Using their home-field advantage, the University of New Mexico gained enough points to take over the third spot in the Southwest collegiate team standings, displacing Northern Arizona University last weekend at the Trifecta Omnium in Las Cruces, N.M.
University of Arizona broke through a stagnant 14-point lead and opened up a 56-point advantage on Arizona State University.
The Lumberjacks, now at a 131-point deficit, have adopted a triage plan to regain a podium spot.
“Our team is small on the road side, and a lot of our riders seem to be taking school very seriously this year,” said NAU Cycling’s president Chris Leffler. “So it’s week by week seeing who we can send to each race.”
The Sun Devils might be down for the moment, but they aren’t out, said Scott Jones, ASU’s team president.
“ASU Cycling had good results in all three events this weekend, but in the end it comes down to a numbers game,” Jones said. “On both the men’s and women’s side we were outnumbered in the As, which was enough to give UA the advantage.”
Individual time trial
Wildcats Joshua Pratt-Ferguson and David Greif topped the Men’s A podium with Constantin Schreiber (ASU) in third on an early and chilly in the outskirts of Las Cruces, N.M.
Shelby Hoglund (UA) took first in the Women’s A with a two-minute gap, followed by Tori Reimersma (ASU) and Cherry Niel (UA).
Sun Devils Joshua Watts and Scott Jones grabbed first and second in Men’s B, with Robert Steinmann (UA) in third. Olivia Boyer (UA) and Anna Moretti (ASU) made up the Women’s B podium. ASU dominated the Men’s C podium with Connor Schmitt, Henry Braun, and Osama Wali.
A brief stroll down the road from the ITT start line brought spectators to the square, flat criterium course.
Once again, Greif (UA), Schreiber (ASU) and Pratt-Ferguson (UA) fought their way to the Men’s A podium.
Niel (UA), Alissa Albrecht (ASU) and Sarah Posner (UA) secured the Women’s A field top spots.
Sun Devil Men’s B riders Jones and Watts were again tailed by UA with Tyler Baker in third. Moretti (ASU) took first in Women’s B with Boyer (UA) in second. Aaron Ortega (ASU), Wali (ASU) and Cody Perry (ASU) continued their team’s Men’s C domination.
Following the crit, Hoglund (UA), Posner (UA) and Albrecht (ASU) made conference history with a three-way tie for the women’s conference leader jersey.
The small town of Hillsboro, N.M. hosted the road race on Sunday, welcoming crosswinds of 20-30 mph.
The course ended with a 9-mile climb, described specifically as “devastating” by several Women’s A riders.
Wildcats Hoglund, Posner and Niel swept the Women’s A podium, finally transferring the leader’s jersey onto Hoglund’s back with a 10-point lead.
Meanwhile, Greif held onto the men’s leader jersey after winning the Men’s A, followed by Schreiber (ASU) and Pratt-Ferguson (UA).
Stienmann (UA), Jones (ASU) and Watts (ASU) landed on the Men’s B podium, with Moretti (ASU) and Boyer (UA) topping the Women’s B. Once again, ASU swept the Men’s C with Ortega, Braun and Schmitt.
Totals, what’s next
Greif (UA) now leads the Men’s A with 648 points over ASU’s Constantin Schreiber with 554 and Pratt Ferguson with 539.
Hoglund (UA) is holding on to the Women’s A jersey by a sliver of 10 points over teammate Sarah Posner, who has 524 points. ASU’s Albrecht isn’t far behind with 504 points.
For the overall team omnium, UA leads ASU 958 to 902 with UNM in third with 582. NAU has slid down to fourth with 451.
Teams will have a chance to rest and train until battling it out again in New Mexico at the Adoption Exchange Classic race weekend in Albuquerque on April 2 and 3.
“At the next collegiate weekend, we’ll be there with greater numbers and newly upgraded riders to fight for the team omnium,” Jones said.
Photo by Tyler Baker: Conference leader David Greif (UA) rounds a corner during the combined Pro/1/2/Collegiate A crit.