Dolores cyclist Hall wins prestigious Belgium race

Lauren Hall has her sights set on winning national and world championships on the road to the 2016 Olympics.

For Dolores resident Lauren Hall, the list of athletic accomplishments just keeps growing.

A former collegiate soccer star and currently a pro cyclist, Hall notched the biggest victory of her career on March 30, winning the women's Gent-Wevelgem 115km road race in Belgium.

Riding for U.S. National Team, Hall won the 115km race in thrilling fashion.

"I was amazed," said Hall. "To win on this win wearing the U.S. kit, to win representing my team was like 'oh my god.'"

The win was especially impressive in light of the fact that the race was expected to be little more than an early season tune-up for U.S. racers.

"We flew in Friday morning," said Hall. "Our director was going to use this race to get over the jet lag and get ready to start racing with a larger peloton."

After feeling strong early however, Hall realized that she, along with her teammates, could contend for the race title.

"The plan was to really push the climbs to make it hard on the other sprinters," said Hall. I'm a sprinter, but I can get over the climbs as well."

After breaking away with a group of right riders with approximately 20 kilometers left in the race, Hall bided her time before using a late surge to secure the victory."

"At 10k, I was like, 'okay, start thinking of how you are going to win from this group," said Hall. "I just followed wheels, I knew who to follow and I didn't feel my face in the wind until it counted."

Clearly stoked after the victory, Hall is hoping to build on her recent success in coming weeks.

Next up for Hall and the U.S. National Team will be the Tour of Flanders, which will take place on April 6.

"It will be a stronger race," said Hall of the upcoming event. "I'm definitely going to put my nose out there and give it a shot."

Regardless of whether Hall wins this weekend however, there is little doubt that she has established herself as one of the finest riders in her sport.

People interested in viewing a complete interview with Hall are encouraged to visit the Dolores Star's Facebook page.