By Jennifer Olson
While the University of Arizona triumphed over the competition in Saturday’s collegiate road opener, good sportsmanship also reigned.
The UA Criterium drew Southwestern Collegiate Cycling Conference teams to Tucson for a sunny day of cycling.
Though two days of rain and a water main leak left water pooled at the course’s start line Friday, city crews cleared the water by morning, leaving the street dry for safe racing.
So, with welcoming smiles and encouraging words, UA club officers hosted teams from Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, and the new-to-the-conference University of New Mexico.
With UNM, the women’s faction grew considerably. In a field of 60 racers, seven novice females gained experience on the L-shaped course, and three female A-racers also represented their schools well.
Good sportsmanship was an obvious necessity in this 35-minute criterium, as all collegiate men’s and women’s categories raced together.
But SWCCC cyclists took polite conduct a step further in this competition. “Keep it up,” and “You go, girl!” cheers between racers interrupted the sounds of powerfully expanding lungs and high heart rates.
David Glick, who races for UA, claimed first in the men’s-A competition, while Michael Sencenbaugh and Andrew Cates took second and third.
Chloe Forsman took first in the women’s-A race (she also won the women’s Pro1-2-3 race). Her UA teammates Melanie Meyers and Judy Jenkins completed the podium sweep in the collegiate event.
Ben Hobson for UA won the men’s-B race, with UNM’s Michael Robinson and Bicycle Haus’ Jesse Robles in second and third place. Jack Andres, Luis Valdez, and Michael Waggoner—all UA competitors—took the men’s-C podium.
Renee Lawton and Erin Lauterbach of UA placed first and second in the women’s-B race, while Katya Hafich of UNM took third place.
Winners received trophies unique to the UA Criterium: red aluminum beer cans carved with the University of Arizona “A” and mounted on slim blocks of lumber.
Next weekend, the South Central and Western collegiate conferences get their seasons started with events at University of Florida and UC San Diego.
The Arizona State University Criterium — scheduled for February 20 in Tempe — is next on the SWCCC road calendar.