The Lees-McRae cycling team, currently ranked number 3 in the country for Division I, kicked off their 2013 road cycling season at Georgia Southern University.
Racing against Division I rivals, University of Florida, Florida State, Cumberland University, University of Georgia, University of Alabama, University of South Florida and Division II powerhouse Mars Hill, the team had a good start to the season. Spencer Oswald won the Men’s A ITT and the Crit. Unfortunately, Spencer broke his handlebar in the Road Race and had to drop. The Men’s B TTT finished in second and the Women’s A squad finished third while racing a team with 2 A and 2 B women. Sarah Hill, in her first collegiate road race, finished second in the Women’s B Road Race and won the Crit. The entire team road very well with multiple top 10 finishes in all the A, B and C races.
The team also sent a group to Greenville, S.C. to compete in the USAC Hincapie Spring Race. The men raced five riders in the pro 1/2 race. It was a challenging race with the Hincapie Professional Cycling Team dominating the men’s race. The men worked hard and tried to cover the breaks over the 74 miles. Zac Felpel finished second in the field sprint out of the peloton. The women were the strong team in the women’s Pro 1/2/3 race. The entire 45 mile race the women attacked and controlled the pace of the race. No riders were able to break away so the entire peloton was together for the field sprint where Cinthia Lehner finished second, Emily Shields fourth and Katherine Shields seventh. It was a good race for the team to stretch their legs and race against some of the top professional riders in the southeast.
Thanks go out to the great sponsors who support the team and made the weekend a success: DeFeet, Smith Optics, Greg LeMond, Banner Elk Café, Highland Mapping, Hampton Trails Bike Shop and Abby Design.
Next week, the team travels to Florida State University as they continue their drive for the USAC Collegiate Road Nationals in Ogden Utah, May 3-5, 2013.