Category Archives: Sports

Belarus Rules the Road

Visal Kiryienka entering the home stretch
Belarusian, Vasil Kiryienka, entering the home stretch Photo Credit: Chris Richardson

Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus took home the gold medal and the rainbow-colored jersey finished in first place in today’s UCI Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial in Richmond, Virginia. The 34-year-old Belarusian was finished with a time of 1:02:29:45, 9.8 seconds ahead of sliver medalist, Adriano Malori of Italy. Jerome Coppel of France finished third earning himself the bronze medal with a time of 1:02:56:07, 26 seconds after the winner.

Today’s course stretched for nearly 33 miles (53 kilometers) starting in Doswell at Kings Dominion and concluded at on Broad and 5th street in Richmond. Cyclists rode through the country roads of Hanover and Henrico County before making their way onto the urban streets of Richmond.

Michael Hepburn of Australia, was the first rider to be on the hot seat. He was unseated by Great Britain’s Stephen Cummings. The hot seat changed multiple times afterwards until Kiryienka grabbed the seat late in the race.

“I knew it was a good course for me. It’s the kind of course that suits me,” Kiryienka said.

Taylor Phinney was the finished with the fastest time of the two Americans in the trial with a time of 1:04:06:44. The finish by Phinney was good enough for 12th place. This was Phinney’s first hour-long time trial in over two years due to an injury he suffered to his leg. Lawson Craddock of the US finished 22nd with a time of 1:04:56:79.

Cycling resumes on Friday Women’s Junior and Men’s Under 23 Road Circuit.

Villumsen and Appelt Take Gold in UCI Individual Time Trials

Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial

Linda Villumsen realizing that she was going to win the ITT
New Zealand’s, Linda Villumsen, realizing that she was going to win the ITT

Linda Villumsen of New Zealand was finally able to claim her first rainbow-colored jersey this afternoon as she won the Women’s Elite Individual Time Trial with a time of 40:29.87. The 30-year-old Kiwi has been on the podium for second and third place finishes many times in the past, but she finally was able to stand on the podium as the winner. She outlasted second place finisher, Anna Van der Breggen of the Netherlands, by a slim margin of 2.54 seconds. Last year’s winner, Lisa Brennauer of Germany, took home the bronze medal.

42-year-old American, Kristin Armstrong, was in first place for a long time as she was the second person to be released during onto the 18.6 mile track. She set the time of 40:50:45, but was not able to hold on to the lead as Villumsen and three other cyclists shattered her time resulting in a fifth place finish.

“Kristin is someone that I have looked up to for many years,” Villumsen said. “Being ahead of her was a special feeling. Every minute was a very long minute [being in the hot seat]. Sitting there waiting for everyone was very hard.”

All three women will be in the Women’s Elite Road Race this Saturday.

Men’s Junior Individual Time Trial

Top 3 Cyclists standing on the podium
Germany’s, Leo Appelt, wins the Men’s Junior Elite ITT

Germany’s Leo Appelt took home the gold medal in today’s UCI Men’s Junior’s Individual Time Trial. Appelt finished with a time of 37:45:01. Americans, Adrien Costa and Brandon McNulty filled out the rest of the podium respectively.

The 18-year-old German was the 18th cyclist out of 57 to be released as each cyclist was released every 30 seconds. He was able to get off to fast start early and was able to set the pace for the other cyclist. Appelt winning the time trial considered an upset by the many people. Appelt was also surprised by the outcome.

“I was surprised too,” Appelt said. “I still can’t believe it. I just did my race. I was fast and I am surprised.”

“Leo was not someone that we were looking out for, because he had not seen him at the early season European races,” Brandon McNulty said. “But, obviously we should have been looking out for him.”

Even in defeat, the two American cyclist were still excited to take home the silver and bronze medal describing it as awesome.

“The women yesterday set a pretty high bar for us,” McNulty said. “We wanted to do what they did yesterday, but two guys on the podium is hard to beat.

“You can’t do better that one and two, but getting second and third after our performances all year shows that we are consistent and we are able to be up there on the podium all the time,” Adrien Costa said.

All three cyclists will hit the road again on Saturday for the Men’s Junior Elite Road Race.

Old Dominion Showdown

Richmond, Va. – 1,650 people made their way to Sportsbackers Stadium on Monday night to see in-state foes, the VCU Rams and reigning National Champions, the #6 Virginia Cavaliers, face off against each other. For 83 minutes, the two teams held each other scoreless in what was a physical affair. At the 84th minute, UVA’s Derrick Etienne, dribbled his way through six defenders to give UVA the lead and the 1-0 win over the VCU Rams.

“Credit to Derrick, he ran through multiple half-hearted tackles and efforted his way into the goal,” VCU Coach Dave Giffard said. “We certainly had our chances to take the goals and we didn’t get them. As the game wears on, guys get tired and it’s up to someone to make a play and credit to Derrick. He’s a good player and he made a good play.”

VCU's, #12 Brandon Eaton, against a UVA Player

The two teams played a back-and-forth match as each had their chances throughout the match. The Cavaliers registered 11 shots, six on goal. VCU had multiple opportunities to score as they took 16 shots in the match, one on goal. However, they were unable to register a goal.

The atmosphere was electric in the stadium. Dave Giffard said that it felt like a playoff game because of the crowd and the intensity the players had on the field. The crowd in attendance for the game was the 4th-largest crowd in Sportsbackers Stadium history.

The loss drops VCU to 2-5-1 and Virginia improves to 5-0-2. VCU hits the road as they face UCLA, the runner-up to the Cavaliers last season.


Danish Victory

Men's U23 Individual Time Trial Winner, Mads Wurtz Schmidt
Men’s U23 Individual Time Trial Winner, Mads Wurtz Schmidt

Richmond, Va., – Denmark’s, Mads Wurtz Schmidt, won the Men’s U23 Individual Time Trial. Schmidt finished with a time of 37:10:96. The 21-year-old. Locked down first place early in the race as he was the 14th cyclist to be released out of 50. Schmidt sat on the hot seat in first place for over two hours as he waited for the race to conclude. Lennard Kamna of Germany, made a late push, but was not able to push ahead of Schmidt and second place finisher, Maximilian Schachmann of Germany. Kamna finished in third place.

“It was terrible to sit there [hot seat],” Schmidt said. “I was shaking. In the end, it was amazing. When I saw the win, I just had to shout out and go see my dad.”

The UCI Road World Championships continue tomorrow as the Junior Men’s Time Trial and the Women’s Elite Time Trial will be taking place.


1-2 American Finish

Photo Credit: Darnell Myrick
Emma White and Chloe Dygert discussing the race

Richmond, Va., – The United States took first and second place in the Women’s Junior Individual Time Trial of the UCI Road World Championships. Chloe Dygert finished in first place and Emma White finished in second place. Dygert finished with time of 20:18:47 while White finished +1:05:53 after the winner, Dygert.

“Honestly, it’s just another race I think,” Dygert said. “I’m really happy that my teammate Emma and I go one-two in the states. It’s awesome and I’m really happy about that”

White said that she felt good throughout the race as she credited her and Dygert’s success to USA Cycling.

“It’s been huge having their help and my coach Kirsten Armstrong has been huge for my development the last couple of years,” White said. “I went into it [the race] with all the preparation I could have and we left it all out there.”

The two women will race again on Friday in the Women’s Junior Road Race. The race women will bike four miles that will go through the Downtown Richmond, Shockoe Bottom, VCU, and the University of Richmond and will span over 40 miles.



Weekend Ram-Page

Richmond, Va. – The VCU Men’s Soccer team returned to action this week after going winless on a recent California road trip. The Rams were greeted a welcoming reception and they did not disappoint as they produced back-to-back shutouts defeating Hartford on Friday 2-0 and Jacksonville 3-0 on Sunday. The wins over the weekend were the first wins for the Rams this season as they improve to 2-4 this season.

The Rams took a more aggressive approach to both games as they were able to get on the board within the first fifteen minutes. Added goals as both games went on, but their stout defense was able to steer the team to victory over the weekend.

“It was nice to get home and get two clean sheets,” VCU head coach Dave Giffard said. “I think that we keep evolving and figuring out defensively what’s right with the group. It was nice for the guys to bounce back this weekend and score five goals against two good teams.”

The Rams return to action this Thursday night at Sportsbackers Stadium when the play #25 Georgetown Hoyas in a rematch of last year’s game that VCU won 2-0 at Georgetown. The game starts at 7:00.