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Hungry for a big win: CMU cycling wins Omnium championship

CMU cycling wins the highest achievement possible in the sport

There are some championship titles that stand out above the rest — the World Series, the Super Bowl, March Madness and the Omnium.

You may or may not have heard of the latter but winning the Omnium is as good as it gets in the cycling world, and this year the Colorado Mesa University Cycling team took home gold.      

“It’s a lifetime achievement for the school, student athletes, coaches, staff and everyone involved. There’s no better place to place, we maxed it out with this designation,” said Cycling Team Director Brian Flaherty.

To win the Omnium, teams must perform well in all five disciplines. The disciplines include track, mountain bike, cyclocross, BMX and road. At the end of the season, scores from the national championships across the disciplines are added up and the school with the most points wins.

“We’ve been hungry for this for a while,” said CMU student-athlete Dalton Walters.

CMU cycling competes at the highest level the sport offers through USA Cycling (cycling is not a NCAA-sanctioned sport). There are 25 other schools of all different sizes that compete and this year — the best of the best is CMU.

“We’re a close-knit team, all of us are friends across the disciplines,” said Walters. “We all care about this so we were always checking online with USA Cycling to see where we stacked up. By the middle of the season we had a pretty significant lead.” 

Due to COVID-19, BMX and road national championships were canceled. The team also didn’t get to celebrate their big win like they would have in a pre-COVID world. Walters said he wished they had a little more closure to the season, especially since the coveted title had been in their sights for so long.

“I know how much it means to the coaches. They’ve been busting butt forever, working hard for that moment,” said Walters. 

To win the Omnium, the team won first place in the mountain biking national championship, second place in track and first place in cyclocross.

“I’m really excited to get back to racing and take a stab at it again next year,” said Walters

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Written by Kelsey Coleman