Mountain bikers aim to win series |

Mountain bikers aim to win series

Local cyclers making strong showing in summer races

Mountain biking is all downhill for Cathy Cantway.

The Steamboat Springs racer competes in a sport rarely seen in the area — downhill racing.

Using a heavier bike, a larger helmet and body protection, Cantway speeds down a mountain and avoids the climb up, making her unlike most mountain bikers in the area.

“There are a couple locations where they have downhill races —- Telluride, Crested Butte, Snowmass, Keystone,” Cantway said. “Vail has a bunch of downhill trails, but like here, they don’t have a race in the local series.”

Cantway is sponsored by Ski Haus, which has been helpful for the local racer considering all her competitions are out-of-town.

She will compete in the Blast the Mass, which is the Colorado state championships, today and Sunday at Snowmass Village.

While Cantway will be the lone downhiller from Steamboat, this area will have a heavy presence at the state championships.

Steamboat’s mountain bikers have been competing in Mountain States Cup and NORBA, the mountain biking division of USA Cycling, races throughout the summer. A local contingent plans on competing in the cross country classification this weekend in Snowmass.

“We race basically right on the ski area,” said Bryce Gordon, 15. “That course is pretty much straight up and straight down. I would say it’s a little harder (than racing up Mount Werner). It’s a little steeper and a little longer.”

Gordon is part of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club mountain bike team, which is sponsored by Moots.

Dressed in all blue, the Moots squad is hard to miss when it competes locally or out of town. This summer, its competition has done most of the chasing.

“One of their objectives is to win the Mountain States Cup Series,” coach Glen Light said. “That was a team objective that we outlined at the beginning of the year.”

The Winter Sports Club racers heading to Snowmass are Bryce Gordon, Adam Parke, Katherine Ingalls, Wiley Thayer, Sam Chovan, Sean Geisler and Brett Gordon. Brett Gordon and Geisler are the youngest riders, but no one competing this weekend is older than 17.

“Riding with Sean and Brett is super fun and more manageable physically for me,” Light said. “Trying to ride with Adam and Bryce on a really hard day, and even Sam and Wiley, will put me in my place.

“Part of the coaching thing is you sacrifice a little of your own training, but it is super fun. They are like sponges picking up everything.”

Arguably no one has done that more than Ingalls. Last year, Ingalls talked about her reluctance on the downhill portions of her races. This year, the 15-year-old is competing at an expert level.

“Katherine has made one of the bigger jumps,” Light said. “She got some good coaching last year on (downhilling) and her confidence comes with having good results. She still has a ton of potential with the things she can learn and work on.”

Ingalls, Parke and Bryce Gordon are competing in the Junior Expert division for 15 to 18-year-olds. All three are 15 and defeating people three years their senior.

“We are all really close, at least performance wise,” Bryce Gordon said of the division. “It’s not like going and racing against Barkley (Robinson) or the ex-pros in (the Town Challenge races in) Steamboat.”

Bryce Gordon is in position to win a Mountain States Cup title. The Steamboat team as a whole is positioned to win its third high school and middle school titles.

“All the kids who race are gifted athletes,” Bryce Gordon said.

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