All Gender Cycling: One Step Closer to the Championship

Andover’s All Gender Cycling conquered its recent race, one of its first nice-weather competitions of the season. Andover’s cyclists spanned across the podiums, with Captain Peter Wu ’22 in second, and Amelia Vinton ’23 and Elliot Famiglietti ’25 both placed third in their respective categories. Yuta Kojima ’22, who placed eighth in his category, thought that the race brought a lot of joy to the team. Its hard work was shown in individual athletes’ top rankings out of many competing schools, including Exeter. 

Kojima said, “It was really nice compared to the other meets because it was really windy. And today it was really nice weather. The race itself went really well…The captain, [Wu], who got second place, and [Vinton], I think she got third place in the girls, so we did [have] some accomplishments. [The] coaches were happy [and] we were happy as a team. After all, I think it was a really good [race].”

Furthermore, Famiglietti, a new cyclist who received a podium placing, reflected back on his and the team’s performance. The team had been practicing different techniques that cyclists utilized as they competed, a strong suit of its races. More specifically, Famiglietti hopes to continue working towards a stronger start in the mass start races.

“I think strategizing was a really good thing that we all did well on. It was a little bit easier for me, since I only had to do five laps. The people who had to do eight laps, like [Wu] and [Vinton], had to strategize a lot more, and they did a really good job, especially since they were able to place on the podium. That was really cool. Some things maybe we need to work on are my starts for [the] mass start races, because the strategy for mass start races is usually to get in the front quickly, or close to the front, but I did not, so that’s something I definitely need to work on,” said Famiglietti.

Kojima shared similar sentiments to Famiglietti regarding the team’s race executions. Taking in everything they learned at practice, each cyclist was able to utilize the strategies for the best outcome. This was the fourth race of the team’s season. Therefore, this growth showcased the hard work everyone had been putting in.

“Working on riding in a group [has been an improvement] because each meet is not individual, but also like riding as a group [where] everyone goes at the same time, so the important thing is to drift, like staying in someone’s back so that you get less headwind and you can reserve your energy to go out the last two laps, you can break and just go, so I think we all did pretty well with it. Like even though some of us just got off from the groups. They just went by, we still tried to stay behind someone else so that we could drift. We [had] worked on [drifting]. We did it so I’m really happy that we were able to do it,” said Kojima.

The cyclists gave each lap their all, but beyond that, Wu appreciated Kojima’s perseverance in the last couple laps. As a captain, Wu has been leading a daily young team in terms of experience. Seeing someone with whom Wu had been working compete towards the endline was inspiring.

Wu said, “I’d like to shout out [Kojima]. He was in Boys B with me. It was very fast [paced] because Boys A and B [were mixed]. They’re two separate categories but today they went together, so the pace was very, very high. He held on for several laps, which was very impressive.”

Looking ahead, the Cycling team is excited for the Championship. Famiglietti has not set expectations since this is his first season cycling competitively. However, he is looking forward to meeting new individuals on the track and experiencing new courses. 

Famiglietti said, “I honestly don’t know what to think yet. Because it’s a shorter course…we’re doing different courses than we’ve been doing, so it’ll be challenging because it’s new. We’re also going to do a few more miles than we usually do, so I’ll have to strategize a little bit more there. But I’m looking forward to it. It’s a big event. There are a lot of people. I’m really excited.”

The Championship is a time for all the cyclists to compete against their recurring opponents and showcase their learning from the season. Additionally, the Championship poses both extra points for each win, and challenging courses to race in with more obstacles along the way. The challenges ahead have racers like Kojima excited.

Kojima said, “I think it’s going to be a big one, it’ll be double the point. So it’s important for us to win it. Also, it’s going to be more technical. There’s going to be 90 degree curves. Understanding these curves is much more [than] speed. It’s a shorter course with 12 laps, so for next week, I think we’ll work on our [techniques]. Again, it’s going to be a good pace, so we’ll keep working on the drifting and staying on the back of the person in front of us, so I’m excited about it. I mean, it is the last one.”

Andover will compete at the Series Final on Wednesday.