Success in the saddle |

Success in the saddle

Joelle Milholm and Dale ShrullPost Independent Staff

In only its second year in existence, the Brown and Wills Cycling Team/Western Junior Developmental Team placed three riders on national podiums, three were named national season champions and two more earned state championship titles.”I am ecstatic. It was great,” said Western Slope Junior Developmental Team Director Jeff Nelson. “We had better success than we had goals for.”Noah Hoffman finished in the top spot at the Federation of Independent Association for Cycling’s national hill climb event in the 17 to 18-year-old division. Teammate Avivah Hotimsky took second at the same event, placing in the FIAC hill climb in the junior women 10-12 category. Netana Hotimsky was the third member of the team to stand on a national podium, earning her place after taking fifth at the USA Cycling Criterium Championships in the junior women 17-18 division.Hoffman and Netana Hotimsky also pedaled their way to Colorado state championships in their same respective categories.The team also had three impressive finishes in the American Cycling Association Best All Around Rider standings, which riders earn points for in races all season long. Ethan Bell took first in the junior men 15-16 division with 159, edging the runner-up by four points. Trevor Bell finished second in ACA BAR points with 154 in the junior men 17-18 category. Avivah Hotimsky also earned a runner-up title by riding for 158 points in the junior women 10-12 field.After a long summer of riding since February, Nelson will be giving his team a well-deserved rest.”They go and do their own thing. Lots of them go and race in downhill skiing, or stay on their bikes and have fun,” Nelson said. “We don’t push them too hard in the winter because our season goes from February to September and that’s a lot for 13 to 18-year-olds going every weekend and training five to six days a week.”Happy sponsorsGlenwood Springs attorneys Walt Brown and Lawson Wills are the main sponsors of the cycling team.”The work of these kids and these coaches this year has been amazing,” Brown said.Sponsoring the team was an easy decision, Brown said.”I like doing things for kids, that’s the main reason we do this,” he added.As a longtime friend of Bobby Julich, third place winner of the 1998 Tour de France and a 1990 Glenwood Springs High School graduate, Brown has long been a cycling fan. He was also instrumental in getting “Bobby Julich Day” set up last November. Julich also won a bronze medal in the 2004 Olympics.While in Glenwood for the event, Julich talked to cycling fans and members of the Brown and Wills Cycling Team.Brown said Julich passed along advice on getting the team set up.”Bobby said get them outfitted, make them a team, make them proud,” he said.Brown said his commitment to the team is for the long haul but he hopes other sponsors will step forward because of the huge financial commitment. Browns said he’d love to some day see a cycling training center in the Glenwood area. With that, the goal is to create a permanent cycling team infrastructure of coaches and classes.”Reliable support is the key to any team I think we can make this happen,” he added.After a successful and productive first season, the Brown and Wills Cycling Team/Western Junior Developmental Team might be setting the foundation for future cycling success in the area and beyond.Team highlights

1st – Noah Hoffman (17-18) FIAC hill climb 2nd – Avivah Hotimsky (12-13) – FIAC hill climb 5th – Netana Hotimsky (17-18) – USA Cycling Criterium championships

Noah Hoffman (17-18) hill climb Netana Hotimsky (17-18) Criterium

1st – Ethan Bell (15-16)2nd – Trevor Bell (17-182nd – Avivah Hotimsky (10-12FIAC: Federation of Independent Association for CyclingACA BAR: American Cycling Association Best All Around Rider

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