Training in the weeks following the FSU race have been tough. The weather had been unkind and too much time had been spent on the trainers instead of getting time on the bike outside on the roads. That did not seem to hamper efforts at the Georgia Tech outing with continued solid results across all categories and disciplines.
The women were missing 2 of their key A riders that have powered them to successive wins in the TTT. However, 2nd year B rider and senior Jamie Grigsby, Oak Ridge TN, stepped into the gap to make the required 3 riders for this event. They managed a creditable 4th place and securing enough points to keep them in the running for the season championship. Credit goes to Jamie along with A riders Stephanie Cucaz and Caroline Gentry for making this effort on behalf of the entire team.
The Road Race on Saturday saw men's C rider, Reid Yoder a junior from Hoagland IN, power to a victory with a strong sprint finish. This is his 1st outright win of the season and was a fantastic result for him and the entire team. In the men's B freshman Derek Hurst, White Pine TN, put in a strong finish to claim 3rd place with sophomore Zach Maness placing 7th. In the men's A category junior Julian Cabra, Greenville SC, found himself in the breakaway with a full lap to go and hung on to place 5th overall in this very strong field while sophomore Alex Jensen, Tampa FL, rode away from the peleton to place 7th. Junior TJ Killelea, Redbank TN and freshman Reuben Dupre, Mobile AL, placed 17th and 18th respectively. With 4 riders in the top 20 King accumulated sufficient points to remain on top of their division for the season. Women's A rider Caroline Gentry, Bristol TN, came in with the field in a sprint to finish in 5th place while Jamie Grigsby and freshman Keely Easterling, Bristol TN, finished 6th and 8th respectively rounding out a strong day of 8 top 10 finishes.
Sunday saw the teams racing in a very fast and open criterium. With little technical cornering each race developed into a drag race and a battle of attrition. At the end of the day King placed another 7 riders in the top 10 for the day. Sophomore Stephanie Cucaz, Lawrenceville GA, chased down breakaways to keep the women's A group together setting them up for a sprint finish. With her strong sprint it was always going to be tough on the rest of the group and Stephanie came through in 2nd place without the help of her absent teammates. Jamie Grigsby completed her excellent weekend with a 6th place finish and developing rider Keely Easterling crossed in 8th for the second time in two days. Reid Yoder still had enough in his legs after the win at the line in the road race to push for 7th place in the men's C while Zach Maness and Derek Hurst virtually swapped places from the previous days results with Zach coming across in 3rd and Derek managing 6th for the day. The A men worked well together throughout the day taking turns pushing the pace and tagging all attempted breakaways but were hampered by a crash in the final lap. Still sophomore and new A rider Blake Adams managed to avoid the crash and cross in 8th place with TJ Killelea right on his heels coming across in 11th.
The team is developing nicely and all riders seem to be peaking at the right time as we head into the final races before conference and ultimately Nationals for the A riders.
The team gets a slight break to recover during Spring break but several will be competing for King at the Brevard race the weekend of March 23rd. The team will be all together again to host the conference in Bristol for the Cobra/Tornado classic on April 6th and 7th.