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    Heather Fischer, the University of Colorado-Boulder, rider at center, and Christa Ghent, CU rider at left, race in the criterium at the USA Cycling collegiate road national championships in Ogden, Utah, on May 5, 2012. Fischer took fourth in the criterium; Ghent placed sixth. CU placed second overall in the weekend of racing. Photo by Brad Ghent.

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    University of Colorado-Boulder's Charles "Mac" Cassin leads the criterium at the USA Cycling collegiate road national championships in Ogden, Utah, on May 5, 2012. Josh Yeaton, the CU rider on Cassin's wheel, won the criterium and the overall championship during the weekend of racing. Photo by Brad Ghent.


CU results at the USA Cycling collegiate road national championships

Team Omnium
second place

Individual Omnium
Men: Josh Yeaton, 1st; Jeffrey Perrin, 5th
Women: Heather Fischer, 2nd; Christa Ghent, 6th

Road Race
Men: Josh Yeaton, 1st; Jeffrey Perrin, 5th
Women: Heather Fischer, 1st

Men: Josh Yeaton, 1st
Women: Heather Fischer, 4th; Christa Ghent, 6th

Team Time Trial
Men: seventh place
Women: second place

Full results at

Winning the women’s road race at the collegiate cycling national championships over the weekend in Ogden, Utah, was a sweet victory for University of Colorado senior Heather Fischer and her family and friends.

In previous years, Fischer worked full time to pay for her education at CU. It didn’t leave much time for training.

“I raced nationals off the couch last year, and it hurt, but I still finished in the top 20,” she said. “It’s frustrating to hear that you have potential but never be able to realize it.”

This year, though, her family rallied to help pay for her school. 

“I had a lot of support from people in the cycling industry, too,” she said. “A lot of things were donated to the ‘Heather cause,’ like time, training, instruction.”

At the collegiate road race, her CU teammates pedaled hard through the Utah mountains to deliver her to the bottom of the final climb at the head of the peloton, ready to crush everyone else on the climb. And that’s exactly what she did.

“It was just the culmination of a lot of work,” Fischer said. “I put a lot into cycling this whole year, and it was nice to see some good results.”

Margell Abel, who coaches the women on the CU squad at races, said the team they took to Ogden was “an incredibly strong crew.”

“The road race was the complete team effort, and they were the fastest women in the country,” Abel said. “It was an incredible performance.”

The CU Cycling Team took second place overall in Ogden, and Josh Yeaton won the men’s omnium competition after winning both the men’s road race and criterium.

Yeaton said his road race was a team effort as well. “We had five other guys (in the race), and every single one of them was totally necessary to winning.”

Yeaton has had top 10 finishes at collegiate nationals before; he said it felt great to win the title in his senior year.

“I’ve always kind of been close, I’ve done quite a few national championships, and the best I’ve ever finished is seventh,” Yeaton said. “So I’ve been almost there, but I haven’t been able to push that last little bit to get on the podium.”

Like Fischer, Yeaton won the road race on the final climb of the day. In the criterium, he said “one of my teammates drilled it on the front so I could sprint out of the last corner.”

It added up to a textbook weekend of racing for Yeaton.

“I got the sprint for the criterium and I’ve been climbing well,” he said. “It’s been a perfect situation for me this year.” 

But Yeaton and Fischer both agreed that the team’s support crew is what let them all perform well at the championships.

“Honestly, the thing that made the weekend work so well was this support crew,” Yeaton said. “We had Frank (Overton) doing the men’s coaching, Margell doing the women’s coaching, we had a mechanic, we had a house to stay in right by the road race. We had all of these people taking care of us, so we just had to get on our bikes and win.”

Fischer also said that the terrain the team trains on around Boulder gives them an advantage at races. She said she loves climbing into the mountains around town.

“Sunshine (Canyon) is probably my favorite, but I’ll climb up anything in Boulder, and fortunately we have a lot to choose from,” Fischer said.

“And we definitely had altitude at our advantage in Ogden.”

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