Blend of youth and experience[ by Than Acuff ]
The Crested Butte Devo high school mountain bike race team has a potent mix of youth and experience which they put on full display in their opening race of the season on Saturday, August 26.
Many of the CB Devo riders had a robust summer of riding and came into the first race, the Frisco Bay Invitational, with miles upon miles already in the saddle. Not to mention, the athletes had a robust preseason regimen so the coaches were really looking to see how that might pan out in their first race.
“The biggest thing for this team is they’re young but pretty experienced racing,” says coach Ben Theyerl. “The bigger question was how were they going to respond after a big block of training.”
They got their answer as 11 CB Devo riders opened the season and athletes young and old picked up where the 2022 state champion CB Devo team left off last year winning the opening race as a team.
Finn Veit and Lance Lakoski led the varsity riders as Veit won and Lakoski finished in sixth place in their race. Sam Bullock’s 17th place finish in the varsity race added additional team points but the overall team results hung in the balance until the freshmen races.
The freshmen riders race in a time trial format to get seedings for race starts the remainder of the season.
“It’s called the race of truth,” says Theyerl. “You have to put together a solid hour of racing.”
Temple Robertson and Brie Bender were each tasked with the “race of truth” and both stepped up to the challenge with each rider placing second in their races to push the CB Devo team to the overall win.
“We shot up in the overall points thanks to Brie and Temple,” says Theyerl. “It was a complete team effort from varsity boys down to the freshmen and it was great to see after winning a state championship last year, we were able to be back in it again this year but with a different make up.”
The athletes return to training for the next two weeks and then hit the road for the second race of the season when they go to Glenwood Springs to compete in the Spring Valley Scramble on Sunday, September 10.