The Collegiate season has officially begun in the Rocky Mountain Conference. The opening event, a 1-mile loop in the Denver City Park, supplied racers and spectators with colorful races throughout the day. Most often defined by the abundance of roundabout turns, that more often than not, took the longer route around the island.
The women’s A race, similar to the men was dominated by the strong presence of Colorado University (CU) who had half of the women’s field. Even with the strong contingent of riders from CU other teams were still able to sneak into the top 5 of the field sprint while Flora Duffy (Colorado) took the win over Magen Long (Fort Lewis College) and Kay Sherwood (Colorado College) rounded out the top 3.
The men’s A race was a clinic instructed by Alister Ratcliff (Fort Lewis College / BikeReg.com-Cannondale) who attacked early in the race followed by Zack Allison (Colorado State / Echelon Energy) and freshman Nathaniel Wilson (Colorado University / Kelly Benefit Strategies-LSV Amateur). Ratcliff went on to lead, solo, for the duration and eventually lapped the peloton. The field slowed as a representative from each the three largest schools was off the front, but both CU and Colorado State (CSU) constantly put in attacks to try and bridge a rider up to the Allison, Wilson group.
Similarly smaller schools tried sending attacks off the front, but every move was mirrored by a rider from either CU or CSU as each school felt that they had strong sprinters still in the field.
Ratcliff, finished safely in the main field, while Allison outsprinted Wilson for second. Behind, the field split into several smaller groups going through the last two turns. Chris Hall (CSU / Tradewind Energy) took the field sprint and Caley Fretz (CSU / Echelon Energy) rounded out the top 5.
Complete results here