The cyclists fly past expansive fields of assorted crops that dot the unfamiliar landscape surrounding them. A whipping wind directly strikes their faces, forcing not only the competing bikers but also the surrounding trees to lean at an unnatural angle. Atop their swift steeds, the competitors crank their pedals, causing the worn wheels to roll over the alien asphalt quicker than before. Each rider continues to look ahead, hoping to locate the finish line of the beautiful 26 mile loop; however, they all know it will be a long ride nonetheless.
Beginning their journey on Friday, April 15th, the Jesuit cycling team trekked down to Wichita Falls to compete in the Midwestern State University race. Jesuit’s JV cyclist Kolbe Surran ‘18 described it, stating, “It was one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever ridden on. It was really a pleasure.” The competition included three events spanning the entire weekend; however, due to inclement weather, the Sunday criterium was cancelled. The first event began Saturday morning with a team time trial (TTT), a road race in which teams of cyclists race against the clock. In this race, the Jesuit novice team, comprised of Noah Holben ‘19, Cristobal De Oyarzabal Barba ‘19, Benji Salazar ‘19, and Kolbe Surran ‘18 came in first place, a title they won partially because no other team entered the event. Nonetheless, when their times were compared with those of the collegiate D category, they realized that would have earned 3rd place in that division. Veteran cyclist Thomas Whitaker ‘17 called their time “very impressive,” because the novices are “4 or 5 years younger than the [college] racers.”
Later that day, each division competed in a road race based on level (novice and JV). Kolbe Surran ‘18 earned first place in the JV race. Later, when asked to describe his victory, he simply stated, “It feels really good to get this win. I feel like my training is paying off.”
On the other hand, Jesuit’s three novice cyclists raced their hearts out in their race, and they had something to show for it in the end. This race consisted of multiple other teams besides just Jesuit. Despite the competition, the Jesuit racers gave a fantastic effort, with Noah Holben ‘19 pulling in a first place position, Cristobal De Oyarzabal Barba ‘19 taking the third place position, and Benji Salazar ‘19 coming in last place. After triumphing over the competition, Holben exclaimed, “I’m ecstatic about my win. I’m glad that Jesuit could win three events and it feels awesome to be part of that.”
After the hectic weekend, the cyclists returned to Dallas Jesuit with their heads held high, rightfully earning a relaxing Sunday evening.
Be sure to check The Roundup website for more articles updating you on Jesuit’s cycling season!