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ACCC | March 17, 2017

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ACCC US Naval Academy Race Weekend

ACCC US Naval Academy Race Weekend
Will Massey

QUANTICO, VA — For the first time this season the ACCCers were able to show some skin as temperatures rose just high enough to take off the leg warmers for the US Naval Academy Race weekend. Saturday’s crit was greeted with warm sunshine and strong winds as the women’s A took off. Despite fierce attacks by each rider and some time off the front by a couple riders, it came down to a straight up sprint for the line. As the riders crested the hill and started heading in to the final corner, about 300 meters from the line, Nina Laughlin (ASU) took a strong pull and came out of the corner first. The sprint opened up immediately and Nina showed off her skills by holding on for first with a hard charging Ruth Bates (Navy) and Adelaide Tillinghast (American) for second and third respectively.

The Men’s A started off hard and didn’t let up until about 7 to go. After a long series of attacks by Duke, each of which was reeled back in, Michael Mulvihill (Duke) put in a solid dig and broke free. The gap hovered around 20 seconds until the chase became disorganized and the gap grew to an amount that would never come back. NCSU took advantage of the lull towards the end of the race and put a rider up the road with VT and another Duke. While they never caught the eventual winner Mulvihill, the break stayed clear of the field and when the dust settled after their sprint, Stephen Smith (NCSU) took second with Michael Reidenbach (VT) third and conference leader Matt Rinehart rounding out the group taking 4th.

The TT sunday morning featured mostly false flat uphill with a couple rollers. Kevin Gottlieb (UVA) showed the boys how it was done taking the W with Payne Griffin (American) putting in an outstanding ride for second, despite his poor choice of time trial apparel. The ladies would have a similar showing as the crit with Nina Laughlin (ASU) taking the win over the incredibly competitive A field.

Sunday didn’t give much time for recovery between events as the Men’s A took off at 10 am for the RR. Duke once again showed their strength in the first couple of laps and after an incredibly strong attack on the finishing hill by Kevin Gottlieb, the field quickly splintered down to around 25 riders. After much shuffling, the deck finally played a good hand and with most teams content, 2 duke, 2 NC state, UVA and VT slipped away from the field quickly putting in minutes. The break quickly got organized and was rolling well, but due to a miscommunication, the race was finished at one lap to go. Michael Mulvihill (Duke) came across the line first followed by Kevin Gottlieb (UVA) and Michael Reidenbach (VT)- had the race gone on, it could have been anyone’s race, including Stephen Smith (NCSU), Matt Bruner (NCSU) and Matt Rinehart (Duke), who were also in the break.

The Women’s A race set a blistering pace over the course and with two laps to go Nina Laughlin (ASU) and Adelaide Tillinghast (American) broke free. Both riders spent time sharing the workload and maintained their gap over a shattered field despite fierce headwinds and steep kickers. As the two came upon the 1 k to go sign both were charging hard as the road turned upwards. Laughlin came out on top after a hard uphill and held the last 100 meters of flat sprint for the win over Tillinghast with Kelly Perkins (ASU) coming quickly behind rounding out the podium for the As.

Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference
The Atlantic Collegiate Cycling Conference (ACCC) is a collection of cycling clubs representing colleges and universities from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. We are one of eleven conferences that make up the collegiate program of USA Cycling, the national governing body of cycling in the United States. Our athletes compete in road, mountain, and cyclocross racing throughout the academic year at the conference level with hopes of qualifying for the USA Cycling Collegiate National Championships. For more information, please check out the ACCC website.