Dirt Demons dominate JV boys division in Nathrop
The Glenwood Springs Dirt Demons mountain bike team took 20 racers to the Chalk Creek Stampede Sunday in Nathrop. Clear skies and crisp morning temps greeted the combined girls race at 8:30 a.m. on the private McMurry Ranch course.
The 6.1-mile loop, in the shadow of Mt. Princeton and the Collegiate Range, challenged racers with loose rocky climbs, sand, water and 512 vertical feet of climbing per lap.
Series leader Emma Barsness was near the front group through the first half of the race when she punctured the sidewall of her tire. She ran nearly the entire 6-mile lap to finish 32nd. Barsness’ time included a 5 minute penalty for taking assistance from a course marshal.
Teammates Ella Lindenberg and Kailey Murphy finished in 17th and 24th, respectively. Nadia Shea was the lone Glenwood racer in the sophomore girls, coming in 26th overall.
Next up was the freshman boys, with seven Dirt Demons at the start line. Oliver Patrick has steadily improved each race and finished seventh in the crowded 118-competitor field. Other finishers were Aidan Corcoran (27th), Christian Landeros (36th), Aiden Senn (53rd), Jacob Martin (56th), Sam Spence (66th) and Elias Gardner (77nd).
Junior Lizzie Barsness held on to 10th place in the varsity girls division despite experiencing some physical difficulty, while senior Lucca Trapani dealt with a mechanical setback in the varsity boys race when his derailleur pulley wheel broke early in the first lap. He removed his chain so his bike would roll easily, and by the time he ran to the repair pit he was 20 minutes back from the leaders, so he called it a day and retired from the race.
Sophomores Austin Villareal, Spencer Tuggle and Grant Anson placed 23rd, 27th and 100th, respectively, in the popular sophomore boys division race, which had 132 racers at the start.
The final race of the day proved to be a star show for the Dirt Demons, which placed three riders in the top 20.
Kawak Miranda was among a fast trio that quickly broke away from the pack on the first lap. The trio of Demons kept pace with each other for the second lap, and Miranda eventually finished in second place, just 1:24 back from the lead. Erik Novy got stuck in traffic at the start and spent most of the first lap overtaking riders, to eventually make his way to fourth place after three grueling laps. Lance Weidemann put in a solid effort to finish in 20th place. Dual-sport star Henry Barth was well served by his cross-country endurance base, coasting to 64th place out of 144 starters.
“I didn’t get a good warm-up, and it cost me at the start of the race when I got stuck behind a lot of slower riders,” Novy said. “Overall, our team had a great day, and everyone was pretty happy.”
The final regular season race and last chance to qualify for the state championships is the Haymaker Classic at the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink on Saturday, Oct. 6.