Cyclocross Racing at Fort Lewis College this Weekend!


Cortez CX Results

This Saturday November 23rd starting at 10am the Durango Performance Center 4 Corners Cyclocross Series will make it’s 3rd stop at Ray Denison Memorial Field at Fort Lewis College. Cyclocross racers from all over the region will be battling against the course and the elements to prove themselves against racers from the Fort Lewis College Cycling Team and all will earn points in the Series culminating on January 4th, 2014. The FLC student-athletes and many of the community members are honing their skills and ramping up their fitness in preparation for the USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Boulder, CO on January 9-14, 2014.

The Series has already completed stops in Dolores and Cortez and this weekend brings three races in a row to Fort Lewis College. The race will be held on a mile long enclosed course with many twists and turns, obstacles forcing riders to dismount to run with their bikes and long sections of pedaling. The course will utilize a lot of the terrain in the Stadium, practice fields and the area around Whalen Gymnasium and will be run rain, snow or shine. Cyclocross is considered to be the most fan-friendly of the cycling disciplines where much of the action can be seen from one vantage point and fans can get up close to the action in the technical sections. While many competitors use Cyclocross bikes the races are open to mountain bikes also.

Cyclocross brings out many of the cycling luminaries in Durango with the likes of Todd Wells, Ned Overend, Troy Wells, Travis Brown and Carmen Small doing battle with former and current FLC racers Matt Shriver, Mike Wilk, Ben Sonntag, Rotem Ishay, Sarah Sturm, Brittany Clawson, Sofia Gomez Villafane, Kolben Preble and Payson McElveen.

The racing action starts at 10am with the Cat. 3/4 Men, Open Women and Men 50+ racing for 40 minutes. At 11am the Cat. 1/2/3 Men and Men 35+ race for 50 minutes. This weekends race is USA Cycling sanctioned meaning that all Cat. 1/2/3 racers will need to have an annual USA Cycling license – all other racers can purchase a one-day license for $10. Registration is on site only and opens at 8:30am at the stadium press box – cost is $25.

The remaining Series races are:
Dec. 7 at FLC
Dec. 14 at FLC
Dec. 21 at Aztec
Jan. 4 at FLC

Come cheer on the FLC team and community members and bring your mountain bike up if you want to give Cyclocross racing a try.

More info can be found at: or you contact Dave Hagen at with any questions.


A Cycling Celebration Invite from Mountain Bike Specialists

Dear Friends,

Durango’s cycling community has some new World Champions, National Champions, and State Champions.  I hope you can join us to celebrate their successes.  Several individuals as well as the FLC College team, the Sweet Elite team and the High School Teams have successes worthy of a party.  MBS, Steamworks, Bread and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory invite you recognize your friends on October 30th at MBS from 5:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.


FLC Skyhawks Announce Nats Team, 3 Sweet Elite/Devo’s Named

The Fort Lewis College Cycling Team has chosen the team that will represent the Skyhawks at the upcoming 2013 USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals in Beech Mtn., NC on Oct. 25-27.  The team will be seeking it’s 9th consecutive Collegiate MTB title and 18th overall. These are some of the toughest decisions that the coaches (Chad Cheeney, Elke Brutsaert, Justin Biser and Lucas LeMaire) ever have to make simply because there are so many talented riders to choose from.
Last weekend in Grand Junction at Colorado Mesa Universities home meet he Skyhawks won the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) team overall title and had many individual podiums in the series overall rankings. FLC Cycling won the title over strong teams from the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Wyoming. Having such good competition in the RMCCC is great preparation for the National competitions against not only top teams for the RMCCC but teams from perennial national powerhouses Marian University,  host Lees McRae College and Lindsay Wilson College.
At Nationals FLC will compete in Gravity events –  Downhill (DH) and Dual Slalom (DS) and Endurance events, Cross Country (XC) and Short Track XC (ST). Team Relay (TR) is a new, fun event this year that does not count in overall points. Each Collegaite team is allowed to bring 8 riders of each gender to compete in these events and it usually boils down to 4 riders per gender per discipline. Some riders are very adept at both Gravity and Endurance and will be competing in both disciplines in search of an Individual Omnium (IO) title. The Skyhawks have two returning National Champions competing at Beech, Lauren Catlin (XC, ST) and Brittany Clawson (DH).
There are a few ways to keep up with the team before and during the competitions. The teams blog site will have daily pictures and updates at, on Facebook by liking or following on Twitter @FLCCYCLING. Official results and stories can be found on
Brittany Clawson – DH, DS, ST, XC, IO
Becky Gardener – DH, DS
Meghan Kane – DH, DS, ST, IO
Leila Carrillo – DH, DS
Adam Digby – DH, DS
Zach Graveson – DH, DS
Phil Cowan – DH, DS
Brian White – DH, DS
Lauren Catlin – XC, ST
Sofia Gomez Villafane – XC, ST, DH, DS, IO
Liz Schwab – XC, ST
Sage Kitson – XC, ST, DH, DS, IO
Payson McElveen – XC, ST
Stephan Davoust – XC, ST
Garrett Lundberg – XC, ST
Michael Sampson – XC, ST, DH, DS, IO
Please wish the team luck on their travels and performances.


Sweet Elite’r Payson’s Race Report from China

The morning started great. I finally slept in to a reasonable hour, and for the first time had a decent bowel movement. The result was I was starving for breakfast, and I was pretty underweight. I think the fact that I was pretty blocked up to this point sort of shut down my appetite, and I was a bit behind on calories. It wasn’t due to a weird food thing, just time change. Anyway, I ate and ate at breakfast, but just didn’t seem to be getting full. In hindsight it was a bit of a mistake.

The gun went off and I was able to move up well on the opening climb. I had a strong first two laps, passing racers on both the climbs and the descents. I could feel how much my bike handling has improved, and was able to ride all of the A-lines. A couple of the course designers (same guys that designed and run the Fort William DH World Cup) were standing at the dicey transfer jump that only a few folks were hitting, and cheered big time when I would come through and take it. The mid-day heat was very, very impressive, and I did my best to stay conservative and not go into the red too early. Mom called out that I was 27th after 1.5 laps, and I was still steadily moving up towards a top 15 goal (UCI points). Unfortunately near the end of the lap I started to feel that huge breakfast begin to come back to back up. Pretty soon I had that nasty bile-feeling sitting high in my throat, and the need to throw up was starting to be overwhelming. The sweltering heat made things no better. I pulled off the course after 3 laps and headed straight for the bathroom.
It was heart-breaking to watch the remainder of the race from the sidelines, and see the riders I’d be riding near move solidly into the top 20s. Although right now the race feels like a lost opportunity for a very silly reason, this trip in general has been the chance of a lifetime. I’ve gotten to see a very different part of the world, meet new people, and make new friends. It’s an experience I won’t soon forget.
Following the race, I went for a couple more laps of the course to help clear my head. I’ve said this about quite a few tracks this year, but this one is one of my favorites. Nice short power climbs, and that tell-tale World Cup style descending that makes you just a bit scared each lap. For one of my post race laps I was joined by the lone representative from Georgia (the one between Turkey and Russia, not southern U.S. to all you non-Geography types!) We talked training, dreams for the future, and cultural differences…  and realized we had much in common. It was just one of the innumerable encounters from the week that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
Tomorrow afternoon I start the long two-day trip back to Durango, and look forward to refocussing on some collegiate mountain bike racing. If this event happens again next year and I get the opportunity to attend, I will certainly jump on it. Thank you China for your hospitality!
P.S. official result from the short track was 34th. We had 85 starters.
Payson was invited by the UCI to represent the USA and the Chinese government gave him a 5 star hotel, airfare and Candy, in the picture, a personal aid 24/7!
Payson was invited by the UCI to represent the USA and the Chinese government gave him a 5 star hotel, airfare and Candy, in the picture, a personal aid 24/7!


FLC’s Fall Blaze is this Saturday

It has been a wet September so far but we are not flooded out! The weather is looking clear (but a bit chilly in the morning) for Saturday’s Blaze.

Online registration for the Blaze closes Thursday, September 26, 2013 @ 11:59 PM PST. If you just want to do walk up registration Friday afternoon or Saturday morning there will still be spots available – it’ll be $10 more for a total of $79.

Friday’s packet pickup will be from 4-7pm up at the Clocktower on the Fort Lewis College Campus. The website says 3-6pm but we have changed it to better fit folks schedules. You can also pick up your packet or register Saturday morning from 6:30-7:30am

We are very proud to announce that Mountain Bike Specialists and 2nd Ave. Sports have come onboard to host Aid Stations #1 and #3 respectively. Riders, be sure and thank them for supporting the Blaze when you see them.

The USA Pro Challenge has once joined forces with the Blaze by offering up an amazing VIP package for the final stage of the 2014 USPC! There will be a silent auction at packet pickup on Friday and Saturday so be sure to put your bid in. Package details below.

You can get it all done here:

See You this Weekend,
Dave and Carolyn Hagen

AZ Devo Cycling Team Announces Woodruff as New Director

Prescott, AZ, September 13, 2013—The Arizona-based AZ Devo Cycling Team announces Travis (TJ) Woodruff as the Team Director effective immediately. The program will continue to support the top up and coming Junior and U23 mountain biker racers in Arizona. AZ Devo founder, Mary Coplea, said, “I cannot think of a better person to take over the program and lead our up and coming young riders to the next level.” Coplea will remain involved with the program in an advisory role.

Woodruff owns and operates Momentum Endurance, LLC, a cycling coaching business. He holds a USA Cycling (USAC) Level 1 coaching certification and currently serves as a representative on the USAC Mountain Bike Advisory Committee. He brings ten years of coaching experience to the program and has over fifteen years of racing experience, competing as a pro since 2006.

AZ Devo will focus on the Mountain Bike Association of Arizona (MBAA) race series along with select Pro XCT, Epic Rides or other national-level events. Former team members include Tyler Coplea (Orbea Tuff-Shed), Ryan Geiger (Team Winded) and Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete). The program is excited to continue support for aspiring racers in Arizona and to provide further opportunity to bridge the gap from statewide to national-level competition.

DWC MTB TT Moved to Sunday

The rained-out DWC Champs MTB TT has been rescheduled for Sunday 9/15, first rider off at 9:30 AM. If you want to do this event send Spencer an email with your name and age and we will get you on the MTB TT start list. Please sign-up before 5 PM on Saturday to get on the start list.


Encounter with U14 and High School Devo Last Week

Good stuff last week. The U14 boys and girls team had their first practice of the week along with the AHS and DHS high school league teams. All met by chance at the rec center, and then had a sweet Lions Den mid climb pass. So good to see all the different age groups riding the amazing trails Durango has to offer. Check out the sweet new High School uniforms!

Gallup, NM Trails and Junior Cycling Event

Durangoans, Gallup is on the rise in the mountain bike arena and they are having a town cycling festival later this month. Check out what they have to offer and in the future, watch for a junior cycling program to emerge from the singletrack!

• the 9th edition of the Squash Blossom Classic XC Mtb Race, Saturday 21 September, taking place on 31, 19, of 7 miles of the High Desert Trail system on the North side of Gallup. Video of the trail can be found here.

• Free screening of SingleTrack High -sponsored by GU Energy, and Q&A and raffle with NorCal League Director, Vanessa Hauswald and husband Yuri, 4pm Saturday 21 September

• Fundraiser Dinner and Auction with honorary guest and speaker Levi Leipheimer who will discuss his experience and relationship with the bike that has changed not only his but the lives of his surrounding community, 630pm – Saturday 21 September

• private breakfast and road ride with Levi for high placed donors, breakfast provided by chef Biju Thomas of Skratch Labs and coauthor with Allen Lim of The Feed Zone Cook Book – Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes, 8am – Sunday 22 September

• Grand Opening of the new downtown Gallup Brickyard Bike Park and Short Track Mtb TT competition, park designed and created by San Francisco Bay Area resident Nat Lopes of Hilride, 1pm Demos & 2pm Short Track Comp – Sunday 22 September

From Scott the promoter-Please feel free to call me at 707-494-4965 if you have any questions. Otherwise, a complete list of event information can be found at

Sweet ELite’s in Puerto Rico!

Below is a race update from Payson McElveen, Sweet Elite team member and student up at Fort Lewis College. Himself and Tristan Uhl were invited by the UCI to represent the USA at a stage race in Puerto Rico this past weekend. They won! Check out his day 1 report below.

Well, that was something else. After a 5:30 AM wake-up, we rolled over to the start at 6:30ish, surprisingly in bright sunlight. The sun rises early here! We got plenty of looks at the start area, but everyone was very friendly. Tristan and I started 17th, meaning we had 16 other duo teams somewhere up the course ahead of us, and 20-30 more behind us. I think we were both excited to get things underway, and started up the first paved climb pretty hard. We caught all but one of the other teams in the first 25 minutes, but I was having some pretty good stomach issues and we had to slow down a bit for me. About 1.5 hours in or so we hit the most insane climb I’ve ever ridden. It was “paved”, with cement, but had deep texturing presumably so it was drivable… I have no idea what kind of vehicle could make it up or down though… other than mountain bikes of course! It had an average grade over 25% for about 10 minutes of climbing, and sections touched 40%. Near the top I got a sudden, urgent message from my bowels that they needed to be emptied. I quickly spotted some big, soft leaves, and did the biz. It made all the difference, and from then on we were able to go race pace. The remainder of our ride went well, considering the circumstances. The amount of steep climbing reminded me of the Val di Sole World Cup course, only there was far more of it here. Most of the descents were extremely steep dirt clay trenches, that usually had an icy-slick layer of green algae growing on them. Something happened to my front brake during the flight here too, so I really only had a rear brake to work with. That made things that little bit more interesting. I definitely overcooked a few tight turns on road descents, and ended up in the ditch a couple times. Tristan and I both fell once, but bikes and bodies were okay. Tristan also flatted on a bit of trash early on, but fixed it in 1:30 flat… he’s a professional mechanic too. We eventually passed the first placed team on the road, who’d started 15 minutes ahead of us.

It seemed as though we gradually made our way to the very top of the island, where in fact the palm trees gave way to a few pine trees. At one of the highest points, there was a restaurant/bar, clean and brightly painted, overlooking the surrounding hills and ocean. It looked like it could be quite the tourist attraction, had the roads to it been more drivable. It was pretty wild getting a peek into the lives of the locals. Most live in small shacks in very, very rural areas… and all have chickens and dogs. It seemed like one would have to be pretty self-sufficient to live in such isolated places. Most were also blasting music, and sipping cervezas.  A very different way of life in general. Some would look at us blankly like we were aliens, others would shout words of encouragement. At each of the 5 or 6 checkpoints, I got a chance to try out my limited spanish, as we asked about the course ahead. Always it was a wry smile and” Muy duro. Muy, muy duro.” And it was. Many of the climbs and descents were either too steep or too loose to ride, so we ended up hiking for nearly an hour total. As the hours past, the temperature rose, and we came to look forward to the river crossings. For one section near the end, the course followed the river for quite a ways, and we had to hike, bikes on our backs, through knee-deep water. At one point Tristan just dove all the way in. We’ve decided to take our phones tomorrow, so we can get some pictures.

We’re getting treated really well by the Puerto Rican cycling federation, too. The VP himself, Fernando, was kind enough to take my bike to the local bike shop to get the front brake fixed.

When it was all said and done, we ended up with a little under 40 miles in 3 hours and 20ish minutes of moving time, over 6,000 feet of climbing, and a demoralizing 10.8 mph average speed. I felt stronger as we went, and went through plenty of Honey Stinger and Tailwind. The longer, tougher, and more foreign the circumstances, the more thankful I am for that reliable nutrition! Supposedly tomorrow is “easier”, but I’ll believe it when I see it.