The Fort Lewis College Cycling team defends its ranking as the country's #1 Division I collegiate cycling program this weekend at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals, May 3 - 5, in Ogden, Utah. The event completes the five-discipline collegiate cycling year, which also includes track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX.
If the Cycling team were to clinch the national season-omnium title, it would be the sixth time since the team's founding in 1994 that FLC Cycling has earned the honor. Already this season, the Skyhawks cyclists won an overall team national championship in mountain biking, the team's 19th Division I national championship. The team also finished second in the nation in cyclocross and third in BMX for this racing season.
“It is a cool event because schools, large and small, from all over the country are represented through qualifying in their respective conferences. It is the best of the best of collegiate racers,” says Cycling Director Dave Hagen.
Going into the season's final event, FLC Cycling sits in second place in USA Cycling's Division I overall standings. Fans can get updates on the races and the Cycling Team's experiences on Twitter at @FLCCycling and on the Fort Lewis Cycling blog at cycling.fortlewis.edu.
“One of our big focuses as far as preparation goes is the team time trial,” Hagen says. “Our men won the title last year, and it takes a lot of practice to get the teamwork down and be as efficient as possible. Our women have been working very hard on it this spring, as well, hoping to improve on their fifth-place finish last year.”
Still, although another #1 end-of-season ranking would be an amazing feat, the FLC Cycling team has another goal it aims to achieve this weekend: a first-ever Division I road national championship.
“It is always hard to predict the outcome of the Road Nationals because there are five or six other teams that are all very strong, and they all have the same goals,” Hagen explains. “It's up to our athletes to utilize the team work they have worked on the entire spring. Do that and we have a good chance to win the overall team omnium.”
Women's Road Nationals team
Sofia Gomez Villafane
Men's Road Nationals team
Follow Fort Lewis Cycling at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals on Twitter @FLCCycling or on the Fort Lewis Cycling blog at cycling.fortlewis.edu.
Learn more about FLC Cycling at www.fortlewis.edu/cycling.