Miller School of Albemarle

Incredible showing for the MSA Endurance Team at Jefferson Cup

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Running for 24 consecutive years, the Jefferson Cup Road Race in Charlottesville, Virginia is regarded as one of the most prestigious races in the southeast. With such a high-status event taking place so close the Miller School of Albemarle, Endurance Team members have been training through the winter with the goal arriving in top condition and even utilized afternoon practice time to preview the course several days before the race.

Lining up in the Junior 15-18 category, Taylor Clarke was the first rider of the day to tackle the course sporting MSA’s teal and green, and was joined by Summer Team rider Parker Brookfield. An aggressive start did not seem to faze them and they quickly settled into a comfortable position near the front of the field. Parker was constantly on the offensive and attacked often while Taylor maintained composure and didn’t waste a bit of energy as he stayed safely tucked into the slipstream of the riders in front of him, waiting patiently for a sprint finish. Approaching the line, both Parker and Taylor found themselves slightly farther back than they would have liked, but were still able to unleash impressive sprints to cross the line in 3rd and  6th place, respectively, giving MSA its first podium appearance of the day!

Rolling out just minutes after the juniors, MSA’s Ashlyn Woods was hoping for another great result in the Women Cat 4 race. As the race unfolded, multiple attacks steadily reduced the group until the last time up the main climb when the lead pack was whittled down to just 10 riders. Ashlyn was feeling good and riding well and able to make all of the splits without over extending herself. As the finish line approached, she sat patiently in perfect position until just over 200 meters to go, at which time she launched up the right side of the road with everything she had and took 1st by several bike lengths!

Rising temperatures and increasing winds greeted MSA Endurance Team riders Chris Keeling and Sam James as they lined up for the Men Cat 3/4 race. With six challenging laps ahead, both riders tried to ride conservatively near the front of the large field. As the laps ticked by, both riders realized they were on good days and had a real shot of netting a top result. Unfortunately, Chris suffered a mechanical issue that prevented him from standing up to pedal, limiting his sprinting ability, but he refused to let that discourage him and continued to race aggressively during the final laps. With just 3 miles remaining to the finish, Sam capitalized on a lull in the pace and jumped with everything he had over the last steep climb, managing to establish a small gap on the peloton. Realizing this could be his chance, Sam lowered his head and buried himself, pouring absolutely every ounce of energy he had into the pedals and flew down the finishing stretch. As he approached the line, he took one last look back and knew he had it! As Sam cruised across the line for 1st, the field sprint followed closely behind, where, despite his mechanical hurdle, Chris was still able to finish a very respectable 6th place!

(Written by Andy Guptill)

Written by Miller School of Albemarle

April 5, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Posted in Posts

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