Leadville Racing and Flaming Foliage
High School Cycling Season Underway
The Colorado High School Cycling League kicked off their season with Race #1, The Chalk Creek Stampede in Nathrop, Colo. on Saturday, Aug. 24. The following is Coach Bruce Kelly’s report. Go Team!
By Coach Bruce Kelly, Leadville Racing Team
Leadville Racing, the Lake County High School Mountain bike team kicked off their 2019 season traveling to Nathrop, Co. and the McMurray ranch course. Unusually hot weather greeted the riders making the racing even more demanding. Leadville racing started their day with veteran and team captain Matt Koch having one of his best races to date finishing three laps of the course in the boys JV field of 175 in 1:33:07 for 20th place.
The next rider out for the team was JV girl’s standout rider Michaela Main, as luck sometimes has it Michaela had the misfortune of a burped front tire on the first lap. She was riding with the lead pack of 5 when it happened, she took a fairly nasty crash, she did get the tire fixed and tried to finish but ended up pulling out do too severe back pain. Never fear she will rebound for the next race.
Sophomore and first-year rider Elona Greene made her debut memorable, with a top 20 finish out of 41 with a time of 1:22:50 for two laps of the course. Considering she had never really mountain biked much before joining the team let alone raced it was an exceptional day for her.
The final race of the day was the freshman boys. Matt Cairnes did not disappoint finishing 4 overall out of 137. His time of 58:20 for two laps of the course during the hottest time of the day is beyond impressive.
Overall as a team, Leadville finished 14th out 17, but we only had 3 riders score points and you get to have 5. We look forward to a little better team showing at our home race Sunday September 8th at CMC.
High School Cycling Needs Volunteers
The High School Cycling League‘s Cloud City Challenge will be held in Leadville on Saturday, Sept. 7. Hosted by the Leadville Racing high school cycling team, the event will be held up at the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) trails. There will be over 800 participants along with another close to 2,000 family members and spectators in town starting Friday, Sept. 6 thru Sunday, Sept. 8. The high school league which celebrates ten years of dirt in 2019, has grown to include two divisions, over two days.
Starting at just over 10,000 feet, high altitude will definitely play a role in the Leadville competition with the racecourse including portions of the CMC cross-country trail system and 13-miles of the East Side trail system maintained by the Cloud City Wheelers of Leadville. The Cloud City Challenge is one of the four races begin held for the league that has now grown to over 800 racers. Organizers could use some extra volunteers for these races which would demonstrate Leadville’s commitment to hosting this race that brings in student-athletes and their families from around the state.
While the Leadville Racing Team is comprised of student-athletes from Lake County High School, the team is not officially part of the school district’s athletic department and therefore relies solely on outside donations and contributions of time and resources. While the economic benefit is palpable, the event doesn’t happen without the muscle and time of volunteers. To that end, team coaches are encouraging the Leadville community to show their support. Anyone interested can go to www.coloradomtb.org and click on the volunteer tab, scroll down to Cloud City Challenge and sign up for whatever might be of interest. If you’re interested in supporting the team, with time or money, you can also contact the team coaches at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We invite all locals to come out and cheer on not only the local team but all the teams competing,” concluded Coach Bruce Kelly. The Race #3 is in Granby on September 21. The high school cycling season wraps up on October 5 in Eagle with the state Championship.
The Colorado High School Cycling League (CHSCL) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization, that serves students in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. CHSCL’s purpose is to build strong minds, bodies, and character, guided by the principles of inclusivity and equality. The league produces an interscholastic mountain bike race series, provides training and education to support coaches teams. CHSCL provides a comprehensive infrastructure to grow youth cycling in a fun, safe, and professional manner. The organization strongly believes that prevention reduces the need for intervention. Together we foster healthy habits in youth, develop self-confidence, cultivate leadership, and strengthen family bonds one pedal stroke at a time.
Coming Up: The Flaming Foliage Relay
In upcoming Leadville race news, the 7th annual Flaming Foliage Relay will be coming through Lake County on September 6-7. This foot race will find most runners coming through Leadville during the night of Friday, Sept. 6 and into the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 7. So, if you’re camping near Turquoise Lake and you see headlamps bobbing along the road, this is what’s happening. Here’s a video overview of the race and its course.