Dirt Demons have impressive start to season | PostIndependent.com

Dirt Demons have impressive start to season

Photo by Jenny Barsness

Even though school hasn’t started yet, the Glenwood Springs High School Dirt Demons mountain bike racing team kicked off the season with an impressive array of results Sunday at the Frisco Bay Invitational in Summit County.

The first of four regular season races in the Colorado South Conference of the National Scholastic Cycling Association (NICA) schedule was held at Peninsula Park, overlooking Dillon Reservoir, under clear skies. The 6-mile course offered plenty of technical challenges with steep, rocky descents and 600 vertical feet of climbing per lap.

The Dirt Demons brought the largest contingent yet in this, the team’s third year of existence, with 11 athletes lining up in five race divisions. One hundred twenty-seven eager freshman boys, divided into two heats, competed in the first race of their high school mountain biking careers. The top result of the day for the Dirt Demons came from Erik Novy, who finished third after two laps, immediately followed by Kawak Miranda in fourth. The two boys are frequent training partners.

Spencer Tuggle rounded out the freshman results, finishing 45th. Also racing freshman boys was Glenwood native and part-time resident Ben Heim, now racing for Denver’s Rocky Mountain Expeditionary School. Heim placed 84th in his first-ever race.

Sophomore Lizzie Barsness also netted a fourth-place finish, completing two laps in the 48-rider strong junior varsity girls division.

In the varsity boys race, junior Lucca Trapani placed fifth after four laps, while teammate Jacob Barsness was laid low by an allergy attack and did not complete the race distance. The field comprised 39 starters. Trapani liked the loose, technical course.

“There was a good amount of climbing, which suited me well,” Trapani said. “I was focused the entire race on bridging the gap to the leaders’ group in front of me and when I started catching some guys who had fallen off the pace, I was even more motivated to go hard.”

In the three-lap junior varsity boys race, Aaron Smith placed 12th, Mark Richardson 44th and Telford Underwood 75th in the crowded field of 140 riders, which was split into three separate heats. Lance Weidemann placed 10th and Ashlan Stolley placed 83rd in the sophomore boys division, contested over two laps and with the 114 starters split into two heats.

The Dirt Demons racked up 2,458 points to place fourth in the Division 2 team competition. Full results can be found at coloradomtb.org.

Next up is the Cloud City Challenge on the Nordic and biking trails of the Colorado Mountain College campus in Leadville on Sunday, September 12.

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