For the second consecutive season, the CSU club cycling team has finished its season as the fifth-best team in the country.
On Oct. 29-31, the Rams raced on a wet and muddy trip to the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championship in Seven Springs, Pa., with similar results as the 2003 season. The top-five podium did not change this year with Fort Lewis taking first, Colorado in second, Vermont in third and Mesa State in fourth.
"Our main goal going in was to finish as good or better as last year," said CSU cycling President Ken DeAlmeida. "Although we did want to finish better than Mesa State this year, we were still very happy with our performance."
The team arrived in Seven Springs on Oct. 27, two days before the events started, to try to get a feel for the course. All teams were allowed to pre-ride the course to accustom themselves to the terrain. The race officially began on Oct. 29 with the Short Track.
"The Short Track is the best event for our women," DeAlmeida said.
That seemed to be the case as the Lady Rams gave a very strong performance with Sarah Germundson finishing 10th.
Later that day, the Dual Slalom event took place and both the men and women put up strong performances with Lucy Shoemaker finishing fifth on the women's side, and Pete Hutson and Kevin Sudderth finishing ninth and 17th respectively on the men's side.
"We had a very good downhill and slalom team this year," said Heather Butler, the team's public relations officer.
The event continued on Oct. 30 with the Cross Country event that was accompanied by harsh weather.
"The Cross Country event was ruthless. Everyone's bikes were covered in mud," said Butler. "We were lucky to have all of our racers finish the race."
The top finisher for the Rams was Aaron Potts, who took 20th.
On Oct. 31, the rain and the races continued with the Downhill race, in which the men gave their best performance of the weekend. Hutson rode in seventh, Sudderth came in at 13 and DeAlmeida took 17th.
"Both the Dual Slalom and the Downhill were new courses, which made both of them very slick," DeAlmeida said. "It came down to having the right type of mud tire, which we had."
The race ended after the Downhill and the team returned to Fort Collins in time for Halloween. The team is now doing some winter training as they gear up for the road season to start in March.
The Rams cycling team also announced that they are the first university in the Rocky Mountain region to award cycling scholarships. There will be two $500 scholarships given away annually to members of the team. For more information on the scholarship got to ramscycling.com/scholarship.