The Marian University Varsity Cycling Team is currently ranked number one in USA Cycling’s National Collegiate ranking system, called the “team omnium,” after two of the year’s five national championship competitions.
Marian University won the Division I overall title at the Collegiate Track National Championships in September and placed a team-record third at the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships in October. The Cycling Knights, with 179 points, lead the omnium by 11 points over the University of Colorado-Boulder, with 168 points. Fort Lewis College, another varsity rival of the Knights, sits in third place with 163.
With the top three teams within 16 points, the season’s three remaining competitions will be vital in determining the final ranking: Cyclocross in Madison, Wisc., in early January, Road in Ogden, Utah in May, and BMX in Nashville, Tenn., in June. The Knights will send a balanced and prepared squad to each event, hoping to contribute as much as possible to the yearlong omnium effort.
The Knights finished second in the omnium last year behind Fort Lewis College, after winning three of the four event championships. This is the first year that the BMX discipline will count towards the omnium, having just been added to the collegiate cycling competition in 2012. One of Marian University Cycling’s most important season goals is winning the omnium overall, along with consistent top placing in each of the disciplines.
"The omnium overall defines a team's depth and skill diversity,” said head coach Dean Peterson. “We have raced ourselves onto a path of more possibility - this is exciting for the whole team, school and Indianapolis community. In 2013, Marian riders will collectively race and ride more than 200,000 miles on Indianapolis roads, trails and tracks. I hope the community will get behind these hard-working athletes and cheer them on, one race at time, towards an overall national title."
The Cycling Knight will next race at the collegiate regionals this Saturday, December 1, at Purdue University, for the MWCCC regional cyclocross championships. The Knights will host the final race in the Ohio Valley Cyclocross Series at the IndyCycloplex on Sunday, December 16. More than 400 riders are expected to attend.