For the fourth year, the Durango Devo athletes headed to US MTB mecca, Fruita Colorado for the Mountain States Cup’s Rabbit Valley Rally. It was Devo first team race of the season, this being a weekend of racing once a month where Devo coaches are in attendance to help pre-ride race courses and coach throughout. 30 Devo athletes from JrDevo, U14, U19 and the new RMCF Sweet Elite team all camped together with family and friends in a gravel parking lot, just east of Rabbit Valley recreation site.
After a great friday night of course prerides, chocolate eating and campfires, the team took to the first event, the 20 minute long time trial. The course was a rolling 4-Wheeler track at first, climbing up to the book shelf cliffs, it then took to a moto track that meandered along the cliff’s until it topped out. From there it was a technical, rolling, moto-turny downhill that had everybody talking at the finish line. The final mile was like the Road Apple Course, but no sand and better whoops. The Devo team put a stamp on day 1 with every category we entered, junior to pro, and winner from Devo. Cat 1 15-18 and Sweet Elite team member Howard Grotts took the fastest time of the day, even besting teammate Tad Elliott, who won the pro men category! Alicia Rose Pastore won the Cat 1 girls, Stephan Davoust won the Cat 2 boys, Camryn Sippy won the Junior Girls Under 14 and Chris Blevins won the Junior Under 14 boys. Oh yeah, and Team Stetson-Lee won the Pro Women as well! What a day for Devo.
After the mornings racing, all the tried team-members gathered around the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory/Devo Sweet Elite Team Trailer and ate more chocolate before heading out on a cross country course preride. It was a mellow affair as they all just rolled along at chit-chat pace. No real agenda other than to have a good time and not get to dehydrated. That night the team rolled into the town of Fruita for awards and a pizza party and the Hot Tomato Pizzaria. More campfire, more sillyness and then bedtime a little earlier than the previous night.
Sunday morning came quick as the young guys and gals had an early start of 8am. Coach Chad and Annie took the crew out on the chilly warm-ups and the gang was on the start line in time. Chris Blevins was the first finisher as he easily won the Under 14 boys race. Then it was like a Devo practice as his teammates came rolling in right after him, with Charlie Greenberg, Will Berger, Kennen Desplanques, Derek Pansze and Devin Feilen following him in for a clean sweep! The Under 14 Girls took 2-4th as the defending xc national champ Ksenia Lepikena from Boulder, proved her worth. Cameryn Sippy, Sierra Trout and Ellie Feilen were 2-4th. Stephan Davoust and Levi Kurlander took 2nd and 3rd in the Cat 2 Boys with new Devo athlete, 17 year old Galen Blair taking 10th in his first race with Devo. Then Henry Larson, Andrew Cunninham and Owen Wertz took 4,5 and 7th in the Cat 3 boys. Devo parents are jumping into the action with Field Blevins, Bob Davoust, Curt Blair and board member Rich Larson all taking the line and finishing well. Blevins took second in his Cat 2 age group!
In the Cat 1 races, Alicia Rose Pastore, U14 girls assistant coach and RMCF Sweet Elite Team member, took a super easy win in the 15-18 girls, for her 3rd win in as many tries at the event. Then in the boys, it was Howard Grotts doing battle with fellow age group national champion, Keegan Swenson. In the end Keegan dropped Howard on the power course and rolled to the line with the win. Next it was Sepp Kuss and Gino Pastore in 4th and 5th. Haakon Sigerslid rolled in in 7th and Elliott Saslow walked his bike across the line for the second consecutive year to take 9th place.
In the Pro categories, Teal Stetson-Lee won her first xc race with her new Sweet Elite Team. Congrats as well to teammate Sage Wilderman who stayed behind to graduate from Fort Lewis College. The men were led by Colton Anderson’s 2nd place finish on the techy power course. Teammate Tad Elliott wound up in 8th place after a hard fought battle on the front of the race.
All in all, it was a great weekend of racing and the theme would of had to of been teamwork. It was great to see all the different age groups and categories riding and playing together. We’ve got a special thing going, thats for sure!