Six riders headed to state championships
By Than Acuff
The Crested Butte Devo high school bike team just wrapped up the regular season of racing, winning the regional championships in Eagle on Sunday, October 8, with six of their 11 riders qualifying for the state championships in Glenwood Springs October 21–22.
The CB Devo squad dominated the regular season of racing, winning all four races on the schedule with Finn Veit taking the overall points series title in the varsity class and Brie Bender and Temple Robertson each placing second overall in the freshman age class.
And while six riders are headed to the big show, the five that are not wrapped up successful seasons that bode well for the future for some while two closed out their high school bike racing careers.
Seniors Cy Davis and Conner Knight are both “legacy” riders, meaning they’ve raced all four years of their high school career. Both came close to punching their tickets to the championships in the JV class this year with Davis missing out by one spot and Knight finishing just three spots out of the cut-off line.
Coach Jennifer Smith admits it was a bit of a surprise that Davis did not make the cut and while disappointing news, it was not a reflection of his season and career.
“It was a disappointment for Cy, we thought he was going to go,” says Smith. “But it does not take away from Cy’s growth and performance over the four years. You don’t always get the outcome you want but you grow so much along the way.”
Knight had a rough start to his final season of racing. After a broken chain in the opening race led to dropping his race seeding, Knight rebounded to climb his way back into the mix over the next three races. So much so that Knight was awarded the “Slingshot” award for moving from a seed of 89th all the way to finishing 43rd overall.
“He had the biggest improvement over the season of any male rider in our region,” says Smith. “It’s really the best reward because it told his story.”
Riders Kenny Bullock and Ebbet Weinberg also finished outside the cut-off line in the varsity class. Weinberg had a rough season coming into it with a broken collarbone and then battling illness through the two months of racing. The good news—both juniors and were racing up a class this year so they have much to build on from their first year in the top class.
“It sets them up super well for next season,” says Smith.
After crashing at the start of the race in Eagle and cracking his helmet, sophomore rider Ben Geisler fought back to place 12th in his race yet still out of the championship list.
“It was pretty phenomenal that he finished 12th in the race,” says Smith.
“While we are the best team in the conference, the fact that those guys didn’t make it shows the standard is super high to get everyone in,” explains Smith. “It’s just stiff competition.”
Veit, legacy rider Lance Lakoski and Sam Bullock all will be representing CB Devo in the varsity race in Glenwood Springs, while Bender and Robertson will be battling in the freshman class and Ethan Armbrecht will line up at the state championships in the sophomore race. The team will have targets on their backs as CB Devo is the defending Division III state champions.
As they look forward to the race two weeks from now, Smith has individual plans for training for each of them during the break. When they get back together, they will spend the week leading up to the final race tapering to allow them to peak when it matters most. Best of all, the entire team is headed to the state championships as they’ve been thriving all season in large part to the team’s togetherness and support.