Robertson’s gravity success keeps coming
Riders for three local mountain bike teams headed to Snowmass, Colo. July 11-13 for the fifth stop of the Mountain States Cup racing series, dubbed Blast the Mass.
The teams, Go Big Mountain Sports Gravity team, the Crested Butte Monkey Posse and Brick Oven/Crested Butte Builders, spread their talent throughout the pool at the event with riders competing in the pro and expert categories of the downhill, mountain cross and the cross-country races.
The pro category of the downhill was flush with international talent because it was a UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) points series event, attracting several riders from the World Cup circuit.
Kain Leonard is one of the coaches for the Go Big team and was a part of the U.S. National team that competed in the UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Italy in June. Leonard took ninth place in the pro men’s downhill event in Snowmass.
Leonard’s fiancée, Stephanie Hatalsky, is a member of the Go Big team and represented the women’s side in the pro downhill with a fourth-place finish.
Christian Robertson, who organized the Go Big team and coaches with Leonard, continued his season of success in the expert class.
Robertson took first place in the downhill class expert men ages 30-39 and another first-place finish in the mountain cross event in the expert men class age 30+.
“I had a good weekend,” says Robertson. “Stuff’s been starting to click. I’ve got a good crew to ride with and that helps a lot.”
Robertson describes the downhill course at Snowmass as “wild,” noting it was twice as long as the course last year. According to Robertson, it was a mix of wide-open sections, tight technical trees and sections of deep “moon dust.”
“It was definitely a high-speed loose course,” says Robertson. “I was psyched to get through on my bike.”
Robertson’s success at the mountain cross event has come around as a result of his experience in boarder cross in the winter and time spent practicing on his bike.
“I’ve been racing and coaching boarder cross for 15 years, so I know the strategy,” explains Robertson. “Now my biking skills have caught up with my strategy.”
Robertson is on pace to win the overall gravity title for the Mountain States Cup series in his class if he maintains his current pace through the next series race at SolVista Basin ski area August 1-3.
“The goal for the season is to win the series,” says Robertson. “If I can put up some good results at SolVista, I should be able to lock it up.”
With all his personal success over the weekend, Robertson points out that the highlight for the Go Big team came in the beginner class age 15-18 downhill race.
Go Big rider Taylor Reeves took third place in the class, reaching the podium for the first time.
“That was a breakthrough race for him,” says Robertson.
Go Big team rider Alex Prouty lost his ride in the deep dust during his downhill but recovered to finish in 14th place in the men’s expert class ages 19-24.
Crested Butte Monkey Posse rider Rob Way had the fastest downhill for the Posse team, taking 21st place in the semi-pro class. Kevin Bates took seventh place in the downhill and Michael Johnson finished in ninth place, both racing expert men’s class ages 25-29.
Gunnison Valley hammer riders Brian Riepe and Brian Smith each had outstanding results in the cross-country race.
Riepe, an avid single-speed rider, took first place in the single speed class, covering the 19-mile course in a time of 1:56:26.
Local professional mountain bike racer Brian Smith finished the cross-country race in second place, 13 seconds behind first, covering the pro course of 24 miles in a time of 2:14:43.
The Brick Oven/Crested Butte Builders (BO/CBB) team was represented by their up and coming legion of youth, as Will Curry took third place and Dawson Stucki took 16th place in the junior expert class cross-country race.
BO/CBB riders Travis Scheefer and Tim Curry finished in fifth and 10th place, respectively, in the expert class ages 19-29.
The Mountain States Cup race series continues on August 1-3 at SolVista ski resort, offering downhill, super D, dual slalom and cross-country races.
For more images from Snowmass, please contact Devon Balet at devonbaletphoto.com.