Two years have passed since the Aspen High School mountain bike team had the chance to defend their state championship. But the wait ends this weekend with the Durango Mesa Pursuit, the final races of the Colorado Cycling League fall season.
Competing as a composite team with students from Aspen and Basalt this season, it is believed that a repeat championship is just around the corner. The expected group of nine riders will be led by Markus Dewire, senior of AHS, and Emma Borchers, senior of BHS.
Dewire has been particularly strong this fall and will be one of the first on track in the men’s varsity race on Sunday, while Borchers sits in the second group in the varsity women’s race.
âHe’s won every race in the series in the region we’re in,â team coach Scott Leonard said of Dewire. “So this is the # 1 guy who’s going into the race.”
The high school mountain bike team started almost ten years ago now, and since then Roaring Fork Cycling, a local nonprofit, has taken over operations.. While runners can wear the red of the skiers or the purple of the Longhorns, high schools do not directly administer the teams.
Leonard took over as the team’s head coach in 2018, and a year later, in 2019, Aspen won the Division 3 State Championship. Colorado has three divisions, divided by the size of. each team, with Division 3 being the smallest of the teams and Division 1 the largest. Boulder edged out Fairview and Summit for the Division 1 title in 2019 – Glenwood Springs was sixth – while Durango won the Division 2 title that year.
The 2020 high school mountain biking season has been canceled due to the pandemic, so the Aspen group have been able to retain their title of reigning state champion since 2019.
Along with Dewire and Borchers, other riders who qualified for the state (but might not compete) this weekend for the AHS / BHS composite team are: Finn Johnson (varsity boys), Levi Logan (varsity boys) , Miles Johnson (JV boys), Harrison White (JV boys), Megan Heath (JV girls), Brody Fox (second grade boys), Liam Heath (first grade boys), Monte Musselman (first grade boys) and Cole Chism (first grade boys).
Racers have qualified by competing in the previous three races this fall, including Aspen’s own Snowmassive Chase on September 25-26, collecting points each time. Dewire’s 1,175 points (only two of three races make up the final point total) are tied with Summit’s Lasse Konecny, Fairview’s Liam Baartman and Durango’s Ivan Sippy for the tops in the college boys’ race. Of those four, only Dewire competes in Division 3, although all will compete in the same race on Sunday.
Leonard said Konecny ââand Sippy stand out as Dewire’s toughest competition, the two runners who have given him a lot of difficulty in previous races.
âIt’s not a mathematical equation. It’s a race. He has a chance on paper, âLeonard said. âHe ran a lot with these guys outside of high school races and those two that I just mentioned, he’s never been beaten before. So on paper, third, fourth, fifth is probably where things are going to work out. But you never know. He’s improved since he last faced these guys at the nationals in July. So we’ll see. “
Corbin Carpenter of Roaring Fork is part of the second wave of the boys ‘college race, while Chloe Lutgring of Glenwood – who competes in Division 1 – is tied with Bailey Cioppa of Durango as top qualifier in the girls’ race. at University.
The current schedule calls for freshman and JV races on Saturday mornings, with sophomore races and college races scheduled for Sunday mornings.
More detailed information can be found at coloradomtb.org.