21 for 21 at 18 Road

Perfect weekend for LTR cycling DEVO team

Mountain bikers hit a hilltop on the short-track, cross-country course at the Rumble at 18 Road races on Sunday, the second of two days of competition at the North Fruita Desert Trails.

Tyler Eaton of Gypsum charges through a downhill section of the short-track, cross-country course at the Rumble at 18 Road mountain bike races on Sunday. Eaton won the men’s 19-39 Cat 2 division race.

Over the weekend, the Livetrainrace (LTR) cycling DEVO team went 21 for 21 in qualifying riders for the Juniors USA Cycling race in Trexlertown, Pa.

According to coach Mike Driver, the 18-and-under squad qualified every single rider who competed at this weekend’s Rumble at 18 Road mountain bike races, which took place on the North Fruita Desert Trails.

The sweeping success comes a year removed from an influx of talent.

“Last year versus this year, every one of them did a fantastic job,” Driver said. “The depth of the team this year is incredible. Out of our 21 riders who competed, we qualified all of those. These LTR DEVOs are a powerhouse. There’s so much talent.”

Racers need to place in the top 10 in a qualifying race such as the Rumble at 18 Road to earn a berth to the national event. Qualifying slots are fought for among a five-state region, Driver said.

“It really started last year,” he explained. “We started working with the kids last year. It’s been a year in the making, qualifying these kids, and now they’re starting to see their dividends paying off.”

Driver said that the DEVOs’ passion stems from three steps.

“First and foremost, they have to have fun on the bike,” Driver said. “Then we’ll sit down with the kid and work out a training program based on their goals. What do they want to do? Maybe they want to qualify for nationals. Maybe they want to place top 10 for nationals. Maybe they want to shoot for a shot on an Olympic team. Any of those goals, we sit down and tailor a program based on that.”

The DEVO program has seen an uptick in young talent, as evidenced by the emergence of Marta and Birgit Morris. Marta, 16, and Birgit, 14, have dominated races against significantly older competition.

“Those two are a powerhouse duo,” Driver said. “We went down to a race in St. George, Utah, and Birgit, as a 13-year-old, beat the 19- to 39-year-old women and won the race. They’re great, and they’re very down to earth. They’re great ambassadors for the sport.”


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