The Red Devils mountain biking team got a chance to represent Grand County on Saturday, Oct. 21 when the Utah Cycling League came to Moab to host the Slickrock Thriller.
The fact that the race even took place was a great relief to all of the riders, given the fact the last two races were cancelled due to inclement weather conditions. Most of the Devils had not raced since mid-September because of the cancellations — and Slickrock would provide the riders their opportunity to shake off the rust and get back into the fold.
The North Region race consisted of 739 racers from schools all over the state and a six-mile course traversing the jagged terrain of the North 40 Trail, Lazy and EZ Trails, and Bar M. At the head of the pack for the Red Devils, sophomore Kenobi Clapper blazed past the competition to steal first place in his 12-mile circuit. Following an incredible dash in the final stretch, Clapper edged out the closest two riders by a margin of less than two seconds, finishing with an overall time of 56:52.
Three riders from the JV squad finished in the top 20, including Elijah Topper in the No. 10 spot with a time of 58:12, Wyatt Gholson at No. 15 with a time of 58:20, and Griffin Shannon at No. 19 with a time of 1:01:13.
Head coach Melissa Nerone was pleased to see progress among the riders, stating “Most of these boys improved on their results from their only other race this season.”
The Devils’ only varsity rider is Tyler Moreau, who took 37th place in his 18-mile race with a time of 1:33:32. The team also has only one girl rider, Annie Kopell, who finished her 12-mile race at 21st, finishing at 1:11:09.
The team results had Grand County coming in fifth among the Division 2 teams, leaving them ranked sixth overall.
“The overall series leaders to note are Kenobi Clapper, the sixth place sophomore boy and Elijah Topper, in ninth place for JV boys,” Nerone said.
The Devils’ next race will be held Oct. 28 at Eagle Mountain. This race will make up for a previously snowed-out event.