VAIL, Colo. – Before the cold rolled through on Sunday, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s athletes conquered their final bike race of the season on Saturday, October 24th in Eagle on Haymaker trail. On October 10th, a few weeks previously, SSCV racers also competed on Haymaker trail, and would potentially consider that to be their warm up for the final laps of the season around the course. Racers were invited from Boulder, Steamboat, Glenwood, Leadville, and Basalt – which culminated in a very competitive field of athletes. While usually the race would host hundreds of racers, this past weekend the goal was to keep the number of athletes in each category under ten, while cultivating an ambitious atmosphere. Like previous races this summer, the race continued to capitalize on COVID-19 regulations including social distancing and mask-wearing protocols.
Varsity boys were the first to start at 10 am where they raced 3 laps of some variation of the Haymaker trail. Aiden Duffy of SSCV sped to the top of the podium after completing three laps of the course followed by another SSCV athlete Landen Stovall finishing 2nd. Varsity team members Nash Lucas and Cole Weathers of SSCV also pushed it out to the finish of Saturday’s race battling for 6th and 7th.
SSCV’s Freshman and Varsity girls seemed to have made sweeping the podium their goal after completing a challenging two laps. Freshmen Evalynn Skiba, Stella Sanders-Kulesza, and Keely Hendricks put their heads down and finished two laps in just over an hour to come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, respectively. SSCV Varsity girls Sarah Bivens, Tianna Bruce, and Emma Barsness also swept the podium, leaving the rest of the field to speed down the final hill minutes after the dust had settled. Breathless, exhausted and accomplished at the finish line, Bivens, Bruce, and Barsness all concurred that this race was somehow harder than the race on October 10th that was also at Haymaker.
Garret Moehring of SSCV won the JV boys category speeding into the finish after lap 2. Cole Flashner was behind him riding into third, followed by teammates Vlad Shambarger and Ben Suttor. For the JV girls Izzy Glackin and Reece May bolted to the finish, coming in 3rd and 4th, respectively.
Matas Katieb in the Sophomore boys raced it out until the end, coming in 3rd just a few seconds from the athlete ahead of him. Izzat Katieb finished 5th pulling Spencer Peterson in only a few racers behind him.
Finally, for the Freshmen boy category, Reiner Schmidt and Aiden Brown took two spots on the podium riding in 2nd and 3rd. Reiner Schmidt battled it out until the end, going back and forth with the Steamboat rider for two laps, coming in with only a four second time difference. In this race, places one and two blew the field away, leaving a nearly five-minute gap between the rest of the field.
Had there been an awards ceremony, SSCV athletes would have overwhelmingly dominated the podium photos. Much gratitude and thanks goes out to the SSCV Cycling Team’s sponsors this season — Alpine Bank, Kind Bikes and Skis, Sawatch Automotive and Vail Summit Orthopaedics. The season would not have been possible without their generous support. SSCV Nordic and Cycling Program Director, Dan Weiland, gives out “a special thank you to the Vail Recreation District for putting on these junior events here in the valley. Their efforts have provided so many athletes with racing opportunities, which are especially hard to come by this season!” For a complete list of results from this weekend and the October 10th race, please refer to this page.