Cheers, music and the grinding of gears filled the air Sunday as hundreds of racers congregated for the second half of the championship race of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference at the Penn State Cycling Club’s Nittany Lion Classic.
Joing students from many other ECCC schools, the Penn State Cycling Club set up early in the morning for a day of racing.
Cyclists in multiple categories competed in the Frat Row Criterium, a one-kilometer, six-turn race located in downtown State College. The route was a loop that extended through Fraternity Row, East Fairmount Avenue and other streets downtown.
“This criterium is the most technical of the season,” Penn State Cycling Club President Ivan Temnykh said.
The cycling club hosted and organized all aspects of the event, Temnykh (graduate-material science) said. The Nittany Lion Classic marked the first time in two years that Penn State has hosted a home championship race.
About 300 racers were present, with about 45 racers from Penn State’s Cycling Club, race director Burt Levine (senior-finance) said.
Despite intermittent rain, racers were to continue their events as normal. But the rain from making the race more difficult for some riders.
During the Women’s C race, a Penn State racer skidded while making a turn, causing a collision with a few of the racers behind her. The accident prompted EMS services to take action as the other racers waited for the roadway to clear.
Racers from other ECCC schools were present — from state schools like University of Delaware and University of Vermont to Ivy League schools like Yale and Harvard.
Penn State ended this year’s cycling season with unprecedented success, taking both the yellow leader’s jersey and the green sprinters’ jersey on Sunday.
“It’s probably the first time we’ve ever done that in conference history,” Levine said.
Club members said they were pleased with the race’s results.
“Everybody showed up strong for most of the season. Everyone worked together,” yellow jersey recipient and Men’s A racer Wyatt Stoup (sophomore-environmental resource management) said.
Stoup has also been selected for Penn State club sports’ Male Athlete of the Year.
Kevin McGuire, who won the green sprinters’ jersey, called his win a “true Cinderella story.”
“I am just in utter shock that I got the green jersey right now. It’s like a dream come true,” McGuire (freshmen-civil engineering) said. “Penn State brings back the yellow and the green.”
Competition aside, some participants of Sunday’s race said they enjoyed the event for the fun and experience of it.
“You get a good adrenaline high and good endorphin high,” SUNY Buffalo graduate student David Kina said. “The sport takes a lot of discipline and long-term training. I strongly encourage endurance sports.”