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Fort Lewis Cycling kept off Squawker Classic criterium podium

A literal home-course advantage did little to help the Fort Lewis College cycling team in Saturday’s 2015 Squawker Classic criteriums.

No Skyhawk cracked the top-three individually in the team’s annual spring criterium, part of a three-race series over two days.

“Our ‘As’ are growing a lot. We’re going through some growing pains right now,” FLC road coach Ian Burnett said. “We have a lot of new, young freshmen and sophomores. A little miscommunication, we lost a break. They learned a lot.”

FLC’s Luckas Warden initiated an early breakaway with two University of Colorado riders and one from Colorado Mines. Warden fell back to the pack by the sixth lap, and the breakaway shrunk to two by the 14th lap. CU’s Lang Reynolds and the Mines’ Chad Young remained and held a 25-second advantage for the next 23 laps.

“If you have somebody in that move then life is good, and if you don’t you have to get people together and chase it,” FLC’s Zack Noonan said. “They were too strong (Saturday).”

Reynolds made his own move to break from Young with two laps remaining and cruised to a first-place finish. He pointed to the CU logo on his chest as he crossed the finish line.

“When you’re in a break like that, you have to win,” Reynolds said.

Young took second for Mines, and teammate Andrew Hemesath was third.

Noonan took fourth for FLC, the team’s highest finish in the ‘A’ criterium races.

Dean Haas finished 10th for the Skyhawks, and Emmanuel Gagne was 13th.

In the women’s race, Colorado Mesa’s Ariana Horbach snatched first in an elongated sprint finish after riding in a three-bike breakaway for the last three laps.

“What I saw at first, when Lexie (Millard) was gone with another girl, I tried to break with them so Lexi and I could beat the other girl. They slowed down too much, and the field caught them. That messed up the strategy,” Horbach said. “Finally, it worked out on the last breakaway.”

Millard took third for CMU behind CU’s Sabrina David in second.

Sydney Edmonson was eighth for the FLC women, with teammates Sofia Gomez-Villafane and Maddie Chavez in 10th and 11th, respectively.

Chavez and Gomez-Villafane trailed the main pack for most of the race, leaving Edmunson to work in the pack chasing down breakaways by herself.

“It’s a little bit harder not having teammates because we usually try to work together,” Edmunson said. “Hopefully in the next couple races we’ll start to come together as a team.”

The 2015 Squawker Classic closes with Sunday’s road race, which starts at 8 a.m. on Rim Drive.

“Every new kid that comes to Fort Lewis, one of the first things they do is the road race course,” Noonan said. “It’s hard, but it’s kind of iconic for Fort Lewis.”


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