The Killington Mountain School Cycling team is back in action! They headed to Gainesville, Florida for two weeks of early season road training where all of the KMS riders logged over 700 sunny miles over rolling roads through endless rural horse farms. On the way home, the team took the opportunity to get their race feet wet at the Clemson Collegiate Cycling Weekend (a.k.a. The Upstate Cycling Classic).
Coach Brad Ramsay checked in with a recap of the trip, "Vastly different from the gently rolling terrain in Florida, the Clemson Road Race threw some solid climbs at us. However, the KMS squad adapted quickly, with Maddy Smith and Aliza Tobias finishing fifth and seventh, respectively in the Women's B field. In the Men's B Collegiate race, Johannes Stromski and Leo Kirkpatrick-Baird teamed up to haul back a dangerous break, setting up Josh Chu to finish in the top five, which was a nice display of teamwork!
With 700 camp miles in his legs, and a morning road race, Leo decided he needed more! He entered the Men's Collegiate B Individual Time Trial, and hammered to an impressive second place finish!
Moving on to Sunday, Clemson hosted the criterium on an l-shaped course with two (tight) 180-degree u-turns at the far ends, and four turns near the middle of the "L". It was a technical course with long straights to keep the pace high.
Aliza and Maddy again had awesome results! Aliza sprinted to a fifth place finish, with Maddy close behind in seventh. Both rode extremely well, holding positions near the front of the field and conserving energy where they could.
In the Men's B race, Johannes, Josh, and Leo again put on a team work clinic. Johannes bridged to a promising early break that was eventually pulled back. As it was pulled back, a group of four (including Josh) counter-attacked in what turned out to be the race-winning move. With Josh in the break, Johannes and Leo did an awesome job of keeping the rest of the field together, staying near the front and bringing back attempts to bridge. Among those in the break, Josh sprinted to a nice third place race finish. As the field came around the last corner for the group finish, it was easy to see the green KMS jersey of Johannes as he moved into position, came around the field leaders, and threw his bike to win the field sprint and take the fifth and final spot on the podium.
It was an awesome two weeks of training, and a great start to the race season! Next up, the squad heads to Philadelphia 3/18 for the ECCC opener, the "Philly Phlyer" race weekend!"