Conference championships have been settled. All that’s left to decide are the state champions of the Colorado Cycling League’s 2019 mountain bike season.
The Durango Mesa Pursuit will conclude the season Oct. 19-20 in Durango. Last weekend at the Haymaker Classic in Eagle, conference titles were handed out, and the Durango Demons claimed the Division 2 title in the South conference. After four races, the Demons scored 20,116 points to roll away with the title in front of second-place Crested Butte (17,852) and third-place Animas High School (17,171).
Animas’ Riley Amos, who missed the first race of the season while attending the UCI World Championships in Canada, put together a winning ride Sunday in Eagle by nearly three minutes in front of Robbie Day of Evergreen. That helped Amos claim the leader’s overall jersey and the conference championship, as he finished 13 points in front of Chatfield’s George Poggemeyer. Amos won all three races he contested this season and will look to win a state title on home soil Oct. 20. It won’t be easy against Durango’s Cobe Freeburn, who won last year’s state title and raced to fourth Sunday in his return to action after he suffered a broken arm in June at the national championships.
Durango’s Ruth Holcomb competed in only two races this season while she has worked her way back from an illness. She showed she was in championship form Sunday in Eagle, as she won the varsity girls race in 1:27:37. That was 1:10 faster than second-place Mia Aseltine of Chatfield, who will wear the conference’s points leader jersey into Durango for state next weekend.
Holcomb, who was denied a state title last year, will look to ascend to the top of the podium this year and finish with a championship. Also among the varsity girls, Abbey Shepard of Animas placed third on Sunday and finished third in the conference standings. Aleah Austin of Durango has also been a force all season and placed fourth on Sunday and sixth in the conference. Sage Davis of Animas also rode strong this season and will go into state after placing eighth in the conference standings.
The Durango boys dominated the junior varsity boys races this year, led by four wins from Ivan Sippy. He won again in Eagle and will wear the conference’s points leader jersey when he contests the state title race Oct. 19 in Durango. Also among the JV boys, Ian Groom of Durango placed third in the conference standings after he placed third in Sunday’s race in Eagle, and Jaden Kirk placed fifth in the conference.
Sunday’s JV girls race was won by Durango’s Maggie Holcomb, who has made a big leap as a freshman with two consecutive race wins. She finished in 57:31, while Durango’s Lauren Aggeler placed second in 58:28. Sarah Bivens of Crested Butte maintained the division’s leader jersey with a third-place finish in front of Durangoans Bailey Cioppa and Kelsey Nicholson, who, respectively, placed fourth and fifth in Sunday’s race. Cioppa scored well all season and finished second in the conference standings, while Durango’s Hannah Garvey placed fourth and Nicholson was sixth.
Durango’ Zara Rose Brown finished third in Sunday’s sophomore girls race, and she placed fourth in the conference standings.
Animas had another conference champion in the freshman girls division. Julia Glotfelty won the race in Eagle to back up her win at Snowmass and a second-place finish at Nathrop in the season-opening event.
Durango’s Mack Otter won the freshman boys race Sunday in Eagle, and that helped him climb into fifth place in the conference standings, as he has shown steady improvement in all three races he has competed in this season.
Once again, the strongest two North conference teams this year were Boulder and Fairview in Division 1, and those Boulder riders will give the Durango-based athletes stiff competition at state. But, in Division 2, Durango’s toughest competition may come from its South conference rivals along with Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, the North conference champion in the division that ran away from Battle Mountain and Rocky Mountain in the standings.