Vail area mountain biking teams start high school season strong
Two races, two podiums for varsity boys racer Aiden Duffy
The local high school cycling team — a group of three competition squads training together — is off to a strong start this season after notching a series of impressive results at the second race of the season Sunday.
While weather forced the cancellation of most of the girls races, the boys were able to complete varsity, junior varsity, sophomore and freshman divisions Sunday in Steamboat.
The girls were able to complete the varsity race, but all other divisions had to be canceled as inclement weather rolled in.
The top local finisher on the day in the varsity boys field was Aiden Duffy, who made the podium in third place for the second race in a row. Duffy also finished in third at the season opener Aug. 25, but coach Miles Gentry said Sunday’s third-place finish was much harder-fought for Duffy.
“There’s some kids in that field who were not in the previous race because they were out racing in junior worlds in Canada,” Gentry said. “So for him to get another third in that field is pretty impressive.”
It was one of several exciting finishes on the day, Gentry said. Garret Moehring of the Battle Mountain Team was in a sprint finish for seventh place in the boys junior varsity race, and Mack Dorf of the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy sophomore boys team also sprinted to the line to earn second on the day. Varsity girls racer Bayli McSpadden finished eighth.
“It was super-close all day, really exciting, really fun to be in that whole environment,” Gentry said.
The team now has 58 racers, and all three of the local teams’ competition squads race in Division II. Heading into Sunday, the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy team and the Battle Mountain team were in a fight for first, and Eagle Valley was not far behind in fifth.
“So that’s pretty big for us to be sitting 1-2 in the state for Division II right now,” Gentry said.
The next race of the season is scheduled for Sept. 22 in Granby, before the regular season closes out on Sept. 20 in Eagle with the conference championship. Depending on the results after the conference race, some teams will qualify for the state championship Oct. 14 in Durango.
“That’s our goal, to make it there,” Gentry said.
Follow along by visiting ColoradoMTB.org.