Mar 7, 2009

70F in March! What's the catch? 30mph wind is what! So it was that the conditions were part fantastic, part tough at Heritage Lake IN for the Depauw Collegiate RR. There was a big turnout with a particularly large squad of IU riders in attendance.
The early races were dominated by riders preparing for Little 500. In the Womens B race a break of 4 riders bossed the race and it featured 3 IU riders! At the conclusion of the race IU had secured the first three positions with Caitlin Van Kooten leading the girls home followed by Kristi Hewitt and Julie Bembenista!
The Mens B was a sedentary affair that came down to a mass sprint to the line in which Matt Neibler of IU (and DTD) prevailed with some ease (allowing himself time to put his sunglasses on 10meters from the line). If he had looked back Matt might not have been so cool as the peloton was nipping at his heels. However if he had been caught IU would have still prevailed as Chris West (PDT) took a strong second place.

Matt Neibler winning the Bloomington Grand Prix in 2008

The Womens A race vasilated between slow and very fast and was a tough challenge for the riders. IU riders Jackie Moeller, Julie Panzica and Kristina Heath showed great tenacity to
regain the peloton after being dropped at different times during the race. Ultimately Jackie was the highest placed rider in the top twenty positions in a bunch sprint.

The difference between Mens A and all other races is like night and day. These guys RACE the whole time. The 50mile event was enlivened from mile 1 with Eric Hamilton forcing a breakaway that actually stuck for the entire event. It also featured IU's Issac Neff as well as a couple of Lindsey Wilson riders, a Marian Knight and a Boilermaker. The break worked excellently together and build up a lead of approaching 3minutes at its height. Back in the peloton the IU riders and particularly Mike Sherer were doing a great job preventing the chase gathering too much leverage.
In the finale the Issac suffered from doing too much work and came in 5th place just ahead of Eric. A Lindsey Wilson rider took the win in a tight sprint ahead of David Williams of Marian College.
All in all a fantastic day of racing that was light years different from the miserable racing at Murray State the week before. Team Time Trial and Criterium results to follow.

Issac warming up before racing in 2008
Photos from Issac Neff and Matt Neibler

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