Collegiate cycling teams will meet Friday in Marshall, N.C. to battle it out at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championship.
With a road race, criterium, team time trial and individual time trial on the line, riders will test their diverse strengths and specialties.
Get to know athletes from your favorite teams that will represent the Southwest Collegiate Cycling Conference and vie for national titles.
Northern Arizona University
Jennifer “Traitor” Quijada
Major: Environmental science and chemistry
Favorite type of race: Crit! It’s the only thing in which I don’t get bored. I am also not good at anything besides sprinting.
Nationals expectations: Honestly, with how crappy the weather has been in Flagstaff, I haven’t been on the bike so I’m just going into nats with expectations of enjoying being there – this is my first national championship for USAC and I am the only one representing my school. All I can do is enjoy the experience. Finishing top 15 in the crit would be pretty cool too.
Favorite food: I once had to go vegetarian because my chicken strip addiction was overwhelming. Let’s just say it didn’t help, and I still love chicken strips.
Anything else: My cat’s Instagram is @sprocketthedogcat
Arizona State University
Constantin “Cycling Dad” Schreiber
Year: Too many to count. Ph.D. candidate – one more year to go!
Major: Educational policy and evaluation
Favorite type of race: I love road races. Turns out that when you’re kinda old, weigh 200 lbs and aren’t very talented, you don’t have the best chances of doing well in road races though, so I enjoy and do better in all three other race types. Somehow I can make up for those facts a lot better there. But then they had to put a big ol’ hill again into the crits at nationals.
Nationals expectations: Expectation is to suffer and have fun. Goals: 1. Don’t crash. 2. Finish all three events. 3. Don’t get crushed too much. Everything else is a bonus: top half/top third in one event would be nice.
Other hobbies besides riding bikes: Running. I actually love running. Used to play and still love soccer/futbol as well but don’t get to play it much anymore.
Favorite type of race: Crits. They challenge the intelligence as well as the physical capability of riders. It always keeps racing fast and interesting. All strategy set beforehand always goes right out the window once the whistle blows and racing is done by the seat of your pants.
Best experience of the road season: Winning our home crit was the best feeling. Getting to win in front of friends and family is always the most meaningful.
Nationals expectations: Hoping to survive. After cyclocross nats kicked my ass I’m just hoping to finish with the pack in the crit and top 30 in the ITT. Road race is anybody’s guess.
Favorite animal: Anything on my dinner plate.
Major: Music education
Favorite type of race: ITT. There’s a special kind of Zen that happens when you’re trying to hold a stupid-high heart rate for 20 km. Also, there aren’t any massive hills for Shelby [Hoglund (University of Arizona)] to drop me on, usually.
Nationals expectations: I’m giving it my all for everything, but really am going to be focusing on that ITT. The crit course should be fun too, in the “what-is-happening-to-my-legs-oh-god-this-corner” sense. Really, I’m just expecting this to be an absolute blast… and to beat UA, of course. Get hyped.
Favorite food: Yes. I like food. Mid-ride gas station donuts have historically hit the spot, but as far as real food goes, I’m a sucker for some good curries or tikka masala.
Favorite quote: “In the end the great truth will have been learned that the quest is greater than what is sought, the effort finer than the prize (or rather, that the effort is the prize), the victory cheap and hollow were it not for the rigor of the game.” – Justice Benjamin Cordozo
University of Arizona
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Favorite type of race: Road race – I enjoy the sufferfest.
Best experience of the road season: Taking the overall win for the second year in a row at Hillsboro, N.M. and sweeping the podiums at conference championships.
Nationals expectations: Racing my bike really hard.
Favorite food: Sushi and/or munching on souls.
Anything else: Looking for a pro team with which to sign a contract.
Joey “The Enigma” Iuliano
Year: Ph.D. student
Favorite type of race: Road races and time trials. Road races because I can get into the day-long breaks pretty easily…and sometimes they work! Time trials because it’s just you vs. the clock.
Best experience of the road season: Watching my teammates sweep all five categories at the Javelina Chase road race in Duncan, Ariz.
Nationals expectations: Top 10 in the road race, top five in the TTT.
Other hobbies besides riding bikes: What? There’s more than bikes?
Favorite quote: Do or do not, there is no try.
Kyle “Slim” Trudeau
Favorite type of race: Road races with a lot of climbing because they require less thinking and strategy, and my strategy on the road bike is horrible.
Nationals expectations: I’m not putting any expectations on myself. I just plan on racing hard and having fun because that’s when my results are best.
Favorite food: Burritos of all variety.
Favorite animal: My sister’s cat, Flower.
Favorite quote: “It never gets easier; you just go faster.” – Greg LeMond
Josh “Cottage of Wattage” Pratt-Ferguson
Favorite type of race: Crit. I like the punchy accelerations and tight groups.
Best experience of the road season: Making the break in the Tucson Bicycle Classic circuit race to finish second on the day and move up in general classification.
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite animal: Dogs
Other hobbies besides riding bikes: Sleeping, eating pizza and playing with my dogs.
Anything else: I’m still unattached for 2016/2017.
Major: Environmental science
Favorite type of race: Road race because I like to ride my bike far enough to see cool sights. When getting into biking in high school, I participated in gran fondos and fun group century rides that wound around lakes and scenic places [in Minnesota]. Road races bring me back.
Best experience of the road season: The Albuquerque TTT. Cherry [Niel (UA)] and I had only three hours of sleep. Our start time was at 7:30 a.m. when it was 35 degrees out. I was in such a bad mood, and I tried to keep quiet. The morning air was so cold that I wore jeans during the TTT. Five minutes into the course it was still teeth-chattering cold, and we were laughing about how miserable we all were. That was when I realized how freaking awesome my teammates were. I was not freezing and sleep-deprived alone! After the turnaround I remember saying, “Let’s pick up the pace ladies, we didn’t wake up this morning for second!” We got first place.
Favorite quote: “We may lose, and we may win but we will never be here again.” – The Eagles
Major: Chemical engineering
Favorite type of race: Road race. I enjoy the dynamics that come with racing, and I enjoy the hills that tend not to come with crits.
Best experience of the road season: I had a great time at the Sun Devil Crit. I don’t often sprint because it’s not my strength, but this year I put myself out there and grabbed some primes. Additionally, it’s a really fun and well-organized event, and most of the team was there!
Nationals expectations: I’m excited to be racing for my team, and this will be my first experience at collegiate nationals so I expect to have fun and dig deep!
Favorite food: Thai food, all of it.
Favorite quote: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
Anything else: I can smell fear.
Sarah “Posie” Posner
Major: Environmental studies and geography
Favorite type of race: Crit, because I am a hustler for life.
Best experience of the road season: That one time I raced a 50-miles road race with a broken toe. You don’t need toes to pedal.
Nationals expectations: Arrive alive.
Favorite food: Tofu (bacon).
Other hobbies besides riding bikes: Frolicking, crystal healing, yoga.
Cherry “Medusa” Niel
Major: Environmental science and biochemistry
Favorite type of race: Crits are fun, but lately Shelby [Hoglund] has turned me into a climber; plus I love the scenery and “neature” you get to see on long road races.
Best experience of the road season: Upgrading to Cat A and learning actual team tactics with some amazing teammates. Also winning cool socks.
Nationals expectations: Stoked to experience my first collegiate nationals and put myself to the test with the fastest ladies in the country (and hopefully have fun and not die).
Favorite food: PRO (post race orange)
Favorite quote: “Save dat money.” – Lil Dicky
Photo credits: Tyler Baker and Carl Patterson-Markowitz