Cloud City Invitational – lives up to it’s name!

Melissa Pipkin Uncategorized 0 Comments

Hello GVYC Community!

This week in HS Mountain Bike Racing brought us high up into the mountains, where the air is thin, the mountains are rugged, and the single track is so fun, you don’t even notice how your legs and lungs are burning!
We arrived to set up on Saturday under sunny skies and hooting and hollering could be heard as we made our way through the course on our pre-ride.  Racers would ride between 2-4 laps on the 6.2 mile course with around 500 feet of elevation gain… starting at 10,200 ft above sea level. As we pre-rode the course we made our way through the woods to the first major climb up a 2 track road… after which we were greeted with a fun and fast down hill that led us to fun and windy single track that swooped through the aspens.   The trail then climbs again, this time on single track… surprising riders with spectacular views and some fun corners before coming back down for some more fun.  The lap finishes with a screaming fast downhill where racers easily approach 25 mph, that leads to a short steep uphill to the start/finish.

Freshman boys are ready for action!    Photo Cred: Reed Mosler
….and they’re off Fruita Freshman Ean Smith and 80 of his closest friends take to the course in the first wave of freshman racers to take the course.  Photo Cred: Reed Mosler

On Sunday, race day, we were greeted with blue skies and perfect cool racing temps.  Our freshman boys took the course first and set the tone for the rest of the day!  Fast and Fun!Varsity boys and girls were next, followed by sophomore boys…  by the time JV was getting ready for their race… the clouds were upon us… light sprinkles at the start turned to an exciting race course evacuation as thunder lightning and pounding rain moved in during their third lap.  Unfortunately… this is where our day of racing ended.
Bike racing is fun… but it often hurts.  Your muscles ache, your lungs are screaming, and you persist as you chase the rider ahead of you down a dusty trail.  Every race brings new obstacles and thus growth for our riders. However sometimes the biggest growth comes from not racing…. Our freshman, sophomore and JV girls had been at the venue all day, they were out cheering on their teammates in their races, as they anxiously awaited their own turn on course.

Just hanging!  We’ve got the coolest pit zone!  The tents and trailer are our home away from home on race weekend!

These young ladies show grit and heart every time they get to race, but this weekend, they showed resiliency, class and maturity as they dealt with the disappointment of not getting their time to race.  We spend so much time getting ready for each race… they spent the whole day mentally preparing for their races… only to get rained out minutes before their race was to start.  I am humbled by the grace they showed in the face of this disappointment.
We did have many other impressive races this weekend as well!  Hunter, a freshman from Fruita completed his first High School mountain bike race ever, which is especially impressive as he’s just returned to the bike recently after recovering from a serious injury.

JV Racers Noah and Mitchel get ready to take to the course… trying to ignore the rain sprinkling on them at the time of the pic….

Annika and Rylan both showed big heart as they each crashed in their respective races, yet got back on the bike to finish their races. 
Unfortunately, the site that has all of the team results ect. is down right now, so this week, our success will have to be measured in smiles… so here’s some shots from the day, as well as a short video clip of our last two riders coming in off the course in a downpour!

JV boys coming in from the storm!

Thanks again for all you do to support GVYC and our athletes!  It takes a village to raise a bike team, and I think ours is the best village a coach could ask for.  Thanks for being here!
-Asst. Coach, Gerry Verdoner, and The Grand Valley Youth Cycling family!

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