After finishing the most recent uphill time trial at first in her division, Jessica Wang ’18 currently sits undefeated at the top of the Girls A Division. In addition, Anthony Minickiello ’20 is at the top of Boys C, having placed first in the last two races. Over the course of the week, Andover Cycling has won many divisions in both the race on Saturday and the time trial on Wednesday.
On Saturday, the team raced in Bethel, Maine, in a road race format along a steep 20-mile course. According to Head Coach Thayer Zaeder ’83, the weather played a major role in the race.
Coach Zaeder wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Saturday’s race was unusual in that riders faced a very strong headwind… which made the pack dynamics different. The racing was very irregular… with moments of acceleration and then sitting up and backing off the pace.”
Co-Captain David Shamritsky ’17 said, “The whole race there was a huge headwind. You really had to save energy as much as you could, and for that reason, none of the racers were particularly fast, just because no one was willing to use up too much energy at one given time.”
“It made me a bit nervous at times, because people were racing really close together to get as much shelter from the wind and someone could have gotten hurt, but all turned out well in the end,” Shamritsky continued.
Despite the extreme weather conditions, Andover still outperformed its opponents. Most of the Girls A pack chose to ride slowly, and Wang was able to break away and beat the rest of her division by nearly five minutes, with a time of 1:22:34. Anneke Sherry ’17, Leah Adelman ’17, and Elizabeth Holubiak ’18 had top ten finishes as well, placing fourth, fifth, and ninth respectively. In Girls C, Abigail Johnson ’19 performed strongly in her first road race, placing third overall.
Describing the performance of other teammates, Co-Captain Adelman wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “Elizabeth did a fantastic job in Girls A pulling for her teammates so Anneke and I could get top five. Elizabeth was the MVP in my opinion because of how much she sacrificed to help her teammates.”
“We all raced well today and have a lot to be happy about. This is one of those races where finishing in and of itself is an accomplishment,” Holubiak wrote in an email to The Phillipian.
Describing her race strategy, Wang said, “Initially, when I broke away and I was riding alone, I was so nervous because I knew I would have to expend a lot more energy riding alone than I would if I was riding with other people. It did hurt, but it all ended up okay.”
In the Boys A division, Shamritsky and Isaac Newell ’18 had notably strong races, placing fourth and ninth, respectively. Minickiello also brought home a win for Andover, winning the Boys C race in the final sprint with a time of 1:18:03.
On Wednesday, the team participated in a time trial in Killington, Vt. The course was short — only four miles, but 2.2 miles were extremely steep with areas of climbing over 1000 feet. Once again, the conditions were very windy, but Wang and Minickiello raced tenaciously, placing first in their respective divisions.
On Saturday, Andover will race at Deerfield.
Editor’s Note: Jessica Wang ’18 is a Video Editor for The Phillipian.