Cycling team tops the leaderboard

Cycling team finishes first at Philadelphia-based tournament

The men's cycling team.
The men's cycling team.
Credit: 
Supplied by Chris Hatton
Over the weekend, the Queen’s cycling team drove seven hours to Philadelphia where they participated in the first weekend of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference (ECCC) from March 16 to 17. 
 
The ECCC is one of eleven conferences in the USA Cycling Collegiate, consisting of a series of cycling events spanning over a weekend with student athletes from over 70 schools. On Saturday, Queen’s participated in the Time Trial Race, whose winners are based on how quickly you can complete the course. 
 
Queen’s sits at first overall in the ECCC after their performance at Time Trial Race, 140 points ahead of second place Pennsylvania State University. McGill University, University of Toronto, and University of Ottawa are among the other Canadian universities that compete in the ECCC.
 
For their efforts over the weekend, the Gaels were recognized in the Canadian Cycling Magazine.
 
Third-year Andrew Jonker won the men’s A race, followed closely by his twin brother, Ryan, in third. 
 
On the women's side, post-grad student Chloe DesRoche won the women’s A road race, milliseconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Andrew has been a dominant force for several years on the cycling team, winning all four of his races in the fall season and helping Queen’s to reclaim the University Cup.
 
The Gaels have always been a strong competitor, winning the provincial title for eight of the past nine years. 
 
After losing the cup to the University of Toronto during the 2017-18 season, Queen’s managed to bring the Cup back home this fall. 
 
Consistent victories have been integral to the Queen’s program, according to fourth-year cycling team member Jaqueline Toole. 
 
“It’s huge for Queen’s, a Canadian university going down to the [U.S.] and winning against schools like MIT and Penn State,” she said. Student coach, captain, and fourth-year athlete Chris Hatton plays a large part in fostering this culture, pushing the team to it’s limits by encouraging everyone to do better and be more competitive. 
 
“We’ve come a long way in team culture,” Toole said. “Chris has been instrumental in that.” 
 
Hatton described his role as being like a team manager that’s able to compete in each event. He welcomes any riders to the team, regardless of their experience with cycling. 
 
“My goal this year has been to promote and grow the team as much as possible, along with creating a positive environment for all our athletes,” Hatton said. “Even though results and training are important, at the end of the day, it’s just about having fun.”
 
With another competition scheduled for this weekend in Pennsylvania, the team will look to continue and build on past successes in the last ECCC races, remaining optimistic for the coming events. 
 
“As one of the only Canadian teams, we hope to keep representing the country [and] school as best as possible,” Hatton said.
 
—With files from Maggie Gowland

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