Mitch Westall kicked off the season for Team Gates Carbon Drive Cyclocross Team with a win in the Wheeler and Dealers race at CrossVegas! And just to make sure no one missed the team, Taylor Jung and Taylor Nye secured second and third places, to make it a clean sweep for the team.
Though the entire team was raring to get the Colorado cyclocross season started, Team Gates Carbon Drive had a smaller presence at the CrossVegas race under the lights on Sept 18th. But only smaller in numbers, because no one was going to miss the vibrant new Spot Rallye team bikes, especially once the lights came on and the usual furious start of the Wheelers and Dealers race warmed up the crowd for the bigger races later on!
Starting from almost mid-pack, Mitch was off like a shot right from the start, quickly moving up through the field. Taylor Jung was even a bit further back, but he wasn’t going to let Mitch get out of sight. As the race settled in, Mitch found himself in a group of favorites chasing a small changing couple leaders off the front. CrossVegas is always a race of survival against the thick grass and dry hot desert air, where battling the geared bikes can be tough for single speed racers. But Mitch fought through to the end and secured 8th overall, and 1st in the singlespeed category. Taylor Jung finished just behind in another group of geared racers, who he wasn’t letting go either, to take 2nd in the singlespeed category. Taylor Nye is just getting started on what is sure to be another strong season, and nonetheless still put in an impressive ride to secure the last step of the podium, making it a clean sweep for the team.
The CrossVegas momentum quickly carried over to the weekend races just a couple days later as Jesse Swift, Ryan McFarling, Taylor Jung and Derek Strong raced at the impressive Valmont Bike Park in Boulder, Colorado. The first Colorado race on the calendar didn’t disappoint as a quality field took the start. Jesse and Ryan rode together most the race, working together against a group consisting of 3 other top Colorado racers. Going into the final lap, Ryan threw down a vicious attack that the group was able to shut down, which setup Jesse for a sprint out of the last corner where he had to settle for third place. Ryan recovered from his attack to take 4th, while Derek and Taylor finished close behind in 12th and 13th spots.
After getting warmed-up with his 3rd place finish on Saturday, Jesse Swift was back again on Sunday for the Body Sync Cyclocross race in Golden, Colorado. He said the race was for “training”, especially since it was nice and close to home, but tell that to his fellow competitors! Even after a second row start, Jesse blitzed the rest of the field, pushing his way to the front of the field and finding himself in a group with one other rider, Drew Christopher. Jesse and the other rider were able to put a safe gap on the rest of the field, and though I know Jesse would have preferred to battle to the line, he found himself alone at the finish as Drew suffered a flat. That’s what happens when you’re not sporting the sweet new Stan’s NoTubes IronCross wheels and tubeless setup that Team Gates Carbon Drive is psyched to be sporting this year. I’m sure Drew will be back to challenge the team again.