Atkinson nabs first road win for Centenary
College Station, Texas - Taylor Atkinson made it a great weekend in the Lone Star State when he grabbed his first career victory and first ever collegiate bicycle road race win for Centenary College at the Texas A&M "Tunis-Roubaix" Road Races.
Saturday's 31-mile Men's Cat. D race, in the countryside north of College Station and part of the SCCCC conference race schedule, included a total of five miles of dirt roads for the racers to maneuver in. Several attacks were easily reeled back in by the 50-rider pack and it seemed that the group was content to stay together, especially when the course would turn headlong into 16-20 mph winds. Approaching the finish, with a tailwind, Atkinson stayed patient and aggressively attacked the hard-charging field at 150 meters to go, winning by two bike lengths.
In Sunday's criterium race on the Texas A&M campus, Atkinson stayed with the leaders for the entire race but was boxed in on the sprint for the finish. Unable to move out to a better line he would come in sixth in the 37-rider field.
After getting finishing places of ninth, fifth, first, and sixth over his last 4 races, Atkinson will move up to the stronger Men's Category C for the remainder of the racing season. Next race event is the LSU Road Races on March 16-17 in St. Francisville and Baton Rouge.