Mullervy twins put craft to test at Mad Cow Classic
After Mesa State students Kevin and Conor Mullervy picked up cycling during their senior year at Arapahoe High School, the two discovered the sport is perfect for twins.
The sport requires a strong team in order for each individual to race well. The twins are in their fourth year of competitive cycling and having each other to rely on has helped both racers.
“We’re not the best climbers, so if we were coming up on one another we could push and give each other a boost,” Conor said. Kevin said one rider can block the wind so the other won’t be affected by it.
The twins said the bigger the team, the more chance the team has for an individual to race well. A team can “sacrifice” one of its members early on, by sending him off ahead of the pack. The racer will tire out quicker, but so will the other teams trying to catch him.
On a small team like Mesa State, the two juniors are instrumental to each other’s success.
Conor finished first in Saturday’s Twilight Criterium of Mesa State’s Mad Cow Classic, a two-day event that wrapped up Sunday with a road race on Reeder Mesa. Kevin finished second in last season’s Collegiate Nationals.
The two were gliding through turns last year at the Colorado College Criterium when neither cycler could finish the race.
In mid-race, Kevin had an asthma attack. It came as a shock, because Kevin hadn’t had an attack for years. The twins both had asthma growing up, but both thought they had grown out of it.
The trouble breathing and burning in his lungs became so strong, he was forced to stop mid-race and head to the emergency room.
“When he’s hurting, you feel bad,” Conor said. “It stinks when he has to drop out and you lose a teammate. But that’s part of the game.”
Fortunately for both twins, Kevin began using an inhaler and has been able to deal with his asthma better on the racetrack.
The racers didn’t start out dominating the course. It took long hours training on bikes before the two-wheeled terrors began racking up the points.
“We weren’t too good at first,” Conor said. “We were getting dropped and couldn’t finish races. It’s hard because you don’t have anyone out there saying to go do this and be at a certain practice. It takes a lot of motivation.”
“People see us out here getting good results,” Kevin added. “But we put a lot of hard work into it.”
The twins are aiming to parlay the former club sport into a permanent career by accruing enough individual points to go professional.
They said they were in the semi-professional level already, and were hoping to reach the professional level by the end of the season. They both hope to receive a professional contract by the time they graduate.
“We heard there was some good riding out here, and the team wasn’t too big,” Conor said about the twins’ decision to attend Mesa State. “We thought we’d join the team, make it bigger and well-known.”