Monday, April 18, 2011

Cycling Looks to Dominate Conference Road Finals

DURANGO, Colo. (4/13/11) – The University of Colorado cycling team will be looking for a strong showing when they head to the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Conference Road Finals on Apr. 23-24. Fort Lewis College will be hosting the event.

The first conference race will be the Animas Surgical Hospital/La Posta team time trial, which is scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. on Saturday Apr. 23. The 21 kilometer (13.02 miles) course will start across the bridge from the Home Depot on Colorado Road 213. The course has multiple hills, and near the finish it loses 400 feet in elevation. The course finishes at Highway 550 South.

The second set of events on Saturday will start at 11 a.m. in downtown Durango. The six-turn course is half a mile long, covering eight city blocks. The start and finish of the road race will be at the corner of Ninth Street and Fourth Avenue. Viewers can park in the surrounding area or ride their bikes to watch the race.

The final set of events is scheduled to start on Sunday Apr. 24 at 8 a.m. at the Old Fort Lewis campus. The Old Fort Lewis campus is located twelve miles west of Durango. The course is a twenty-five mile long Roubaix-style course that is half-dirt and half-paved, which should make for an exciting, highly skilled race.

In the fall, consistent placing and great depth led the CU cycling team to a second place finish at the Mountain Bike National Championships in Lake Tahoe. The Buffs will look to continue that success at the conference road finals.

The Buffaloes women’s road team has been scrambling a bit this spring after losing some of its top riders. More specifically, the women’s A group is shorthanded after losing star rider Flora Duffy. Duffy will be competing in a triathlon world cup during the conference finals and national championships. Leading the women’s A’s are Phobe Erdman and Heather Fischer. Erdman and Fischer have been racing well this season, but are often outnumbered during competitions. The Buffs will likely look to Lucy Conklin and Christa Ghent, two women’s B racers, to step up to A racing for the conference events. Both Conklin and Ghent have placed in the top three multiple times this season.

CU’s men’s team is extremely strong this year with returning captain Josh Yeaton riding confidently. Jesse Goodrich has also been riding well, scoring a top three finish in his first conference race. Tyler Nabours and Chris Hurst are expected to dominate the hilly races, and Mac Cassin is bursting with potential. The Buffs men’s A team is loaded this year, and should be one of CU’s most exciting cycling categories to watch.

Prior to the Durango races, the Buffs will close out their regular season schedule this weekend, Apr. 16-17, at the Air Force Academy. After the RMC Conference Road Finals, the Buffs will head to Madison, Wis., on May 6-8 to compete at the USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships.