Arkansas Classic Race Weekend

The second race weekend in the SCCCC was joined by teams from the NCCCC for large fields and good weather in the Arkansas Classic, hosted by the University of Arkansas.

The weekend kicked off Saturday morning with a 6.4 mile uphill time trial rolling around picturesque Lake Fort Smith. In the Men’s A field, Sam Fritz (Minnesota-Duluth) blitzed the course with a winning time of 21:06 followed by Ben Bradley (Tulane) and Jack Niewold (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities). The top eight men all finished within one minute of Sam Fritz, setting the stage for what would be an evenly matched and exciting weekend.

In the Women’s A Time Trial, Annika Teschke took the win with Ashley Weaver and Maxyna Cottam rounding out the podium.

That afternoon at the Road Race, the Men’s A field rolled out first for a three 24 mile laps of a relatively technical and very hilly circuit with three steep climbs. After a pile up in the first lap which delayed all of the successive races and caused the Men’s A field to be neutralized for a lap, a group containing Hugh Gill (Lindenwood), Sam Fritz (Minnesota-Duluth), and Chase Wark (University of Minnesota – Twin Cities) coalesced off the front. With a gap of almost two minutes into the last lap, the move looked pretty good to go to the end. However, Lindenwood, seemingly unsatisfied with the composition of the break, whipped up the chase and the two groups combined in the last lap. Ben Bradley (Tulane) won out of the selective lead group, followed by Jonah Mead-VanCort (Lindenwood) and Sam Fritz (Minnesota-Duluth).

In the Women’s A, Ashley Weaver and Annika Teschke went one-two for Lindenwood, with Solymar Rivera (UNT) bringing home the bronze.

In the Men’s B, Ryan Chien (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) took a dramatic solo victory after riding in the break of four all day. Joy Jason (Tulane) took the win in Women’s B.

The criterium was a technical kilometer circuit on an overcast Sunday morning. The largest field of the day was Men’s C, which split up after some aggressive riding early in the day, the win being taken by Andy Heuser (UNT). Christin Stuschka (Minnesota-Twin Cities) took her third win of the weekend in the crit solo in the Women’s C.

The Men’s A race started off hectically until Chase Wark (Minnesota-Twin Cities), Sam Fritz (Minnesota-Duluth), Pablo Cruz (MSU) and Ben Bradley (Tulane) broke away. Several laps later, Jack Niewold (Minnesota-Twin Cities) bridged to the move, seemingly feeling good even after his crash in the Road Race. With the top three from the TT represented, the move quickly gained time on the field. When Cruz (MSU) flatted out of the break, things looked good for Minnesota-Twin Cities. However, when Fritz attacked hard, only Ben Bradley was able to follow as Wark and Niewold floundered off the back of the move. Fritz took the win ahead of Bradley with Niewold repeating his 3rd place from the Time Trial.

In the Women’s A, the absence of the powerful Lindenwood duo opened the door for Maxyna Cottam (MSU) to take a strong win followed by Solymar Rivera (UNT) and Amy Floyd (MSU).