Lees-McRae cycling team releases schedule
by Staff Reports
BANNER ELK -- Lees-McRae director of cycling Tim Hall announced the Bobcats' cycling schedule for the fall of 2014 Wednesday afternoon.
"This fall will be an exciting time for our program" Hall said. "We are hosting the SECCC conference mountain bike championship on campus as well as the national championship on Beech Mountain. For a couple of weeks our area will be at the center of collegiate mountain biking, so naturally we want to showcase the beauty of our trails on campus and on Beech."
Lees-McRae will make a 2.5 hour trek to open its season with a trip to Brevard on Aug. 30-31. A week later, the Bobcats will travel to Johnson City, Tenn. to participate at the East Tennessee State University race on Sept. 6-7.
The Bobcats travel to Clemson, S.C. to ride on Sept. 13-14 before concluding preparation for nationals with a trip to Union in Barbourville, Ky. on Sept. 21-22.
Lees-McRae will participate in the Collegiate Track Nationals in Indianapolis from Sept. 25-28.
"We will take a small squad of dedicated track cyclists to Indianapolis at the Major Taylor Velodrome," Hall said. "We do not anticipate competing for any team medals there, but we have a few endurance and sprint racers who stand a great chance at winning an individual medal."
The team will host a ride for Lees-McRae alumni at the schools' homecoming and alumni weekend Oct. 4-5 in Banner Elk.
"We will be inviting all cycling alumni to join us for Homecoming Weekend here at Lees-McRae," Hall said. "We will host a couple of rides and get everyone together to fellowship and tell stories. It's important we reconnect with all of them and plug them into who we and the school are today. Long-term, I plan to make this an annual event we do, and I believe it will strengthen our program for all involved. I am very much looking forward to that weekend."
The weekend of Oct. 11, Lees-McRae cycling will host the SECCC Mountain Bike Championship.
"Our schedule is very balanced and should serve as a great buildup to nationals," Hall said. "We will have to hit the ground running because Brevard offers some of the most challenging courses, and it will be a great test to see who prepared during the summer. Our recruiting efforts have concentrated on improving our weaknesses from nationals in 2013. We lost a couple of key riders to graduation, but the new recruits should fill their shoes nicely; especially on downhill and dual slalom where we lost ground last year. Our goal is to win it all in 2014, and I believe we have the talent to achieve that goal."
The Bobcats will conclude the fall season at the Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in Beech Mountain Oct. 24-26.