The Western State Colorado University Mountain Sports Mountain Bike Team was shredding it up in Aspen/Snowmass this weekend at the Buffalos in Snowmass race hosted by the University of Colorado. The event featured the disciplines of cross country, short track, and downhill. Up first on Saturday was the downhill on a challenging course and the riders from Western were stoked!
It featured drops into hard corners, ski run whoops, waterfall chutes, and a brakeless, everything you’ve got finish. Riders were pushing as hard as they dared and still came out at the bottom stoked! A favorite piece of the track seemed to be a ladder jump that launched them over 30 feet. “The track was in prime conditions compared to previous years which I was happy about,” said one of Western’s top freshman riders, Banks Kriz. The average time seemed to be around 3 minutes so this track was short, fast and gnarly! Riders who pushed too hard met the ground in a bad way, but if they could pull it off, the podium was in sight. Western finished with multiple top five finishes. Overall a radical weekend for the gravity side of the team!
The short track race was definitely a hard one and multiple laps had riders legs burning as they pushed to get ahead of anyone that they could. The short lap featured a steep fire-road assent followed by tricky switchbacks that dove right back to the bottom, just to deposit riders back at the base of the climb once again. The corners were banked and technical and forced riders to stay on top of their game. Western finished with a rider in the top ten in all classes both men and women.
The final event of the weekend was the cross country and the word of the day was mud! The course featured a mile and a half uphill fire-road that then changed into steep switchbacks that held all of the mud and most of the problems for the riders. It then went into a long rocky decent with fast and technical sections that finished them out onto the fast ending of the DH track. The men’s and women’s B and C categories battled it out in the muddiest conditions that the team has come across. There were tons of mechanicals due to mud clogging every possible spot on the bike. By the looks of the riders, just finishing was an accomplishment. Riders crossed the finish line with their faces totally brown with mud, worn out and ready to clean up!
Men’s and women’s A categories got lucky and didn’t have to deal with the mud due to the sun coming out and baking the course. Average race times where in the neighborhood of one and a half hours and Western riders came out looking tired but overall happy with their performance. ”It was a great weekend of racing in Snowmass. Racing three races in two days is always a challenge, but the trails were really fun, and our team is always great company. I love getting to race and travel with my best friends each weekend” says Ellie Atkins, one of Westerns omnium riders. Once again, Western riders put in the work and posted top ten finishes in all categories both men and women!
Overall a great weekend for the Mountain Sports mountain bike team!