San Luis Valley Rattlers
Mountain Bike Team
Heat and Crashes for the Rattlers at Chalk Creek Stampede
The San Luis Valley Rattlers Mountain Bike Team took the short trip north to the McMurry Ranch in Nathrop for the season opener of the "Decade of Dirt" celebration by the Colorado High School Cycling League. With temperatures in the high 80's, hydration became the word of the day for everyone in attendance. Several Rattlers had a day in the dirt because of crashes.
Sebastian Steffens started the racing as part of the Sophomore Boys roster that featured 122 riders. Sebastian went down in a tangle of riders within a couple hundred yards of the starting line. This set him back in the field, forcing him to play catch up for nearly 12 miles. The hard work paid off allowing Steffens to battle to finish 82nd with a time of 1:13:33.
Landon Tolsma was up next in the JV Boys. Landon rode the 18+ miles in 1:54:39 to finish 115th out of 186 riders. Landon was one of the two Rattlers who didn't get slowed by crashing or being behind a major crash that clogged the course. He also made a significant jump in places. He started with a 132 call up and moved up 17 spots to 115th.
The girls took to the course after the JV Boys. First it was Marian Kidd racing JV Girls. Marian managed to keep the rubber on the dirt, but was slowed significantly at the start of the race with a start line pile up of riders in front of her. Once Marian was able to get clear of the carnage, she had a strong ride in the mid afternoon heat to finish 33rd with a time of 1:37:55.
Sydney Crowder hit the trail for her first race as a Rattler in the Sophomore Girls race. And hit the trail she did early in her first lap with a painful introduction to the cactus that blanket the McMurry Ranch. The prickly pair needle were no match for the grit and toughness of Crowder as she got up and finished the 12 mile race in 1:26:58 to place 23rd out of 41 riders.
The rookies closed out the afternoon of racing as Cairn Pike, River Randolph, and Kaden Tolsma had their Colorado League and Rattler debutes in the Freshman Boys race. Cairn Pike managed to stay clear of a pile up behind him to get out cleanly. He battle a very fast field to finish 53rd overall with a time of 1:12:58.
Kaden Tolsma was less fortune than Pike as he went down in one of the start line crashes. Once untangle from the mess of bikes, Kaden rode a strong 12 miles and finished 105th in 1:27:16.
Shortly after Tolsma finished, River Randolph crossed the line to finish 109th in 1:30:00. Randolph did not go down in the crash that took out his teammate, but he did get caught up and slowed down by the mess in front of him.
All in all, it was a good day for the Rattlers, as a team they finished 12th out of 17 team in the Colorado League Southern Conference 3A Division (fewer that 13 riders). The Rattlers will again head north of Highway 285 on September 8 to race in the Cloud City Challenge in Leadville. The Rattlers should be at full strength with the return of Varsity Boys rider, Cameron Robert, and Obed Perez who will race for the first time ever in the JV Boys category.