ACCC West Virginia Race Weekend
MORGANTOWN, WV — Country roads took us home to the place the ACCC belonged this weekend as West Virginia hosted the second to last race of the conference. For the past few years WVU has worked with the city of Clarksburg to promote an extremely fun downtown crit which allowed collegiate racers to get some valuable points and then test their legs and prove how strong collegiate is against the open USAC fields as well.
Saturday had the women’s A crit going off as the sun was peeking out, and even with some broken ribs from a mid-week mountain bike smash Nina Laughlin went about her usual ways of domination by taking a well deserved win. The field was close on her tail coming into the finish and Ruth Bates (Navy) jumped to the line for second as Nina’s teammate Kelly Perkins took third after loads of work in the earlier part of the race. The men’s A criterium was next to go and while fields were smaller than usual the racing intensity didn’t diminish. Halfway through the race Payne Griffin (American U) took a solid flyer. Duke got on the front and with only a few laps left caught Payne launching Kaleb Naegeli (Duke) for the sprint win. Payne shocked everyone as he quickly recovered and came back for second in the sprint followed closely by Michael Mulvihill (Duke) for an impressive 1-3 from the school in blue.
The flat fun crit saturday was quickly replaced with one of the toughest road races of the season as the 18.8 mile loop featured close to 2000 feet of climbing per lap. The women’s A field quickly shattered from the prolonged uphills and at the end of the day the results of the road race duplicated the crit results almost exactly throughout the entire field with Laughlin (App) taking the win followed by Bates (Navy) and Perkins (App). The men’s A race started surprisingly mellow but near the end of the first lap Duke launched a 1-2 punch with Kaleb first putting in a solid pull then Michael Mulvihill jumping around to get a gap. Payne Griffin (AU), Will Massey (VT) and Andrew Flegge (Navy) bridged up and very quickly the break got organized and stayed away. On the second to last climb Griffin put in two solid accelerations and broke the break down to himself and Navy as they approached the final climb. Payne would show he was the strongest of the day as he accelerated once more to take the win with Flegge (Navy) taking second and Michael Mulvihill (DUKE) taking a well fought 3rd .
The ACCC also saw the return of Cutaway Clothing as conference sponsor, rewarding racers with stunning leaders’ jerseys- Michael Mulvihill (DUKE) and Nina Laughlin (APP) take their respective leaders jerseys after this weekend. We head off to Duke for the final race of the season this weekend and with Duke, Navy, and VT all super close in team points you can rest assured that it is going to be quite the race!
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.