Just a few months after hanging up his skis for the season, Steamboat Springs athlete Bo Randolph shifted gears by placing in the top 20 at a national cycling event.
Randolph overcame an elite field, high winds and hot weather Thursday to place 17th at the National Junior Road Biking Championships, which were held near the Deer Valley Resort in Utah.
Coach Tom Davis said it was a terrific result, especially considering the limited amount of time Randolph has been on a bike this summer.
"I placed 10th last year in the 15 to 16 group, but I was more excited about this finish," Randolph said. "There was a lot of stiff competition, and I struggled through the whole thing."
Randolph fell behind the peloton (the main group of riders) early in the race. He mustered enough strength to catch the main group halfway through the 78-mile race. Randolph and the group were able to work together to close the gap between them and the lead riders.
As the peloton approached the final climb, Randolph decided it was time to make a move toward the lead group.
"I broke away on the final hill hoping that a few riders would go with me, but they didn't," Randolph said. "I ended up climbing the whole thing by myself."
During the ascent to the finish line, Randolph caught a few people and was able to finish well ahead of the main group of riders.
Peter Stetina, who rides with the Denver-based 5280 team, won the road race in a time of 3 hours, 15 minutes and 5 seconds. Colorado rider Tejay Van Garderen finished a split second behind Stetina.
Randolph crossed the finish line just more than 7 minutes behind the winners, at 3:22:31.
"I was so psyched with the place, because I knew that I had pushed the whole way," Randolph said.
Randolph was the only member of the Steamboat Spring Winter Sports Club's elite cycling team to take part in Thursday's road race.
Randolph and Steamboat teammate Derek Nickum competed in the time trial Tuesday afternoon against a field of 200 other riders,
Randolph finished 84th in the time trial with a time of 31:45, and Nickum placed 104th with a time of 33:25.