The state road course was held on the Horsetooth loop which began with 2 very tough short climbs. Along the res there was a lesser climb (and a 55mph descent), with one more climb before the last 5 miles which were mostly flat. The finish was a slight uphill with a crosswind which made it very easy to go too soon.
15-16: Alden Lowney, Ben Raderstorf
In the 15-16 group, the first climb was taken conservatively, then Alden drilled the second climb to shake out the top 3 which included Skyler Trujillo and a Real Aussie Kid. (The REK team is an elite junior team from Australia who race and train here in the summer. They weren't eligible for the championships). The 15-16 group started 60 seconds behind the 17-18 group, and they caught and dropped several of the 17-18 kids. The 3 stayed together until inside the last kilometer, the Aussie kid attacked, but there was no incintive to chase him.
Alden played the sprint perfectly. There was a right to left crosswind blowing and he let Skyler lead it out. He timed it perfectly sneaking around him on the left side and winning by 6"! A minute and a half later, Ben came in with the next group, finishing in the middle of the small group for 7th. This is Ben's first year racing and he is showing alot of promise. He didn't quite have the juice to make the break with Alden, but he wasn't far off.
17-18, Brandon Henry
The favorites here were last years winner, Amar Mannina, and Jamie Sullivan who has been almost unbeatable in the juniors dating back to late last year. This one went from the gun with riders dropping off even before the first climb as Amar and then Jamie drilled it. By the top of the second climb, Brandon, Jamie, a RAK, and Kit Recca were away. Amar was dropped, but would be picked up by Alden's lead 15-16 group later. Kit was dropped before the last climb and also picked up by Alden's group.
On the flats they were all pulling, but Jamie kept attacking to get away. The Aussie then attacked with a killer move after Brandon came off a pull (After the race, Jamie told Brandon that he made a road deal with the Aussie while the 3 of them were away, that if the Aussie would attack and they got away, he wouldn't contest the finish). They got away and Brandon couldn't follow.
Brandon then soft pedaled till the Alden group, which contained Kit and Amar, caught him. They tried to rally the group, but it make no sense for the 15-16's to help chase. Ahead Jamie eased up in the last mile and the Aussie rolled across followed by Jamie with the state championship. In the sprint, Amar led it out. Brandon was patiently sitting in the crossdraft while Kit was dropped off behind. Brandon timed the acceleration and bike throw to get Amar by 6" for the silver!
How bout that, 2 sprints done with the legs and the brain to perfection. Sweet!
13-14 Zack Gould
Man, this one hurt. The 3 5280 kids have been dominating everything in this field this year. Zacks mission was to stick to those kids like glue and he did....until at the top of the 3rd climb he got a flat. It took many many minutes to get a change and his race was over. I will say that Zack showed a great attitude by ripping a ferocious sprint to the line. He was obviously disappointed after the race. That has happened to all of us Zack, so we know how you feel. Let's just hope you have that bad luck out of your system and the cycling gods will shine on you next time.