Two North Carolina colleges took home the honor of Atlantic Conference cyclocross champions. Appalachian State University, racing this past weekend on their home territory of Boone, overtook North Carolina State for the Division 1 title. Wake Forest had no trouble defending their lead in the overall team competition and finished the Atlantic Conference as the Division 2 champs.
The final race of the conference was hosted by the Appalachian State University on a flat course with multiple turns – sure to keep the riders attention. The venue is familiar as it’s also the location for the HCCX Series, but using a different course. Both days’ racing was contested on the same course with no changes so by Sunday the racers would know every turn.
In the women’s “A” race Appalachian State University rider Ashley James bolted from the start and that was the last her fellow competitors saw her. That strategy worked so well on Saturday why not try it again on Sunday? Again James was gone in the early laps of the race taking her second win of the weekend. With those two victories it was no surprise that she won the overall conference championships as well.
The men’s “A” category racing was more hard fought. Hungry to take the lead from North Carolina University the ASU Mountaineers came out swinging for Saturday’s race. ASU put their riders to the front – Clayton Omer, Reid Beloni, and teammate Alex Ryan. And that’s how they finished on the day, sweeping the podium for ASU. Sunday it was once again a separation of the contenders from the pretenders in the battle for the overall classification. Again it was Mountaineer Omer taking the win with teammate Beloni second. James McCabe of Wake Forest held on for third.
When the points from the weekend’s racing was tallied ASU was tied with NC State for first in the overall team classification. However, ASU had 11 wins to NC State’s nine, which broke the tie and awarded the Mountaineers the Division 1 championships. Wake Forest with their consistent top ten placings insured their overall team win in the Division 2 field.
Next up is the national cyclocross championships in Bend, Oregon this December 8th through the 12th.