Steamboat Springs Six Steamboat Velo Cycling Team members opened the racing season Saturday at the Louisville Criterium.
The race featured 80-degree weather and 0.7-mile loops ranging from 30 to 75 minutes, depending on categories.
Leading the way for Steamboat was Amy Charity. Racing against several nationally ranked racers in the women’s pro category, Charity finished fifth in a group sprint.
She said the typical strategy is to watch the field for the first half of the race to figure out which riders are strongest. But with each breakout, Charity changed strategy and decided to chase.
“I think had I conserved a bit more energy, I could have done better,” she said. “I could have used it later in the race. But it was a good finish. It’s always hard to predict what might have happened.”
Simon Derby Myers and Eddie Rogers finished 28th and 49th, respectively, in a 70-rider Category 4 field. Rogers is new to the sport of cycling and already is getting comfortable with the large pelotons and fast criterium-style racing.
The 85-rider Men’s Pro 1-2 category featured three Steamboat Velo riders. The race ran for 75 minutes and had an average speed of 26 mph with a number of large teams taking control of the race early on. Matt Charity was the top local finisher in 40th. Corey Piscopo and Bryce Davies also competed in the fastest race of the day, working out some winter cobwebs and sharpening their criterium skills.
“Early-season racing is always hard for mountain-town racers, but thanks to a mild winter, a large number of cyclists in Steamboat are fired up to race these early spring races,” Piscopo, director of Steamboat Velo, wrote in an email. “I am looking forward to even more Steamboat racers representing our town and being a force in Colorado bike racing.”
Several members of Steamboat Velo will travel to the Front Range this weekend for the Boulder Roubaix. Amy Charity, Piscopo and Davies each are expected to compete in the Tour of Gila in New Mexico from May 2 to 6. The five-day stage race draws some of the top bikers in the country.
Steamboat Velo is a competitive cycling program that aims to promote road, mountain and cyclocross bike racing for men and women of all ability levels and ages through organized group rides, local promoted events, racer support and a high sense of camaraderie. Visit www.steamboatvelo.com for more information.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com