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Alabama teen brings mountain bike series to race-starved Durango

Alabama teen brings mountain bike series to race-starved Durango 2020-10-04Leave a comment

electrical bike Alabama teen brings mountain bike collection to race-starved Durango

Durango’s mountain bikers had been caught residence for a lot of the summer time. No races on the schedule, solely socially-distanced coaching rides with sparse family and friends through the COVID-19 pandemic.

In stepped younger Alex Inexperienced. All of the sudden, there have been cross-country mountain bike races in Durango set for September. He known as it the AG Epic Race Collection.

“I like racing my bike, and I wished to race. I began a collection simply so I may race it,” Inexperienced stated. “I wished to do it for Durango locals, make them one of the best races I may. I had an excellent little bit of motivation to make enjoyable programs and let some good folks exit and have enjoyable.”


Alabama teen brings mountain bike collection to race-starved Durango

The 17-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama, moved to Durango after graduating highschool in solely three years. He had visited in 2015 whereas on his strategy to compete on the mountain bike nationwide championships in California. He discovered of Fort Lewis School and its illustrious biking program that has 24 nationwide championships throughout all disciplines.

“Just about after that day, I by no means toured one other faculty. I knew I wished to go there and race my bike,” Inexperienced stated.

At solely 17, Inexperienced moved to Durango and is engaged on gaining authorized emancipation and a tuition break to attend FLC.

Again residence in Alabama, Inexperienced and his coach, proficient 23-year-old mountain biker Jerry Dufour, had began greater than a dozen races in Birmingham the earlier winter. So, Inexperienced had some expertise.

“I wished to begin some races, and I had an thought of the best way to do it,” Inexperienced stated. “I simply went and talked to all the precise folks. It took numerous work, however I had nothing higher to do after I moved out right here. I used to be sitting in my house one evening, requested my roommates for assist and the subsequent morning began organizing, getting permits and doing Zoom calls.”

Inexperienced stuffed out greater than 100 varieties and spent greater than 200 hours to prepare the collection. He had the assistance of roommates Filip Matyjaszczck and Harris Pigford.


Alex Inexperienced moved from Alabama to Durango on the age of 17 to start the emancipation course of earlier than enrolling at Fort Lewis School. In his downtime, he began a motorcycle race collection.

Courtesy of AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection

Alabama teen brings mountain bike collection to race-starved Durango

Alex Inexperienced moved from Alabama to Durango on the age of 17 to start the emancipation course of earlier than enrolling at Fort Lewis School. In his downtime, he began a motorcycle race collection.

Courtesy of AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection

To get the permits to shut down parts of trails at Horse Gulch and Twin Buttes took some schmoozing.

“No one needs to provide out permits proper now throughout coronavirus,” he stated. “I needed to have a coronavirus plan. It was an extended course of. I finally received the ultimate allow about 14 hours out from the beginning of the primary race. Good timing.”

Not solely did Inexperienced get permission from Durango and San Juan Basin Public Well being, he even received the races accredited by USA Biking.

The onerous work impressed even probably the most veteran race organizers in Durango, together with FLC biking director Dave Hagen and Durango Devo co-founder and FLC mountain bike coach Chad Cheeney.

“Hagen and I needed to do a triple take. ‘What? You bought USAC permits? And metropolis permits?’ That takes numerous effort and time,” Cheeney stated. “It’s a must to bounce by way of so many hoops to do something cool on this city. For a younger man like that, comes right here from Alabama the place they’re itching to do cool neighborhood issues, it was spectacular.”

The primary race was held at Twin Buttes. Winners included FLC freshman and reigning junior nationwide champion Riley Amos on the boys’s aspect forward of professionals Stephan Davoust and Henry Nadell, each FLC alums. The ladies’s winner was Michaela Thompson of FLC forward of junior stars Maggie and Ruth Holcomb.


Riley Amos, middle, rode to victory on the first AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection race Sept. 12 at Twin Buttes.

Courtesy of AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection

Alabama teen brings mountain bike collection to race-starved Durango

Riley Amos, middle, rode to victory on the first AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection race Sept. 12 at Twin Buttes.

Courtesy of AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection

Every week later, the race was at Horse Gulch. Inexperienced was proud to have the course journey Raider Ridge, the primary time it had been included in a motorcycle race in Durango.

Three-time mountain bike Olympian Todd Wells claimed the win within the males’s discipline, adopted by brother Troy Wells and junior rider Ivan Sippy. The ladies’s race was received by Durango Excessive’s Bailey Cioppa forward of fellow junior Lauren Aggeler. Not too long ago graduated FLC star Ellen Campbell additionally was on the rostrum,

The races supplied younger riders in Durango Devo in addition to lately arrived FLC cyclists an opportunity to compete alongside a few of Durango’s prime professionals.

“They appreciated it massive time,” Cheeney stated. “It’s actually enjoyable to have the small, intimate race scene proper on the town. The Devo youngsters had been so excited to race the school youngsters proper of their yard. The youthful youngsters actually look as much as them. As a coach, it was superb for me.”

Inexperienced aimed to have 4 races. However after the Sept. 19 occasion at Horse Gulch, he received a name from town.

“They instructed me I couldn’t run races anymore,” Inexperienced stated.

It wasn’t due to COVID-19 protocols, both, as riders within the small fields had worn masks at begin strains and at post-race gatherings, together with on the podiums. It was due to pedestrian steadiness with different path customers sad parts of their favourite trails had been closed for permitted races for even two hours of a Saturday.


Filip Matyjaszczck rides the Twin Buttes route of the primary AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection race in September.

Courtesy of AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection

Alabama teen brings mountain bike collection to race-starved Durango

Filip Matyjaszczck rides the Twin Buttes route of the primary AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection race in September.

Courtesy of AG Epic Mountain Bike Collection

“Our trails are such shut proximity to all people. All of them need to exit their entrance door for his or her dog-walking journey. I completely get it,” Cheeney stated. “It’s humorous, if you happen to do a motorcycle race within the offseason when it’s too chilly for plenty of folks, then no one complains. When it’s good out, you get the complaints.”

Inexperienced hasn’t given up, although. He’s in talks with Purgatory Resort to carry a 3rd occasion. The longer term mechanical engineering pupil at FLC additionally plans on a full cross-country collection in 2021, a five-race cyclo-cross collection beginning in November in Aztec – as a result of Durango won’t enable it – in addition to future enduro races.

Inexperienced stated he wouldn’t have been in a position to do it with out the help of his roommates, who’ve helped arrange and breakdown programs. Pigford additionally took race pictures to assist pull collectively a very skilled bike race surroundings.

“I’ve received lots on my plate, however I’ve good time proper now to do it,” the entrepreneurial teenager stated. “It’s been form of robust. It’s my first yr going with out my dad and mom’ monetary help, and it’s a giant hurdle for a 17-year-old making an attempt to do it on their lonesome for the primary time. However I’ve stored numerous motivation by way of working this race collection. I’ve nice folks round me. I’m snug the place I’m, and my spirits are excessive.”

jlivingston@durangoherald.com

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