Bailey Cioppa of Durango High School is now a state champion varsity mountain biker. Cioppa scored a first-place finish Sunday in the varsity girls championship race at Durango Mesa, winning by over 40 seconds in 1 hour, 29 minutes and 33 seconds.
She said the title feels, “so good.”
“When I was a freshman I was definitely not the strongest,” Cioppa said. “It’s been a long season, but I’m excited to end it on a high note.”
Cioppa hung with the lead pack for the first few miles, but started to pull away by the end of the first of three 6.5 mile loops.
“I knew those girls would want to go with me if I attacked,” Cioppa said. “The first lap I was definitely analyzing who who was stronger today and everybody’s strongest and weakest points.”
After the second lap, Cioppa had a lead of roughly one minute and she never looked back.
“I was like, ‘I have to go for it,’” she said. “This is my last ever NICA race so I might as well go out strong.”
Three other Durango Devo riders scored top-four finishes on Sunday.
Maddy Glotfelty, of Animas High School, placed fourth in the varsity girls race behind Cioppa.
Liam Bezek crossed second in the sophomore boys race, finishing just .12 seconds behind Boulder’s Eli Deboom.
Ivan Sippy finished third in the varsity boys race, 1.22 seconds behind the winner from Fairview, Liam Baartman. Boulder’s Johnny Stanzione finished second.
In the other race contested on Sunday, the sophomore girls’ competition, Haydin Hludzinski of Boulder claimed the crown.
As a team, Durango finished third in division one with 6,561 points. Boulder won the state title with 7,162 and Boulder-Fairview finished second with 7,791. Golden placed fourth with 6,504 and Fort Collins-Rocky Mountain placed fifth with 6,079.
In division three, Animas finished in ninth place with 1,828 points. Laramie 7220 won the title with 2,188 points, followed by Leadville (2,210) and Crested Butte (2,095) in third.
The Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy won the division two title with 4,688 points, followed by Steamboat (3,937) and Eagle Valley (3,799).
Final results are available at https://my.raceresult.com/184771/
See Wednesday’s edition of the Durango Herald for the complete story.