Collegiate Cycling

CU Mountain Biking team rocks Nationals

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By Eszter Horanyi


Sam Morris during the XC course

After a long season of racing in the Rocky Mountain Conference, the University of Colorado Nationals Team traveled south to Angel Fire, NM for the 2011 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships. The team had some of the strongest riders and most depth that it’s had in years and was gunning for both individual national titles as well as trying to dethrone Fort Lewis College in the overall team omnium competition. Racers were greeted with a winter snowstorm on Wednesday night that dumped nearly 8-inches of snow on the mountain. This immediately turned buff trails and a rocky downhill track into a giant slip-n-slide. With sun forecasted for the weekend, racers were ready for all conditions, from snow to ice to mud.

The women’s team was the first to line up for the XC on Friday morning. The 5.5-mile course was still frozen for the first lap as Katie Sodergren, Claire Bensard, and Diedre York all stayed within striking distance of the leader, Lauren Catlin of Fort Lewis. Disaster struck Sodergren on the second lap when a crash on the slippery course led to a lost contact from the eye and lost contact from the lead group. York and Bensard continued to chase and ended up on the podium in 4th and 5th. Racing in her senior year, this was Bensard’s first Nationals podium, and as author of this article, I’d like to point out that four years ago, I totally pointed to Claire as doing big things in cycling in the future. Ashlee Wilson, newly upgraded to A’s placed 10th. She will also do great things in the future. I’ve got my money on it.

CU Women Continue to Fight for Conference Win

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Photo Credit: Eszter Horanyi

By Eszter Horanyi

On a race weekend that overlapped with 24-Hours of Moab and the opening of Wolf Creek Ski Resort, many collegiate riders were faced with hard decisions. With the lack of a downhill at the collegiate race hosted by Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, many gravity riders chose to take a pass on the weekend. Those in attendance were treated to a fast and flat short track, a world-class dual slalom and a technical cross country that challenged the skills of all levels of riders.

Showing up in force again was the CU women’s endurance team, fielding Katie Sodergren, Claire Bensard, and a newly upgraded Ashlee Wilson. They were paired up against the ever-strong Fort Lewis women’s team consisting of Lauren Catlin, Sarah Sturm, and Anne Cheeney. With team wins in the conference and at National Championships often resting on the performance of the women, all eyes have been watching the Women’s A races intently all season.

In the ST on Saturday morning, Catlin of FLC put on an impressive display of power by riding away from the rest of the field from the start on the relatively flat course. Sodergren and Jill Behlen of Wyoming chased with Sodergren crossing the line in second. Bensard (CU) finished just behind Sturm (FLC) in 5th and 4th, respectivey.

In the XC the following day, tables were turned for the top two women. Catlin and Sodergren stayed glued on each other’s wheel for 3 of the 4 laps and spectators began to expect a sprint finish. Finally, on the final lap, Sodergren was able to open up a small gap and grow it by riding some of the rock features that most of the other women were forced to dismount for. Sturm finished ahead of Bensard in 3rd and 4th.

CU Cycling Dominates Round #4 of RMCCC Series

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By Eszter Horanyi


Photo Credit: Eszter Horanyi

With the collegiate mountain bike season reaching the halfway point, teams vying for a shot at the national title are starting to pull out their fire power. Members of the CU Cycling team descended on Hartman Rocks in Gunnison this weekend for the Conference Championships and showed that while Fort Lewis College may exceed them in numbers this year, the team is not lacking talent or motivation.

Always consistent and fast, the women’s endurance team once again proved that they were a force to be reckoned with. In the short and fast short track, Deidre York, known as one of the best XC descenders, put her skills to use on the bermed descent down Collar Bone Alley, visibly riding the trail faster than any of the other women in the race. Katie Sodergren put in a valiant effort to chase her teammate, closing the gap between the two on the climb each lap but was unable to shut it down by the last lap. Abby MicKey and Claire Bensard finished 4th and 5th. The men also packed a 1-2 punch with Sam Morrison getting the best of teammate Kevin Kane.

Morrison was back at it on Sunday in the XC, out sprinting Gunnison native Dylan Stucki from Fort Lewis College. Brad Berger, newly upgraded from racing his single speed in the B’s and on a geared bike for the first time in a while put in a strong ride to finish 5th. Sodergren and York led the charge for the women again finishing 2nd and 3rd capping off a weekend of impressive rides from the team.

2011 Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference in full swing

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It seems like mountain biking season just keeps going!. With all of the news on our hands, the start of cross season, and the high school racing (http://303cycling.com/colorado-highschool-cycling-league-race1-2011), we missed out on the beginning of the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) mountain bike racing season!

The conference is made up of two divisions. Division 1 includes Fort Lewis College, University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado State University, University of Wyoming, and Metro State College - Denver. Division 2 includes Colorado School of Mines, US Air Force Academy, Western State College, University of Northern Colorado, University of Denver, Colorado College, Mesa State College, University of Colorado-Denver, and University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

There is a total of seven race weekends, including the National Championships in Angelfire, New Mexico October 29-30. Each weekend event showcase several events, including cross country, short track, downhill, and mountain cross.

Colorado Collegiate Teams win top ranking!

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Mesa College and Fort Lewis won DII and DI ranking.

Full story from USA Cycling

This, the fourth and final USA Cycling Collegiate National Championship completed the 2009-10 collegiate cycling season and secured Fort Lewis College’s place atop the national collegiate team Division I rankings and Mesa State College’s spot ahead of all other Division II schools. Both of those teams finished in the top five of their respective divisions at Road Nationals to seal the overall season victory.

Mesa State brings home the silver at Nationals

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Photo Credit: Matt Shiver

Mesa College competed in a cold and wet National Championships competition and in the end came up second to Whitman college in the Division II field and Fort Lewis Skyhawks picked up 4th in the Division 1 field. Other Colorado victories are below

- 1st DII Crit Richard Geng (Grand Junction, Colo./Mesa State College)
- 3rd DII Crit Joe Lewis (Denver, Colo./University of Denver)
- 1st DII TTT Mesa State College
- 3rd DI TTT Fort Lewis College
- 2nd DII RR Richard Geng (Grand Junction, Colo./Mesa State College)
- 2nd DI RR Adam Wisseman CSU

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