The San Luis Valley Rattlers Mountain Biking Team concluded its 2022 regular season on Sunday, Oct. 9, by posting a third-place team finish in their division at the Chalk Creek Stampede in Nathrop.
The finish also placed the team in third place for the overall series, their best performance in the team’s seven years of competition.
Individually, each rider posted remarkable results for the season with all but two racers qualifying for state competition on Oct. 22-23 in Glenwood Springs.
In order of their Nathrop appearance, the individual race and season results are as follows:
In the Junior Varsity Boys division, Tyler Roberts put up the fastest course time for the team at 57:45.94 and placed 20th in his second-highest finish of the year; earning the 23rd spot in the overall series.
Just seconds behind, team captain Caleb Henson peddled hard for his best finish of the season to earn 21st place in the race and 26th in the series.
First-year racer Tim Malueg also battled for his best finish of the season at 37th place achieving 43rd in the overall series; an awesome accomplishment considering he started the season at the back of the 120-rider field, many in their third or fourth season of racing.
In the JV Girls division, posting the most points for the team, Valerie Goodland finished sixth at Nathrop earning her 6th place in the overall series; only 1 point behind the tied 4th and 5th place racers!
In the Sophomore Girls division, the tenacious Sydney Woodke logged a 14th place finish, improving her course time from last year by over 22 minutes and earning a 14th place overall series finish.
In the Sophomore Boys division, Tyler Dokson finished 21st in Nathrop with a secure 15th place overall.
Summit Mashburn overcame a start chute crash to place 34th in an epic finish line pile-up. Summit lands in 35th place overall.
The Freshmen Boys wrapped up the day with Chevy Kincannon placing 28th in his second-best race of the year, earning a 31st overall finish. Payton Daniel logged a 57th place finish for the race as his season ends in 44th place, just 4 positions short of qualifying for State.
Each racer experiences a gamut of emotions during the 12-mile races as they pit themselves against dozens of students, up to and sometimes beyond 100 racers, from across the state in their respective divisions. Passing and being passed, overcoming course challenges such as sand, mud, and loose rocks, and sprinting for the finish line to catch that rider in front or keep one behind are just a few of the elements these racers learn to navigate. Pouring their heart and soul onto the racecourse, riders often cross the finish line with little to no energy left. Teammates quickly gather around to slap backs, give high fives, offer congratulations, commiserate on crashes, relate epic encounters and generally bask in the glow of each other’s accomplishments.
The Rattlers participate in the Piedra division of the Colorado High School Cycling League. Many will compete in one last race on Oct. 22 and 23 as they face fierce competition from the largest and fastest field of up to 140 riders from all three other divisions at the State Championships in Glenwood Springs.