FORT COLLINS, 25 July 2022 – Sunday was another fine race day for COS Racing at FoCo Gravel, with at least eleven riders racing on a nicely overcast day in Fort Collins, Colorado. The day’s events resulted in six podiums across two races, including three first places. Overall, COS Racing raced in all three of the day’s events – the 53-, 102-, and an epic 142-mile race. The races featured miles of gravel grinding on various surfaces, including pristine gravel, pavement, challenging doubletrack, and a sloppy CX-style finishing stretch with deep mud and standing water.
The largest and most successful showing for COS Racing took place in the 53-mile race, with eight COS Riders competing in a field of 368 racers. Our highest placed rider, Curtis Singmaster, took 4th place overall in a reduced sprint from the chase group. COS Racing also owned the top step in three of the Masters age-group categories – MM 40+, 50+, and 60+ – and 2nd step in 60+. Age group podium places went to Aaron Sudduth (1st MM 40+), J. Erik Hartel (1st MM 50+), Kevin Healy (1st MM 60+), and Tracy Sharples (2nd MM 60+).
In the 53-miler, COS Racing controlled the front of the race for much of the first 15 miles; however, by mile 15, three breakaway riders went clear. In the chase that followed, Hartel, Singmaster, and Sudduth found themselves in a strong chase group of eleven riders. In a surprising move for his first race of the season, Sudduth quietly rode off the front of this group on a fast descent with about 23 miles to go, opening a gap of over two minutes at one point while Hartel and Singmaster played a subtle defense in the chase group.
After the race, Curtis Singmaster noted, “at one point, I rotated to the front and slowly brought the speed [of the chase group] from 22mph to 17mph, and no one noticed or came around. This opened a huge gap.”
Despite these efforts, the chase group caught Sudduth with about five miles remaining after he cramped. In the ensuing run to the line, the chase group shattered, but Singmaster led the survivors across the line and secured fourth place overall. Sudduth and Hartel followed separately shortly after that, while Andre Blythe, who was in the second chase group on the gravel, came across the line two minutes later. In the day’s closest finish, Masters Racers Kevin Healy and Tracy Sharples fought through the mud of the finishing stretch side-by-side, but Healy took the day with a bike throw. This was good enough to earn them 1st and 2nd place in the Masters 60+ category.
In the 102 miler, Dave Neis and Chris Milthaler competed for COS Racing. This race featured a detour northward towards the Wyoming border and a bonus out-and-back climb towards the Front Range. In an event with over 210 riders, Neis took tenth overall and 1st in MM 40+, while Milthaler, mainly known for mountain biking, impressively finished in 31st place overall and fifth in his age group. Both riders averaged almost 20mph on a course that featured slow gravel in areas and nearly 5000ft of climbing. Dave and Chris also earned the coveted “FoCo bolo-tie” in recognition.
Lastly, in the day’s capstone event, the 145-mile “Triple Dog Dare You” race, Sipha Simelane finished in just under nine hours to take 21st place overall and 8th in age-group, also earning the FoCo Fondo bolo tie. This race took riders all over Northern Colorado and into the Rockies. This brutal event included a 27-mile, 2200ft climb to the 100-mile mark.
Additional teammates who raced included Cindi Brothers* (53mi, 103rd GC/6th AG) and George York (53mi, 33rs GC/8th AG) .
Congratulations to everyone on a great day of racing in Northern Colorado, and thanks to our sponsors for making this possible.
- *Cindi’s results are still being re-tabulated as of the publication of this report.
Full results can be found at: LINK
Complete event Info can ve found at: LINK