Badgers host Collegiate Nationals in Wisconsin

Can Lees-McRae defend division title?

The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships will head to Madison, Wisconsin for the first time since the event was held there in 2004. Nearly 500 student-athletes representing almost 100 colleges and universities from across the country will compete to win one of 18 national titles, May 7-9.

The USA Cycling Collegiate Road National Championships, hosted by the Wisconsin University Badgers in partnership with Team Sports, Inc. 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.

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. After emerging victorious in the tight DI team omnium contest last year, the University of California-Davis will head to Madison looking to defend their trophy. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be looking to take back the DII road omnium title from Whitman College after the Fighting Missionaries strong-armed last year’s DII field for the team victory.

Competition will begin Friday, May 7 with the road race beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Blue Mound State Park. A highlight of the weekend’s racing, Saturday’s criterium competition will take place in the Capitol Square in downtown Madison. Racing is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. with the DII women starting things off and the DI men wrapping up Saturday’s action at 6:15 p.m.

The USA Cycling Collegiate Awards Banquet will then take place at the Monona Terrace at 8:00 p.m. The three-day competition will wrap up with Sunday’s team time trial; starting and finishing at the Trek Bicycle Headquarters in Waterloo, Wisc. For a complete schedule of the weekend’s events, click here or visit the event webpage, here for complete info.

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. The road national championships mark the fourth and final event to be factored into the overall season tally.

Last season’s overall defending champions Lees-McRae College and MIT will be looking to retain their overall team Division I and II season crowns next weekend in Madison. In Division I Lees-McRae will face stiff competition from both arch-rival Fort Lewis College who currently leads the 2010 team standings and DI newcomer Lindsey Wilson College. MIT will have some ground to make up in DII in order to defend their season omnium title as Mesa State holds a strong advantage heading into the season’s final national championship.

Follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #colnats.

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