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ACCC | April 22, 2017

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ACCC Virginia Tech Recap – March 19-20

ACCC Virginia Tech Recap – March 19-20
Patrick Franz

BLACKSBURG, VA – This week the ACCC headed to southwest Virginia for the Virginia Tech Cycling Classic. With snow in the forecast, earlier in the week, there was a concern among riders on if the races would go on as scheduled. Saturday arrived and racers headed to the isolated, Maggie Valley. Rain fell on the chilly morning as riders hit the course. Saturday’s Maggie Valley Road Race, presented by Virginia Tech Cycling, winds through the roads of Giles County, VA; a fast, rolling 16 mile lap featuring a 550 vertical feet climb of Granny’s Brand and Dick’s Creek Road over 3.6 miles. The lap started at Black Diamond Ranch with a fast sprint finish just past the lap start.

Women’s A riders hit the course at 11:20am. They would race three laps of the difficult course, totaling in 47.7 miles. Each lap the riders hit the dreaded climb dropping a few racers each time up. On the second lap a Wake Forest rider and a Virginia Tech rider slipped away from the, what was now, select group. As the two racers came around on the final lap and final accent up the climb, Virginia Tech rider, Kate Buss, attacked to go solo. Buss was able to stay away on the rest of the final lap to secure the win.

The Men’s A and P/1/2/3 fields combined and rolled off at 2:10pm. Their race was slated to be four laps, for a total of 63.2 miles. The field would roll fast and smooth as they approached their first bout with the large steep hill on Granny’s Brand and Dick’s Creek Road. Many riders would be placed on their limits as the field powered up the climb. Racers were shelled out the back of the pack, seemly one at a time, as the race went on. As a select group was being established, three riders, an open rider, Virginia Tech rider and an App State rider, would head up the road. They were able to work together to gap the field and get out of sight. On the third lap, a touch of wheels from two open riders, would cause a crash, involving seven riders. The field, now very small, did not have the power to bring back the break. On the last lap, App State rider, Miles Hubbard, would attack his breakaway companions, with a speed that was not able to be matched. Hubbard would power on and stay away for the solo victory.

Sunday was quickly upon the riders as they arrived for the Virginia Tech Cycling Classic Criterium, right next to the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va. Riders were nervous, as the weather forecasts earlier in the week called for snow. Luckily, Mother Nature was kind to us and gifted the collegiate riders with manageably cold weather. The course was designed as a fast, one kilometer route, with fast, sweeping turns and an uphill sprint finish. Races went on all throughout the morning as we approached the Men’s A race.

The Men’s A field took the start line at 10:55am for a grueling one hour race. The race began with a flurry of attacks that would not get away but, would push the pace of the peloton. Just when it seemed like nothing would go, two riders from App State and one rider from Virginia Tech surged to form a gap on the field. With two of the biggest teams in attendance represented in the break, no real organization formed to pull back the group of three. Virginia Tech rider, Nathaniel Hall, noticed he was out numbered in the break so, decided to attack the two App State riders. Hall produced a surge that the two App riders could not match. Hall would continue on until he caught the back of the peloton, to lap the field. Virginia Tech rider and overall point’s leader, Blane Maddox, would come in for the win in the field sprint securing fourth. Hall would roll in with the field for the victory as the two other breakaway riders, from App State, would roll in shortly after for second and third.

After the Men’s B race, the Women’s A field staged at the start, closing out the weekend as the final race of the day. They would hit the course at 1:10pm for a 45 minute race. After a handful of unsuccessful attacks from Saturday’s winner, Virginia Tech rider, Kate Buss, Buss was finally able to create a gap on the field for a solo breakaway. After a couple of laps alone, Buss was joined by fellow Virginia Tech rider and overall point’s leader, Kathleen O’Neil. The two VT riders would work together to lap the field. At the end the two riders practiced their lead out, delivering O’Neil to the line for the win and Buss grasping second.

Next weekend the ACCC will enjoy a well-deserved break from racing. The following weekend the conference will head to West Virginia University, for what is always a hilly and difficult weekend of racing.

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.


  1. Marcus Wright

    In the 1/2/3 race, the “open” rider was Benjamin Wright from Dire Wolf Racing. He wasn’t an open rider as he wasn’t racing collegiate but the pro race. The App state rider sat on the entire break doing zero work and attacked on the final descent. It was a very brave move considering the lack of work in the breakaway and the fact that the junior, 16 year old, racer from DWR was on junior gearing (52×14).