Team takes second place for third race in a row
by Than Acuff
For the first nine years of the Colorado mountain bike high school racing league, the top two spots have been dominated by Durango and Animas. That is until this season as the CB Devo team just finished the third race of the year with another second-place finish at the Snowmassive in Snowmass, behind Durango but ahead of Animas.
Nineteen CB Devo riders rolled into Snowmass for the race continuing with the pre-season goal of everyone competing in every race and, once again, every rider finished.
“It’s awesome that everyone has finished every race,” says coach Jenny Smith. “That speaks to their riding as well as their equipment.”
The Snowmass course is new on the circuit and the Crested Butte riders thrived on the course layout with plenty of climbing and sections of downhills that allowed riders to open it up.
“It had everything in it and played to our strengths significantly,” says Smith. “It was nice to see them race on a mountain course and I think the kids really enjoyed it.”
With several CB Devo riders contributing to the team’s second-place finish throughout the day, a handful of riders had standout races, improving on previous results from the season.
Meanwhile, their top finishers remained consistent as Sarah Bivens placed third in the girls JV race to hold onto the lead in the overall points series and Olivia Gordon took third place in the girls varsity race, just 18 seconds back from first place.
“That’s really close, given the length of the race,” says Smith.
While the CB Devo riders were on point throughout the day, Animas was nipping at their rear wheels and it came down to the end of the day as Crested Butte held a slim three-point lead on Animas with the JV boys race closing things out.
With second place hanging in the balance, Nate Ball dropped the hammer to post his first podium result, adding 17 points to Crested Butte’s total to seal their second-place finish.
“Had he finished one or two spots farther back, we could’ve finished in third,” says Smith. “We’ve had different athletes score points at each race for the team and that shows our depth. They’re starting to get a lot more skilled at riding and racing.”
The team heads to Eagle this Sunday, October 6 for the conference championships and while first place as a team may be out of reach, they still have a fight on their hands to take second place for the conference.
“It requires everybody to have a good race,” says Smith. “Everybody’s position can and does count.”