Mesa State’s Mullervy wins Mad Cow Classic
Conor and Kevin Mullervy have a special birthday to celebrate this year.
Kevin set the pace Sunday and Conor benefited, leading the Mesa State College cycling team in its Mad Cow Classic Men’s A Division road race on Reeder Mesa Road in Whitewater. The twin brothers from Centennial turned 23 on Friday.
“That was the first time I actually finished this race in the lead group,” Conor said. “It’s a tough course. There is a lot of bad luck I’ve had out there.
“Last year, I was in the breakaway and flatted. I had to wait 30 minutes to get my wheel fixed, so my race was done. Another year, I (cramped) up, so I didn’t finish the race.”
He finished the 60-mile race unofficially in 3 hours and 23 minutes, beating five Division I cyclists in a sprint finish, including two from Fort Lewis College.
Kevin placed seventh and Mesa cyclist and coach Richard Geng was 10th.
Mesa State’s Sarah Madsen took ninth in the Women’s A Division 49-mile race and Esmeralda Martinez-Ramos took 10th. The Mavs’ Brooke Bosman placed fifth in the Women’s B Division 27-mile race and teammate Erica Nagy was sixth. Mesa State’s Jacob Hader took fourth place in the Men’s C Division 27-mile race.
Although Conor won the race, it was Kevin who did a lot of the grunt work, and Conor acknowledged it.
“Kevin set the pace the first climb and kept it high,” Conor said. “Once we were toward the top, everyone started to ease up. That’s when I pushed a little bit and the field split.”
The lead group, which included Conor, broke away, but he was the only Mesa cyclist in that group. The rest of the group included four Fort Lewis cyclists, one from the University of Colorado and one from Colorado State University.
“When his group went, I knew with four Fort Lewis guys in there, we needed at least one more in there,” Geng said. “I sent Kevin, but he kind of died half way. I tried to bridge to them a couple times, but it didn’t work.
“I was hoping (Conor) would play it smart. With four Fort Lewis guys in there, we don’t do anything.”
Geng attempted to bridge the gap, but was caught in no-man’s land with one Fort Lewis cyclist, four minutes behind the lead group and four minutes ahead of the other group. The course was mostly flat, but required a lot of pedaling to keep pace. When there was a downhill grade, the cyclists were fighting a headwind.
Eventually, the lead group drifted back in sight of the trail group. Still, Conor had to race smart with two cyclists from Fort Lewis, one from Colorado and one from Colorado State hanging with him.
“With a smaller group I had a better chance,” Conor said. “What played to my advantage was knowing where the finish line was. Some guys were attacking three miles out thinking it was around the corner.
“Setting up this race, I knew exactly where it was. I sat on a wheel and came around. It definitely played to my advantage knowing the course.”
Conor received all the congratulations, but Kevin couldn’t have been happier.
“That’s all right, that’s how it is,” Kevin said. “(Cycling) is a big team sport, which a lot of people don’t realize. It’s easy to sacrifice, especially for your brother. It’s awesome. He’d be just as happy if I won.”