Local high school student seeded No. 1 in Cup Race
Middle Park High School sophomore Kellen Lutz, 15, is heading into this weekend’s Mountain States Cup mountain bike race at Winter Park Resort as Colorado’s No. 1 seeded downhill bike racer in his age group. He was series champion last year and is looking to defend his CAT 2 title after a summer racing around Colorado in Mountain States events. He races downhill and dual slalom and has just started participating in four-cross events this year. Lutz said he can’t remember the first time he ever rode a bike – although he figures he was probably about 5 years old at the time. But he definitely remembers the first time he got on a downhill bike four years ago. He was working at the Totally Wired Cyclery in Fraser and asked friend Cody Wilderman to take him downhill biking, maybe throw him a few tips. By the end of their first day riding together, Wilderman was convinced that Lutz was a natural. That same summer Lutz participated in the Angelfire race in New Mexico. “It was a World Cup downhill track and it was the first serious race I’d ever participated in,” Lutz said. He finished fourth in the 12 and under category that day. “It felt so natural,” he recalls. “I could jump on a bike without being uncontrolled – I felt like I was in control the whole time. It was an amazing experience to be a part of that scene with a bunch of professionals around me.”Lutz is now a member of the Rocky Mountain Roastery team and trains at SolVista three days a week with coaching from Peter Hanak and Cody Wilderman. Lutz also plays varsity soccer and track on the high school team, and skis for fun in the winter. But riding is his greatest passion. After this year, he moves up to Category 1, which is a step below professional. “I hope I can make it to the junior world championships,” he said. “I hope I can make it there and travel around the world.”Lutz said he’s headed to college in a few years, maybe to play soccer or track, and to study medicine. “I’m in my first med class now, which is just the first aid medical class that’s a prerequisite for EMT or human anatomy,” he said. That’s a lot of plans and passions for a 15-year-old. But, during this weekend’s races at Winter Park, Lutz said he will be thinking about one thing only: “Riding my bike fast.”For race information, go to the Mountain States cup website at http://www.racemsc.com.
Winter Park Resort held its first-ever pond crossing during Crankworx Colorado in July. “It was wildly, beyond our expectations, popular with the crowd and participants,” said Mistalynn Lee, communications manager for the resort. The second “Intergalactic Pond Crossing Competition” will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, as part of the Mountain States Cup event. The pond crossing “levels the playing field for all mountain bike racers,” Lee said. This event features a floating course that crosses the Winter Park Village Pond. Athletes will race their bike across the 8 inch wide wooden track vying for the fastest time. This “winner takes all” event will make the fastest ride $500 richer.Important DetailsThe entry fee is $5 per crossing with a maximum of four crossings per rider. $500 cash will be awarded to the athlete with the fastest time OVERALL.Category Awards will be given the fastest time for: Junior Men- 18 & Under, Junior Women- 18 & Under, Men 19 & Up and Women 19 & Up.No rental bikes can be used for this event. The event is capped at 40 participants so sign up early at registration. Number written in permanent marker on hand is athlete “plate”. Bikes will be outfitted with a floating tether. Winter Park is not responsible for damage to bikes. Helmets are required and will be provided starting at 3:30 day of event. Athletes will be required to wear a life vest, provided on the day of event. Costumes are encouraged. The leader will sit in the Hot Seat located in the gazebo.
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