More than 90 cyclists from eight universities participated in weekend races hosted by HSU’s Cycling Club in Loleta on Saturday, March 19 and on campus on Sunday, March 20. Bike racers came from Stanford, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Cal Poly, Sac State, UC Santa Cruz, University of Nevada/Reno, Butte and HSU.
HSU’s green and gold cycling jerseys dominated the pack in Sunday’s criterium on campus. Steven Pearl won the Men’s C category crit, a race where cyclists made several laps up B Street, through the Library parking lot, down LK Wood Blvd., then on Harpst Street. Pearl rode strong all weekend and got second place in Saturday’s road race in Loleta, while teammate Josh Schultz got third. Their podium finishes came with the help of fellow HSU riders Justin Graves, Nate Abel, Steve Allen and Tim Davidson, who worked to pull their teammates to the front of the pack over the course of the 38-mile race in the pouring rain.
Ryan Spaulding was among the top ten finishers in both his first Men’s A category road race and criterium. Spaulding gained enough points in races earlier this season to move up to the highest category in collegiate cycling. His participation in Saturday and Sunday’s events qualify him to race in the National Collegiate Cycling Championships in Madison, Wisc., to be held in May.
HSU’s women were a powerhouse in the hometown races this weekend. Traci Kroll won the Women’s B criterium on Sunday after winning Saturday’s 29-mile road race. Her teammate Jamie Lira finished second place in the road race. Leandra Lopez finished second in the Women’s C category criterium, and in Saturday’s road race, Irene Kerber finished her first collegiate cycling race ever, despite the cold, wind and rain that forced several newer riders to abandon.
HSU had the home-team advantage as well in the Men’s D category, as Joe Mulleary won Saturday’s road race and Sunday’s crit against riders from UC Berkeley, Sac State, UC Santa Cruz and Stanford. Gianpaul Ferioli got fifth in Sunday’s campus crit in that same category.
Hosting a bike race is a big undertaking. HSU Cycling Club couldn’t have put on the race without the volunteer efforts of the club members and without the help from community supporters. Special thanks go to Jennifer Johnson, Jeff Farnham and Chris Johnson of Adventure’s Edge, Wallie Coppini with the Loleta Chamber of Commerce, Vic Armijo of Team Bigfoot, Rob Van Kirk, the chief official for the bike race, UPD Chief Tom Dewey, Jan Henry from HSU Sports Clubs and Humboldt State University for allowing the criterium to be held on campus. As far as we know, it was the first time ever that there was a bike race held on campus. The cycling club hopes to hold more events like these in the future.