Oct 132003
 
Authors: Joshua Pilkington

Riding over harsh terrain, through boulders, over streams and

around trees, Hana Fiserova of the CSU cycling team raced well

enough to take top honors at the Collegiate Mountain Bike National

Championships in Angel Fire, N.M.

Competing in the short track, cross country, slalom and downhill

events during the three-day championship, Fiserova finished high

enough in each event to tabulate sufficient points to win the

women’s omnium (overall) champion award.

Fiserova’s chance to win came down to Sunday’s final race – the

downhill – in which riders had to meander through a “treacherous

downhill race that featured open roads, technical woods’ sections,

fast singletrack and boulder fields that looked like something one

would never attempt to ride through,” said cycling head coach Steve

Owens in a press release.

Entering the race fourth overall, Fiserova knew she had to make

up for the “bad race” she had in the cross country event. With the

pressure on her shoulders, she came through.

“The pressure was on for everyone,” Owens said. “We knew

everyone had to focus on doing the best they could…and that they

did.”

Beating out several downhill ‘specialists’, Fiserova claimed

fourth overall, giving her just enough push to go from fourth to

first in the omnium standings.

Other competitors for the Rams took to the slopes and the tracks

over the weekend. The first event for all competitors was the short

track race where men’s team members Steve Ladd and Kyle Drennen

competed for the Rams with Ladd taking 11th overall. For the women,

Fiserova led the charge with a fifth place finish.

Immediately following the short track, the team competed in the

mountain cross event – making rest and smart racing a must for

those who had just competed in the short track event.

“For those members of our team that were racing all events,

recovery was key,” Owens said. “But practicing the course was also

paramount.”

In the head-to-head mountain cross competition a handful of Rams

advanced to the round of 16, but were unable to qualify into the

final brackets.

In the cross country race the cyclers met their match as a wet,

muddy course slowed the men’s team down over the 30-mile course.

Ladd again led the way with a 29th place showing.

The course dried up for the women and led to better times and

finishes as Fiserova and company pushed their way through 20-mile

course with Fiserova taking the top team honors with a ninth place

finish.

After a poor cross country race overall, the Rams dropped from

fourth to sixth place overall – 10 points behind sixth – with only

the difficult downhill remaining.

“I personally rode the course three times with Hana and was

forced to walk a fair amount of it,” Owens said of the difficulty

of the challenge facing the team. “Hats off to the guys who raced

it.”

Greg Smith finished 11th overall for the men and that, combined

with Fiserova’s finish, put the Rams fifth overall in the team

standings.

“It was a great weekend and a great season,” Owens said.

 

 

 

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