Roller Racing in Durango

Chapman Hill Challenge a Success

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The inaugural Chapman Challlenge was a big success.  Twelve participants completed the race which included 3 laps up and 3 laps down Chapman Hill under the lights.  Light weight randone skis led the race.  Mile Venzara and Scott Simmons continuously diced it out at the front.  Simmons won with a 3-lap time of 25:16.  Venzara came in a close 2nd with a time of 26:33.  Biking legend Frank Mapel rounded out the podium with a time of 29:00.  Mapel raced on a heavier Alpine Touring set-up.  Jen Gersbach, pro-mtn biker, came in 4th overall and 1st female.  She passed 4th place male Mark Ianhoe at the downhill finish line.  Ianhoe completed the steep, icy course on skate skis!  Brett Butterstein, Greg Lewis and Jimmy Nicholson finished 5th, 6th and 7th.  Holly Simmons, the only skier on tele-mark skis was the 2nd female finisher.  She narrowly beat Sven Brunso, passing him as he lost a ski on the final downhill run.  Michael Andres rounded out the men on his first day ever on randone skis.  Quinn Simmons, the lone junior racer, won his category.  Organizers are hoping for a big turn-out next year!Colby Simmons at the top, changing skins

Colby Simmons at the top, changing skins

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Inaugural Chapman Hill Challenge

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Its an Uphill/Downhill race to be held at Chapman Hill, on Friday Feb 5th at 6:30pm. Registration starts at 5:30pm @ the ice rink that night. All abilities and transportation modes (except snowmobiles 😉 ) are welcome. The race is being put on by Pine Needle Mountaineering. For more info call Scott – 946-6892. Great winter training!!

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Kristin McGrath Interview

  |   Superstar Interviews

Finishing in the rain, its part of the job

Finishing in the rain, its part of the job

Q: Were you born and raised in Durango? and how did you get into cycling?
A: I was born and raised in Durango. After going south to play soccer for four years in college, I returned to Durango in 2005 after a knee injury ended my soccer career. Thinking my life as a elite athlete was over, I enrolled at FLC to finish some pre-requisites for medical school. After my knee injury, my doctors encouraged me to start riding a bike and then Rick Crawford and Dave Hagen encouraged me to race for FLC for fun. That was the spring of 2006, that fall, Colavita/Sutter Home signed me for 2007.

Q: What is the coolest thing about racing on the pro women’s circuit?
A: All the women I get to race with are in the sport because they absolutely love riding a bike. It is so cool how supportive and respectful of each other everyone is. It seems like everyone takes the time to help make each other better, especially with the younger/newer riders. I do not think I have experienced the same kind of atmosphere in other sports.

Q: Where you training when you were struck by the truck? and do you remember what you were thinking immediately after wards?
A: I had just left my house on a training ride and was crossing 3rd Avenue when a person driving a truck ran a stop sign and hit me. As I was flying through the air I remember thinking “my leg is bending where it should not be.” As I landed I took stock of the major body parts….head-ok, back-feels ok, collarbones-ok, I wiggled my fingers and toes, which was a huge relief. I knew my leg was broken but everything else seemed to be ok. My little brother happened to be on scene with the ambulance (he works for Durango Fire and Rescue) and I remember asking him in the ambulance if my career was over…he told me that was up to me to decide. Later, when I came out of surgery (where they inserted a titanium rod down the entire length of my femur), my bro had posted signs all over my room with my personal moto for life and racing….I knew I would come back from it then!

Q: Injuries can be both positive and negative, can you give any advice on how to stay positive when dealing with a big injury?
A: As an athlete, injuries can feel like the end of the world. It is really important to stay positive so the healing process can move as quickly as possible. I was very lucky to be surrounded by an amazing group of people in my family, friends and cycling community who were continually reminding me to keep my head up and battle my injury just like a really long bike race. I have been setting goals for myself throughout the recovery process and doing my best to only focus on what I CAN do and not what I cannot do. The first day after my injury it took me 30 minutes to get out of bed, I was so weak from blood lose and so my goal was to get out of bed and crutch to a line five feet away and then back to bed. It was like a little finish line but it gave me the same sense of accomplishment that completing a hard training session gives. Each day the finish lines takes me a little closer to my final goal of being fully healed and racing again.

Q: What female athletes do you look up to the most, cycling or any sport? Who is the coolest American road woman?
A: Hmmm, thats a tough one, there are so many female athletes whom I look up to……Mia Hamm has always been an athlete I look up to as she has an amazing work ethic and remains so humble about her accomplishments. Kristin Armstrong has that same work ethic and she has this amazing killer instinct that is really cool to see in action. Ina Teutenberg is an all around classy rider who has earned everyone’s respect in the peloton, very cool. But really, I look up to all female athletes who are out there getting it done everyday. From pros, to weekend warriors, 5 year old Devos to 80 year old’s, I get so motivated any time I see another woman out on the road or trails having fun doing what she loves!

Q: Do you mountain bike at all? If so what kind of bike are you running? How about road bike, what is it?
A:Heck yes! I love mountain biking, although I usually don’t get around to it until my off season; I lack significant skills and don’t want to risk getting injured during the season. I am raging a Gary Fisher Big Sur hard tail which keeps me from getting into too much trouble in the crashing category. On the road, I am stoked to be riding a Fuji SL 1 pimped out with SRAM red and Edge composite wheels and a Fuji D-6 Pro for time trials!

Q: What advice do you have for junior cycling women in Durango, we have several young ladies that will be moving on from Devo in the next year or two, what do you see as a path to continue on with their cycling?
A: Stick with it! Cycling is a sport of longitivity and perserverance, it rewards those who have put the time in over many years. Set your goals high, then pick away at the stair step goals one at a time! Above all, work hard and make sure you have tons of FUN!
As far as life beyond Devo, I would recommend collegiate cycling to all the girls as it is a great stepping stone to help ease the transition from junior racing to racing with the pros. Not only that, collegiate cycling allows you to be a part of an amazing community as you wade through college classes!

Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 Team from Jim Fryer/BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.

Fling the USA colors in Europe

Fling the USA colors in Europe

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Junior UCI Trade Teams in the States!

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Califoria's Whole Athlete Cycling Team

Califoria's Whole Athlete Cycling Team

California’s Whole Athlete Cycling Team has become the first UCI registered Junior/u23 mountain bike team in years. This comes in the wake of the USA Cyclings decision to end its U23 National Team. Another junior team from Arizona, called Team Super Nova is also in the process of signing up as a UCI trade team. This costly license allows the team to send racers over seas to compete in the World Cup Series. Also exciting for this season is the Windham, New York World Cup Finals. As of last year, World Cup races have included junior races at the event, but to enter, the juniors must be on a roster of a UCI team, which has been historically rare. This is exciting stuff for US junior mountain bikers.

In somewhat simular news, the Colorado High School MTB Leauge has a schedule out

Tentative Race Schedule
Race #1 Sept 18
Race #2  Oct 2
Race #3  Oct 16
Race # 4 Oct  30  (State Championships)

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Miles Venzara Interview

  |   Superstar Interviews

Miles at the AOA Short Track Series

Miles at the AOA Short Track Series

Q: What brought you to Durango? Did you race in college?
A: Fort Lewis College, Skiing and mt. bike brought me to Durango-Yes, I raced in college, in fact, Fort Lewis College mt. bike team try outs was my first mt. bike race ever in 1996! I raced the C team Freshman year, B team sophomore year and the A team my junior and senior years! Collegiate racing is the reason I became a bike race!

Q: What year did you earn your Pro mtb license and how did that come to be?
A: I earned my Pro mtb license in 2002 and I attribute that to collegiate racing! I just worked hard and every year I moved up through the sport class, expert, semi-pro until I had the results to upgrade to pro.

Q: You helped develop the Health FX team, what led to that and how has it developed into what it is today?
A: The Health FX team started with a group of local Durango fellas that just loved/wanted to race bikes. We were sponsored by Trek Bicycles from the beginning and with their support, along with local businesses as sponsors we morphed into “Team 505 Trek”. The team was strong and results were plentiful; because of that we were able to raise more money and get more people on the team. We now have 3 main sponsors and half dozen smaller sponsor’s that make up the “Directory Plus/Zia/Trek team today. We still have a core group of 4-5 riders that were on the Health FX team and make up a majority of today’s team.

Q: You have been a pretty solid ski racer the past 2 seasons, what is it you enjoy most about the sport?
A: I enjoy ski racing in many disciplines so much that it is hard to pin down the one thing I enjoy most about it. Besides nordic (classic and skate) racing I recently have been competing in a local Colorado Randonee Race series that takes me to all the sick Colorado ski towns. Randonee racing comprises of skinning up (usually a ski area), skiing down, boot packing with your skis on your back and even some fixed rope ascents (every time I get done with one it reminds me so much of a mt. bike race). I love the balance that skiing/ski racing gives me; it’s a great opportunity to build muscles that become atrophied during cycling season. I also thoroughly enjoy the solitude that comes with training for ski races, rather it be backcountry skiing or just getting up to the golf course for a skate/classic shesh.

Q: The Moab Super D was won by you in convincing fashion last October, how do you train for this sport and what kind of bike does it take?
A: Trek was able to hook me up with a “Remedy” 9.9, that was definitely an advantage over the competition as that bike has over 5.5″ of travel, weighs under 26lbs. and pedals just as fast as it descends. I feel that I did so well in the Moab Super D as I was riding dirt bikes (recently got a yz125) and racing cross. It was the perfect balance of downhill (moto) training with uber fast high end cycle cross practices/races I was competing in at the local level prior to the Moab win. Dirt bikes and cycle cross racing seems to me to be the best of both worlds for super D training.

Q: What advise do you have for the junior cyclists in town? What path would you take, in hindsight, to becoming a pro cyclist?
A: The advise I have for junior cyclists is hard work, persistence and patience. The path to racing pro takes years of training/racing and understanding what works for each individual athlete. In hindsight I wouldn’t do anything different as I like balance in my life; I love racing but I love to do many other things in my life. I don’t stress/worry about base in the winter months, I ski-backcountry, skate, classic, Rando Racing etc. I have never been the “fastest guy in town” but I know that everything I do (including bicycle racing) makes me a very well rounded and balanced person/athlete.

Q: Who are your favorite cyclists of all time, roadie, mtber? How about heros outside the sport?
A: I have so many favorite cyclists, but some of my favorite include: Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, Julie Furtado, Tinker Juarez, John Tomac, Cadel Evans,Chad Cheeney, Ned Overend, Travis Brown, Lance Armstrong, Todd Wells, Anthony Colby, Alison Dunlap and last but not least Marco Pantani. Some of my heroes outside the sport include my parents, John Elway, Scott Shmidt, Glen Plake and many more!

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Snowdown Roller Races Are Cancelled!

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Never mind, this has been cancelled!. Snowdown begins next week and that mean another round of roller racing. This years event takes place at the Smiley Building, wednesday night at 6pm. Here in Durango, roller races are run a tad bit different than elsewhere. Riders have 15 minutes on the bike to travel the greatest distance. The event is free and sign-up takes place 15 minutes before.

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Snow Biking!

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DEVO Alumni Taylor Borucki drops in on Rambo Hill in Test Tracks

DEVO Alumni Taylor Borucki drops in on Rambo Hill in Test Tracks

Elke Brutsaert makes crashing look soft

Elke Brutsaert makes crashing look soft

U14 Coach Scott Shishim dropping in to turn 1

U14 Coach Scott Shishim dropping in to turn 1

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Spin Those Legs at The Hub

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Local cycling hero, Chris Wherry has changed professions, from road cycling with the nations fastest racers to working hands on with Durango’s wide range of enthusiasts. The Hub opened for business in early January and is building steam. Devo coaches Chad and Annie Cheeney have been quick to dive in and are digging the grassroots feeling to the cycle center. Devo will be offering a pre summer season base training program starting mid february to get the legs pumping, so stay tuned.

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DEVO Athlete in Film Trailer

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Check out the trailer to the film, Women of Dirt closely and you will see Joan Walker of the DEVO U19 Ladies team at the 2009 National Championships in Sol Vista, leading out the start of the cross country race where she finished 3rd. DEVO is in the process of bringing the film to Durango. If you are interested in helping with the process please contact chad@durangodevo.com.

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Tour de Ski is Saturday

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The 3rd annual Tour de Ski is back this weekend in Durango. Saturdays endurance cross country ski race is a benefit for Trails 2000 and Durango Nordic. The course takes place below lift 8 at Durango Mountain Resort and is epicly sweet. There are several choices of distance with the big guns doing a super burly loop that climbs up to the Love Shack and then descends an equally burly downhill. Check this out for more info.

The Durango River Trail

The Durango River Trail

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