May 6, 2011

Bobcats lead the pack after day one of Road Nationals

MADISON, Wis. --- The Lees-McRae College cycling team got off to a strong start on the first day of the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, posting a pair of top-10 finishes in both the men's and women's road races on Friday to lead Fort Lewis College by nearly 20 points heading into Saturday's competition.

Lees-McRae is first in the team omnium standings with 177 points, followed by Fort Lewis (158) and Marian University (129). The University of Arizona is fourth with 121 points, while Stanford University rounds out the top five with 111 markers.

Brian Sheedy (Rockford, Mich.) opened the weekend in stunning fashion for the Bobcats, overcoming a flat tire on the second lap of the men's race en route to a fourth-place finish. Sheedy and Zac Felpel (Willow St., Pa.) stuck with the lead pack for the early portion of the race until Sheedy's tire blew out on the second lap.

Felpel exhibited tremendous sportsmanship, offering his wheel to Sheedy and giving his teammate the chance to catch the leaders. Sheedy did just that, finishing fourth with a time of 3:21:29 while Peter Haile (Fort Collins, Colo.) placed 11th with a mark of 3:22:00.

Sondre Thorbergsen (Tranoy, Norway) placed 43rd with a time of 3:24:11, as Bradford Perley (Kennebunkport, Maine) finished 50th with a mark of 3:26:17. Rachel Warner (Luray, Va.) put the Bobcats in front with a second-place performance in the women's race, breaking away from the pack early on and finishing within seconds of first with a time of 2:58:57. Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa.) came in sixth with a time of 3:10:03, as Cinthia Lehner (Greer, S.C.) finished 30th with a mark of 3:23:05.

The Bobcats resume their quest for the program's 11th national championship on Saturday, competing in the team time trial on the second day of the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.

- LMC -