Athens, Ga. - Although they had fewer teammates than many of the other teams, the BC Cycling team managed to hold their own at UGA last weekend and put a rider on the podium every race.
In the men’s A category criterium, Wyatt Briggs and Brandon Milet both covered numerous moves and Caleb Welborn didn't miss a move until he was in the winning breakaway. Welborn finished 5th, Briggs was second in the field sprint for 8th overall, and Milet was 14th in the 60-minute race.
In the men’s B criterium, Lewis Gaffney took the win. He broke away from the pack partway through the race and was soon joined up the road by a Lees-McCrae rider. Gaffney edged out the LMC rider in the two-up sprint for the overall victory. Keith Marek was brought down with other riders in a crash in the final corner of the race.
Gaffney won his second B race in a row (his third victory in two race weekends) with an impressive last lap attack to hold off the charging field in the circuit race. His string of victories prompted the officials to upgrade him to the Men’s A category, allowing him to race his first A race just an hour later. Marek held on for a pack finish, despite injuries from his crash.
The men's A circuit race was fast and furious from the start. All of the BC riders found themselves in breakaways, but none of them enjoyed freedom for much more than a lap or two. It took 45 minutes of the 60-minute race for a breakaway to finally become established after constant attacking. Gaffney was in the move and was soon joined by Brandon, who bridged across with a LMC rider.
In the break, Gaffney worked hard to pull back attacks so Milet, a strong sprinter, could contest the final sprint. Milet didn’t disappoint, taking a strong 3rd
. The sprint was close, with Milet nearly taking it, but two riders passed him just meters from the line. Gaffney came across the line after a hard day for 12th. Welborn was second in the field sprint for 15th and Briggs 22nd.
"This weekend showed that the team has made some major steps forward since last season," said Brandon Milet, sophomore, "I’m really excited to see what we can do at nationals."
Due to their strong finishes this season, it is likely that most, if not all, of the men’s A racers will qualify for this year’s collegiate national championships in Ogden, Utah, May 4-6.