PEACEFUL VALLEY SCOUT CAMP, CO – COS Racing partook in this year’s Mad Gravel race with at least 28 starts across three days of challenging racing.
On Day 1 of the epic three-day Mad Gravel event, COS Racing made a highly respectable showing in the circuit race with one first place, two seconds, and one third, as well as other top-10 finishes. The circuit race took place on a peaceful 7-mile circuit through the McNeil Scout Camp at Peaceful Valley near Elbert, CO. The route featured several long gravel climbs mixed with challenging single- and double-track segments. In particular, the circuit course featured a fast, sinuous gravel road descent and over two miles of blazingly fast non-technical singletrack.
Notable finishes occurred in the Men’s “B” Race (21mi), where COS Racing swept the podium, and the Women’s “C” race, in which Cindi Brothers took second overall. In the 3 lap Men’s “B” Race, Cameron Zamot took first, followed by Michael Brothers and Vlad Dragomirov. Zamot won despite dropping his chain on at least three occasions. Overall, COS Racing’s men took five of the top-7 places in the B Race.
Sunday’s Day 2 featured three distances on the gravel roads of windy Elbert County – 123mi (Ultra), 78mi (Marathon), and 42mi (Sprint). Starting and finishing at around 7000 feet above sea level at the scout camp, each course featured challenging sandy conditions, blazingly fast gravel descents, multiple long climbs in and out of the rural Bijou Basin, and a predictably challenging wind ripping across the prairie.
In the Marathon race, COS Racing took three top-3 podium positions within a field of 125 racers. Zamot continued his streak of victories with a first-place finish in the Mens 19-29 age group results and 13th overall. Andrew Chamberlin likewise took the top step in Mens 30-39 with a notable 19th place overall. Dave Neis rounded out to top-threes with a third place in the highly competitive Mens 40-49 category despite finishing 8th overall.
In the day’s largest event, thirteen COS Racers took to the start line of the Sprint race, including four members of our women’s race team. LeeAnn Perea, Emily Reynolds, and Wendy Stalnaker finished 2nd , 3rd , and 4th respectively in the Womens 40-49 category, while Cindi Brothers continued her successful run of second places in Womens 50-59. All COS Racing women finished in the top-10 of a very competitive women’s field of over 35 racers.
The Men’s race showcased a field of approximately 100 male racers. COS Racing netted five top-3 age-group finishes, including first place in each of the men’s categories 30-39, 40-49, and 50-59. The day’s best performance came from veteran racer, Vlad Dragomirov, who seized second place in the general classification (GC) while winning the Mens 40-49 race. In Mens 30-39, debutante racer André Blyth won the Mens 30-39 category in his first race with COS Racing, finishing 16th overall, while Michael Brothers stood on the top step of the Mens 50-59 podium – only slightly behind Dragomirov with a solid 5th place GC finish. Not to be outdone, club racer Steve Johnson and veteran graveleur Tracy Sharples went 2nd and 3rd in Mens 60+. Additional Mens 50-59 racers included Ron Budhi (4th), George York (7th), J. Erik Hartel (8th), and Michael Elmer (10th). All nine COS Racing male race team members finished in the top 30 overall resulting in a commanding overall team performance in a field of 100 racers.
Three additional COS Racing-affiliated team members competed in this event. These included Seth Hurley (Criterium Bikes) who placed second in the Mens 29-29 category of the Ultra race, and club team members Kristine Johnson (DNA) and Kris Lemond (SoCo Velo) who won the Sprint 60+ category and took 3rd in Womens 50-59, respectively.
Still to come is today’s cross-country mountain bike race. COS Racing will be represented by at least Michael Brothers who is going for a hat-trick of podiums at this year’s event.
Mad Gravel is the creation of Rattler Racing. In only its second year, this event brought out almost 500 racers for three days of gravel and mountain biking challenges at the McNeil Scout Ranch. New to this year’s iteration was the circuit race and an XC MTB event to be held on Memorial Day.