Bicyclists tear through Cheney

Cycling club actively zips around town

By Elohino Theodore, Sports Writer

Photo by: Anna Mills Ryan Burks  rides his bike down the road on the north side of the URC.
Photo by: Anna Mills
Ryan Burks rides his bike down the road on the north side of the URC.

The EWU cycling club started their spring season off on March 16 at Willamette University in Salem, Ore.

The men’s cycling club finished the race in 13th place out of 16 with a total of eight points. The team finished behind University of Seattle. The club also participated in the Willamette Omnium Criterium and finished in 12th place with a score of nine points.

During week four of the spring season, the club participated in the Missionary Omnium Road Race. The team finished in 14th place out of 16 with seven total points. In the Missionary Omnium Team Time Trial, the club finished in 11th place with 11 total points. Also, during the Missionary Omnium Criterium, the team placed 14th out of 16.

As the season went on, the Eagles faced some impressive opponents. “Some of the better teams were [teams like] Portland State and University of Washington. The bigger schools have more riders and club members,” junior cyclist Matt Hanson said.

Coming into week five of the season, the club participated in the Western Washington University Road Race. The Eagles finished in 12th place in the race as a team and earned nine points. In the Western Washington Team Time Trial, the club finished in 10th place with 13 points. For the Criterium of Western Washington, the club earned eight points and finished with 13th place.

During the season, for practice, the club usually goes on group rides every Thursday. During practice, the club rides for 30 to 40 miles. As a team, the Eagles take practice seriously.

“You’re not just riding 30 miles. You’re racing, and you have to be ready to [work] really hard at certain points,” cycling club adviser Nigel Davies said.

For fundraising, the team went through different ways to put the club together. “Some of [the fundraising] was through jersey sales, and the rest of it was through [university donations]. We didn’t do quite as much fundraising as we probably should have, but that’s definitely something that’s on the horizon for times to come,” Davies said.

During week six of the season, the club finished in 13th place out of 16 in the University of Washington road race. The team also competed in the time trial for the University of Washington and placed last out of 16 teams. In the last event of week six, the club placed 13th in front of Gonzaga University and Pacific Lutheran University.

In week seven, the Eagles went to Montana State University and participated in the time trial race and finished in 10th place. The club also finished in 13th place in the road race for Montana State University.

Over the span of the two months that made up the season, the Eagles had goals set for themselves. “Throughout the season, I developed an individual goal, and it was for the last race: stay with the main group,” junior cyclist Drew Schlieder said. Schlieder managed to fulfill his goal and he finished in eighth place as a result of that.

As a club, one of the goals for the Eagles was to go and have a presence at the races they competed in. “As a club that’s just starting out, I think that was an important consideration,” Davies said.

In the final week of the season, the team competed in the Washington State University conference championship road race where they placed in 10th. The team also placed ninth, their best result of the season, in the University of Idaho time trial. For the final race of the season, the team finished in 11th place at the University of Idaho Conference Championship Criterium.

As a club, the Eagles are proud of being cyclists, “It’s just a good way to stay active, and it’s a good way to get the school’s name out there,” Hanson said.