Crested Butte bike team suffers in Leadville race

“Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug”

The Crested Butte high school bike team had a rough weekend in Leadville, with a rash of mechanicals and overall suffering. Still, a couple of riders did manage to keep themselves and their bikes together to improve from their last race two weeks ago.
Things were looking good for the Crested Butte squad, with two weeks of training between races. Rains forced them inside for some workouts but the team was able to get in time on the spin bikes at the Gym. Once the riders were outside, the coaches put them through some rigorous workouts before tapering in preparation for the Leadville Cloud City Challenge.
In addition, the stoke was high among the riders as the entire team made the trip to Leadville with a couple of freshmen lining up for their first race ever, and the course was as good as it gets for riding.
“We had the entire team, which was pretty cool,” says coach Pete Curvin. “It was a really tough course but awesome. Good double track climb with some tight single track on the descent.”
Things got off to a rough start for the team on Saturday as they took the day to preview the course with a team ride and the mechanicals started.
“We had bikes breaking during course inspection and some kids had to ride rental bikes,” says Curvin.
Varsity riders Oz Scott and Pat Curvin saw mixed results in Leadville. Curvin came out strong but crashed and then hit the wall physically, forcing him out of the race.
“Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug,” says Pete.
Scott set his sights on climbing the series’ overall leaderboard in Leadville but fell short of that goal. Nevertheless, he still put together a strong effort to place 24th.
“Oz rode a really smart race,” says Pete.
Colton Schnaitter was one of the few Crested Butte athletes to take the bull by the horns in Leadville. Schnaitter crushed his way through the JV race to finish the day in 20th, up seven places from his previous finish.
“He had a great race and came through each lap looking strong and determined,” says Pete.
Jamey Spahn continues to find her rhythm in her first year of bike racing. She reached her goal for the day—finish the race and have fun—and is gaining ground with each event.
Sophomore racer Will Johnson fell victim to a massive mechanical in his race. Johnson has proven to be one of the stronger riders in the sophomore race class but lost both brakes during his event and was forced to drop out.
“That was tough. Imagine riding Strand Hill with no brakes,” explains Pete.
The freshmen rallied in Leadville. Ian Eldridge had the top result, finishing the day in 14th place. Meanwhile, three other Crested Butte bikers lined up for the first time ever at a high school mountain bike race and, as a result, started in the back of the pack. Nevertheless, they picked their way through the masses to post solid results. Finn Wilson had the top effort among the newbies as he started dead last and made his way through 56 riders to finish in 22nd place.
“All in all it was not our best weekend of racing overall as a team,” says Pete. “We’re still proud of them.”
The team will return to training for the next two weeks and then head to Elbert on Sunday, October 5 for the Peaceful Valley Invitational.
“We’re looking ahead and not back,” says Pete. “The kids like the course in Elbert and have posted good results there in the past.”

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