Bishop Gets a Boost from Alison Dunlap to Score Victory at the Wompatuck Whatchmacallit Collegiate Cycling's "Renaissance Period"
HINGHAM, Mass. (September 17, 2006) Lindsey Bishop (Syracuse) opened up a gaping lead from the start in the women's "A" race in today's Wompatuck Whatchamacallit collegiate mountain bike race. Bishop, who a year ago couldn't clear anything higher than four inches, attacked her technical weakness by placing a call to Alison Dunlap Adventure Camps to inquire about a possible student discount. An Olympian, National and World mountain bike champion, Dunlap returned the call herself and invited Bishop along to pre ride the cross-country courses at any NORBA races where Bishop would be racing. Fast-forward a year and Bishop - under the personal mentoring of Dunlap - has since stepped up to the podium four times and placed second overall as an Expert in the 2006 NORBA series. Today Bishop called upon her sharpened technical skills to jump, hop, huck, and accelerate her way to the top of the podium.
"The first few miles were all roots and a lot of little rock gardens so you needed to be focused the whole time," explained Bishop. "This was a bumpy course and it would have been nice to have dual-suspension on it since there wasn't much climbing but it was pretty fast and jarred you around a lot. Compared to the NORBA courses, it was cool because it was way more technical than most of them."
Bishop rode a fluid race that she said "was good practice" for the technical terrain typical of East Coast racing. In the near future Bishop has her sights set on performing well at the collegiate nationals. After that, Bishop looks particularly forward to next year's NORBA Nationals on the "gold standard" of East Coast single-track: Mount Snow, Vt. While Bishop has enough points to upgrade to the pro ranks in 2007, first she must finish her master's degree. Talent scouts, ready your contracts, 22-year-old Bishop will be hunting for a team for 2008.
After breaking his foot this summer and spending six weeks off the bike during the height of road season, Nate Campbell (Brandeis) came around today to collect top honors in the Men's B race.
"I've been dedicating my season to this since January so I'm really glad this came off well," said Campbell. "Basically it was me and one other rider from UMass out there for most of the race, kind of yo-yo-ing back and forth. Luckily, when I crashed about two miles from the end, I didn't lose any significant ground and was able to gain just a little gap to the finish."
Campbell, who works at a bike shop near Philadelphia when he's not at Brandeis, got an inside tip on the new Specialized Epic FSR and immediately plunked down his summer earnings for an early edition of the bike. While Campbell's racing skills clinched today's win, the Epic, featuring a redesigned AFR Brain rear shock, added just the right amount of bounce to smooth over any tricky bits to the course.
There's something in the water at St. Michael's College in Vermont, where fast mountain bikers get dispatched regularly to shatter the collegiate categories. Today it was semi-pro racer, Dan Hock, who pushed a steadily accelerating pace to shed the field from the start.
"I figured I should get the hole-shot before the gate and then if I could hold it, I'd just go at a moderate pace," said Hock. "I saw that I could and I just pinned it into the first little up and broke away a bit. Then I knew if I got to the single-track and out of sight, I could break away a little more. That's what I shot for and it worked."
Coincidently, both Bishop and Hock race for New Jersey-based Team Bulldog when school's not in session.
Collegiate cycling has been raising eyebrows lately as the fastest growing component at USA Cycling. While cycling enjoys a higher profile overall in the U.S., it is collegiate cycling clubs that are teeming with raw talent begging to be forged into a finely-tuned athlete.
"Tom Danielson (winner of last week's Stage 17 in the Vuelta a Espana) started racing with Fort Lewis out in Colorado," said Mark Abramson, ECCC director and member of the Collegiate Cycling Board of Trustees, "and now look where he is - on top of the podium at arguably one of the three largest athletic events of any kind, let alone cycling. We've already seen a number of Eastern Conference athletes like Adam Craig, who's done some of our races and now he's up in the top 10 at World Cups and he mountain bike races internationally."
According to Abramson, collegiate cycling is undergoing a "renaissance" these days where the element of fun combined with a bit of organization brings people to races where they get "hooked." Agressive recruiting techniques and sustained leadership also become key to crafting a mighty collegiate squad. Whatever it is that colleges are doing to grow cycling in the U.S., it looks like it's working.
About MIT Cycling
MIT Cycling is the student-run cycling team of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The club sport team seeks to foster a cycling-friendly environment for all levels of riders, from beginners to national-caliber racers. The club leads recreational rides and supports co-ed racing teams in road, mountain, and cyclocross disciplines, across the east coast and at national competitions. www.mitcycling.org
The MIT Cycling Team is sponsored by FXDD, a leading online retail foreign exchange firm. FXDD is a subsidiary of Compagnie Financiere Tradition, the third largest interdealer broker worldwide, servicing 7,000 institutional clients since 1959.
About the ECCC
The Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) includes colleges in Delaware, New England, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As they compete from early March through April, ECCC teams vie for the top of the season-long team points standings, Collegiate Nationals qualification team spots, and the Ivy League trophy. The inexpensive races feature team-oriented bicycle racing for all abilities with team pride, glory, and honor as the only prize list.
A full ECCC schedule and results can be found at www.eccc-info.com.
RESULTS COMING SOON, CHECK BACK!
Lindsey Bishop cleans up the Women's A race
photo: Keith Berkoben
Men's B winner, Nate Campbell
photo: Keith Berkoben
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