Photo courtesy of Sammy Croft
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College cycling team is back in action this Saturday (Nov. 10), starting up their cyclocross season at King University's event.
Event preview - Head coach Tim Hall spoke about why this first event at King is important for the team and how the team's depth will shape the cyclocross season.
"We're looking forward to the King race because we do have some new faces racing cyclocross this season, and a handful of them are "A" level racers," said Hall. "Liam Flanagan and David Kahn are new to the discipline and will be racing at the A level, as well as Andrew Blackstone and returners Zach Ross and Andrew Sparks."
Hall also commented on the new faces and the depth for the women as well.
"Our women's A squad is a little bit deeper since Erin Sferrazza and Kiley Krasley are going to be racing cyclocross, so we've got four A women which gives us a pretty solid crew of ladies that should be pretty competitive, and based upon past results we feel that they can go and have some success," said Hall.
Hall went on to discuss how this event serves as preparation for cyclocross nationals, which are just five weeks away. Nationals will take place in Louisville, Ky. Dec. 13-15.
"This is a big change from the past few years when Nationals took place in early January, so it's nice to go ahead and get it out of the way before everyone goes home for the holidays," said Hall. "On the other side, it makes the season a little tougher because most everyone is coming off of mountain bike season and are having to now change focus and change training to carry their strength and fitness into a different type of event."
Hall continued on about how this race serves as preparation for future races that will be a lot more competitive, referring back to Nationals as well as the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference championships held at Warren Wilson College on Dec. 1.
"This will be a good indicator of what we can expect in a few weeks at Warren Wilson for the conference championship," said Hall. "It will help us to make some decisions on the roster we will take to Louisville."
Up Next - The team will participate in the North Carolina Cyclocross event in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Sunday (Nov. 11).