The Salida Racing high school mountain bike team competed in the Cloud City Challenge Sunday on the campus of Colorado Mountain College in Leadville.
Three of the girls’ races, however, were canceled as the weather turned ugly, while most of the junior varsity boys completed only two of the three laps before they were pulled off the course.
“We finished fifth collectively in Division 1, and my bet is that we would have been fourth had our girls been able to race,” Salida head coach Rob Kelley said. “But the conditions became unsafe, as they’ll do in these mountains, and so the right decision was made to cancel the freshman, sophomore and JV girls as the storm rolled in at the end of the day.”
Cheyenne Mountain won the Division 1 team title with 5,986 points, followed by Chatfield (5,670), Evergreen (5,487), Glenwood Springs (4,798), Salida (4,778), Rock Canyon (4,435), Columbine (4,065) and Conifer (3,968).
The Spartans who did get to compete, however, got to ride on a good racing course.
“The course is pretty spectacular from a visual standpoint and has just the right amount of double-track for passing and single-track for fun,” Kelley said. “Leadville has it going on.”
Junior Cassidy Gillis led Salida once again, finishing 11th of 25 in the girls’ varsity race in 1 hour, 44 minutes, 38.79 seconds.
“I moved up a couple places, so I am happy with my results,” Gillis said. “For the next race my goal is to move up and maybe place in the top 10.”
Senior Ruby Brown also competed for Salida in the girls’ varsity race and finished 20th in 1:55:09.53.
In the boys’ varsity race, junior Devon Downey finished three laps before getting pulled and ended up placing 53rd of 60 riders.
Rock Canyon’s Kennedy Scott and Animas’ Riley Amos won the varsity girls’ and boys’ races, respectively.
Senior Keagen Cox led Salida’s contingent in the boys’ junior varsity race and was the only one who was able to finish the race without getting pulled off the course. Cox placed 28th of 180 riders in 1:39:05.50.
Daniel Richardson (35th), Iain Stewart (88th), Carlos Barrientes (91st), Colin King (93rd), Cooper Wood (95th), River Holmbeck (104th) and Israel Montellano (135th) also competed in the boys’ JV race.
“The courageous rider of the day was without a doubt River Holmbeck. He damaged his leg so badly on the snowboard over the winter that he was in a wheelchair,” Kelley said. “Hopefully he knows that seeing him out there racing today was truly inspiring.”
Ethan NeJame Zeiset was Salida’s first finisher in the sophomore boys’ race, completing two laps in 1:03:15.44 to place 23rd of 130 racers.
“I tried my hardest, and I feel like it paid off,” NeJame Zeiset said. “I had my race at the perfect time, because an hour after my race started, it started pouring and the rest of the race was canceled.”
Daniel Millett (58th), Izan Wheeler (68th), Ford Carlos (70th) and Charlie Schieren (84th) also competed in the sophomore boys’ race.
In the freshman boys’ race, Eddie Glaser passed racer after racer to place 23rd of 152 in 1:07:39.68, even after a mechanical issue.
“Even though I got a flat tire at the beginning, I think I used my frustration from that on the course, and I had a great day,” Glaser said.
“Eddie Glaser pulled off another exciting race by starting in 75th and finishing in 23rd,” Kelley said. “Look out when he finally gets a decent start position.”
Jackson Karls (36th), Garrett Kerns (40th), Chase Diesslin (51st), Ellis Haas (52nd), Eoin Blackburn (55th), Ian Vallier (64th), Eli Waldbaum (72nd), Ison White (89th), Gavin Barron (90th) and Josh Sparkman (97th) also competed in the freshman race.
Olivia Kelley and Calvin Bayne both did not finish.
“The team did well, and I’m again very proud of these kids for coming out and laying it down,” Kelley said.
“I want to say great job to my teammates who did race and didn’t race today, because everyone put in a lot of hard work,” added NeJame Zeiset.
Next, Salida will get to race in a new spot on the circuit – Aspen Snowmass on Sept. 22.