The CSU cycling team competed in its first race in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Conference of the fall season this weekend at the Sol Vista Ski Resort in Granby.
The cyclists placed well with five in the top 20 in the men’s A cross country division, and seven in the top 17 in men’s A downhill.
One of CSU’s best cyclists, sophomore Nick Ranno, who was not officially racing for CSU because he was trying to win the Spirit of the Rockies Series, ended up winning the whole race.
The race was the last of many that took place throughout the summer for Ranno. He took second place overall in the series.
“I have been working hard all summer and I wanted to do really good in the final race,” Ranno said. “I am trying to get a sponsor for next year.”
Ranno has been competitively racing for six years and is expected to have a standout year.
Senior Justin Maka was the fastest official CSU cyclist, taking 14th in cross country.
The Rams had an outstanding showing with a total of 23 bikers including senior Kelly Mogab, the only female cross country racer who took first in women’s B.
Junior Tami Woods, the lone female downhill racer, also biked well with a second place finish in Women’s B.
“Downhill is normally ridden on a bigger bike with front and rear suspension that looks like a motorcycle without an engine,” said vice president Nathaniel Ksiazkiewicz. “Woods rode on a hard-tail bike without those things, so it was a very rough ride. The fact that she got second is amazing.”
CSU also did well in its previous race over Labor Day weekend in Keystone. There were 10 cyclists who made the trip and Ranno placed first again.
One of the biggest races for the team is Sept. 21-22 at Beaver Meadows Ranch in Red Feather. According to the team, the race should be very exciting with lots of new trials, a fast cross country track and a challenging, steep downhill course.
This race and many more, including one hosted by the University of Wyoming on Sept. 14-15, will help CSU prepare for the NCAA Mountain Biking National Championship in Angel Fire, N.M., Oct. 19-20.
The Rams are hoping for a very successful year.
“We have had a huge advance in organization this year and we have increased people tenfold,” Ranno said.
Ksiazkiewicz agrees with Ranno, as he received multiple complements this past weekend.
“The team tent area looked great. We got a lot of complements on how professional and together we were,” Ksiazkiewicz said.
Even though the season has already started, the CSU cycling team is always looking for more people. For those interested, the team has weekly meetings every Thursday at 7 p.m. in room 210 in the Lori Student Center. More information can be found on the team website at www.ramscycling.com.