Stampede!

Sophomore riders take off in a cloud of dust Sunday at the Chalk Creek Stampede prep mountain bike races in Nathrop. The BV Racing hosted event at the McMurry Ranch moved up the calendar to the season-opening race to celebrate the first high school sanctioned race in Colorado there 10 years ago.

In celebration of the first prep mountain bike race in Colorado a decade ago, Chalk Creek Stampede took off through the McMurry Ranch in Nathrop again Aug. 25.

Fifteen Buena Vista Demons rode hard with more than 600 other cyclists in the series of races Sunday.

The late summer sun burned down on the race field in the afternoon, joined by gusts that provided a tailwind for the cyclists on the last stretch of the course.

“It’s been super fun,” said BV Racing coach Taf McMurry. “Everybody’s really positive, the turnout’s great and the Colorado League crew has set up an amazing venue for us.”

The McMurry Ranch course proved it could still be a challenge 10 years later to both newcomers and veterans.

After pulling in from his fourth and final lap in the varsity boys’ race, Logan Trenkle described the first climb on the course as the worst for how long and steep it was, while the rest was mostly flat with some dips here and there.

“I felt like I pushed it pretty hard. I don’t think I placed as well as I wanted to, but it’s the first race. I’ve got a few more to get up to where I want to be,” Trenkle said.

For Mitchek Colley in the sophomore girls’ race, Death Hill was also the greatest challenge “because you felt like you could fall any second because the dirt was washed out.”

But for her first year of racing with the BVHS Demons, this was definitely a good start.

“All my life, I’ve been doing 50-mile races, so this was my first get-up-and-go race. I had a lot of fun. I’m excited to do the rest of the races,” she said.

For sophomore Ace England, this start to the racing season wasn’t good, it was great. After riding hot on the leader’s tail into the second lap, England found his chance for a pass and sprint to the finish line.

“I got to the second lap and saw the leader and just decided I was going to go and leave nothing left on the trail. It was a lot of fun,” he said, adding, “I never thought I’d win a race.”

Coach McMurry stated she couldn’t see the races running any more smoothly than they had, especially with so many people working together for the event.

“I said to a parent earlier that as long as you’re on two wheels, we’re family. I feel like all the schools, all parents, all the riders are just here for a positive experience and we all help each other. The camaraderie is awesome,” she said.

Up next for BV Racing is the Cloud City Challenge at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville Sept. 8. The kids will visit the course for a preride on Saturday, then return Sunday for the actual racing.

“Since school has started … we’ve had a few kids express some interest, so we might be adding some new kids next week,” McMurry said. “It’s never really too late. If other riders want to come out and try it, see what we’re all about, we welcome them to the team.”

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