Starting off the first ACCC event of the year was the Men’s D field and representing Duke were senior Grant Oakley and sophomore Brooks Mershon. The two stayed in perfect position in the top 10 all race and it paid off with Brooks taking the win and Grant getting 4th in his first race in two years! The boys gave Duke cycling its first win of the year and will be rocking the podium for many races to come!
Fresh off the Greenville Spring Training Series race, graduate students Brenna Forester, Becky Johnson, and Brett Meager powered their way to a dominating 1st, 2nd, and 5th place performance . Racing with unmatched teamwork and poise these ladies were ready for the challenge of the uphill field sprint and notched the second win of the day for Duke cycling!
In another hectic bunch finish, Duke grad student Jeff Farner Budarz and senior Kevin McDonnell both scored top 10 finishes at 7th and 8th place. Non-ACCC rider Vince Dunne of Drexel University took the win, but look for both Kevin and Jeff to inch their way to the top step of the podium after what was only their first race of the year.
Despite missing the eventual winning breakaway of 8 riders, lone Duke racer and Fuqua studentZhan Khaw patrolled the front of the field and raced to get up to the break. He pushed hard on the steepest hill of the course but the break would not be caught by the end of 50 miles. Zhan finished 20th place and with the return of teammate Steven Boyd next weekend should be lighting up the B’s field at the UNC races.
The fastest collegiate race of the day saw Virginia Tech’s Taylor Pearman and VCU’s Chris Jones stay away from a charging field in the last two laps to take 1st and 2nd place. Duke’s Kaleb Naegeliworked tirelessly for the team at the front of the pack the entire race by chasing down threatening moves and putting in digs when needed. With 200 meters to go Eoin McDonnell was cut off and misdirected by a rider flying in from his left, knocking him out of contention for the field sprint. With only two riders from Duke able to contend for the field sprint, Jacob Timmerman and Alex Fulton surged to 4th and 5th place for Duke behind only ex-pro Dave Fuentes in the field sprint.