GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- Belmont Abbey finished third in the overall men's and women's omnium Sunday, culminating a successful week of racing at the USA Cycling Collegiate National Road Championships. The Crusaders picked up three medals in just their second year as a collegiate program.
In Friday's road race, the team worked hard through two laps to get Charles Daniel in position with the lead pack. He was in a group of 30 on the final lap and wound up 11th, the highest finish in school history. Cammie Robbiano, the only female rider representing Belmont Abbey, hung in all race and was able to come across the line in 50th to secure team points for the overall omnium. It marked the first time a Crusader female finished at the Nationals road race.
The following day, The Abbey men covered the 18.8-mile course in 42:36 to secure eighth place overall in the team trial, second in Division II. Then, later in the afternoon, Daniel and Jesse Kooistra earned Belmont Abbey's first-ever podium finishes at the road national championship. Daniel placed second in the 15-mile individual time trial with a time of 34:01, while Kooistra crossed 10 seconds later to finish third. Robbiano covered the women's 15-mile loop in 43:06, earning fifth place and a podium spot for the first time in the history of the women's program.
The pace was fast for the 80-minute criterium race on Sunday. Daniel kept his success going with an 18th-place finish to take 12th overall in the men's omnium. Collin Tellechea took 40th overall, while Trey Hedgecock was in great position all race but slid out in a corner with six laps to go, ending his day. Senior Jesse Kooistra made his final race as a Crusader count by taking 28th.
With the team in the hunt for third in the omnium, Robbiano found herself needing a solid finish against the rider from Warren Wilson. The duo was in a four-person pack late and Robbiano sprinted to finish first in the group, placing 36th overall in the criterium, but more importantly, securing valuable points for the team.
"It's been a great season for us and it couldn't have ended on a better note," Head Coach Derek Dalzell said. "The team fought hard all weekend to secure our first-ever team omnium. We were also able to secure three individual medals. At the beginning of the year, I challenged the team to look out for each other and race for the Abbey. This weekend our teamwork was on full display and it was exciting to watch. While we are losing Jesse Kooistra -- a huge part of our team -- we are excited about where we are headed and already planning for next year!"
The national championship wrapped up a very successful second year for the program. In addition to fielding a women's team for the first time, Belmont Abbey riders won nine individual medals, three individual national championships and had the male omnium national champion during track season last fall.