If you go

What: CU criterium race

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: CU’s Research Park

Fees: $5-25

More info:

With two months of training completed, members of the University of Colorado’s club cycling team finally got to see their hard work pay off last weekend in their first Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference races of the season.

Almost 30 riders — several of whom posted top-five finishes — represented the Buffs at Saturday’s 0.75-mile criterium through Denver City Park. In fact, CU was the only school with riders on the podium in every race category.

In his first collegiate race ever, John Demos bolted to a second-place finish in the men’s C group, while Heather Fischer won the women’s B race in her first competition for CU.

Sunday’s time trial at Metro State featured more strong showings from the Buffs. Natalie Koch, Tisza Bell and Kim Trenbath finished 1-2-4 in the women’s A race, while Fischer followed her win at DU with a second-place finish, and Nathan Wilson took second in the men’s A race.

Coach Margell Abel said the women’s team is one of the strongest in years at CU, and this weekend’s performance will set a precedent for the rest of the season. The Buffs are looking to get back to the form they showed in 2005, when they finished the season as National Collegiate Cycling Association Road and Mountain national champions.

Nationals this year will be held May 7-9 in Madison, Wis. The top four teams from each division automatically qualify, so the Buffs only need to beat one team to make the cut. Colorado State, Fort Lewis, Metro State and the University of Wyoming make up the rest of the Division I teams.

This weekend, the Buffs have a criterium race coming up at CU’s Research Park. Saturday will feature the Buffs’ only home race of the 2010 season, and Abel hopes to see as many spectators there as possible.

“The more people we can get to come out and cheer for CU, the better!” she said.

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