The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships will head to Fort Collins, Colorado for the second year in a row, May 7-10.
Nearly 500 student-athletes representing more than 60 colleges and universities from across the country will compete to win one of 18 cycling national titles.
"Collegiate cycling has boosted numerous cyclists into the pro ranks, especially women," USA Cycling's communication manager Andrea Smith told BikeRadar. "It's unique in the way it calculates total points from all events for both males and females to determine team omnium winner. College graduates-turned professional cyclists Brent Bookwalter (Lees-McRae College) and Tom Danielson (Fort Lewis College) have benefitted from their collegiate cycling experiences.
"The ratio of males to females in Collegiate cycling is a bit better than our general membership (around 24 percent women compared to around 14 percent in general membership). Mara Abbott (Whitman College) and Christine Thorburn (Stanford) went on to successful professional careers as a result.
The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, hosted by the Colorado State University Rams in partnership with the Fort Collins Cycling Festival, will see hundreds of men and women from Division I and Division II institutions compete for individual championships in three categories – criterium, road race and individual omnium.
Competition will begin Friday, May 8 with the road race at 8 a.m. starting and finishing at CSU’s Hughes Stadium. On Saturday, schools will compete in a criterium in Old Town Fort Collins beginning at 8 a.m. Sunday’s racing will feature a team time trial competition starting and finishing at the intersection of Buckeye and Lake Roads north of Fort Collins.
The collegiate squads will also fight for team titles in both the team time trial event and the prestigious overall team (omnium) classification, which combines results from all three races, both male and female.
Cycling is one of few collegiate sports to equally weigh the male and female performances to determine an overall, season-long team winner across all disciplines.
At the 2009 USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, last season’s overall defending champions Fort Lewis College and MIT will be looking to hold on to their overall team Division I and II season crowns. Heading into the final USA Cycling Collegiate Cycling National Championship of this season the competition remains very tight in both the divisional overall team omnium standings.
According to Smith, this race is the final of the four Collegiate National Championships and will determine the overall season team omnium winner.
"This is the main goal for most of the major collegiate cycling programmes in the nation," she added. "So basically it all comes down to this."
For more information, visit www.usacycling.org.