The Western Carolina University Cycling Team traveled to Conyers, Ga. for a 2-day collegiate mountain bike race hosted by Georgia Tech on Saturday Sept. 14. Race conditions were perfect, with temperate weather, a good turnout and plenty of laughs.
The team participated in two events on Saturday: dual slalom and short-track cross country. James Burkhardt placed second in the Men’s B dual slalom event with a final time of 46.425 seconds, missing first place by a mere one-hundreth of a second.
Matt Schumaker placed second in the Men’s B short-track cross country event and Nick Lacombe finished fifth.
The cross country race on Sunday was unfortunately filled with mechanical difficulties for several members of the WCU Cycling Team. In the Men’s C race, members Jordan Chaires and Allen Grosse both were forced to abandon the race due to flat tires. Nick Lacombe, racing in the Men’s B race also had to drop out of his race due to a flat tire. Matt Schumaker managed to keep all the air in his tires and soared through the course while wearing a Superman cape, finishing fifth.
Matt Schumaker’s success in the short-track and cross-country races earned him a podium finish in the Men’s B omnium for third place overall, despite not participating in the time trial.
The weekend was about far more than rankings and numbers however. The team rode to a convenient intersection in the cross country course during the Men’s and Women’s A race and proudly displayed their enthusiasm for the athletes as they traversed the rocky terrain, cheering, chanting and giving high-fives to whoever would take them. In exchange, some of the more fun-loving cyclists performed stunts and chuckled as they zoomed past.
A pervasive fun-loving spirit can be seen by anyone that comes in contact with the WCU Cycling Team, and that is something that we take pride in. Racing is competitive, but you can still have fun at the same time. See you at the next race.