University of Arizona hosted the first races of the collegiate road season in Tucson, but the Wildcats’ home turf didn’t give them a huge advantage.
Arizona State University stole the show Saturday at the BioPark Blast Crit by manufacturing wins in three of four collegiate fields (three of five category wins) against University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, University of New Mexico and University of California-San Diego, who was visiting from the Western Collegiate Cycling Conference.
UA hit back on Sunday at the Oracle Road Race with three of five category wins.
BioPark Blast Crit
The Women’s A and B combined field separated after a crash within the first few laps, which caused Sun Devil Cat A rider Alissa Albrecht to go down and took Cat B rider Brooke Lyman (ASU) out of the race with injuries. Albrecht was able to get back into the race. Meggie Townsend, a Cat B rider, took the overall field win for the Sun Devils. Erica Clevenger (UA) secured a win for the Women’s A.
ASU also dominated both Men’s C and B categories with wins from Joshua Watts and Daniel Frost respectively. Frost came in second to Levi Kramer (FASTER), who was racing as a junior. Despite efforts from both UA and ASU to recruit the 17-year-old Kramer, Kramer’s father, James Kramer, told Clipped In that Levi plans to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The Men’s A field was small, and as the wind picked up, the seven-person field separated and David Carlson (UA) claimed first place.
Oracle Road Race
The following day, the Wildcats got a little bit of payback. The Oracle Road Race, set on a 20-mile loop, is notorious for being the hardest single-day road race in the state due to its intense climbs, and it gave UA’s climbers something to work with.
A Men’s C two-man break sustained throughout the race and Bryan Little (UA) came away with the win. ASU continued their winning streak in Men’s B and Women’s B with wins from Daniel Frost and Meggie Townsend.
Both Men’s A and Women’s A raced with the Pro/1/2/3 fields. The Women’s A race failed to produce successful breaks until the last lap, when two collegiate riders and a few pros broke away from the main field, with Erica Clevenger (UA) once again taking the collegiate win.
The Men’s A race had several breaks, including a four-minute advantage at the top of the second lap with UA’s Joey Iuliano and ASU’s Constantin Schreiber. But their efforts were squashed by pros Joshua Berry (Jelly Belly Pro Cycling) and Chad Beyer (Lupus Racing Team).
Men’s A ended with multiple sprints between groups of riders and a podium sweep for UA with David Greif on top.
Based on collegiate points scoring, UA currently leads ASU 193 to 179. The women’s omnium leaders are Clevenger (169), Shelby Hoglund (141) and Albrecht (106). For the men, it’s Carlson (149), Schreiber (145) and Greif (132).
Story by Cherry Niel
Photo by Sam Gross