“Everybody stepped up their game”
[ by Than Acuff ]
After a month of training following their first race in Leadville, the CB Devo high school bike team of 11 riders charged into Snowmass last weekend for the Snowmassive Chase race and finished with a win, some top 10 finishes and a host of top 20 results.
The course plays to the Crested Butte riders with a loop that incorporates one big climb and then a descent rather than some of the more rolling courses in the state.
“We excel at it,” says coach Jenny Smith.
The day started with the freshman boys’ race with Finn Veit rolling up to the start line first. Veit won in Leadville and was thus given the first starting spot in Snowmass to play the hunted rather than the hunter. Veit handled the pressure of the occasion and raced his way to a third place finish by the time both freshman races were done.
“It’s a lot of pressure and he had a lot to adjust to but he did really well,” says Smith.
Despite a broken seat post, Sam Bullock finished the freshman race in 11th, brother Kenny Bullock placed 16th and Ebbett Weinberg finished 19th for a total of four top 20 finishes out of the 93 competitors in the boys freshman race.
“They all improved massively and it was a good showing to start the day,” says Smith.
Piper O’Neill was next up for the CB Devo team at the start line. O’Neill had a strong enough result in the JV race in Leadville to get bumped to the varsity race in Snowmass and took the bull by the horns to finish seventh place in her first varsity race.
Captain Katie O’Neill was the lone rider as well in the JV race and she continued the Crested Butte energy through her race to place 12th.
Lance Lakoski and Oliver White then took it to a whole new level in their JV boys’ race. Lakoski came into the race the number one seed and at the front of the start line and carried his spot all the way to the end to place first and take over the overall points leader spot.
“He took the pressure of being the leader and rode with it,” says Smith.
White was not too far behind as he charged through the first of two laps to be with the lead pack and then had enough in the tank at the end to out-sprint his closest competitor to finish fourth.
“He had a major breakthrough,” says Smith.
Luca Loperfido crossed the line in 15th place out of the monstrous field of 96 riders.
“The whole race was crazy,” says Smith. “It set the tone for the last race of the day.”
The sophomore boys’ race closed out the day of racing and, once again, another CB Devo rider had a breakthrough result. Expectations for captain Connor Knight was a potential top 10 finish but after one lap he was in third place and he stayed there through the second lap to finish in third. Cy Davis was the final rider for CB Devo as he placed 26th in the sophomore boys’ race.
“Everybody stepped up their game,” says Smith.
The team has a quicker turnaround now as they have two weeks before they head to the South Regional Championships in Eagle on October 10 so the coaches are preparing accordingly.
“The race days are really long and taxing,” says Smith. “We’re going to give them a mental break and then Thursday we will get them going again and start sharpening things for the next race, next week.”
Two weeks after that are the state championships and as of right now, all 11 CB Devo riders have qualified for the big show so they’ve got a month of training and racing left to go.