For the second year in a row, The MIT Cycling Team won the Division II Team Omnium, the overall award, at the 2009 USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships held in September in Trexlertown, Pa. In only its third year at the competition, the team also won the Division I & II Collegiate Sprint, which is a co-ed race within the overall competition.
MIT Track Cycling captain, Mike Garrett, a graduate student in nuclear engineering, took fifth place in the individual men’s omnium. “It was amazing," said Garrett. “We took a large group of 10 cyclists, and it was a great group of people to share the experience with.”
Also sharing the top was MIT’s Laura Ralston, a graduate student in economics, who earned 12th place in the individual women’s omnium.
Track cycling is an intense sport, with races taking place on a steeply banked oval track called a velodrome. Track bikes have no brakes, so riders cannot panic stop, and the bikes have only one-fixed gear, requiring riders to peddle constantly. “What I love about track cycling is that there are multiple events which require different strategies and tactics,” said Garrett.
For more history on the MIT Cycling Team, go to http://web.mit.edu/~cycling-club/www/about.shtml. To read an MIT Alumni Association article about the track team’s success at Nationals — and to see photos from the event — go to http://sliceofmit.wordpress.com/2009/10/01/mit-cycling-team-wins-nationals/.