Warren Wilson Owls
    2017-18 Cycling
    News Photo
    Cycling - Tue, Mar. 7, 2017

    Clemson, S.C. - The Cycling Owls kicked off their road season campaign in earnest this weekend at the Upstate Cycling Classic in Clemson. With junior Sam Morkal-Williams still competing at the Vuelta de la Independencia in the Dominican Republic, the team missed its top road racer, but still brought a promising squad of six riders to compete in the road race and criterium events.

    First up on Saturday was the road race. The rolling 13-mile lap made for some challenging and aggressive racing. Lining up in their first ever road race were Miron Golfman, in the Men's C race, and Leah Silverman, Sophie Allen, Donovan Green, and Mackenzie George. Golfman was active in the first half of the race, and felt good going into the second lap. He faded towards the end, but felt positive about the experience and learned a lot about racing in the group that he was able to apply to the crit on Sunday.

    The Women's B race featured a number of early attacks that split the up the field. Leah Silverman led the charge for the team, and time trialed her way to a top 10 finish. She was followed by Sophie Allen, who was able to work with a number of riders over the course of the day and came through the line in 14th. Mackenzie George put in an impressive ride, finishing the race despite it being her longest ride of the year!

    In the Men's A road race, Paul Wright was a major animator throughout, pushing the pace on the climbs along with Charlie Hough of Furman in an effort to whittle down the group. Though his efforts were partially successful, he just missed the split on the final lap and had to settle for riding home with the main group, finishing in a solid 26th.

    Sunday featured a criterium race in Anderson, SC. First up was Golfman, who put some of the lessons learned in Saturday's road race to immediate use. Though he admitted afterwards that he still probably put in too much work early on, he was able to recover and put in a great sprint to finish 5th, on the podium!

    In the Women's B race, all four Wilson riders were able to stay with the group for much longer than they had on Saturday, a big success. The last to drop off was Allen, who put in a great ride. She was able to regroup quickly, and eventually fell in with a group of three riders racing for 10th. She put her above average cornering skills to use, put herself in good position, and won the three-up sprint to snag her first top 10. Leah rolled through for 13th, with Donovan Green in 16th and George in 17th.

    For Wright, it was a similar story to Saturday. The Men's A race was a barn burner from the gun, and Wright rode aggressively in the first half of the race to try and form a break. His efforts, and those of others, were unsuccessful though, and in the end he rolled across the line safely in the main group.

    It was a great first weekend for the team. With so many new riders, the weekend was all about learning the ropes of road racing. With many lessons learned, the Owls are excited to get to work these next few weeks, and to get back to racing with the team's home race March 19th.