Dirt Demons’ Trapani wins Leadville mountain bike race
The Glenwood Springs High School mountain bike team had a strong showing in Leadville on Sept. 9, led by senior Lucca Trapani’s victory in the varsity boys race.
The Cloud City Challenge was held on the Colorado Mountain College campus course, which winds through the pines at 10,770-feet elevation. The thin air and 6.2-mile course challenged riders with 620 feet of elevation gain per lap.
In the varsity boys race, Trapani started strong and notched the second-fastest lap time of 25:56. According to a contributed report sent to the Post Independent, he never dropped behind third place and was just 25 seconds off the lead at the start of the final lap, on pace to close the gap. When he emerged from the woods near the finish, he was all alone in front, 2-and-half minutes ahead of the runner-up.
“I felt really good this morning so I wanted to be aggressive and push the pace,” Trapani said afterwards.
Varsity girls were on course at the same time, with Glenwood junior Lizzy Barsness finishing eighth out of 21 competitors.
Henry Barth jumped in to his first-ever bike race just a day after winning the Liberty Bell Cross Country Invitational in Littleton with the Demon XC team, and finished in a respectable 31st place. “It was fun,” the dual-sport star said. “I definitely want to do the next race.”
For the junior varsity boys, Glenwood’s Kawak Miranda was eighth and Erik Novy finished 11th. Roaring Fork junior Lance Weidemann had an eventful time in the JV boys, starting with a broken chain midway in the first of three laps. A course marshal tried to help him fix the chain but it soon broke again so he ran the rest of the lap to the repair pit and got another bike. He continued racing until the replacement bike’s saddle broke midway through the final lap. He had the presence of mind to grab the detached saddle and stuff it in his jersey pocket before riding the rest of the lap standing, with a bare seat post beneath him.
“The mechanicals were a little disappointing because I was feeling really good beforehand and thought I could have a good race,” Weidemann said. “After all the problems, I just decided to power through to the finish.”
The sophomore boys race featured three Dirt Demons competing in the crowded 140-rider field. The three remaining girls categories raced last, with Nadia Shea taking 27th place in the sophomore girls. Emma Barsness, clad in the points leader’s jersey due to her win in race No. 1, had a target on her back in the freshman girls race. She rode strong to finish in third place.
All told, 21 Dirt Demons represented the GSHS team.
Freshman boys started the day’s action, with eight Dirt Demons on the start line. Oliver Patrick improved on his previous 15th place in Frisco’s season opener, to finish in eighth place.
Next up for the Dirt Demons is the Chalk Creek Stampede in Nathrop on Sept. 23.
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As a new transplant to the area, each week I will feature a trail within the Garfield County limits. For this inaugural week, I’m highlighting Glenwood Springs’ own Atkinson Canal Trail.