Vail mountain biker defends Eagle Ranch Classic title, but has eyes focused on bigger stage

Bayli McSpadden will spend her summer chasing UCI points in hopes of earning a World Cup qualifying slot

Bayli McSpadden nabbed two sixth-place finishes at the USA Cycling cross-county mountain bike national championships July 5-9.
Joe Hess/Courtesy photo

Hitched to Bayli McSpadden’s World Cup mountain bike aspirations are intense, UCI points-chasing races sandwiched by lonely, long, arduous training weeks. Thus, coming home to race the Vail Recreation District’s mountain bike town series is more than just a mid-week speed session. It’s life giving.

“This is where I started, this is what made me get into it, this is what made me love biking and get to where I want to be,” the 20-year-old Vail mountain biker said after defending her title at the Eagle Ranch Classic on Wednesday night, the first race in the annual summer series.

“When I’m in the middle of intensely racing, it’s a good little mental reset.”

Wearing her Bear National Team kit — she and the recently graduated Eagle Valley Devil Landen Stovall were nominated to the prestigious Trek-sponsored California-based development team last fall — McSpadden went up 2nd Gulch with the pro men and tried to hang as long as she could throughout the 12.6 kilometer course. As potential thunderstorms, which canceled the youth races earlier in the evening, held off, McSpadden led the women’s race wire-to-wire. Fighting through a janky stomach as she continues to dial in her fueling strategy, she would finish in 54 minutes, 58 seconds.

“It was good. It was hard because I’m just ending a big training block, but I’m feeling pretty confident I guess,” McSpadden, who was 39-seconds clear of XTERRA pro Suzie Snyder in second, stated. True to the town series ethos, the CU freshmen was most excited about having her parents compete.

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“I was so excited because I motivated my parents to race today, so it kind of made me a little happier the whole time,” she said. “I’m just so excited they were out there.”  


A pair of cyclists race in the Eagle Ranch Classic on Wednesday night in Eagle. The event was the first in the Vail Recreation District’s mountain bike town series.
Joe Hess/Courtesy photo

Chasing points

The valley’s bike season may just be starting as the final reminders of a long winter continue to melt off high-Alpine trails, but McSpadden’s campaign is already three months old. She kicked it off on Feb. 26 at the Tropical Mountain Bike Challenge in Salinas, Puerto Rico. The Vail rider garnered 12 points from her ninth and 15th-place finishes in the respective cross-country short circuit (XCC) and cross-country (XCO) events. In the UCI XCO individual rankings, 60 points is required for a World Cup start.

“I’m really trying to start in a World Cup by the end of the season,” stated McSpadden, who’s forgoing the upcoming GoPro Mountain Games in two weeks to continue points-chasing in Montana at the Missoula XC.

McSpadden was encouraged by her second trip to Puerto Rico after being pulled on the second lap in 2022.

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“I was beating some of the world cup girls,” she beamed. “It was so cool and it kind of set me off for the season. I’m like, OK, I can do that — I can do pretty much anything this season.”

On April 2, she placed sixth in the 19-22 elite category at the U.S. Pro Cup in Aguanga, California. She was in Fayettville, Arkansas, a couple weeks later, grabbing 14th and 12th-place finishes in a pair of U23 competitions. Then she came back to Colorado and placed eighth at the CSU Cobb Lake road race on April 23 before taking fourth in the women’s pro/open at the Fangdango in Bailey, Colorado, six days later. After a weekend of XCO and XCC events in Fall River, Wisconsin, on May 19-20, she’s decided to skip an event in Canada after the Missoula races in order to focus on U.S. nationals at Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania July 5-9.

“I really want to place well there, because that’s what could get me to go to worlds,” McSpadden, who was seventh in the U23 race last year, stated.

“I’m more fit (this year). There’s a lot more fast girls, but I think it’s definitely in range for me.” 

Eagle Ranch Classic women’s results

Beginner (7 miles)

Chase Rogowski 36:39
Katie Lombardi 38:12
Eva Klesner 38:13
Holly Berghaver 40:10
Allison Weibel 0:40:28
Sarah Youngblood 41:16
Adrienne Graybill 42:23
Kaiya Koller-Torres 44:34
Olivia Cole 45:19
Kaitlyn Musick 45:22
Cat Hulford 46:10
Hillary McSpadden 47:18
Claire Kantor 47:45
Catherine Portz 48:01
Luz Maria 48:58
Heather Blackmon 49:56
Jessica Martinez 1:10:28

Sport (10.7 miles)

Keely Hendricks 54:09
Katie McDonald 55:47
Anna Trombetta 55:49
Amelia Durst 56:35
Stella Sanders 57:17
Emily Large 59:55
Elisabeth Reed 1:04:37
Chelsea Ellis 1:05:41
Jessie Knapp 1:13:01

Veteran Sport (ages 35-49, 10.7 miles)

Danielle Lettice 54:51
Jennie Thorne 1:00:46
Kerry Brown 1:04:49
Nadine Hinkle 1:08:12

Master Sport (ages 50 and up, 10.7 miles)

Nancy Mires 57:59
Eileen Connelly 1:00:25
Michelle Wolffe 1:03:15
Valerie Sloniker 1:03:53
Carrie Lange 1:21:56

Expert (12.6 miles)

Haley Dumke 57:54
Jolene Edelman 1:05:08
Taylor Frankel 1:08:35
Elona Greene 1:15:24

Veteran Expert (ages 35-49, 12.6 miles)

Jennifer Razee 1:03:12
Molly Gamble 1:08:47
Traci Macnamara McCoy 1:14:00
May Jackson 1:17:42

Master Expert (ages 50 and up, 12.6 miles)

Leslie Reuter 1:07:57
Beth Bush 1:08:31
Pavan Krueger 1:08:38

Single Speed (12.6 miles)

Sarah Parrish, 1:06:25

Pro/Open (12.6 miles)

Bayli McSpadden 54:58
Suzie Snyder 55:37
Tamara Donelson 58:30
Miranda Sheets 59:14


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