This weekend Western Colorado University’s Mountain Bike Team traveled to Angel Fire, New Mexico to compete in the Grizzly Grind hosted by Adams State. It’s at the end of regular season and the conference race, so the riders are full of enthusiasm and competitive nature.
The team had all finally arrived to Angel Fire well into the night and was ready for bed. The next morning, as the team began to surface from their tents, most were surprised to be surrounded by cold and thick fog thankfully breaking away before any races, leaving us with beautiful weather and clear skies for the remainder of the weekend. It was a long and fun weekend for all riders.
The cross country team had a 20 plus mile race with over 4,800 vertical feet of climbing. The short track consisted of cutting down the stairs of the base area and wrapping around back up to the front face of the mountain being one of the longest tracks of the season. The gravity team competed on debatably the best track of the season, racing on a World Cup course previously raced by the biggest and best names in the sport. It was long, extremely fast and a true test of riders abilities. The dual slalom course is also a favorite, it is looked at as the only true dual slalom track of the season with fantastic features and corners. Despite the challenges it was a very successful trip with several riders having excellent finish.
The conference race is the last push for riders to improve their rankings and the possibility for conference titles. Taylor Paulson took an impressive first place for Western in Women’s B cross country. The battle for Men’s Division II cross country conference champ was a tight race between two Western riders Peter Noon and Cameron Smith, this weekend being the deciding factor and Cameron earned the title. Not only did Western take the Men’s cross country conference title, but also Men’s and Women’s gravity titles by athletes Daniel Frentzel and Kate Buscovick. Western’s Mountain Bike Team also earned the overall team conference title by a landslide.
As the season comes to an end, we would like to thank all of our coaches and sponsors for one of the best seasons yet. It was a great success and none of it would be possible without you guys. -Jack Thibodeau