Bringing the Colorado High School Cycling League State Championships to Eagle in 2013 was a huge success. But when the event came to town last weekend, something amazing happened.
It got even bigger. As a result the community’s hotel rooms were sold out and its restaurants and businesses were bustling over the weekend.
Competitive high school riders concluded their season culminating Oct. 19 when 613 of them took on the town’s Haymaker trail for the Haymaker Classic State Championships. For a matter of perspective, five years ago when the cycling league hosted its first state championships, 125 riders participated.
Fifty-four teams from Durango to Cheyenne, Wyoming, and everywhere in between brought with them an entourage of riders, coaches, siblings, parents and grandparents, transforming Eagle into a Mecca of bikes and riders. Hundreds of cars surrounded the Haymaker trail’s start and finish area, nearly all of them sporting bike racks. And by the end of the competition, Eagle could boast one of its own as a state champion.
Sam Brown, of the Eagle County team, took first overall in the Division 1 freshman series. His teammate Christopher Seabury took second in the Division 1 freshman championship race.
The Eagle County riders team has grown to 34 kids, and as a result of its size the team was forced to break into two teams. The Battle Mountain, Vail Christian and Eagle Valley team finished fifth in the Division 1 championship race, while the Division 2 Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy and Vail Mountain School team took fourth. However, in the overall standings, which were also determined Sunday, Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy rode away with second place in its division.
For more information and complete standings from the Colorado High School Cycling League season visit http://www.coloradomtb.org.