After winning the first two races and taking a podium spot for the third race of the 2014 Colorado MTB League season, Reade went into today’s final State Championship race one point ahead of his competition, a Boulder High School rider who handily won the third race at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch in Elbert, CO. Having held onto the 2014 NICA Leader jersey for the entire series, Reade displayed the grace, honor, strength of character and integrity that one would expect of the Race Leader.
Since Reade has ridden the fantastic Haymaker Classic course in Eagle several times, he had a strategy laid out that considered both the technicalities of the race course as well as the specific physiologic demands necessary to excel at this particular venue. Much of the course does not necessarily suit his strengths, so he had to devise a way to put pressure on his primary competition (the Boulder rider that remained 1 point behind in the Overall Series standings) on the parts of the course where he could. Although a different Boulder rider briefly got in front during the first lap, once the course opened up after coming back through the start area, Reade dropped the field in a TT effort that gave him some breathing room going back into the technical single track. After getting caught up in slower Division 2 traffic in front, the chasing riders behind were able to latch back on prior to the final downhill leading to the finish. Reade stayed in front the whole way, until he and the #2 rider disappeared from view behind the berm of the BMX track, about 200 meters from the finish.
Although he hadn’t been capable of taking control the entire race, the Boulder rider emerged from the dust first, pulling well ahead of Reade in a mere 150 meters. Reade crossed the finish line 7 seconds later, guarding his left arm after having been run into from behind on a portion of single track not visible from the finish, pushing him off into the grass, effectively unable to compete for the race and Overall Series win in what would surely have been an exciting–and appropriate–sprint finish for the close race and Series finale.
Congratulations to the entire Golden High School MTB Team for a great 2014 season!
Congratulations also go out to Coach Scott Burcar for winning the 2014 Colorado League Coach of the Year, as well as student-racer Blake Ollweiler for winning the 2014 Colorado League Most Improved Rider of the Year award!
And, one from Mountain Flyer Magazine, ©Eddie Clark: