The Cycling team members practice their cyclocross skills by Dennison Memorial Stadium in preparation for Nationals.

With a national championship in mountain biking already under its team belt for the 2011-2012 season, the #1 ranked Fort Lewis College Cycling team is in Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend to tackle mud, slopes, obstacles -- and other collegiate rivals -- in pursuit of another national title at the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships.

Cyclocross is the fastest growing division in cycling thanks to its exciting courses and the ease with which spectators can attend and watch. A cyclocross race takes place on a short, closed steeplechase-style course over varied terrain that includes everything from steep single-track trails to fast pavement sections.

Courses also include man-made obstructions and hazards that require racers to dismount, run through the barriers, and then remount their bikes at speed. The racing is so fast and intense during a 60-minute race that often riders can’t fix a flat tire or broken part.

Team manager Dave Hagen is feeling good about the Skyhawks squad in Madison.

"I would have to say our best asset for both the men's and women's team is our depth," says Hagen. "We have a very deep team with some possible individual champions. We have eight riders on each team and feel very strongly that they will all finish near the top. Those sorts of results will go a long way to helping us capture the overall team omnium national title."

The 2012 FLC Cyclocross Team is: 

Women:

Lauren Catlin
Anne Cheeney
Brittany Clawson
Missy Erickson
Matilda Field
Kaila Hart
Courtney Ott
Sarah Sturm

Men:

Ryan Cleveland
Ryan Dorsey
Eric Emsky
Robbie Jones
Rotem Ishay
Ben Stalker
Dylan Stucki
Skyler Trujillo

The USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships run January 4 -8. Follow the FLC Cycling Team at cycling.fortlewis.edu or on Twitter @FLCCYCLING.