Home Race Recap

April 14, 2014 in 2014 Road, News by ND Cycling

Over 200 cyclists from schools across the Midwest Collegiate Cycling Conference came to South Bend, IN on April 12-13 for the 4th annual Notre Dame Collegiate Cycling Classic. The Notre Dame cycling team hosted the event with the help of St. Joseph County and the City of South Bend. It also acted as a fundraiser for the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. Saturday’s races were held south of the city, starting and finishing at the Greene Intermediate Center. Teams competed in the 7.8-mile team time trial in the morning. The Irish A team, consisting of John Pratt (Jr.), Jim Snitzer (Jr.), and Luke Tilmans (Sr. ) took 5th, less than a minute behind the best time of the day set by Marian.

In the afternoon, riders took the line in the road race, varying between 28 and 72 miles in length depending upon category. The wind picked up throughout the day, making for some very hard racing. Sarah Cullen (Fr.) set the tempo at the front of the women’s B field, but after 28-miles the peloton was still together going into the final sprint. Cullen managed to take 8th. In the men’s D road race, Mike Lorenzen (Grad.) came in 3rd, while Tom Frederick (Grad.) and August Kunkel (Sr.) were 13th and 16th respectively in men’s C. The men’s A road race saw a large crash in a crosswind section of the course in just the first of 5 laps. Thankfully, no Notre Dame riders hit the pavement. Shortly following the crash, Pratt managed to get himself into the 5-man breakaway that would eventually stay away until the finish while Douglas Ansel (Grad.), Snitzer, and Tilmans rode in the second group on the road. Unfortunately, Tilmans was disqualified for going over the centerline and Ansel suffered a flat tire. In the end, Pratt was 4th and Snitzer 15th after an extremely hard day of racing.

Sunday’s short, technical, 6-turn criterium course wound through the newly developing Triangle Neighborhood before bringing riders near the Eddy St Commons and finishing on Napoleon St. Early in the day, Emma-Kate Conlin (Fr.) and Cullen rode strongly to bring in another pair of top ten finishes for women’s B.  Lorenzen had another men’s D podium finish, grabbing 2nd with the support of teammates David Berno (So.), Joe Mueller (So.), and Sam Melgar (So.). Kunkel and Frederick both recorded season-bests 5th and 8th respectively in Men’s C. After initially being gapped by the peloton, James Pratt (Fr.) fought hard to catch back on in the men’s B race. He eventually caught the field and held on for an impressive 12th. In men’s A, the final race of the day, Pratt once again made it into the winning breakaway. Meanwhile, bake in the peloton, Tilmans and Ansel were near the front but were both caught behind a crash in the final lap, continuing their bad luck from the day before. At the finish, Pratt recorded 5th despite taking large pulls to chase down riders from Marian and Lindsey Wilson.

The Notre Dame cycling team thanks St. Joseph County, the City of South Bend, and all the volunteers that helped out to make the weekend a success. The Irish will travel to Purdue University on April 26-27 for the MWCCC Regional Championships before going to USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals on May 2-4 in Richmond, VA.

Home Race Photos

April 14, 2014 in 2014 Photos, News by ND Cycling

Courtesy of Tom Snitzer:


Courtesy of Kristian Hinders:


Ripon Criterium Recap

April 7, 2014 in 2014 Road, News by ND Cycling

The Irish looked to take on the MWCCC once again in a single day criterium event hosted by Ripon College in Wisconsin. The course was tremendously challenging, featuring a couple kicker hills and a sweeping fast descent. The racing started around noon when women Sarah Cullen and Emma-Kate in the women’s B/C field. The field quickly shredded itself, but the Irish women held steady for two great results, a 2nd for Sarah, and 6th for Emma-Kate. The next event of the day for the Irish featured Josh Corcoran in the men’s C field. As in the previous races, the field was dismantled by the hills. Josh proved to hold steady, though, for a very well earned 10th place finish. The final event of the day was the Men’s A race. Jim Snitzer, Luke Tilmans, and John Pratt took the line against some of the top riders in the Midwest, themselves included. Despite the hills, not many riders were shelled from this field. Eventually, though, after a couple of attacks, several riders were able to get up the road. Snitzer and Tilmans found themselves finish 10th and 11th, respectively, in the second break. Pratt finished 24th. It was a great day for all Notre Dame cyclists. A special shout out goes to the Corcoran family for graciously hosting us. It was an exhilarating weekend of sunshine, chain grease, sweat that revolved around a barrage of great efforts by all of the riders.

Next weekend, MWCCC action comes to South Bend for the annual Notre Dame Collegiate Cycling Classic! See the home race tab for more details.

Michigan State Road Race and ITT Recap

March 31, 2014 in 2014 Road, News by ND Cycling

The cycling Irish headed up to Michigan State University for a full day of racing on Saturday, March 29. The races included a road race, featuring 5 mile laps with a 2 mile section of dirt roads, and a 6.8 mile individual time trial.

Men’s A:

Juniors John Pratt and Jim Snitzer and Senior Luke Tilmans started the men’s A 55-mile road race responding to numerous attacks from varsity programs Lindenwood and Marian. After Notre Dame was left out of an early break of 10, Pratt attempted to get away from the main field and his other season-long individual omnium competitors. Unfortunately, none of the attacks stuck. A chase group including Snitzer and Tilmans with about 12 riders formed in the dirt section during the 3rd lap. The next 3 laps were extremely agressive, seeing many attempts to bridge to the leaders. In the end, Snitzer and Tilmans finished 17th and 18th respectively.

Just an hour after finishing the road race, the 3 A’s took the line for the ITT. Pratt finished with the 4th best time of the day, just 13 seconds of the leaders pace, while Snitzer was just behind him in 5th. Tilmans managed to place 20th, despite loosing about a minute to taking a wrong turn.

Men’s D:

Graduate student Tom Frederick and Sophomores Brennan Lanier and David Berno led the way for the Irish in the men’s D 25-mile road race race. After just 3 miles in, the peloton was abruptly stopped due to fire crew responding to a barn fire near the course. After a two hour delay, the race was restarted with a combined D and C field. Frederick came out on top among the Ds, while Lanier and Berno finished 4th and 5th, respectively. For Berno, it was a stellar first career cycling race, and for Lanier, it was a strong season debut. Terrific Tom will likely upgrade to the C’s for his next race after a well-deserved victory. This season’s very strong group of D riders will look to continue to produce numerous top-5 finishes and possibly move up to C’s in the coming weekends.

In the Individual Time Trial, Frederick was 2nd, Lorenzen (who drove up in the afternoon after competing in the Holy Half Marathon that morning) 4th, Lanier 5th, and Berno 7th.

Women’s B/C:

Freshmen Sarah Cullen and Devin Stalker had a strong showing in the women’s B/C field for the second straight weekend. After taking large pulls at the front of the group chasing the 3-person breakaway, Cullen took 5th. Stalker finished her first career road race and rode on dirt roads for the first time, coming in 10th.

In the ITT, Cullen was 3rd and Stalker 5th.

Next up for the cycling Irish is Ripon’s team time trial and criterium on Saturday, April 5.

Case Western Criterium Photos

March 24, 2014 in 2014 Photos by ND Cycling

Case Western Criterium Recap

March 24, 2014 in 2014 Road, News by ND Cycling

In classic Midwestern cold, clouds, and wind, the Cycling Irish took to the streets of Cleveland, OH, for Case Western’s criterium on Sunday, March 23. The course wrapped around the Cleveland Brown’s football stadium and saw temperatures in the mid-20s with snow flurries at times.

Men’s A:

The men’s A team scored Notre Dame’s first criterium win of the season and its first ever A criterium win in school history. Early in the race John Pratt (Jr.) jumped into the day’s winning 6-man break. Back in the main field, Jim Snitzer (Jr.) and Luke Tilmans (Sr.) slowed the pace at the front of the rest of the field to ensure the move with Pratt would stay clear to the finish. The team tactics worked to perfection and Pratt was comfortably in the top 6 heading into the final hundred meters. He started his sprint early and sailed to the line in front of riders from varsity programs Lindenwood, Lindsey Wilson, and Marian.  After a hard day of controlling the field, Tilmans and Snitzer finished solidly in the field with 15th and 17th respectively.

Men’s D:

Graduate students, Tom Frederick and Mike Lorenzen, set a fast pace at the front throughout the race. The high speed reduced the field in numbers setting them up well for the final laps. Frederick, who spent much of the day leading the race, was caught out in an untimely crash with only half a mile to go. Lorenzen managed to keep a high position going for the sprint and took an impressive 2nd place.

Women’s B/C:

Freshmen riders Sarah Cullen, Emma-Kate Conlin, and Devin Stalker, proved to be a young, but resilient trio for the Irish in the women’s B/C category.  Early in the race, 2 riders from Michigan and Marian started a breakaway the ended up sticking until the end.  Despite attempts by Cullen to bridge to the break, the field had to settle for a sprint for third. Conlin had a strong performance finishing 8th and helped keep Sarah at the front. In the final sprint, Sarah struck early and found herself finish a carrier best 5th. Stalker rounded out the great day’s ride for the women’s team by finish 12th.

Notre Dame solidified its lead of DII Team standings, while Pratt and Snitzer remain 1st and 3rd respectively in the individual DII standings.  John Pratt jumped to 2nd overall in the conference after his victory Sunday.

Lindenwood Race Weekend Photos

March 19, 2014 in 2014 Photos by ND Cycling

Lindenwood Race Weekend Recap

March 19, 2014 in 2014 Road, News by ND Cycling

On the weekend of March 15-16, the Cycling Irish travelled to St. Charles, MO after a heavy week of training in Longmont, CO for spring break. The Lindenwood Race Weekend featured two days of hard racing. Saturday featured a 13 mile team time trial and a road race with 3 major climbs and 1,700ft of elevation gain per 21-mile lap. Sunday’s criterium was held in downtown historic St. Charles.

Men’s A:

With the help of Freshman B rider James Pratt, A riders John Pratt and Jim Snitzer led the team time trial to 6th place despite missing key A rider Luke Tilmans and not having any aero equipment because of spring break travel. Later in the day, Pratt and Snitzer took the line in the 4-lap, 84 miles road race, the longest of the season. In a crosswind section late in the second lap, Pratt drove a successful attack that saw 14 riders get away from the main field. After several more climbs and riders being dropped from both the breakaway and peloton, it was apparent the break was going to stick. One Marian and one Lindenwood rider managed to get away from the break during the last lap and Pratt took 9th. Meanwhile, back in the second group on the road, Snitzer attacked on the last major climb of the race with a Lindenwood rider. They stayed away until the finish and Snitzer took 11th.

For the second race weekend in a row, the criterium came down to a field sprint, a rarity in collegiate A races. The strong wind made it difficult for attacks to stick. In order to place high in the sprint, you needed to be very close to the front going into the last turn because it was sharp and required riders to slow down and accelerate sharply before the finish line. Pratt entered the turn around 15th place, not a very good position if you are looking for a win. Nevertheless, he showcased his signature sprint to overtake numerous riders in the final meters and move all the way up to 6th. Snitzer finished mid-pack, 32nd.

After his 4th consecutive top-10 finish, Pratt remains in 4th place overall in the MWCCC individual omnium and 1st place in DII. Snitzer moved into 3rd in DII.

Men’s B:

After stepping up to give a tremendous effort in the A team time trial, Freshman James Pratt began the 63-mile, 3 lap road race as a top contender for a podium spot. Although the hills of Missouri allowed the peloton to gain large time gaps on the 6’3” rider from Notre Dame, Pratt powered his way back into contention after each of the first 6 climbs, compensating for his losses by gaining time on the flat sections and the descents. During the final lap, Pratt began to test the rest of the B field by setting the pace on the 7th big climb of the day. However, the big freshman could not overcome the force of gravity as quickly as some of the competition and settled for a still-impressive top ten finish at the end of the grueling race.

Early in the criterium, a breakaway consisting of 2 riders both from Marian, formed. They ended up staying away until the finish, leaving the field to sprint for 3rd. Pratt prepared to foil the hopes of a Marian sweep of the podium. With 2 laps to go he advanced to 5th place in the peloton and followed a strong pace set by Minnesota. After accelerating to the front of the peloton during the last lap, Pratt zipped around the final corner and hammered his sprint to a 3rd place finish several bike lengths ahead of his closest competitors, celebrating a personal best finish in a thrilling field sprint.

Men’s D:

Graduate student’s Tom Frederick and Mike Lorenzen kicked off the weekend with a first place in the team time trial, despite only having 2 of the normally 4-person sized team. Just a few hours later, they both started near the front of the 21-mile, 1 lap road race, with Frederick setting the pace prior to the first of the large hills. Lorenzen suffered a set back during the first climb as two other riders were taken out of contention due to a thrown chain and blown tire. He was able to rejoin the group on the following climb. During the last major climb, a 2-man breakaway formed and Frederick led the chase group. Despite not being able to catch the 2nd place rider, Frederick dropped the other chasers in the final mile to take an impressive 3rd place in his second collegiate road race. Lorenzen hung on to take 23rd.

In the criterium, Lorenzen was sidelined with bike mechanical difficulties while Tom managed to work with a main group of 8 riders. After taking an impressive pull into a 25 mph headwind that pulled the 2nd place rider back into the group with one lap to go, he took 8th.

In Brief:

TTT- Men’s A 6th, Men’s D 1st

RR- John Pratt 9th (A), Jim Snitzer 11th (A), James Pratt 10th (B), Tom Frederick 3rd (D), Mike Lorenzen 23rd (D)

Crit- John Pratt 6th (A), Jim Snitzer 32nd (A), James Pratt 3rd (B), Tom Frederick 8th (D)

The team sits in 4th place in the overall team standings and 1st in DII after two weekends of racing. Next, ND travels to Cleveland, OH for Case Western’s criterium this weekend on Sunday, March 23.

Spring Training Day 3

March 10, 2014 in 2014 Photos, News by NDstrider

After a flat, transitional ride Sunday, ND headed to the mountains on Monday afternoon. 90 miles, 10,200 ft of climbing, and 5.5 hours later, Pratt couldn’t sit on chairs, Magro was mixing chocolate milk without chocolate, and Snitzer was making weird noises on the floor. A success on all accounts! James Pratt and Tom Frederick also rode well today, with Tom realizing he climbed a mountain longer than the total distance of most of his MWCCC road races!

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Spring Break 2014, Day 1: Flagstaff

March 8, 2014 in 2014 Photos, News by NDstrider


Notre Dame Cycling is training in Longmont, CO during spring break 2014. Day 1 in the mountains saw the Irish take on Boulder’s famous Flagstaff climb. 5 miles in length averaging over 8%, we’re definitely not in Indiana anymore.
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