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Individual Time Trial Format Builds Excitement for Return to XC Racing

Individual Time Trial - Piedra and Platte Regions Race #1 Report

Finish Line Nathrop

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Results - Piedra
Photos - Piedra

Results - Platte
Photos - Platte

Race Reporters Michelle Jensen, and Kate Rau.

The first race for each region was an Individual Time Trial to ease back into competition after a year off due to the pandemic. The Piedra (South) region kicked off the season with 294 racers at the Chalk Creek Stampede at the McMurry ranch September 11 -12. The Platte (North) region started its season the same weekend with 347 competitors at the Emerald Mountain trail system near the historic Howelsen Hill in Steamboat Springs.

Only 50 percent of the riders per region raced each day which resulted in unusually quiet mornings compared to a typical Colorado League race. The energy ramped up as the Varsity and Junior Varsity waves were sent off. In the afternoon, those who raced crowded the start chute and cheered enthusiastically for the Sophomore and Freshmen. Names and teams were chanted on the start line. Various tips were offered by experienced racers. Grant Keene, a Fairview Legacy racer, instructed those new to the series, "Be sure to thank all the course marshals. They are out there volunteering for us."

Fountain Valley Riders Alpine Bank Tent

Fountain Valley riders emulate Rule #1 is Fun!

Heritage Team Support

Heritage greets team members at the finish line.

To effectively place riders in their 2021 racing categories, every rider raced a 2-lap Individual Time Trial (ITT) regardless of grade in school or previous competition class. Riders went off the start line in groups of 4 at 1-minute intervals. Racers times were used to determine racer categories. Once riders were sorted into their category, individual and team points were applied. Subsequent races will return to the cross-country mass start by category.

The senior legacy riders were especially happy to get to line up with their teammates again. One rider rolled up to the line saying, “I forgot what this feels like."

Regis JV Boys

Regis Jesuit, JV boys push their limits to earn 2nd place in D3 team category.

Sophia Olson Middle Park 3149 Legacy 2

JV Sophia Olson, Legacy, Middle Park and Lydia Serbinin, Fairview.

League Executive Director Kate Rau said, “The 2020 season was challenging to keep riders engaged without races. Fortunately, the amount of support provided by everyone involved was remarkable as we adjusted programming due to the onset of the pandemic. The ITT format was well-received as a segue back to cross-country races. The upbeat team energy, welcoming atmosphere, and accomplishments by riders are evidence of the positive impact of this community on youth."

Anita Wilke, Head Coach of the new Riverdale team offered this first impression, "More kids cheered for the last finishers than the top bikers. In all of my years of coaching in Wyoming and here in Colorado..., I have not witnessed the camaraderie in competing teams....The Colorado League promotes camaraderie, inclusiveness, and equality like no other organization I have ever been a part of."

Heritage Crowd Cheering

Crowd cheers riders into the finish.

Country Financial sponsor Aleza Bautista was moved by the incredible camaraderie displayed as Platte teams rushed the finish area roaring for the last riders to complete their races. "The team spirit for the last riders was incredible! Coaches instill this within the teams. The announcer talking about how the League cares about every rider was awesome."

Tom Roan, supported his son Ian and daughter Dana who race with Chatfield in the Piedra region. He said, “He loves the Colorado League because the environment is supportive of the entire range of riders - fast to last."

Colorado Mountain College and Western Colorado University enjoyed the action as they watched the finish line action. Parents and riders learned about the dual enrollment option offered by both institutions. This allows high school students to earn college credit before graduation.

JV Boys Salida ETC

Jackson Karls, Salida raced up to Varsity.

Thomas McCoy and Ansle Visser Laramie Teammate

Laramie 7220 JV racers Ansel Visser, Legacy and Thomas McCoy celebrate their efforts.

Many Colorado League alum volunteer as coaches or fill critical race weekend positions. Bryce Bonner, formerly of Green Mountain worked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He attends Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs. Bryce knows how critical course marshals are to put on a race.

While at Chalk Creek, Durango alum Riley Amos came to support the team and his younger brother Braden. Riley's first season as a U23 has been phenomenal. He is the first USA mountain biker to ever win a U23 World Cup.

Hometown team members from Buena Vista and Steamboat eagerly helped the Colorado League race crew throughout the weekend. Big thanks to all who assisted with venue takedown after a hard day of racing.

BV Loads Truck

Buena Vista team has a tradition of staying until the truck is loaded.

Steamboat Break Down

Steamboat team members pitch in.

Piedra Team Results

The McMurry ranch is a staple of the Colorado League race series. The majestic backdrop of Mount Princeton and the variety of terrain keeps racers entertained. The singletrack along Chalk Creek received high marks and the new flowy singletrack before the finish was racer approved. Thanks to the McMurry ranch for sharing this special place. They devote countless hours before, during, and after the event.

Buena Vista Legacy rider Elena Dunn, performed the National Anthem both days and on Sunday former teammate Hannah Volpe, joined her. Both of these young ladies have shared their musical talents at races for the past several years as band members.

In the Division 1 team competition, Durango took the gold. Salida was only 276 points back in 2nd. Chatfield was 3rd. Salida's female squad is a force with 10 of them contributing to the 15 point earners.

First place in the Division 2 teams was Montrose. Buena Vista's strong group of female riders brought home the silver. Grand Junction rode home with a bronze. Only 62 points separated Cherry Creek and Palisade who were 5th and 6th.

Animas, Regis Jesuit, and Pagosa were the top 3 in the Division 3 team category. The tightest team competition was between High Desert and Ponderosa with only 30 points separating 5th and 6th. Cruz Hernandes a Freshman with High Desert felt good about his first mountain bike race and loved the finishing stretch.

Elena Dunn Buena Vista National Anthem

Elena Dunn, JV Legacy, Buena Vista starts the race weekend singing the National Anthem.

Sterling Schrader Palisade

Palisade Legacy ride Sterling Schrader placed 2nd Varsity.

Piedra Individual Results

Durango Varsity riders Bailey Cioppa and Ivan Sippy clocked the fastest lap times at Chalk Creek. Both represented the USA at the UCI World Championships in Val Di Sole, Italy. Cioppa was the top finisher in Italy where 6 of the 7 USA Junior female riders raced in the Colorado League.

Kaya Musgrave, a sophomore from Chatfield was 2nd and Hannah Garvey, Durango was 3rd in Varsity girls. Mitchek Colley, a senior at Buena Vista is proud to be the first female Varsity rider in the 12-year history of the team. She said that Coach Taf McMurry is a great role model. Colley attributes her hard work and goal setting as factors in her ability to compete at the Varsity level.

Sterling Schrader, Palisade time trial was 30 seconds behind Sippy for 2nd. Lance Knutson, Montrose was 3rd in the Varsity boys. Thirteen competitors moved to Varsity based on their ITT results. It will be very exciting to watch this new crop ride head to head in Snowmass.

Local Salida riders Hayden Bevington and Lily Leddington earned gold and silver. Julia Glotfelty, Animas held off Buena Vista’s Lindsay Trenkle for 3rd and 4th in the field of 25 JV girls.

Trevor Korell Chatfield Soph

Sophomores Trevor Korell, Chatfield and Javian Brown, Montrose negotiate a steep climb.

Neva Hines Montrose

Neva Hines, Freshman, Montrose with a big singletrack smile.

The largest field of the weekend was 92 JV boys. Chatfield riders Edward Ebright and Lane Turner rode to 1st and 2nd. Only 4 seconds separated Eoin Blackburn, Salida, and Ian Kilty, Regis Jesuit for 3rd and 4th.

Durango Sophomore boys held 4 of the top 9 spots. Bradley Lamoreaux, Pagosa was 2nd and Durango teammates Liam Bezek and Bryan Hastey were 1st and 3rd. Jacob Young, Buena Vista was pleasantly surprised by his 4th place result beating Evan Pipkin, Grand Junction by only 4 seconds.

Gweneth Fuess of Buena Vista was the fastest Sophomore girl. Elise Holt, Regis Jesuit was 8 seconds ahead of Kate Rizzo, Palisade. A mere 4 seconds separated Sarah Mathwig, Fruita Monument, and Emily Lemons, Columbine for 4th and 5th.

A total of 72 Freshmen raced the unique ITT format. Scarlett Hardie, Palisade took the gold. Siena Guzman-Newton, Palisade, and Neva Hines, Montrose completed the top three. The fastest Freshman boy was Henry Walsh, Chatfield. Only 7 seconds separated Chase Connors, Durango, and Tyler Dokson, San Luis Valley.

San Luis Sock Snake

San Luis Valley rocked the sock theme!

Spearfish Yeti Skills

Alayna Tippmann, Freshman, Spearfish masters hones her skills.

The weekend spirit contest of socks brought out a lot of creativity. San Luis Valley won in the Piedra region. Racers were covered in socks and crafted a large sock snake. Pagosa Springs had inspirational quote socks designed by a racer.

In the Platte region, Middle Park went all out by hanging a sock for each rider on the team tent. Heritage and Littleton had great participation with lots of food-themed socks. The winning teams earned a pile of great stuff supplied by generous sponsors.

The Yeti Skills zone was very popular especially with the members of the new Spearfish, South Dakota team of the Platte region. The course was designed by Bryce Bonner and was very challenging. Platte winners were:

▪ Female Winner – Eliza Fay, Laramie
▪ Male Winner – Luke Pierson, Kelly Walsh
Female Winner – Eliza Fay, Laramie
Male Winner – Luke Pierson, Kelly Walsh
Naia Ralston Valley Family

Naia Burdge, Sophomore, Ralston Valley is thrilled about her race.

Harper Jones Animas 3150

Harper Jones, JV, Animas is soaring on singletrack.

Lainee Haack, 10-year old sister of Steamboat racers Caleb and Aidan warmed the hearts of the crowd with the National Anthem. Blair Seymour, Head Coach of the Steamboat team is critical to the success of the event.

Fairview topped the Division 1 team points. Rocky Mountain took 2nd over Ralston Valley by only 122 points. Fairview's female squad is a powerhouse fielding 5 of the 9 total Varsity competitors in the Platte region.

Steamboat took the gold in the Division 2 team category with a home trail advantage. Monarch passed East by only 99 points for 2nd and 3rd. Steamboat top point earners included a racer from 7 of the 8 available categories, now that is some depth!

The Wyoming teams dominated the Division 3 team category. 7220 Laramie led the podium followed by Kelly Walsh and Natrona. The new Spearfish, South Dakota team rode to 4th of the nine teams.

Tobias Chain 2

Tobias Beesley, JV, Fairview calmly repairs a broken chain during his race.

Caleb Haack Homecoming Proposal

Caleb Haack, Varsity, Steamboat has success of the trail with a Homecoming date.

Resilience and fortitude were exhibited by many riders. Several snapped chains off the start. Caleb Haack, Steamboat, immediately broke his chain, quickly fixed it, and proceeded to clock the 6th fastest time for Varsity before applying a 5-minute penalty for getting a link from a spectator. His day ended on a high note after his Homecoming proposal was accepted.

Tobias Beesley, JV, Fairview was vexed by several mechanicals on his first lap. He calmly fixed his bike without assistance and cheerfully volunteered at the finish line after his race.

Janowyn Street, Freshman, Fairview was tangled in a sprint finish yet popped up to finish her first mountain bike race. She commented about how compassionate the rider was who caused the crash. Nicholas Brown, Sophomore, Ralston Valley, said the race was fun because it was a challenge.

Isa Kiera

Legacy Varsity racers Isa Nashold, 7220 Laramie and Keira Bond, Fairview.

Cole Swanson Rocky Mountain Legacy

Cole Swanson, JV Legacy, Rocky Mountain rolls through switchbacks.

Platte Individual Results

Isa Naschold, 7220 Laramie held off the Bond sisters Keira and Jorja of Fairview. Nashold clocked the fastest female lap time of the weekend. The Varsity field expanded from 3 to 9 after 6 riders' times earned them an upgrade.

Kade Kreikemeier, Independent from Liberty Common High School in Fort Collins, was the fastest Varsity rider and laid down a 24:23 lap time. Fairview riders Liam Baartman and Leif Bryan were 2nd and 3rd. After the ITT results, the Varsity field more than doubled as 24 riders upgraded.

Fisk Johansson, a Kelly Walsh Freshman took the win of the 108 JV boys. His father and Head Coach, Leif mentioned that Fisk has been attending Colorado League races since he was 4 years old and is so excited to finally race. Steamboat locals Aidan Haack and Curtis Zanni were only 4 seconds apart for 2nd and 3rd.

Freshman Ella Kearney-Turner recently moved from Southern California and moved to the top JV girls spot with a time of 1:05:36 for 2 laps. Sophomores Madeline Harvey, Ralston Valley, and Eliza Fay, 7220 Laramie had only 10 seconds separating 2nd and 3rd in the JV girls contest.

Ethan Wobus Fairview

Fairview Legacy Ethan Wobus moved up to Varsity.

Naomi Katzmann Natrona

Naomi Katzmann, JV, Natrona, WY.

Gianna Defazio from Fossil Ridge was very happy to be racing and took the lead by 20 seconds over Emma Pearson, Kelly Walsh. Zeren Homer, 7220 Laramie had a fantastic day and placed 3rd in the Sophomore girls.

Primo Famiglietti, Steamboat squeezed past Brodie Morrison, Rocky Mountain by only 4 seconds. Luke Robinson of Fairview trailed by 6 seconds for 2rd in the very competitive field of 65 Sophomore boys.

The Freshman boys winner was Carter Kirkpatrick of Fairview with a time of 55:21. Jack McDill, Rocky Mountain, and Cayel Holmgren, Spearfish raced to 2nd and 3rd.

Steamboat locals Jesse Weaver and Abby Olson were proud to bring gold and silver home. Fiona Gallagher of Fairview was 3rd in the field of 18 Freshman girls.

The Steamboat team rallied around JV teammate Colten Casvecchia as he accomplished his goal of completing 2 laps. The Ralston Valley Mustangs roared as Carter Himmel road to the finish after a mechanical. The personal accomplishments and team support demonstrated are what make the Colorado League shine!

Aliana Smith Fort Collins

Freshman Aliana Smith, Fort Collins shows excellent bike body balance.

Ty Bronder Cheyenne

Ty Bronder, Sophomore, Cheyenne, WY maintains a low hip hinge.

The action and fun continue with mass start cross country races in Eagle for the North regions (Platte and Yamap) and Snowmass for the South (Cyrstal and Piedra. For more information on the 2021 season’s events click here.

The Colorado League is grateful to parents who fulfill the many volunteer roles needed each race weekend. Thank you to everyone who pitches in to help!


Their generosity keeps the wheels rolling!

CO Footer 8.9.2021
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