Riley Amos secured the first national title for Durango cyclists at this year’s USA Cycling’s national championships.
The Durangoan captured the national title in the junior men’s 15-16 cross-country race in dominant fashion Friday in Snowshoe, West Virginia.
Amos pulled away from the 102-rider field and completed four laps on the 3.9-mile pro course in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 46 seconds. He held a lead of about 20 seconds after the first lap and continued to separate from his closest challengers as the race wore on. Nye Yackle, originally from Cortez but now living in Spokane, Washington, placed second place, 2:32 back. Bjorn Riley of Boulder was third, 3:14 back.
The national championship is the biggest and latest title in what has been a superb season for Amos, who picked up wins on the Pro XCT series in Missoula, Montana, and Soldier Hollow, Utah, and swept the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic road and mountain bike races.
Full results from the junior men’s 15-16 and the junior women’s 15-16 races were not available at press time.
Also on Friday, Durango’s Lauren Aggeler was sixth in the women’s junior 13-14 cross-country race. She finished the three-lap race in 42:15.76. Mia Aseltine of Littleton won the title in 37:27.31. Maegen Herring of Blacksburg, Virginia, was second, 1:23 back, and Hayden McJunkin of Truckee, California, was third, 3:03 back.
On Wednesday, Durango’s Ethan Aggeler placed second in the three-rider field for the non-championship 6-8 cross-country race. Aggeler finished two laps on a 3.3-mile course in 54:59.3. Donald Smith IV of Roanoke, Virginia, won the title in 47:08.6. John Donnelly of Collierville, Tennessee, was third, 29:36.6 back of Smith.
On Thursday, Durango’s Field Blevins placed 12th in the men’s master 55-59 cross-country race with a time of 1:35:36.6. Blevins dropped time in each of the three laps on the 4.6-mile course.
Gunnar Shogren of Morgantown, West Virginia, won the title in 1:16:32.7. Troy Zimmerman of Palm Beach Garden, Florida, was second in 1:19:04.2, and Jeff Welch placed third in 1:20:06.1. There were 16 riders in the field.
The championships will continue Saturday and Sunday, with several more Durangoans hitting the course and seeking a cross-country mountain bike national title.
Madeline Robbins will get the day started in the junior women’s 17-18 race, while Quinn Simmons will be at the start for the junior men’s 17-18 race.
Later in the day, Ellen Campbell and Katja Freeburn will challenge for the under-23 women’s title, and Daniel Johnson and Jacob Saket will vie for the under-23 men’s title.
The final championship race Saturday will be the men’s cross-country pro race, which will feature Howard Grotts, the three-time defending national champion, Christopher Blevins, last year’s under-23 cross-country national champion, and Payson McElveen, the reigning and back-to-back marathon mountain bike national champion who was third in the men’s pro cross-country race at last year’s national championships.