Despite the unfavorable conditions caused by rain and wind, Andover Cycling has continued to show improvements since the start of their season. In a trip away to Holderness where two pairs of four teams competed in races, the girls pairs placed fifth and sixth while the boys pairs placed fifth and ninth respectively.
Amelia Vinton ’23 noted that the team was unsure whether they would even be able to race. She added that the slick course caused by the rain made her and her teammates concerned about their safety.
“I think it was definitely a bit more difficult than it was last week. We had rain like an hour before the race, and so some of us were like, ‘are we even going to be able to race?’ I was really nervous about it because I was like, ‘are the conditions going to be so slick that I’m going to fall?’ Then we had a pretty big headwind on a few parts of the race and some cross winds too. We had wind last week, but it was definitely a bit more intense this week,” said Vinton.
Nonetheless, each member of the team collaborated with their partner to race to their best abilities, according to Yuta Kojima ’22. Kojima, who came in fifth alongside his partner Daniel Zou ’23 with a time of 39 minutes and 57.9 seconds, showed appreciation for Zou, whom he claimed “pulled” him a lot.
“I’d like to highlight Zou. [He] and I were a pair, so he literally pulled me a lot. He was a great [partner], and he was a great team worker. Also he pulled me in the hills. He helped me a lot. I want to say thanks to him in particular,” said Kojima.
Vinton highlighted the two Juniors on the team, Elliot Famiglietti ’25 and Paul Wehner ’25. The two displayed outstanding teamwork through drafting and well-coordinated racing strategy, according to Vinton.
Vinton said, “Every time I saw them come through, they both looked really good as a team and they were drafting off of each other really well and were really coordinated in their switching and pacelining. That was really cool to see because I know that a lot of our teams were struggling a bit today with that, so to see them do it so well is really cool.”
Alongside the progress made by younger athletes, Vinton highlighted the team’s practices. She claimed that climbing hills and position switching, along with pacelining, is something the team has been putting a lot of effort into.
“We focus on pacelining and some hill sprints. Those are the two major things because in our course there’s two hills that we have to get up… and then also just pacelining with the team time trial this week was something we practiced,” said Vinton.
In the face of adapting to new strategies for partner-timed races, the team plans modify their strategy. The upcoming race hosted by Gould will be a criterium, or ‘crit’ race, where all bikers start at the same time. Vinton expressed mixed emotions about the brand new racing format.
“I think we’re scoring as a team and I’m nervous about the format of [the ‘crit’] because we haven’t done any pack riding, but I’m also excited about it just because we’re not going off at time intervals. It should be way more exciting and fun so I don’t know, we’ll see,” said Vinton.
Despite Vinton’s nervousness, Anna Ohm ’23 feels excited for their upcoming ‘crit’ race. She highlighted the new format, stating her excitement to start the race alongside the rest of her teammates.
“I look forward to the next race because it is a ‘crit,’ which means that it will be a mass start. Pretty much everyone will be starting at the same time, which we haven’t done before this season, so I’m very excited to go as a group and we’re going to be on point,” said Ohm.
Andover’s next race will be hosted by Gould on Saturday.