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Blunk wins pro women’s national title

Blevins finishes second in pro men’s race
Savilia Blunk pedals her way to a pro women's cross-country national title on Saturday in Winter Park. (Courtesy Chad Cheeney)

Savilia Blunk of the Orange Seal Off-Road Team scored a pro women’s cross-country national title on Saturday in Winter Park.

The former Fort Lewis College cyclist finished first in 1 hour, 13 minutes and 15 seconds, beating her closest competitor, Kate Courtney of Scott-SRAM, by 1 minute and 43 seconds. Gwendalyn Gibson of Norco Factory Team finished third (1:15:23).

Blunk also won a national title last year in the women’s U23 division.

In the pro men’s cross-country championship, Christopher Blevins of Specialized Factory Racing finished second behind Keegan Swenson. Swenson (Santa Cruz Bicycles) took a huge lead of roughly 1:45 on the first of four laps. Blevins closed the gap a little, but was unable to catch Swenson, who won his third straight pro men’s title in 1:22:52.

Blevins finished second in 1:24:28, followed by Eric Brunner of Blue Competition Cycles in third (+1:41) and Durango riders Howard Grotts of Specialized (fourth, 1:24:41), Stephan Davoust of Giant Factory Off Road (fifth, 1:27:17) and Cole Paton of Orange Seal Off-Road (seventh, 1:27:56).

Riley Amos of Trek Factory Racing was also planning on racing in the pro men’s race, but was unable to compete after breaking his collar bone during a training ride this week.

In the U23 women’s cross-country championship, Michaela Thompson of Team Durango Segment 28 reached the podium with a third-place finish. Madigen Munro of Trek Factory Racing won the title in 1:17:19, followed by Sofia Waite of WE Development (1:18:10) and Thompson (1:19:51). Aleah Austin of Team Durango Segment 28 finished 10th in 1:28:48) while Ruth Holcomb of Bear National Team did not finish.

In the men’s U23 championship, Cobe Freeburn of Bear National Team led the local contingent with a seventh-place finish (1:30:19), finishing 5:20 after the winner, Bjorn Riley of Trek Vaude (1:24:59). Ivan Sippy of Team Durango Segment 28 finished 17th (1:34:22). Ian Kutzleb placed 23rd in 1:35:32, followed by Henry Nelson of Fort Lewis College (26th, 1:36:48) Beckett Ledger of FLC (35th, 1:41:10) and George Piepgras of FLC, who finished 56th after getting dropped after two laps.

This year’s Iron Horse Bicycle Classic’s mountain bike and roost master champion, Brayden Johnson of Bear Factory Racing, finished second in the U23 championship (1:25:14).

In the enduro competitions, Amy Haggart of Durango won the master women’s 50-59 national title on Saturday.

Ben Mackenzie also reached the podium in the junior men’s 17-18 enduro, placing third.

Complete results at https://my.raceresult.com/groups/5075/