The RU Cycling season kicks off this Friday, August 11th, at 'Cross Under the Lights, part of the NJ State Fair at the Sussex County Fairgrounds.
With one cyclocross workout behind them in preparation, the RU crew is looking pretty good. In years past, the Fairgrounds has been kind to RU with 3 state championship podiums on this course and multiple wins during the November cyclocross series held there. The Rutgers 'cross crew is primed to continue its success at the Fairgrounds.
Representing Rutgers: Don, Alessandro, Jay, Mark, Brandi, and Ted.
This race will be Don's first after months spent off the bike due to surgery. If last night's practice is any indication, Don's form is on track, and he will smoke everyone in any run. Don wants this. He wants it real bad.
Alessandro will be leaving Rutgers Cycling (and NJ) at the end of August, so this will be his farewell to NJ cycling. In 2004, Alessandro was 3rd in the state 'cross championships at the Fairgrounds. Perhaps his farewell ride will net him the win...
Jay has spent his summer doing two things: painting and riding his mountain bike. This 30 minute race will be but a blip on Jay's radar as he is preparing for the 24 hours of Allamuchy in September. Look for Jay to get the hole shot and clear the barriers in a single bound.
Mark, the resident cyclocross fanatic, comes into this race after a summer spent racing on the road. His fitness is certainly there, and he's hungry for some results in cyclocross. In 2004, Mark also reached the podium in the state 'cross championships at the Fairgrounds and finished 10th against a deeper field in 2005. Look for a mean face and flying mutton chops.
Brandi is a newcomer to cyclocross. In fact, Tuesday night's practice was the first time she had gone over barriers! She has, however, shown immense promise and growth over the course of the 2005-06 season. Brandi is a fierce competitor with a steady-state engine to match. She may very well be the women's cyclocross revelation of the season.
Ted is threatening to race 'Cross Under the Lights on his single speed 'cross bike. Ted is also fairly new to cyclocross having only raced at Highland Park 'Cross last year. Ted, however, is an impressively strong rider who continues to only get stronger. Ted will surely put in an impressive ride with only one gear.
And there you have it! Friday night promises to be a great night for Rutgers Cycling!