The weekend started off with a bang. On friday evenings’ team preride on the time trial course, DEVO U-19er Summer Ellefson fell and dislocated her elbow badly. The evacuation led into the darkness as we had to walk her out of the singletrack to the awaiting four wheelers. Local doctor and DEVO parent Field Blevins happened to be in the area preriding and came to help. U-14 Elliott Saslow rounded up a group of 4wheelers to help. Coach Kricket was on hand as well to give her athlete a hand to squeeze. They arrived back to camp at 10pm.
Summer was super tough and after getting back to camp at 2am, was awake rallying her teamates for the days task. Saturday mornings’ Time Trial went well for DEVO. Taking wins in 5 of the 6 junior categories. Elliott Saslow, Chris Blevins, Alicia Rose Pastore, Kaylee Blevins, Hannah Madden took wins. It was the first mtb race ever for Charlie Greenberg, River Weiss, Keenan Desplanques, Devin Feilen, and Harrison Quick. DEVO U-19er Alicia Rose Pastore won the Cat 1 15-18 ladies by over 2 minutes as her brother Gino placed second, with sidekick Sepp Kuss in 3rd in the cat 1 15-18 boys.
After a couple hours of post race fun riding and eating and resting, the team geared up to pre ride the next days track. After a brief lesson in race starts, the teams split up into groups and took off. Local Olympian Travis Brown took the older DEVO members out on course and taught them the art of riding fast with a big beard. Coaches Jess, Annie and Chad rode with the U-14, 19 girls and boys on the race loop and had a nice banana break on the slickrock section. Saturday night the team camped out under the stars in Rabbit Valley, a huge bonfire and a speech by Coach Chad helped the kids stay up a little later than usual on a night before the first cross country race of the season.
Sunday morning the U-14 boys and girls were awakened to a last minute course change that had everyone in a frenzy. The DEVO team stayed calm and went with the flow. After several wrong turns and confusing intersections, Chris Blevins crossed the line in first place for the boys and sister Kaylee another victory for the family. Kaylees teammates Amy Katz and Avra Saslow finished 2nd and 3rd behind.
In the Cat 2 boys and girls races, Elliott Saslow took 2nd place, his best cat 2 finish to date. While teammates Haakon Sigerslid and Stephan Davoust went 4,5. Hannah Madden and Joan Walker continued their Cat 2 domination from last year and went 1,2.
The Cat 1 race course was a grueling, technical 28 mile popsicle style loop, that with the mid day heat, was going to be a tough first race of the season. Team DEVO handled it in stride.
The Cat 1 boys took 3,4 and 5th place in the super competitive boys race. Gino Pastore, Howard Grotts and Sepp Kuss are young, but they proved that they belong. In the Girls race, Alicia Rose Pastore was leading by 4minutes untill the 2mile to go mark and flatted. The flat fix took longer than expected and she rolled in in 4th place. Teammate Kaila Hart, who drove in for the race the morning of, fresh off a late night after prom school party, battled it out in the heat and flatted twice and finished 6th. Coach Kricket Lewis was out on course feeding the ladies and encouraging each athlete as they passed. DEVO alumni Joe Schneider raced in his first pro category race and finished 21st.
The Durango DEVO team travels to races as a team throughout the summer season. Coaches and helpers come with and the group camps out or stays in team condos. The goal of the team race is to teach the kids how to manage themselves at a race weekend. Their next team race is the local Alien Run Race in Aztec, New Mexico.