Durango Composite Team Stomps the Snow Mountain Ranch Stampede!

Durango Composite Team Stomps the Snow Mountain Ranch Stampede!

  |   Animas High Ospreys, Durango Composite HS, Uncategorized

On October 1st the Durango Composite High School team travelled to the hills near the Winter Park ski area to show what they were made of. The preride on Saturday featured perfect, cool weather and electricity was in the air…literally. The aspens were golden. The singletrack was smooth. Tactics were discussed. Bikes were prepped. Riders began to feel the tension that the next day would bring. The scene was set, and we all fell asleep listening to elk bugles and coyote yelps.
Race Day: The sun rose and there wasn’t a single cloud in the sky. The lightning, thunder, and drizzle that had put our campfire out the night before was long gone. This day was made for speed. Breakfast, a quick camp breakdown, and we were off to the pit zone and race course. The crew stretched their legs out on the short ride to the course and had time to reflect on what the strategy would be once their race began. Push hard on the uphill start and get near the front of the pack before the ghost town. Hammer the double track hill and get ready for the dusty rutted descent and the water bars along the way. Speed across the dam, drop a few gears and overtake the hikers on the steep hill. Man it’s tough to clean that thing. Now corner through the aspens, hydroplane across the creek, blast the level home stretch and maintain your speed through the meandering finishing corral. That shouldn’t be that bad……
First out was India, racing in the super fast varsity class. She turned 2 quick laps and made her move on the third. Riding in third place going into the finishing zig-zags she managed to completely close the 1min 30s gap on the rider in 2nd and it came down to a sprint finish. She gave it all that she had but in the end she took third by a gap of only 2 seconds. Had the course been 100 feet longer who knows what would have happened! Robin followed in the next wave and had a great day on the course. She started fast, stayed fast, and ended fast! The result – a second place finish and the overall JV Girls Leader position. Congrats!! Next up was Sierra. She took to the race course with her usual focus, power, and determination. She came through the pit after lap 1 and gave us all the impression that she was going to own it on lap 2. She did just that and gave a massive effort, earning the #2 finish. Very proud!
The boys were up next and represented just as well as the girls did. The clouds never seemed to come back and by now the course was just downright hot! Nano and Jack took off in a giant wave of nearly 40 riders. It was a precarious start with a pileup that happened just off of Nano’s wheel. The dust cleared and it was obvious that they were here to hammer and have fun. Nano and Jack went so fast on their first laps that I almost missed them at the feed zone! They both started near the back of the pack and through the race managed to pick racers off one by one and move way up and secure solid finishes! Way to go. This was Jack’s first race EVER and he made us all really proud. Andrew, racing in the JV boys division, was the last racer to start, and he had to endure some seriously hot and dusty conditions. He had to wrestle with a huge field as well and managed to stick to a solid game plan. Quick start, punch it through every inch of the course, and stay consistently fast. That earned him a solid finish as well and
put the team at a tie for second place in the overall division 2 standings at this point in the series. All of the riders put out maximum effort and had huge smiles once the dust settled. An incredible day to say the least – zero mechanicals, 100% fun. Great job team!!!
-Coach Dave Heershap
Check the Results Here

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Durango Composite Team Shreds the High School League Race

  |   Animas High Ospreys

Pre Race Day:
What a weekend! At first I thought we were going to get BLASTED with rain as Sarah and I drove threw the pass. We hit everything except snow. Rain, heavy winds, hail, it was just nuking in Gunsmoke. But once we dropped into Salida we were all good and clear with weather. Now I know why people call it the banana belt of Colorado. Sarah and I arrived a little after 1pm, just in time to pre-ride the course with the kids. We all gathered as a group and rode as a group. I showed them a couple of tricks when it comes to line choice and protecting the inside lines. After a one lap warm up we hit it hard on the second lap for an opener. After our hot lap we cooled down for a bit and I sent the kids to the camp site to eat and rest up for the rest of the day. My awesome roommate Cassandra Brown made the kids cookies for the kids in order to celebrate there season kick off, and the kids and parents were very pleased. I’m not even sure if Sarah could count how many cookies she at…must have been in the dozens:) After kids were all fueled up and slowly getting ready for bed we gathered at the campfire for a little meeting. We mainly talked about tactics for wind and holding on to peoples wheel on the open and exposed sections of the trail were wind could have been a problem. We also discussed potential areas to pass that were safe and cactus free, which were very limited. I was very strict on telling the kids to get to the starting line asap after warming up in order to get a good position at the line. Having a good position coming into the impassible singletrack would make or break the race. After our little meeting I resumed wrenching on bikes that were supposedly “dialed” and race ready. To my surprise they were in need of much TLC. So my night continued on to about 11pm, while the racers where well on their way to counting sheep. Several brake alignments, bolt tightening, and tire swaps later I found myself tucked in my cocoon of a sleeping bag counting sheep.

Race day:
The mourning started off cold, as it supposedly dipped down to the 30s during the night. Good thing no one had an early race that day. The Girls Varsity started going off at 10am, and were spaced out with 5 minute intervals after that. Our girls were lead out by India, who looked solid all three laps of the race. India’s competition looked strong…very strong, but India was able to pull out with an amazing 3rd place finish. Five minutes after India’s start time was Robin, who despite her early arrival at the starting line somehow got pushed back to near last at the start line. With crowds of girls lined up in front of her she had her work cut out for her. Amazingly Robin was able to give’r heck and shredded past the competition for a SOLID 2nd place. I was so amazed by how well she did because Robin was literally the last girl at the start line. Oh man was I one upset coach, wanting answers from the start line officials as to why she was put so far back. But in the end it all worked out and Robin said she had one of the best races ever. Last in the freshman category was the illusive butterfly, Sierra. I had no doubt in my mind that Sierra was going to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee out there. Her smile and grace just carried her over everything, and she never looks like she is hurting on the bike…its amazing. Sierra finished in 3rd place on the dry and dusty 2 lap race, resulting in 3 solid finishes for the girls.

First off for the guys were DCT’s Sophomore racers Conner and Henry. After hours of fixing their bikes the night before(and giving Conner a tire with traction) they seemed amped and ready to shred. Conner had a 3rd tier start, but Henry got pushed back towards the back…making it a difficult race for him. Both looked strong going threw the feed zone, but both had trouble trying to pass slower riders in the singletrack. After the racing was said and done they did great! Conner placed 5th after we had to negotiate some number discrepancies(they put him in the D1 category, but he still raced in the D2 category. Making his time 5 minutes slower)and he got to podium! Henry placed a very respectable 7th place, especially after all that hard work he had to put in passing that huge crowed of racers. Last but not least was the Boys Varsity with Steven leading DCT in what looked like a pro race. This field had some fast riders, and what looked to be some kids sponsored by Focus bikes. I don’t know what it was but everyone of these kids were FAST! Kids were battling out for position during the neutral start, and once that flag was waved for them to start it was “GAME ON”! Steven literally ran into some trouble on one of the uphill section, having a slight collision with a kid who dismounted his bike. After lap one it was a hard battle to catch up to the leaders, and lap 2 turned into a battle for 5th place. Steven told me that the last hill before the flat rode section is where he got out gunned, and he had to settle for 6th.

Overall the kids did great and all placed in top ten…what team or coach could ask for more. I know I was stoked, and everyone came out clean and crash free. The Team Points are still being tallied up; as they have to count for nearly 300 kids, but I’m confident we did well. Could not have asked for a better race to start of the season! YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

SHRED,
Miguel Ramos

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Devo Flyers Season Ending Trip to Angel Fire

  |   Devo Flyers
Flyers hang in Angel Fire this August

Flyers hang in Angel Fire this August

August 12th-14th the Devo Flyers swooped down upon the ski resort of Angel Fire New Mexico to test their skills on some of the most fun and challenging terrain in the area. The trip started off with an amazing spaghetti dinner put together by the amazing Devo parents in our awesome rental home, which by the way had a fosse ball table. After dinner we hit the dirt Jump/skills Park for some warm up airtime. We had so much fun hitting jumps after sitting in the car for 4 hours that we rode well into night, and found our way home via the urban assault stair to stair to baby pump track to stair trail.
Saturday morning started off with basketball pancakes made to order by Coach Ron, which really helped these flyers start the day off right. Chair lift turns, bikes loaded, yep, we had first chair!!!! You could tell these Durango free riders were hungry. We shredded all morning on almost every trail they had there, and only encountered 2 flats. By early afternoon, the chair got shut down for lightning so off to the dirt jumps we went. You just couldn’t slow these riders down. We even invented some new lines in the jump park! After about 3 hours of jumping, we got the scoop on how shuttle to the top, and our amazing Devo parents drove us up so we could get one more DH run in for the day. This run took us down all our favorite jump lines multiple times. Candy Land step-up was hiked about 50 times until exhaustion set in and it was time to head home for monster burritos made by our wonderful Devo parents.
Bike tuning, fosse ball tournaments, and foot down games lead the night. O’ did I mention we drank lots of sugar water…
Sunday was filled with everyone racing to the lift for fear of a short day due to lightning. But that wasn’t the case, we shredded the mountain until everyone was too tired to continue, and rental bikes had to be back. Time for a 4-hour drive home and thoughts of one of the greatest bike trips ever. I wanted to sleep on the way home but Keenan made me drive and listen to John McCain POW stories.
To understand the progression of these Devo Flyers, our first practice consisted of jumps with airtime of a couple of feet. By the Angel fire trip, these kids were hitting road gaps, 45-foot monster jumps and some of the most technical rocky terrain around. Nice job Flyers, we look forward to next season. And thank you parents for making this first season of Flyers possible.

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