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MIT cycling club wins national title for second consecutive year

Posted by Your Town  May 31, 2013 05:40 PM

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The MIT Cycling Club has earned a national championship title for the second consecutive year, the university announced Thursday in a statement.

Earlier this month, the team won first place in the Division II Collegiate Road National Championships, according to the university’s statement. This was the second year in a row that MIT took home the title.

The statement said that MIT alumna and former olympic cyclist Nicole Freedman worked as the team coach, and traveled with the cyclists to nationals for the first time this year. This past September, the club won the USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships, The Tech reported.

Shaena Berlin, a captain for the club, said that although her team was favored to win, they did not take the title for granted.

“We were the favorites for this year, but you need everyone to do their best and you can’t just assume anything,” Berlin said today.

Berlin, a senior at MIT, said there are approximately 100 undergraduates and graduates on the team, and they train year round.

During the fall semester the club members ride for 15 to 20 hours a week at a lower intensity, she said. Then in the spring semester they train at a higher intensity, for about 10 to 15 hours per week. When in training, Berlin said she needs to eat about 4,000 calories a day.

The sport can be risky, particularly when riding in the city, Berlin said.

“It is dangerous,” she said. “We try really hard to get our riders to know all of the rules of the road.”

The team has had a few accidents this year, which resulted in bad scrapes and hand injuries, she said. The members bike in neighboring communities such as Concord and Lexington as frequently as possible.

Berlin also said that despite her team’s success, competitors will occasionally underestimate them.

“You don’t go to MIT to play sports, and people know that,” she said. But MIT students, she said, tend to have qualities that translate well into sports.

“We work hard, are perseverant, and determined,” Berlin said. “And that makes for a pretty good athlete.”

Katherine Landergan can be reached at For campus news updates, follow her on Twitter @klandergan.

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