Didn't want to comment below so in response to-
Anonymous said...within the past decade IU used to frequently podium in the team overall at Nationals.. what has happened lately and why doesn't IU have as strong of a team anymore?
Frequently podium is a little overstated. In the past decade they came close on the road with Bahati, Kehrberg and Wangerin, none of which were encumbered with Little 500 training and were/are all fantastic riders. IU has had track success with a strong overall team a few years back and of course a stellar individual in 2010.
With a couple possible exceptions (if eligible, Caroline Brown and Jonathan Atwell could have ridden one or more events to spread the load a little) this years team was the strongest available for IU and they performed well. It was a solid effort that hopefully will continue to help the program grow. It is no coincidence that 5 of the 8 riders also did track nationals as that experience built a good team-base that encouraged participation in Road nationals.
Remember Hannah and Melinda drove 8hrs to St Louis the day after L5 in order to qualify themselves for the experience that was Road nationals. Talk to any of the team and they will tell you how uniquely great is the overall experience of riding for IU on the National stage.
It is different but just as fulfilling as Little500 and success in both need not be mutually exclusive (although it can make it more difficult). Next years Collegiate nationals are in Indy (track) and Madison (road- I think) again so those riders competing over the summer need to aim for those events. IU cycling club is in a good place financially so is well set for the year(s) to come. Get to the Velodrome, ride Track nationals, get the excitement for representing IU and make it to Road nationals* in the spring of 2012. IU may be losing some strong riders but there is enough talent riding on the cinders every year to make IU a perennial nationally top 10 team.
*- or get serious about Cyclocross and MTB and represent IU in those events.
1 week ago