Team Gates Carbon Drive has wrapped up first place in the Team Competition and Jesse Swift has won the individual category in the Colorado Best Cyclocross Rider competition. Swift bagged the top honor following his second-place finish at the Colorado Cyclocross Championships over the weekend, where strong finishes by his teammates allowed Gates to grab the top five spots in the Best Rider competition.
The Colorado State Championships took place last weekend at Ryolite Regional Park in Castle Rock. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies melted the snow and created a sloppy, slippery course. The competition was fierce with the state title on the line in the ever-growing single speed category. Several pro racers including Brady Kapius and former Olympian and National Track Champion Colby Pearce showed up to battle with the amateur field, which was dominated by the light blue kits of Gates Carbon Drive.
The course started with a long paved uphill start then entered muddy singletrack. It didn’t take long for the familiar faces to hit the front of the race. From then on, the only tactic was for everyone to charge hard while staying upright in the slippery conditions, saving enough gas to clear the monster fly-over that the race organizers placed on course.
Two laps in Jesse and Brady Kapius had a huge gap on the field, and things got dicey as they both battled through traffic from the Cat3 race on course. Jesse worked hard to close the gap back down on Brady, but Brady was well in-control of the race by that point. At the end Jesse was still plenty strong to hold off a hard-charging Colby Pearce, holding onto the second step of the podium. Behind, the rest of the team fought hard, solidifying their individual points for the series. Following Jesse Swift, the Colorado Cross Cup was all Team Gates: Mitch Westall in 2nd, Carlos Casali (last year’s winner) in 3rd, Garrett Davis in 4th, Taylor Nye 5th, Derek Strong in 7th, Taylor Jung in 11th, Brian Hutchison 14th, and Tim Lucking 18th.
It was an incredibly successful season for Gates Carbon Drive, with multiple wins and podium sweeps that showed how incredibly well-suited the Gates belt drive system is for cyclocross. Just as importantly, the entire team had a great time riding, traveling and suffering together. Afterward, everyone was bummed for the racing to end, but some post-race hydration from beverage sponsor Oskar Blues brought out the smiles and camaraderie. But the team will be back next year, looking to grab a few race wins that eluded us this year! Of course, some of us aren’t quite yet ready to break out the skis and snowboards yet. Cristina Begy is off to the National Championships in Wisconsin in a few weeks, where we know she will hammer the competition in the singlespeed category.
Check out the video of Jesse Swift’s racing over the weekend here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijvi8-Qk_9o&feature=player_embedded