14 riders qualify for state championships
by Than Acuff
The training, intervals, hill climbs and even time inside on spin bikes all come to a head now with the Crested Butte Devo high school bike team’s having wrapped up the regular season with the regional race on October 6 and preparing for the upcoming state championships on Saturday and Sunday, October 20 and 21.
The CB Devo team headed to the Haymaker Classic in Eagle for the regional showdown, putting the finishing touches on the regular season. While a podium finish was within reach for the team, it would have taken a Herculean effort.
“Just like every race, we told them to leave it all out on the course and gauge your effort so you spend all of your energy not before but at the finish line,” says coach Torrey Carroll. “Pacing is still important.”
While the riders did put down some of their top efforts of the season to date, the team came up shy of the top three, taking fourth place as a team out of 20 total teams.
“It was awesome,” says Carroll. “We just missed the end of the season podium and battled with two other teams to take fourth overall.”
Freshman rider Sarah Bivens did all she could to help propel the team. Bivens came into the regional race with the leader’s jersey on and looking to retain it at regionals.
“She definitely had the target on her back,” says Carroll.
Bivens followed the game plan to the letter, settling into second place after the first of two laps, and then made her move at the start of the second lap to take the lead and hold it all the way to the finish line for her second win in a row and the regional title.
“She closed the gap pretty quick on the second lap and won by 26 seconds,” says Carroll. “She will have the leader’s jersey at state and there will be eight girls there all able to ride at that top speed, but she has a great shot at winning.”
Otis McLoughlin is on the perfect track for a strong showing at states. He continues to climb the standings with each race posting a third-place finish at regionals for his top result of the year thus far.
“He’s been really strong at workouts and has a really good shot at the podium at state,” says Carroll.
The young guns continued to lead the charge as Lily Hanna posted another fourth-place finish in the sophomore girls race and Gus Bullock placed 14th in the JV boys race.
Meanwhile, varsity rider Olivia Gordon hit her season-long goal at regionals. She’s been knocking on the door of a top-10 finish and hit that goal at regionals, finishing in 10th place.
In the end, 14 of the 23 CB Devo riders will be making the trip to Durango this weekend to compete at the state championships with Robby Oberling, JC Patterson, Josiah Tunkey, Dylan Alagna, Nate Ball, Holden Bradford, Max Shull, Liam Elliot and EmmaJean Lovett joining McLoughlin, Bivens, Hanna, Gordon and Bullock. It’s a new venue for the race and the team plans to head down the day before to get a pre-ride in.
“No one has seen it but I’ve heard it has a lot of climbing, which is good for us and plenty of places to pass people,” says Carroll.
A handful of the riders such as Hanna, McLoughlin and Bivens will have good starting positions for the race, while a number of the Crested Butte athletes will be bumping elbows in the start corral, surrounded by equally fast competitors.
“When you go to state you typically end up starting twice as far back as you usually do and it’s a really fast field,” explains Carroll. “Most of our kids will be starting in the thick of it. If most of the kids are able to move up a few spots, it’ll be a good race but it’s easy for the opposite to happen.”