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The Dartmouth
April 19, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Cycling team finishes season with Ivy Cup win

Bard Criterium

"This has been a record season in terms of how many riders we've brought to races," Holmdahl said. "We've also had numerous wins in both the highest and the lower categories, and several new cyclists have showed incredible talent, crossing the finish line well ahead of all competition."

Cycling's four main events include the individual time trial; the criterium, a circuit race with a time limit; the road race, which consists of two laps on an open course with pace cars in the front and rear; and the team time trial, where three or four riders work like a conveyor belt to take turns switching with the forward rider.

The Big Green team has competed in events including the Rhode Race, hosted by the Rhode Island School of Design, and the X-Pot Race, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although there are races nearly every spring weekend, signing up to compete is completely voluntary and allows a diversity of commitment levels and experience on the team.

"The team is pretty well-balanced all throughout in terms of the amount of experienced and beginner riders, and there's an equal number of racers in each category," Berg said.

The cycling team has a core group of around 20 riders who commit themselves to race every weekend. This rigorous schedule makes for an interesting personal balance of work, life and sport.

"Leaving Friday afternoon and returning Sunday evening doesn't leave a lot of leeway for messing around, so committing to these weekend trips really forces you to be disciplined and productive during the week," Berg said. "It shows in that this term, even though it's technically been our on-season, has been my best academically."

Some riders feel the effects of spending most weekends away from campus, but cite the tight support network and closeness among teammates as reasons they devote their time to cycling.

"There have been a lot of people who have guided me on tips and strategies on how to compete for example, the importance of getting out in the front early so that you'll be in a good position for the rest of the race that I would not have been able to figure out on my own," cyclist Benjamin Parker '16 said.

Riders on the team display varied cycling experience.

"I joined to train for a cross-country bike and build program, where we bike across the country to raise money for affording housing and participate in build days along the way," Parker said.

Berg took a gap year before coming to Dartmouth, biking from Alaska to Argentina with his brothers to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

"Cycling is dangerous crashes do happen and there have been multiple times when I was at my limit both physically and mentally but I'm thankful to have experienced it so soon, and I'm excited for next season and the years to come," Berg said.

Parker described cycling as "a sport that breeds devotion."

Van Adelsberg and Berg are members of The Dartmouth staff.