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Two crashes and one dropped chain later, Fernando Riveros wins at Rhyolite Park Cross

September 16, 2015
Fernando Riveros opened a gap at Rhyolite Park Cross and held it to win

Fernando Riveros opened a gap at Rhyolite Park Cross and held it to win

He pops in from time to time and when he does the field takes notice.

Fernando Riveros (full name Hector Fernando Riveros Paez) races mountain bikes for the Raleigh Clement Professional Cycling Team. In the off-season – living as he does in Colorado Springs and not far from some super-competitive local and UCI cyclocross races – he likes to try his hand at them. Even if he starts in the last row or falls behind due to a mechanical, he fights like nobody’s business to move up in position.

On Sunday he took a solo win in the men’s elite Rhyolite Park Cross race. He succeeded despite crashing off the bike twice and dropping a chain once. Upon hearing that story a fellow competitor replied, “Don’t tell me that.”

Riveros appeared collected on the bike, but it wasn’t easy. “I was suffering because I haven’t trained at all so I was breathing hard,” he said.

Lap one leaders

Lap one leaders

Like the women’s field the strongest men emerged early on. Riveros took the hole shot. Alongside him the first lap were: Spencer Powlison (Evol Racing), Tim Allen (Feedback Sports), Brady Kappius (CLIF Bar) and Jason Donald (Skratch Labs). Ken Benesh (Evol Racing) took part in the group then dropped off in the second circuit.

In the opening lap Riveros misjudged a corner and kissed the paved pedestrian path.

“I just recovered and let the group pull me back,” he late explained. “I waited and waited to see when to attack. I saw I was really strong on the run-up and that’s where I attacked.”

For the second half of the race he churned through sand, breathed in the dry track’s dust, and sailed over the triple barriers alone off the front. Kappius, Allen, and Donald chased but couldn’t close the gap. Donald faded near the end.

Allen came in 12 seconds behind Riveros. Kappius and Donald followed in third and fourth. A retired pro roadie, Donald has taken to ‘cross and plans to compete more.

He and the rest of the men’s elite field can try to take their revenge this coming weekend in Boulder’s Valmont Bike Park at the Cyclo X series’ first engagement of the season. Riveros, who is not on the Raleigh-Clement cyclocross roster, is looking forward to it.

“I’m really stoked,” he said about the Rhyolite result. “I’ve been off the bike, not training at all. I’m just riding for fun because my [mountain bike] season is over. If I get last or I get first it’s the same for me because it’s just for fun.”

For full results, see the Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado’s website.

Men's podium (l to r): Brady Kappius 3rd, Fernando Riveros 1st, Tim Allen 2nd, Jason Donald 4th

Men’s podium (l to r): Brady Kappius 3rd, Fernando Riveros 1st, Tim Allen 2nd, Jason Donald 4th

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