Brevard prepares for Division I Collegiate Road Nationals

BREVARD, N.C. – The Brevard College cycling team will wrap up its first full year of competition at the Division I level of USA Cycling by competing at Collegiate Road Nationals, held this Friday through Sunday in two Western North Carolina towns.

The Friday road races and Sunday time trials will begin and end in Marshall, while Saturday’s spectator-friendly criterium will be held on a closed loop in downtown Burnsville.

Brevard’s road cycling roster is not yet large enough for the Tornados to compete for a team title in Division I. Perley will instead send a handful of competitors to race in various events, including two riders, Janelle Cole and Allison Arensman, who will compete on all three days. The second-year head coach expects both women to be squarely in contention for an individual omnium title, given to the rider who compiles the best finishes from all events throughout the weekend.

“I certainly think Janelle and Allison are both capable of podium finishes,” said Perley. “I think it really speaks volumes to the work the students have put in. They’ve risen to the occasion of competing in Division I.”

Cole and Arensman finished second and fourth, respectively, in last year’s individual omnium in Division II, with a last-lap pass from Cole to win Saturday’s criterium highlighting the weekend. Both riders have held their own against Division I competition in other disciplines this season, with Cole overcoming a crash to finish fifth in cross country short track in October and Arensman earning a runner-up finish in cyclocross in January.

The duo will join with Nicole Miranda to compete in Friday’s road race that begins at 8:15 a.m. in Marshall, covering two laps on an approximately 24-mile course. Although tactics to aid teammates are used, each rider earns an individual placement in Friday’s event.

“All three of our women racing competed last year,” said Perley. “They know the course and the event and what to expect, except for the fact that this is an entirely different field. With only three riders, it’s a bit of a different game for our women, but even with this being our first year in Division I, we’re looking for top finishes.”

At 12:15 p.m., Spencer Lowden, Joshua Cole, and Ray Dangelmaier will begin a roughly 72-mile journey in the men’s road race, racing three loops around the course that begins and ends in downtown Marshall.

“This is the first road national title event for all three of our men,” Perley said. “It’s pretty neat because they’ve each stepped up over the course of the year simply to qualify for this event. I’m excited to see them continue to improve.”

Saturday will see all three women competing on the Burnsville criterium course beginning at 12:30 p.m. Riders will race for 50 minutes plus three additional laps around the 0.9-mile circuit.

“I think we have a chance for a podium finish on Saturday,” Perley commented. “Obviously our women are going to be marked a little bit [after two top-five finishes in the 2015 criterium]. People are very much aware of our presence in the race, and in a lot of ways, I think we’re the underdogs. But we absolutely have a very realistic chance to see Brevard at the top of the podium.”

Results of the individual omnium will be tallied following Saturday’s criterium. Cole and Arensman will also compete in Sunday afternoon’s individual time trial on a 12.4-mile course in Marshall.

To keep up with all the latest information about the Tornados, “Like” our Brevard College Tornado Athletics Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @BCTornados.

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