The Lees-McRae College cycling team dominated the field at the Cobra-Tornado Spring Classic this past weekend, winning six of the 11 races in which they
were entered. Zac Felpel (Willow St., Pa.) and Katherine Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) both turned in strong performances for the Bobcats, each picking up an individual win to go along with an additional top five finish.
The Bobcats opened the weekend with a dominating performance in the team time trials, finishing as the top Division I team in each category. Lees-McRae continued its strong riding in the criterium, held in downtown Bristol, taking first and second in each race. Brian Jorgensen (Bend, Ore.) won the men's C race, with Joshua Murdoch (Baldwin, Md.) in second, and Joel Turner (Hemet, Calif.) in fourth.
Ezra Mullen (Nottingham, N.H.) ran away with the men's B race, easily riding to victory as Zach Bender (Glen Rock, N.J.) took second with a strong sprint to the finish. Gordon Duffy II finished fourth, as Lucas Harville, Justin Thompson (Philadelphia, Pa.), and Eli Wemyss (Nashville, Tenn.) placed sixth, eighth and ninth, respectively.
Felpel rode to a seemingly effortless win in the men's A race, claiming his second crit victory of the season, as Iggy Silva (San Diego, Calif.) finished second, and David Goodman (Gwinette, Ga.) and Jake Boone (Hurst, Texas) took fifth and eighth, respectively.
Hailey Sarausky (Littleton, N.H.) finished second in the women's B race before the Bobcats dominated the field in the women's A race with five riders in the top 15. The only miscue came on the final turn, as Cinthia Lehner's (Greer, S.C.) wheel slipped out to prevent her from taking the win.
Katherine Shields finished third behind Lehner, as Kaitlyn Lawrence (Emmaus, Pa.) and Emily Shields (Salisbury, N.C.) placed fifth and 10th, respectively. Erin Donohue (Norwich, Vt.) also finished 13th with a strong performance for the Bobcats.
Sarausky set the tone in the road races on Sunday, breaking away from the pack in the women's B race to open the day with an easy win. Katherine Shields replicated the feat in the women's A race, riding clear of the pack early on as Lehner won the field sprint to finish second; Emily Shields finished fifth.
The Bobcats would start two riders in the men's D race for the first time in school history, with newcomer Michael Davis (Independence, Va.) taking the victory as T.J. Trotter finished fifth.
Jorgensen placed third in the men's C race, as Duffy escaped from the field with an early break to finish second in the men's B. Bender won the field sprint yet again to finish third as Wemyss crossed the line in 12th.
Matthew Zimmer (DeWitt, Iowa) worked into a break that stay away in the men's A race, sprinting for second place, as Boone was able to bridge into the break and finish sixth; Felpel won the field sprint to place 10th.
Lees-McRae now shifts its focus to the Southeastern Collegiate Cycling Conference Championships this coming weekend, while also preparing for the USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals in Ogden, Utah, which begin May 3.