Emmett McManus is proving to be in a class of his own, leaving his mountain biking opponents in the dust.
The Durango High School cyclist has won all three of his races this year by over a minute, including the Haymaker Classic last Sunday. McManus finished first out of 32 riders with a time of one hour, nine minutes and five seconds. Second-place finisher Ben Garmany had a time of 1:10:21.
“I've been training a lot, just doing a lot of hours on my road bike and mountain bike too,” McManus said. “I’ve been riding with Durango Devo a lot and it was my first time camping with a sleeping pad. So I got a really good night's sleep the night before. Then I was just able to really enjoy the course and then ride away for the win.”
McManus said the Haymaker Classic course suited his riding style with the fast and flowing first section and the steep climbs of the second section. He also said he was able to exert less effort on the descent as the Colorado league courses are less technical.
The first lap of the race was very close with McManus leading by one second, but his stamina separated him from the rest of the riders. On the final lap, McManus was 40 seconds faster than anyone else.
Durango’s success as a team has coincided with McManus’ success. The Demons have won the first three events as well.
McManus’ gave a lot of credit to Durango Devo.
“They take us on these trips which help the athletes develop not only as athletes but as people,” McManus said. “So it's just like a camping weekend with your friends. I think them being a little bit more chill than what I've heard about with a lot of other sports teams has really helped develop me and a lot of my friends just as people.”
After opening the season with three straight victories, McManus’ goal is to win the state championship in Glenwood Springs — a goal that seems feasible with his recent form.