Cyclists headed to Utah
Winter Sports Club squad competing at junior nationals
Bo Randolph, Derek Nickum and Marsh Gooding have proven themselves on the ski slopes.
But this summer, the three Steamboat Springs athletes hope to prove themselves in a different sport, and they will get an opportunity at the U.S. Cycling Federation Junior National Cycling Championships this weekend in Park City, Utah.
Randolph, Gooding and Nickum will compete in the time trial event Thursday. Randolph also will ride in a criterium Saturday and a road race Sunday.
“After what we’ve done this season we are all pretty confident headed into these races,” head coach Tom Davis said. “These are some of the most dedicated athletes I’ve worked with, and I am expecting some big things this week.”
But any top finishes in Park City would be only icing on the cake for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club’s first-year team, which already is making noise in the cycling community.
The program’s elite team has five athletes. Davis had hoped to see all five at this national event, but will be without his two girls, Tina Roberts and Korie Steitz, who are at ski camps.
Davis said the team has been training hard for the time trial event, which will be held on a course that is nearly identical to the one the team rides six days a week on River Road.
“It’s going to be a huge advantage for our riders,” Davis said.
The team has proven it’s competitive in regional races: Nickum placed seventh in the team’s first time trial on Vail pass back in June. Randolph was ninth in the Dead Dog Classic in Wyoming in mid-June. Nickum was 17th in that race. Nickum also won a road race Aug. 1 in Leadville and Randolph just won the Colorado State Junior Criterium title Aug. 8 in Denver. Gooding was fourth in mid-July Category 4 criterium in Longmont and Tina Roberts was third in that same race.
Last weekend, Randolph added to his top results with a eighth at the Meridian Criterium in South Denver. Nickum was ninth.
But the elite program, which focuses on road racing, is just a part of the Winter Sports Club’s cycling program.
Davis also has 13 younger development riders who ride both road and mountain bikes. The group has been a force in the local Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series this summer, and Davis thinks the younger riders will fuel the club’s future.
The development program is focused on mountain bikes, but the athletes are being exposed to the road-racing scene as well.
In the future, Davis hopes to see the program grow.
He hopes the cycling club can grow into a nationally recognized program that will attract riders from around the country. “There are only two nationally known junior programs in the United States right now,” Davis said. “One is on the West Coast and the other is on the East Coast. So Steamboat seems like the perfect place to start another one.”
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