Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Triple Crown Achieved!

The Appalachian State Cycling Team recently rapped up another successful year with the completion of the road season this past weekend at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at Wake Forest. The Mountaineers claimed their 3rd straight ACC Road Championship and with the win, the Apps pulled off the triple crown for the first time in school history by winning all three categories for the year; Mountain, Cyclocross, and Road.

Appalachian has made a name for itself in the ACC by becoming a force to reckon with during the road racing season. The 2008 Road Championship now gives Appalachian five road titles in the history of the program with other wins coming in 2001, 2002, 2006, and 2007. The Mountaineers will lose a few strong riders to graduation, but the 2008-2009 roster promises to be just as strong. The return of riders who specialize in different seasons such as Dan Sapp (Mountain), Noah Niwinski (Cyclocross), Alex Hannah and Jacob Florence (Road) points to a bright future for the ASU Cycling Team.

This past year was one of the most difficult in terms of competition due to the recent addition of Pfeiffer University to the conference. Pfeiffer is one of two teams in the conference with varsity status, along with Navy, enabling them to give full scholarships to their riders. Appalachian has benefited from having talented riders with a pure love for the sport. These riders have made it clear that they are not willing to sacrifice education for free rides. Club sports at Appalachian takes dedication and hard work and the ASU Cycling Team puts in hours upon hours of training in order to compete at the highest level week-in, week-out.

Conference Championship Review:
The ACC Championship weekend witnessed an onslaught of domination imposed by the men and women from Boone. The weekend kicked off with the road race in Lewisville, NC where Appalachian racked up top five and top ten finishes. As usual, Chris Jones took home 1st place in Men's D after rocketing to the sprint finish. Jones credited teammate Emerson Howe with the superb leadout to the finish and for protecting him throughout the race. Martin Wadewitz took 7th in Men's C, while Zach Greene claimed his second win on the season with a 1st place finish in Men's B. David Forkner rode a strong race in Men's A after being aggressive early on in the day. It would pay off for the senior from Franklin, NC as Forkner rode to a 2nd place finish. In the Women's B race, Amanda Gilbert brought home a great 4th place finish.

The 40k Team Time Trial put a finish to Saturday's races and Appalachian didn't dissapoint the spectators. The Mountaineers took home several awards from the team time trials including 1st in Men's D, 2nd in Men's B, 3rd in Men's A, and 2nd in Women's A. 

Sunday's downtown Winston-Salem criterium would put a finish to the championship season. Chris Jones took home his third 1st place finish in Men's D from the weekend while Michael Wilson placed 5th in Men's A. Lauren Trull capped off her senior year with a win in Women's A after launching to 1st in the finishing sprint. Perhaps the story of the afternoon was  in the Men's B criterium where teamwork was evident throughout the race. Jacob Florence went in a six man break mid-race and from there it was Appalachian doing the work in the main field to keep everyone at bay while Florence went on to claim 6th, as well as an individual conference title. Dan Wendover, who finished 8th, would lead out fellow teammate Zach Greene to a 7th place finish in one of the most spectacular sprints witnessed by spectators.

Individual conference titles were claimed by Chris Jones in Men's D, Jacob Florence in Men's B and Michael Wilson in Men's A. David Forkner also stood on the final podium by taking home 2nd overall in Men's A. The 2008 team championship and individual conference titles put a capstone on the most successful season in the history of ASU Cycling. With a host of returning riders for the 2008-2009 campaign, expect Appalachian to once again battle it out for numerous conference championships.

-App State Cycling

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hello Conference Championships!

Indeed that is the phrase going around as the Appalachian State Cycling Team prepares to fend off the rest of the ACCC in their quest to capture their 3rd straight Atlantic Coast Cycling Conference Road Championship (5th Road Championship overall). The ACCC Conference Championships will take place this weekend at Wake Forest in beautiful Winston-Salem, NC. With less than a two hour drive to the races this weekend, expect the Appalachian Mountaineers to bring a full squad of talent as they prepare for the biggest test of them all.

Before moving into too much detail about the Championship weekend, let's go ahead and review the domination that ensued at West Virginia University this past weekend. We'll start with the men's and women's individual time trial that took place last Saturday. Apparently someone made Michael Wilson a bit upset as he decided to destroy everyone in the men's A field by launching to a 2nd place finish in the solo effort. One could also argue that Jacob Florence had a quarrel to settle as he let everyone know that this was his day by rocketing to a 1st place finish in the men's B time trial. I guess the same power juice trickled down to the men's C and D fields as Emerson Howe also picked up a win, and Chris Jones brought home a 3rd place finish in men's D. Amanda Gilbert also picked up crucial women's points by finishing a respectable 7th on the day.

The road race took place Sunday as the rain once again decided to make an appearance in a brutal race of strength and talent. Michael Wilson would again carry the Appalachian banner and his good form over into the road race by finishing 6th in men's A. Florence and Daniel Wendover would take 4th and 6th respectively in men's B. Chris Jones picked up a podium finish with 2nd in men's D while Amanda Gilbert took home 7th on the afternoon. All in all, it was another good weekend for the Mountaineers as they once again placed some separation on themselves from other conference contenders such as Pfeiffer University and John Hopkins.

And so we look forward to this weekend as Appalachian looks to put a cap on another great season, and rest assure that the Apps will only view this season as a success if they can once again rise to the top of the ACCC! With strong riders such as Michael Wilson, David Forkner, Jason Waddell, Jacob Florence, Daniel Wendover, Zach Greene, Chris Jones, Lauren Trull, Amanda Gilbert, and a host of others expected to make an appearance this weekend, you can bet that at least a few of these men and women will expect to be standing on the podium later this weekend. The weekend will also mark the "end of an era" for many of the team's veteran riders as Appalachian will wave goodbye to these members due to graduation. Our departing senior and graduate riders include: Michael Wilson, David Forkner, Michael Trivette, Zach Greene, Jeremy Edwards, Chris Jones, Alex Fowler, and Lauren Trull. Another senior, Alex Hannah, will return next season as he transitions from undergraduate student to graduate student. The team wishes to extend a big thanks to David Forkner for his continued leadership and dedication over the past few years. David has been a huge part of this team's success and honestly, we don't know what Appalachian State Cycling would be without him. One thing is for sure, however, and that involves David continuing to be a big part of this team even after graduation and marriage, yes marriage! David will marry his longtime sweetheart, Bonnie, in less than a month! We wish them the best in years of happiness together and we hope they continue to support the team as they have over the past five years. Thanks again David, and good luck in your final weekend of conference action before nationals!

This weekend will mark the final conference weekend before Cycling Nationals! App State Cycling is alive and well, and we hope to see you this weekend in Winston-Salem! It should be a great weekend of racing. A full report on this weekend's races will come next week.

-App State Cycling

Sunday, April 6, 2008

1st in the ACCC!

To update you on last weekend's impressive results in Charlottesville, VA, the Appalachian State Cycling Team officially moved into 1st place in the ACCC! Pfeiffer University dropped into second place while John Hopkins continues to hold on to the third place. These next few weeks will be crucial as the Mountaineers set out to capture an unprecedented 3rd straight ACCC Road Championship as well as the triple crown with Mountain, Cyclocross, and Road Championships all in the same season!

This past weekend witnessed another impressive Appalachian showing in Blacksburg, VA, as Yosef's finest captured numerous top 10 finishes as well as a sweep of 1st place finishes in the men's D races with Chris Jones continuing to unleash the fury as he took home the win in both the road race and the uphill time trial. Michael Wilson led the men's A team with a 6th place finish in the road race and a 4th place finish in the time trial. The women also placed well this weekend with Amanda Gilbert and Allison Forkner continuing to pick up those vital points in the women's races.

Appalachian will look to distance itself yet again from the rest of the ACCC as they travel to West Virginia this upcoming weekend. Look for updates from those races and more this upcoming weekend as Appalachian prepares to defend its conference title at Wake Forest in just under two weeks! The finish line is almost there on the 2008 campaign and we'll keep you posted on every step of the way as the Mountaineers look to solidify their hold of 1st place in the ACCC!

-AppState Cycling

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Road Season Update

The men and women from Boone have been showing impressive results throughout the ACCC so far this season and we wanted to update you on their results. The Mountaineers recently competed in Philadelphia, Boone, and Harrisonburg, VA, and Charlottesville, VA. Only three weekends remain in the 2008 season with races remaining at Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and Wake Forest. It's now or never for the Appalachian State Cycling Team and you can certainly bet that the Apps will leave it all on the table in hopes of walking away with another conference title.

Philadelphia was a display of brutal weather with constant rain and heavy winds but the Apps managed to pull out some much needed points in their quest to capture their third straight ACCC Road Championship. The home weekend over Easter Break in Boone witnessed an impressive display of heroics by the riders in black and gold as top five finishes were common. Zach Greene came out of the woodwork to record his first win of the 2008 campaign by launching to a 1st place finish in a sprint for the line in a road race that included only a select group of riders at the finish. The women with Amanda Gilbert, Allison Forkner, and Ariel Leath also recorded top finishes in the women's B road race on a beautiful afternoon in Boone. Other top performances include that of Chris Jones and Josh Marcus who both recorded top five finishes in their respective road races. Special attention also goes to Lauren Trull who recorder two first place finishes in the women's A road race and criterium. David Forkner unleashed the fury in Sunday's criterium as well as he soloed to a 2nd place finish after constantly being in break-aways all afternoon. If there was an aggressive rider award for Boone's criteriums, David would take home that honor without any doubt.

The Mountaineers have fought back tooth and nail with in-state rival Pfeiffer University as well as conference power John Hopkins. Harrisonburg and Charlottesville provided a few opportunities for Appalachian to make up some ground on first place as they currently sit at 2nd in the conference standings. It is very crowded at the top of the conference standings but the Mountaineers are resilient in their efforts to capture that elusive third conference title. Updated ACCC standings will be coming shortly so stay posted!

-App State Cycling