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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

IU cycling team begins season with track nationals, upcoming fall series events

The Fall Cycling Series allows Little 500 hopefuls to hone their cycling skills before teams formed for race day.

“Fall cycling shows who’s been training hard during the summer,” IU Cycling Team coach Geraint Parry said. “A lot of people who do well in Little Five don’t start riding until this time of year, so they’re not very fast at the moment ... It’s almost a better judge of who’s a better cyclist rather than who’s a better Little 500 rider.”

The series has three events on Oct. 22 and Oct. 24.

The Street Sprints, which take place on Oct. 22, are simply fast 200-meter races to determine the fastest riders.

The Climb Trial, which is on Oct. 24 at Bill Armstrong Stadium, is simply a two-lap trial run. On the same day is the Cyclocross. It is a two-person relay race with stairs, bales of hay and other obstacles.

“I think the fall series are there to continue the excitement year-round,” senior and Little 500 rider Eric Young said. “If you’re into Little Five and you know about the teams, it’s really fun.”

Young is also a member of the IU Cycling Team, which won fifth place at the National Cycling Championship in Indianapolis on Sept. 25.

After three days of competition, the IU team had a slight lead over Colorado State
University for fifth place at the Championship. Fifth place would earn a medal; sixth place would not.

But as Young won the final sprint, he ensured the Hoosiers the coveted fifth place medals. For the first time since 2004, IU had sent a team to compete in the National Championship and it paid off. Not only did Young help the team take home some hardware, but he also won the men’s points race, beating out some of the best cyclists in the country.

“Apart from (Young), the riders did enough of a good job to put us in contention for fifth overall,” Parry said. “We were able to compete in enough events to score points, but with more riders and more experience, we could have done better in those events and
scored points in more events.”

Although Young was the only rider with “substantial” track racing experience, the team of eight — four women and four men — exceeded expectations.

Graduate student Kristen Metherd (who finished 19th overall in the women’s individual event) said she enjoyed blending multiple teams of Little 500 racers.

“It was fun to put Little Five differences aside,” Metherd said.

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