Hello GVYC Family!
The Haymaker Classic in Eagle, is one of the favorite races of the year! It’s hard to beat the stunning mountain views, the cool crisp air, and the excitement and thrill of the final corkscrew descent into the finish line.
This weekend wasn’t just any race, it was Division Championships. The first time all year the North and South divisions race on the same course on the same weekend. The north raced on Saturday, so the dust was already flying when we showed up to set up camp. Literally, the combinations of bike tires and wind had whipped the fine dirt of the Eagle track into the air, creating a surreal scene. We set up our pit zone and headed out to pre-ride the course.
The course starts with a long straight gradual climb, you can watch the race start to play out before the riders disappear around the first corner. The track winds it’s way back into the valley, small gradual climbs followed by fun fast descents. There are lots of fun passing options that take riders over a shorter, but more technical path. These play exactly to our strong suit, as our Grand Valley technical riding skills come to the forefront. Finally the trail makes a big climb to the top of the ridge before descending back down the fast and wild “corkscrew” descent.. one 180 switchback corner with ripping fast berms after another, one wild corner even has a wooden wall ride feature in the middle to up the excitement level. The next day, racers would race between 2-4 laps on this 6 mile course… but Saturday night, after our pre-ride, we had an Italian dinner with pasta, salad, pastries and music for ambiance. Our GVYC family really knows how to spoil us.
Race day opened with JV racers taking the course at 8:30 under cristal blue skies, and a balmy 45 degrees. They started us off right for the day, with some impressive rides. Hayden Fox of Grand Junction put together one of his best JV races of the year, finishing 26th in a field of over 180 racers. Miller Jones of GJ, and Jackson Haftel and Ean Smith of Fruita had killer races in the Freshman divison. After being rained out in Leadville, and having a tough day on course in Snowmass, Emma Edwards, of Fruita, finished her first race as a freshman. Ana Respet and Sterling Shrader of Palisade both had fast days on course and they both took 6th in their respective races, By the time Varsity took the course in the afternoon, the momentum was rolling, Paul English and Annika Sisac of GJ and Amber Lobato of Central had great Varsity races as Legacy riders, who have raced all 4 years of their HS careers. Even Sean McAnany of Fruita made his first start of the year, battling back from injury to earn his status as a Legacy rider.
In the team competitions, Fruita finished 11th in D2, and in D3, GJ and Palisade finished 3rd and 4th, separated by a total of 3 points in the standings. For the season standings, GJ and Palisade finished 2nd and 4th in their division, with Fruita finishing 10th over all. What a season it’s been.
These were just a few of the amazing performances of the day…. there’s not space on the page to talk about all of them… but if you’re curious, come down to Durango in two weeks and witness the spectacle for yourself, as our student athletes take to the course one last time at State Championships!
Thanks again for all that you do for our athletes and Grand Valley Youth Cycling. It takes a village to raise a bike team, and I think our village is the best. Thanks for being a part of it!
Assistant Coach GVYC