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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA cycling celebrates Criterium’s return after four-year absence

Noah Auclair

Cyclist compete in the criterium at the University of Arizona Mall on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017. The event was held after being on a four year hiatus.

It was an exciting day for the Arizona cycling community on Saturday, because after a four year hiatus the criterium was back on campus. There were races from 7:10 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. on and around the UA Mall.

“It’s really good for our team, it’s really good for our exposure, it’s something that I’ve been working on the past four years to get back,” said UA cycling president Joey Iuliano. “It’s always been the goal to come back, because I feel like as the college’s team we should be racing on campus.”

The course was relatively short, only about 800 meters, but it was a very technical and a challenging one. The races would start on east University Boulevard, and would be slightly downhill until coming to a 90 degree turn onto north Cherry Avenue. From there, the riders would have to act fast, and get ready for another quick 90 degree turn back onto east University, making the slight climb uphill before coming to a very challenging 160 degree turn at north Campbell Avenue.

“This is probably one of the more challenging courses in Arizona, just because we have that really sharp corner,” Iuliano said.

Arizona was well represented, as a Wildcat won every collegiate race, both in groups A and B. In the Women’s A race, it was a clean sweep of the podium for Arizona as Erica Clevenger, Kat Salthouse and Shelby Hoglund, who finished in first, second and third, respectively.

In the men’s A race, Joshua Pratt-Ferguson took first place, Wouter Zwart took second and David Grief finished in third. Pratt-Ferguson was a victim of the aforementioned 160 degree turn, crashing on the second lap of the race, before composing himself and making a run for the win.

In the Women’s B race, Wildcat Laura Haley took home first place, and in the Men’s B race, Alexander Alvarez represented the UA with a first place finish.

Even if the UA Cycling team didn’t have any representatives at the podium, all the riders cherished the opportunity to be racing on campus in front of other students.

“I love it, to be able to race on campus with such nice weather, and the backdrop and everything else too,” said Bryan Little, a senior mechanical engineering major who finished fifth in the Men’s A race. “This is kind of a nice treat that we get here.”

Follow Noah Auclair on Twitter.

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