With the finish line in sight, Meg Davis ’17 suddenly hit a concrete strip running across the stretch of road and popped her front tire on Saturday at the Girls B Cycling race in the Exeter Team Time Trial. Without a thread of doubt, Davis decided to push forward to the finish, racing alongside Leah Adelman ’17 to secure third place.
“I decided it was easier to just power through it and finish the race, which I did miraculously, without falling on the corners. It was a lot of work to stay upright and make up for the drag the flat created,” said Davis.
Andover’s promising performance at Phillips Exeter Academy gave it momentum going into the Holderness Road Race on Wednesday, leading to another successful meet.
The time trial at Exeter called for two riders to be paired up from each school to race together, rather than cyclists racing on their own. Each pair left at ten second intervals and completed between five and 15 laps depending on their class ranking.
In the Girls B class, Co-Captain Liana Margolese ’15 raced with Jess Wang ’18 and finished second overall. Davis and Adelman finished one second after Margolese and Wang in third to seal one of the best team performances of the season so far.
Margolese has lead the Girls team, full of mostly underclassmen, to great success early in the season. The team has already proven itself as one of the strongest in New England.
The Boys came out with multiple top place finishes across all Class levels. In Boys B, Will Reid ’15 and David Shamritsky ’17 nabbed an impressive fourth, and in Boys C, Hayden Weatherall ’18 raced with Isaac Newell ’18 to clinch 2nd place.
Weatherall wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Being the third race of the season, [Newell] and I were really happy with our result from the Time Trial. We were three seconds off first place.”
Weatherall and Newell’s skillful race performance is credited in part to their confidence fostered through Cycling’s supportive team chemistry.
Newell said, “Very quickly, I felt welcomed as a part of the tight-knit community of the Andover Cycling team. Going on rides during or outside of practice, racing and riding in the rally wagons together has brought us all quite close as a team.”
After only two practices and one recovery day, the Andover team raced again in the Holderness Road Race hosted by Holderness on Wednesday for the first road race of the season. Prior to this, the team had only competed in time trials and circuits.
The 20-mile long course thoroughly tested Andover’s endurance and required a lot of skill, as cyclists had to position themselves well in the peloton in order to pull ahead from the pack.
The entirety of the Girls team zoomed past the competition in the 30 person long-haul, as all six girls came out with a top ten finish.
Adelman, who finished strongly in fourth place for Girls B, said, “We left nothing in the tank this race. The end of the race was uphill, and we all dug deep and gave it everything we had, pushing till the last second.”
Margolese, who placed sixth in Girls B, was impressed by the team’s showing at the race and has set clear goals for the Girls to continue to work towards.
“We definitely learned a lot from this race. We finished strong, and we learned that we need to attack more as a team in order to secure first place in a future race,” said Margolese.
The Boys team also came out with strong finishes in Boys A and C. Highlighting the day’s race for Boys was Paxton Hyde ’15 in Boys A who came out with an impressive sixth place finish, riding just over an hour on the 20 mile course.
Cycling will look to use its experience at Exeter to its advantage at the Profile Team Time Trial next Wednesday.