After wrapping up the Boulder Cyclocross Series overall win just the week before, Taylor was coming into the weekend of the State Championships with great form. Though everyone knew there was going to be no shortage of big guns out for the win in an ever-increasingly competitive Colorado single speed category. The sandy and mostly flat course in Loveland, CO also featured some tricky surprises, a brutal run-up and nowhere for rest. Nearly 50 starters toed the line under cold grey skies, and the depth of the field was obvious, as any 10 of those starters were easy choices to take the win on a good day. Team Gates Carbon Drive had a strong line-up, with Taylor Nye, Mitch Westall, Carlos Casali, Derek Strong, Taylor Jung and myself flying the team colors.
As expected, the start was brutal and the lead group quickly separated themselves, with Nye making the selection. Carlos and Jesse showed great teamwork, sacraficing themselves to get Mitch back towards the front of the race after a tough start for him. Derek, Jung and myself were all flying through the field, making up spots after terrible call-ups at the start.
A powerhouse in any field, and any discipline, Colby Pierce was able to separate himself from the duo of Nye and season-long rival Will Iaia. These two fought the remainder of the race, constantly trading and countering attacks and the second place position. At the sprint finish, Nye came up just short behind the road-specialist Iaia. Dropping those around him, Mitch came home safely in fourth place and Carlos just behind in 5th place. I was still making up postions at the end, finishing 11th as Derek was just behind in 13th. After all his hard work, Jesse was still racing well, when he suffered a flat that had to be run back to the pits, dropping him to 19th, still in the top 20. Unfortunately Taylor Jung went down on a particular nasty portion of the course, suffering a broken collarbone and fractured scapula – you can’t say he wasn’t pushing hard! Heal up soon Taylor!
After the final points calculations, Team Gates Carbon Drive handily took the Colorado Cross Cup Team competition with no one else even close. Mitch Westall just missed winning the individual competition by a mere two points. But still, the team had three riders in the top four, and five in the top 10. And just as importantly, everyone on the team had a great time this season, and earned a well-deserved winter break. The support we recieved from Gates has been top-notch, and the Carbon Drive System has been an absolutely flawless advantage for everyone on the team. So I know I speak for all the riders when I say thanks for the support, the cheering on the sidelines and endless work behind the scenes to make our jobs easy!