Twenty-seven members of the Yale Bulldog Cycling Club spent Saturday and Sunday racing up and down East Rock in the fourth annual Lux et Velocitas race.
The race, contested by members of Yale’s cycling club, was the seventh of nine consecutive weekend races in the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference. It drew approximately 300 athletes from 35 different universities, as well as around 50 local cyclists and a few high school teams.
Club member David DeWitt GRD ’14, who was the primary coordinator of the event, did not race but said that the event was successful and ran well.
He added that all the riders were challenged by the steepness of East Rock Park. Some divisions rode up the 500-foot incline, with gradations of over 15 percent, as many as 12 times in one race.
The two-day competition included three different events: a four-mile individual time trial and a four-mile circuit race on Saturday, followed by a criterium race on Sunday. Each event offered a women’s and a men’s race, as well as four different levels for riders of differing experience.
Teams received points for top finishes in each race, and Yale placed second with 186 points — just edging out the United States Military Academy with 185. MIT was the clear winner, with a whopping 278 points, but Yale earned bragging rights and a trophy within the Ivy League. Dartmouth and Harvard were next-closest, with places of sixth and eighth respectively.
William Redden ’14, who raced in the Men’s B category and helped organize the event, said that since Yale does not have the largest cycling team in comparison to other schools, the outcome was “really good” for its club.
Daniel Blizzard MED ’12 placed sixth out of 64 in the men’s A category, and Erica Blom GRD ’12 placed 13th out of 35 in the women’s A/B combined.
“It was fantastic, everyone did a good job,” Redden said. “Every single person who raced [for Yale] helped us get those results.”
Yale Bulldog Cycling captain Alli Hugi ’13 agreed that the whole team did well in this race, and added that it is stronger than last year.
After its nine season races, the team will race in the ECCC Regional Championships in New Hampshire at the end of April, and will then send a full team (four men and four women) to the National Championship in Utah in late May. By contrast, DeWitt said last year the team did not send anyone to nationals.
All four members of the Yale team interviewed said the race was a success for Yale. But the Harvard team had a misfortune on Saturday night. After the time trial and circuit race were finished, 11 Harvard bikes were stolen from the team van at their hotel. Five were recovered by New Haven police, but the owners of the other six bikes were not able to race on Sunday in the criterium. The stolen bikes have still not been found.
Nick Geiser ’13, who said he placed in all of his races and won the amateur criterium, said the annual race is important for the Yale team and the local community as it is the only home race of the season and allows the team to showcase Yale and New Haven.
The Yale Bulldog Cycling club dates back to 1891, making it one of the oldest clubs at Yale. According to the team’s website, the Yale-Vassar Bike Race was an annual mixer for the two colleges, running through the mid-20th century. It centered around a race from New Haven to Poughkeepsie, N.Y.