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Road Team Opens Season In Auburn

Road Team Opens Season In Auburn

Auburn, A.L.--The Warren Wilson Cycling Team competed this past weekend at Auburn University (Feb. 23 and 24). The team competed in the following events during the two-day race: a road race, team time trial (on Saturday) and a criterium (on Sunday).

The team started off Saturday with a road race in the rolling hillside of Auburn. The first race of the day was the men's B race and Wilson had James Mayer competing. James raced well and managed to get in a three person break that was caught on the last lap. He would go on to finish a strong 11th place. The next set of races was the Men's C/D and the Owls had a strong presence in a large field. Nate Peters finished in the top 25 and Benj Welland fought hard in a small peleton to finish inside the top 35. The Women's B race followed. Wilson's women's team finished all within the top 30, with Bella Cimeno finishing 17th, Mason Hopkins finishing 18th, Jo Swartz finishing 26th, and Isagel Seigler finishing 28th.

Later that day, the Owls had two teams in the Team Time Trial event where a small group of 4 riders ride together in a paceline and race against the clock. Each team raced smoothly and communicated well in their debuts. The women's team consisted of Hopkins, Lucy Thompson, Cimeno, and Swartz. The men's team was comprised of Mayer, Welland, Peters, and Jeremy Epstein.

On Sunday, the team participated in a criterium at NCAT test track in nearby Opelika, AL. The course was a wide 1.7 mile race track loop. First up was Men's D with Welland and Epstein each finishing within the top 40 of a large field. The women's B race featured all five of the women's team and garnered some strong results with each racer finishing in the top 25. Swartz finished 15th, Cimeno in 19th, Hopkins in 20th, Thompson in 24th, and Seigler in 25th.

Overall, the race weekend was a huge success. Coach Mandy Gallagher expressed her enthusiasm, "We raced well and very competitively. I could not be more proud of this team. We had firsts in many of these events for our new riders--their first road races, criteriums, and team time trials--and for our returning riders, we had their first road cycling race weekend. I'm excited to see this young, talented, and dedicated team continue to grow and flourish. The future is bright indeed!"

Up next for the team is the Clemson Road Race Weekend on March 23-24 in Clemson, SC.