Durango Mesa Pursuit

Melissa Pipkin Uncategorized 0 Comments

Annika Sisac leads a pack towards the long climb on the front half of the course

Hello GVYC Family!

            It’s been quite a season of High School Mountain biking with GVYC.  Today’s race report has been tougher to find words for… because I’m not sure how to sum up a whole season… so here it is.  Awesome.  Amazing.  Humbling.  Inspiring.  Mostly, I think the word is Fun.  There’s not much that beats spending an afternoon or a season on bikes with our club.  These last two weeks of practice saw just as many athletes as any other week, even though many of them were not making the final trip to Durango.  Practice was focused and we trained hard.  We also stopped to play, and enjoy each other’s company on the bike!  Last Monday we had Movie Night, and the kids made the best videos….  they will all be up on our facebook page and website in a couple days.  I highly encourage you all to take time to check them out!

            The energy at State Championships was much the same… calm, focused, driven, and light hearted and fun.  Adorned in grass skirts, pineapple hats, Hawaiian shirts and leis, (the theme was Hawaiian) GVYC took to the course.  The course starts with an exciting “flyover” where the course crosses over itself… racers quickly hit a long climb before descending into a fast fun technical downhill….  Racers quickly encounter a “false flat” where if you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to forget to pedal hard… but not our team… we pressed hard up the gradual incline, under the flyover, and then into a short tough climb to start the second half of the course.   Twisting and turning through the trees, through loose dusty corners, over rolls and under tree branches the riders raced out and then back again to the start/finish to complete the figure 8…. One lap down.  Again, racers rode between 2 and 4 laps, each lap with about 6 miles and 600 feet of climbing.

JV Boys getting ready to set things off!

  This weekend, every racer came out and raced their hearts out, striving to accomplish their season goals, whatever they might be.  The freshman boys started us off for the weekend with an amazing race.  Anatoly Chinn and Ean Smith both fought back their nerves from the first ever State Championships, and  had amazing days.  JV took to the course shortly after and followed with equally impressive races.  Mitchel McBride, Bryson Locke and Hayden Fox spent 2.5 of their 3 laps on course within a bike length of each other…. but the closest finish was Sarah Penick and Clair Grossman who crossed the line together, holding hands in what might be both of their final HS MTB race!

Sarah Penick and Claire Grossman finish hand in hand! Photo Cred: Dave Grossman

Sunday brought cooler temps and wind… but you wouldn’t know it by the attitudes of the racers.  The sophomore boys had an amazing day on course, which set the stage for our varsity racers.  Cole Pierce and Luke Schrader spent the majority of their day on course together before finally separating in the last laps.. each finding their own sprint finishes… it’s going to be an exciting season next year watching these two race…  Paul English, had a huge day on course passing 70 racers in varsity, moving up from his 91st position in call-ups to his 21st place finish.

            It’s been an incredible season.   We’re so thankful of this community that has helped us grow… and are proud to send some of our racers off into this big world… We can’t wait to see what they will do in the future, on, and off the bike…they’re already helping to inspire the next group of HS racers…. as they went to talk to the Middle School team tonight!  Thank you and good luck to our seniors for all the hard work, care, and leadership they have shown this year and all the years leading up to now…. and for all that is to come from them in the future!

            GVYC Family… you know you’re the best!  Thanks for all you do!

Until next year…

Gerry Verdoner

Assistant Coach GVYC

Anatoly Chinn shows his calm before the race!
Cole Pierce and Luke Shrader race neck and neck in the Varisty Race
GVYC High School Riders talking to the Middle School program about all the fun we have! Photo Cred: Sarah Jackson

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