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Riley Amos dominates UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Czech Republic

Christopher Blevins also secured a podium
Riley Amos rides on the course in Centennial Park during the U.S. Pro Cup in Fayetteville Arkansas earlier this season. (Courtesy Kai Caddy)

Durango’s Riley Amos has been unbeatable in UCI Mountain Bike World Cup events this year. The 22-year-old continued his impressive form in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic this past weekend.

Amos took victories in the U-23 XCO (cross-country Olympic) race and the U-23 XCC (cross-country short track) race.

The Trek Factory Racing-Pirelli rider finished first out of 109 riders who finished the men’s U-23 XCO race with a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 31 seconds after six laps around the 2.3-mile track. Luca Martin finished second in the U-23 XCO race 17 seconds behind Amos.

Amos got up to the front in the first lap after a climb. Martin took the lead back later in the lap. Amos battled back on the second lap to retake the lead.

The Durangoan really pushed the pace in the third lap and created a big gap. Amos maintained a 10+ second gap the final few laps and cruised to victory.

In the men’s U-23 XCC race, Amos finished first with a time of 20:25 which was a second better than second place Dario Lillio.

Amos has won all six of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup U-23 events this year and will be competing in Paris for the United States in mountain biking in this summer’s Olympic Games.

Durango’s Christopher Blevins struggled in the men’s elite XCO race and finished 29th after seven laps around the track.

Blevins finished with a time of 1:25:24 which was 3:43 slower than winner Thomas Pidcock.

Luckily on Saturday, the men’s elite XCC race went better for Blevins as he finished second behind his Specialized Factory Racing teammate Victor Koretzky with the exact same finishing time of 19:34.

At the beginning of the XCC race, Blevins was in the middle of the pack and moved up into the top 10 in the middle of the eight-lap race. He entered the final lap outside the top five but had a fantastic climb during the final lap to get into the top three and sprinted to the finish for second place.

Blevins hasn’t officially made the United States Olympics team but he is in great shape to do so.

“A mixed bag in Nove Mesto, but a good weekend all in all,” Blevins wrote on Instagram. “I was dealing with a bit of a sore throat yesterday, but felt great in short track and brought in another 1-2 punch with Victor Koretzky. Today I woke up feeling proper sick, but was ready to give it a go in the XC still. There wasn't much in the tank, but I rode the best race I could for 29th on the day, and up to 2nd in the overall standings. Always love the feeling of racing here. Now time to get healthy and build toward the big one in July!”

Durango’s Savilia Blunk was also competing in Nové Město na Moravě. She finished 22nd in the women’s elite XCC race on Saturday and 12th in the women’s elite XCO race on Sunday.

In the women’s elite XCC race, Blunk finished with a time of 19:28 which was 22 seconds behind winner Alessandra Keller.

Blunk’s finishing time of 1:28:36 in the women’s elite XCO race was 3:52 behind winner Pauline Ferrand Prevot.

Durango’s Bailey Cioppa also competed in this World Cup. She finished 40th in the women’s U-23 XCO with a time of 1:27:42 which was 11:48 behind winner Isabella Holmgren.

Cioppa finished 18th in the women’s U-23 XCC race with a time of 21:02 which was 27 seconds behind Holmgren who also won the women’s U-23 XCC race.

Durango resident Cole Paton finished ninth in the men’s elite XCM (cross-country marathon) race on Sunday at Nové Město na Moravě. Paton finished the two-lap, 76-mile race in 4:42:41, which was 2:56 behind winner Fabian Rabensteiner.

“Ninth for me yesterday at the XCM World Cup,” Paton wrote on Instagram. “I was stoked to make this fit in my calendar and it felt nostalgic to be back on the circuit … It was a super tight race and we had a huge group battling for positions in and out of single track all day. I learned from some mistakes and kept the engine revved on the limit for almost 5 hours.”

bkelly@durangoherald.com