Colorado-press-2019
 
Sophomore Boys on Hill 2

Sophomore boys climb Discovery Trail.

Blizzard of High School Mountain Bikers Hits Snowmass, Snowmassive Chase Big Success

Colorado League South Conference Race #3 Report

Contributed by Michelle Jensen and Kenobi Clapper, CRMS, Varsity Legacy,
Edited and produced by Kate Rau
Contact: Kate Rau, Colorado League Director, kate@coloradomtb.org, 720.272.9282

Results
Photos

The Town of Snowmass Village was a stellar host for the Snowmassive Chase on September 22nd for race #3 of the south conference four-race series. The action occurred on the new Discovery trail and the updated Village Bound trail. Snowmass began its relationship with the league in 2012 which is the longest standing courtship and most if not all would agree that it was absolutely worth the wait.

Team camping hosted by Roaring Fork Cycling was a huge hit at Town Park. Participants enjoyed a scenic bike path ride from there to the race venue providing a great warm-up. Julie Hardman, Special Events Manager, worked tirelessly with her team to ensure the first-year event was a grand success.

Hardman stated, "Snowmass was honored to host the Snowmassive Chase last weekend. It took many years of planning and building the proper trails to fit the Colorado League criteria, but it was certainly worth the wait! Standing at the finish line and watching these kids cheer, hug, and celebrate the downhill was simply heartwarming. At that moment I forgot about all the hard work it took to get these more than 600 racers to Snowmass! Snowmass prides itself as a family destination and the Colorado League fits in perfectly. We are looking forward to 2020!" The Snowmass Chief of Police, Brian Olson provided onsite security and commented, "We need more events like this to come to town."

Max Mirk Black Wilkinson VB First Bump

Varsity Legacy racers Maxwell Mirk, Highlander and Blake Wilkinson, Mountain Vista celebrate their competition.

A whopping 623 racers competed in this new stop on the Colorado League tour. Discovery trail quickly became a crowd favorite with an overwhelming number of vantage points in the middle of the course. Kenobi Clapper, Varsity, Legacy rider with Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS), based in Carbondale, provided this insight.

"Walking around the venue early in the morning revealed sights of teams huddled in the cold blasting disco music. The mood was set for one of the most unique races in the series. The actual distance of one lap was a little shorter than most at 4.8 miles but what it lacked in distance was made up with 748 feet of elevation gain per lap. The climbing made the race challenging for many. The climbing was in the first half with all the descending in the second half. This made it easy to lock into a groove and begin to explore the depths of the pain cave on your way up, and then relax into the smooth flow of the descent. The course did not receive much rain in the weeks leading up to the race so the added element of a healthy layer of moon dust made sure that no racer finished the race looking clean. Overall the course allowed racers to push themselves to the limit and offered a new style course that many racers had not experienced before."

National Anthem

Emma, Chloe and Ella sing the National Anthem immediately before their race start.

Disco Steve Novy

Glenwood Springs Coach Steve Novy looking good in disco fashion.

The morning started with the National Anthem sung by Glenwood Springs racers, Emma Barsness, Ella Lundenberg, and Chloe Lutring. Disco was the spirit competition for the day. And boy did those coaches and parents join in the student-athletes' fun! Robbie Day, Evergreen, suggested that there be a dance contest and boom it happened. Buena Vista, Columbine, Cheyenne Mountain, Evergreen and Glenwood Springs took to the proverbial dance floor and for one minute they did indeed “do the hustle.” Evergreen took the swag bag prize pack at the end of the sparkling competition.

League sponsors on-site included Optic Nerve, Colorado Mountain College, and Western Colorado University. Optic Nerve has a new special edition "Decade of Dirt" sunglass. The continued support and dedication to helping student-athletes afford opportunities to race their bikes is a major reason why the Colorado League not only maintains its success but grows steadily every year.

Cheyenne Mountain won the Division I team category followed by Evergreen who moved past Chatfield by only 29 points. Conifer was only 10 points behind Rock Canyon and moved up from the bottom rung for the first time over Columbine.

Division II overall saw no change with Durango, Crested Butte and Animas securing the top three spots. Animas is only 27 points away from that second place. Cherry Creek showed an impressive jump from 16th to 11th team.

The Division III podium was most changed with Aspen taking first, Leadville earning second and Grand Junction moving to the third team of the day. Many points are extremely close going into Conference Overall it is anyone's guess as to the final season team standings.

Disco couple

Cheyenne Mountain top step of D1 Teams and a runner up in the disco contest. Grace Babcock and Emmett Sanders.

Aspen medals

Basalt riders Megan Heath, 5th Freshman and Emma Borchers, 4th Sophomore happy to race their home trails.

Legacy Varsity riders Paige Hauptman, Montrose, and Isaac Sanders, Highlander mastered the Yeti Skills zone. Several Arapahoe riders and Hannah Garvey, Durango lapped the course countless times.

The Toyota Slingshot Awards went to Chatfield’s Mia Aseltine who had the unfortunate experience of flatting at the Leadville race. This was Mia’s second time standing on the top step for the day as she took first in Varsity girls. For the boys, High Desert Composite’s Timothy Wyman went from 158th in Leadville to 59th, a phenomenal 99 place improvement.

The Varsity girls' race was action-packed. The closest clump sprint was 19th through 23rd with a scant 7-second spread between these 5 places. Beth Schwartz, Gunnison and Nicole Peirson, CRMS had a razor edge finish with 0.63 seconds between 21st and 22nd. Mia Aseltine, Chatfield dug deep up the steep finish hill to shake Abbey Shephard, Animas, and Olivia Gordon, Crested Butte followed by Sage Davis, Animas. The race for the fifth and final podium spot in the Varsity girls’ races was close with Ruth Holcomb, Durango, 3 seconds ahead of Taegan Steinfort, Cheyenne Mountain. Kennedy Scott, Rock Canyon holds onto the Primal Leader's jersey heading into Conference with only 6 points ahead of Steinfort. Gordon has a 1 point advantage over Shephard. There is no doubt that all will be left on the line in Eagle.

Paige Ruth Mia Varsity Girls

Varsity girls Paige Hauptman, Montrose, Ruth Holcomb, Durango and Mia Aseltine Chatfield.

Cole Stevens

Cole Stevens, Varsity Legacy Columbine focused on descending.

Animas Legacy and Varsity winner, Riley Amos shared that he had been concerned for the first two laps as Robbie Day was trailing to close for comfort. According to Amos, “The elevation was a well-taken advantage of with the big climb, switchbacks and the descent made it all worth it.” The battle for 3rd through 5th was fierce among Alex Purrington, Evergreen, George Beck, Aspen and George Poggemeyer, Chatfield, who maintains the Leader's Jersey. The field is deep and the pack from 15th through 25th is really tight with only 1 minute differentiating 11 positions starting with Austin Bruce, Manitou Springs in 15th and teammate Eli Bennett in 25th.

The excitement is building for the Conference finale with several ties and only a few points separating riders' overall standings. Tied for 31st Makena Likewise, Fountain Valley and Carter Giles, Chatfield; both with 1150 points and Guy Bullock, Crested Butte is tied with Riley Amos, Animas for 34th.

Kenobi Feed 2

Kenobi Clapper, Varsity Legacy, CRMS grabs fuel in the Honey Stinger Feed Zone and takes 14th.

Sage Davis

Sage Davis, Legacy Varsity, Animas floats through the descent and finishes 4th.

Three waves of JV boys steadily streamed up the seven switchbacks. Nathan Gangelhoff, Chatfield upset the Durango top podium sweep by taking second in his sleeveless jersey. He was between Durango's Ivan Sippy, Ian Groom, and Jaden Kirk. Finn Leahy, CRMS barely beat Emmett Sanders for 5th and 6th. Gangelhoff was asked about almost getting caught at the finish he shared, “I didn’t know he was there till the last corner.” Sippy with 3 victories keeps the Leader's jersey going into race #4.

Sam Isert, JV, Rock Canyon loves mountain biking and plans to apply his skills to bike pack the Kokopelli trail. First he is focused on qualifying for State Championships in Durango. After 3 laps in the heat of the day the immense effort displayed at the finish by JV riders such as Connor Huskey, Arapahoe (former Yeti Skills winner), and Evergreen teammates Jesse Lumpkin and Dawson Gwaltney who hammered to the finish with a photo finish. Ben Vigil, STEM Highlands Ranch and local CRMS rider Phillip Jiang showed how to dig deep. Mutually exhausted they still had energy to congratulate one another.

JV Boys scrum

JV boys ride pass the Honey Stinger Feed Zone before the Discovery trail switchbacks.

The JV Girls were chomping at the bit to race in the bluebird fall morning as they did not race in Leadville due to a weather cancellation. The crowd hovered around giving them a resounding send off. Sarah Penick, Fruita Monument was the top senior in the 46 person field placing 13th. Maggie Holcomb, Durango clocked the fastest female lap time and took the win with teammate Lauren Aggeler in second. Sarah Bivens, Crested Butte maintains her Primal Leader's jersey taking the bronze.

Several of the overall standings are close. Only 1 point separates Ella Vaillancourt, Manitou Springs and Emma Barsness, Glenwood Springs for 4th and 5th. Ashylynd Harris, Gunnions and Kirianna McNerney, Manitou Springs are the same vying for 6th and 7th heading into race #4.

Zoe from Taos coming out of the trees

Zoe Colfax, Taos placed 19th in field of 50 JV girls.

Tucker in Trees

Tucker Suplizio, JV Legacy, Fruita Monument expertly navigates tight turns in the aspen.

Anders Weiss, Aspen Sophomore won the first race of the day and it happened to be his first win ever. His mom and coach were overjoyed and commented, “It was a long time coming.” Not to be outdone, teammate and freshman, Finn Johnson showed that home turf is an advantage.

Columbine Sophomore Zach Butler overtook Ben Elick, Castle View for 2nd and 3rd. There was a spectacular sprint for 4th through 6th between Ryan Rydland, Highlander Composite, Gavin Thomas, Rock Canyon, and Nate Mount, Gunnison. Butler becomes the new Sophomore boys' leader. Noah Davis greeted his Glenwood Springs teammate Christian Landeros at the finish line after Landeros was held up with a broken chain. “I can’t be upset.", said Landeros about the 5-minute mechanical assistance penalty. He seemed grateful to finish the race.

Alexis Hall, Conifer was victorious and earned the Primal Leader's jersey from Elli Fisher, Gunnison in the field of 37 Sophomore girls. Zara Rose Brown, Durango earned Silver and Ashley Studjuhar, Cheyenne Moutain captured the Bronze. Local riders Emma Borchers, Basalt and Emma Lindenberg, Glenwood Springs rode to 4th and 5th. Only 1 point separates Stadjuhar and Borchers in overall standings. Brown's mother, Mary Monroe commented on how impressed she was to see such spirited cheering for all riders notably the Evergreen and High Desert teams.

Sarah from Columbine

Sarah Rocklin and father Rocky are pumped about her strong finish with teammate Laurelle Jenkins.

Sophomore boy finish clump

Sophomore boys celebrate at the finish. Carson Daniels, Rock Canyon, Ford Carlos, Salida, and Ryan Imerman, Chatifield.

Freshman girl winner, Willow Lott of Durango was excited to race her first race of the season. Julia Golotfelty, Animas is one of three siblings racing this season took 2nd. Nina Schamberger, Leadville raced to 3rd. Locals Chloe Lutring, Glenwood Springs and Megan Heath rolled in for 4th and 5th. There were lots of exciting sprints to the finish among the 35 Freshman girls. Notably Persia Lovett, Crested Butte, Chloe Smith, Aspen Evergreen’s Ashley Pool, and Crested Butte’s Piper O'Neill. These girls kept the heat on for places 10th through 13th.

Finn Johnson, Aspen held onto the Freshman boys' Primal Leader's jersey. Corbin Carpenter, Glenwood Springs, was only 2 seconds back for 2nd. Kalvin Winder, Douglas County, Sawyer Gneiser, Conifer, and Marcus Stanley, Woodland Park completed the top 5 for the 142 person field. Noah Davis Chatfield teammates Andrew Klinefelter and Brady Dotson showed how to push it to the limit with a 0.12 difference between 24th and 25th.

Salida Freshman

Salida Freshman Garrett Kerns leads a train.

Leadville Freshman

Nina Schamberger, Freshman, Leadville.

Drew Rydland, Colorado League race photographer was all over the course and commented how well the riders passed one another with class while grinding up the switchbacks. Over and over spectators exclaimed how perfect a day it was. Blue skies kissed racers and fans with just a slight breeze stirring up in the afternoon.

Racing resumes in Eagle when the North Conference series finishes on Saturday, October 5th, and the South Conference competes on Sunday, October 6th.

Aspen Times coverage HERE
303Cycling coverage HERE.

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