the Men’s C TTT behind Tulane. We did about as well as we hoped.
By Mark McGraw | The Campus Gypsy
No one in the Men’s “C” group looked back or missed a pedal stroke when we heard the stomach-churning sounds of lycra-encased flesh and a carbon fiber bicycle hitting gravel at speed. It was too early for sentimentality. We were on the first of four eleven-mile laps of a collegiate road race. There were still many tactical moves to be played, much gravel to churn through, and endless pain to be meted out and endured over the next two hours. This was Tunis-Roubaix, the Texas A&M Cycling Team-sponsored event famous for sending unsuspecting riders down tennis ball-sized gravel roads (I believe this year’s course was actually much, much tamer than in years past). What wasn’t tame was the weather: about 52 degrees with a 17 knot north wind gusting to 25 and intermittent rain.
By Chad Haga
The day began slowly, and kind of cold, as the freshly freed students trickled into the middle school parking lot blurry-eyed but eager for the adventure that lay ahead. Under grey skies, we trekked westward into the forbidden land; for on this day, the rocky and hilly trails of Austin beckoned the Aggies.
Upon our arrival, we prepared for battle, checked our weapons, and our 9-strong battalion rode past the children’s playground to lay siege to the trails frequented by our arch nemesi (plural of nemesis?). Like a pack of wolves charging towards prey, we were salivating in anticipation for the first obstacle that would dare impede our progress. But alas, just 2 minutes into the trail Cody needed to stop to rehydrate the starved Earth.
Back on the attack, we pushed onward. There was a fork in the trail, and we took it. The going became difficult, if not treacherous at points. The trail was littered with impassable passages that forced us to dismount our steeds and question our decisions. We relied on the strength of our comrades to get us through the rough times, and as a unit we succeeded. A passersby informed us of our errors, and we quickly rerouted onto the actual trail, passing leering enemies still bitter from the loss in the battle nearby on the Day of Giving Thanks.
By Andrew Carlberg
While most of the team was out racing mountain bikes for the weekend, several Aggies ventured to the Alkek Velodrome for Elite Regionals and National Qualifier. This event would bring some great talent to the Velodrome and gave us a chance to see just how fast on the track we had become. One of my favorite things to do on the track is warm up. I know that seems really strangle but going around in circles for 25 laps slowly getting faster until you just have one lap left and you’re spinning is like crazy oddly awesome. First up in a busy weekend of events (3 sessions in 2 days) was the Team Pursuit. Pretty much its you and 3 other guys going as fast as you can for just 4 kilometers. Team Maroon Flash consisted of Austin Throop, Brian Hare, Carlton Mathis, and freelancer Brenden Sharp quickly set the best time of 5:34 (it helped that they were the 1st of 8 teams).
Race Report by Shane Haga
This past weekend was my first run-in with the Tunis Roubaix. While the road race could have gone much better, I’m still proud of myself for finishing all six laps of the Hell of the South, despite exploding all over the road on lap 3. Never has 22 miles felt so lonely. Oh, and a special thanks goes out to Shimano for their reliable products. Reliable as in: I can count on the rear derailleur cable to shear after a couple thousand miles, leaving me with a horrible gear combo for the last three hills of an already disheartening race.
I WANT SRAM! WANT SRAM TO RIDING THE SRAM PLEASE!
While the only thing I have to write about the Roubaix is that I managed to finish, the crit is a whole different story:
The day began way too early. 6 am. Like I said, way too early after the most brutal race I’ve ever encountered. The night before I’d done what homework I could convince myself to sit down and do, before cleaning my bike and replacing the aforementioned sheared derailleur cable, and slipping into bed at midnight. It was one of those sleeps where it feels like you no sooner laid down than you had to get up again. Fortunately, the trailer was still loaded from Saturday, so packing up and leaving was fairly quick and easy. The 5 minute drive to the course was pretty convenient too. As the sun rose and the racing began, we watched the D’s, C’s, and B’s do their thing. About the time the B’s were reaching the halfway point, Chad, Herc, Cody, and I decided it was time to get a short warmup ride in. Off we went around the familiar campus roads to warm up our legs and talk a little strategy. Today, Chad had come up with the idea to flip our racing strategy 180 degrees. “Too long” he said in his awe-inspiring presidential voice, “we have raced defensively against MSU. Where has that gotten us!? No longer shall we put up with their ‘no work’ strategy! We’re going to attack! And when they sit up, we’ll attack again! This shall be our plan, as I have decreed.” And we all said, “Oh yes, you are so wise. We shall do this.” Okay, so that might be a little bit of embellishment, but you get the idea. We weren’t going to put up with MSU’s crap any longer—we were going to control the race.
The drive was long, but good company made it alright. We left the trailer at home in favor of a 15-passenger van with the back two rows taken out for bikes. We picked up Kyle from t.u. in Ft. Worth and kept on chugging. The only notable points of the drive was the drive down the strip in Vegas, looking for a place with free wi-fi to turn in some homework assignments and being accosted in the McDonald’s parking lot (that’s right, we went to Vegas and stopped at Micky D’s) by a creepy thug who just had ‘one question’, or the drive over the Hoover dam and seeing all the construction that’s going on there.
The rain/snow the resort got a few days ago served only to firm up the course. In fact, the course times now are so much faster than when the course is dusty that they’ve added a lap to all of the races!