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By Kate Agathon, Campus Cycles

July 1, 2024–Cycling fans, make sure to have both United States and Colorado flags on hand to show your pride while watching the 2024 Olympic Games. Four Coloradans (Riley Amos, Christopher Blevins, Savilia Blunk, and Olivia Cummins) are on the 23-person USA Cycling Olympic Team roster and will compete in Paris, France.

Of the four, three have Durango roots, including mountain bikers Amos, Blevins, and Blunk (Blunk raced for Fort Lewis College from 2018-2021). Track cyclist Cummins calls Fort Collins her hometown.

What is especially noteworthy is that 2024 will mark the seventh consecutive games where Colorado (specifically the southwestern town of Durango) will have a male cyclist compete in mountain biking in the Olympic Games.

Another chapter to Durango’s storied history as a cradle for world class cyclists will be written this summer.

We have an exceptionally strong team this year heading into Paris 2024, especially on the mountain bike side where there are deep Colorado roots.

On the men’s side, both Olympic mountain bikers (Amos and Blevins) hail from Durango and carry forward the town’s prominent Olympic legacy,” said USA Cycling.

“They (Amos and Blevins) join the ranks of the Olympic mountain bikers that came before them –Travis Brown (’00), Todd Wells (’04, ’08, ’12), and Howard Grotts (’16) marking the 2024 Olympics as the seventh consecutive Games in which a male cyclist from Durango will compete,” USA Cycling noted.

Riley Amos and Christopher Blevins as teens–Durango Herald

Fortunately, for the United States and Colorado, USA Cycling earned the maximum quota of mountain bike riders after its men finished in the top five and women in the top three in the UCI qualification rankings.

Chris Winn, Colorado Mountain Bike Association (COMBA) Marketing and Outreach Manager, is especially excited at the prospect of Durango mountain bikers competing on the world stage.

“The duo of Christopher Blevins and Riley Amos is an incredibly promising combination for the USA in the men’s Olympic cross-country race,” he said. “Both have had fantastic success so far this season, with World Cup wins in the Elite and U23 categories, and with that proven success on the world stage, a medal is definitely within reach. “I can’t wait to watch the race unfold as these two continue to put Colorado cycling on the map!” he continued.

2024 Olympic Games

The 2024 Summer Olympics will take place July 26 to August 11 in Paris.

For all 16 days, the 23 athletes of the USA Cycling Olympic Team will compete in five disciplines: road cycling, mountain biking, track cycling, BMX racing, and BMX freestyle.

According to Palermo, in the weeks leading up to the Olympic Games, the athletes will be fully immersed in a rigorous training regimen designed to fine-tune their performance and maximize their potential.

On average, they will be training between 2 to 5 hours a day, encompassing a mix of endurance rides, interval training, strength conditioning, and technical skills practice. Here’s a quick snapshot of who will not only be repping the U.S., but the Centennial State as well.

Riley Amos, Photo: USA Cycling/Jack Tennyson

Riley Amos, IG: rj_amos

Hometown: Durango, Age: 22

Discipline: Mountain Bike Team: Trek Factory Racing

When you’re raised in Durango, your first coach is mountain biking legend Todd Wellsand your fellow cyclists in your youth recreational mountain bike club include Christopher Blevins and Quinn Simmonsyou’re pretty much destined for a future in mountain biking.

The first American man to win a U23 World Cup in the XCO discipline, Riley Amos got his start riding with Durango I MUST while he was in second grade. In high school, Amos competed in the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) high school mountain bike league and won four USA Cycling national titles as a junior.

Soon after, he cut his teeth on big-time racing with Bear Development National Team. Amos continued to rise through the ranks of the international stage landing on numerous U23 XCO World Cup podiums, taking his first win in 2021 at Leogang, Austria while racing a joint program with Bear and Trek Factory Racing. In 2023, he broke through again with XCO wins in Andorra and Mont-Sainte-Anne, and a short track win in Snowshoe.

This is his final year racing U23, and Amos is making sure it is close to perfect as it can be. Heading into the Olympics, his 2024 season includes being on the podium at four World Cups, winning seven out of eight starts, and racking up one short track second-place finish.

Fun Fact: Amos is the youngest ever U23 World Cup Winner. His first World Cup Win was in 2021 when he was 19. However, he felt that his 2023 win in Andora was a “Way bigger moment, because I finally figured out how to race at that level.”

Fun Fact: He enjoys fly fishing.

Christopher Blevins, Photo: USA Cycling/Jack Tennyson

Christopher Blevins, IG: christopherblevs

Hometown: Durango. Age: 26

Discipline: Mountain Bike Team: Specialized Factory Racing

2024 will be the second trip to the Olympics to compete in mountain biking for Christopher Blevins. Like many of his contemporaries, Blevins is a versatile rider and has competed in multiple disciplines including BMX, mountain, road (Hagens Berman Axeon), and cyclocross.

The Short Track World Champion got his start in BMX at the age of 5 years and spent his elementary and middle school years competing in BMX nationals (he won eight national championships between elementary and high school). During his BMX years as a youth, he suffered some major injuries, including a fractured skull that left him permanently deaf in his left ear.

At age 12, he added mountain and road biking to his racing schedule. During his teen years, he rode with Durango I MUST along with future national champion and 2016 Olympian Howard Grotts and future 2023 Back to Spain champion, Sepp Kiss.

As a teenager, he found great success in both mountain biking (national cross country champion) and road cycling (national champion at age 16 years). For the first two seasons of his U23 career, he raced for Axeon on the road bike, and Specialized Racing on the mountain bike.

In 2018, he won U23 cyclocross nationals, a stage of the Tour of the Gila, and later in the year was 2nd at the Cross-Country World Championship. In 2019, he decided to focus on mountain biking with an eye on the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

He never forgot his Durango roots. In a recent Pinkbike interviewhe credits “Growing up in Durango and being around mountain biking” as “The biggest impact on why I chose mountain biking.”

Other notable achievements leading up to the 2024 Olympics include the inaugural men’s cross-country Short Track World Championship at the 2021 UCI Mountain Bike World Championship, the 2023 Cape Epicand the first round of the UCI XCO World Cup in 2024.

Fun Fact: His favorite pre-race meal is pancakes and coffee.

Fun Fact: His other passions include creative writing, poetry and music. He typically has his headphones on, where his music list includes anything from Kendrick Lamar, JID, and Mos Def to Bon Iver and Hippo Campus.

Savilia Blunk, Photo: USA Cycling/Jack Tennyson

Savilia Blunk. IG: saviliablunk

Collegetown: Durango Age: 25

Discipline: Mountain Bike Team: Decathlon Ford Racing Team

Two-time national cross-country champion Savilia Blunk attended Fort Lewis College in Durango (where she and her partner 2023 USA Cycling Mountain Bike Marathon National Champion Cole Paton currently reside part time) from 2018-21 where she raced for the Skyhawks.

She and her two older brothers were homeschooled and spent their free time riding bikes in the family’s backyard. Unlike her Colorado-based teammates who began competing at a young age, Blunk did not begin racing until she went to high school and joined NICA. As a teenager, she did her first European race camp with USA Cycling.

Enduring Colorado winters in Durango forced her to change up her training regime, that sometimes included forcing her to get off the bike and embrace snow sports, such as nordic skiing. She noted that “Being in Durango really challenged me to kind of let go of that regimented-ness, which was really healthy for me and try something new.”

Although she did a couple of cyclocross races while attending FLC, her racing focus has always been on cross country mountain biking. She raced as a junior with Bear National Team, created her own team in 2021 with her partner, won the U23 XC and elite short track (XCC) titles in 2021, was second in the elite short track race in 2022, and signed with her first World Cup team in 2023.

The 2024 Elite National Champion in XCO and XCC, she boasts 8 national titles, 2 U23 World Cup podiums, and several Elite World Cup podiums.

Fun Fact: Blunk maintains a blog, where she provides recipes and offers lifestyle tips including advice on sleeping and rest day tips.

Olivia Cummins, Photo: USA Cyclin

Olivia Cummins,IG: @_olivia.cummins

Hometown: Ft. Collins Age: 20

Discipline: Track. Team: DNA Pro Cycling

At 20-years-old, Olivia Cummins is the youngest female on the USA Cycling Olympic Team.

Currently a student at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction where she’s majoring in Psychology while earning a minor in Sports Management, Cummins will have the distinction of being CMU’s first active student-athlete to compete in the Olympics.

Her earliest memory of road racing was when she was just 5-years-old and impetuously signed up for and won a local race. In 2017she began racing track as well.

In 2021, Cummins finished eighth in the Time Trial and 24th in the Road Race at the UCI Junior Road World Championships in Belgium. In 2022, she placed second in the elite women’s time trial at the USA Cycling Pro Road National Championships.

A member of the reigning national champion Colorado Mesa Cycling Team, she also won the 2023 Maverick Classic criterium.

Recentlyshe raced at her first Redlands Bicycle Classic and was able to podium in two of the stages, the time trial and criterium, as well as win the green points leader jersey. This will be her first Olympics. Interestingly, she had initially set her sights on the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, not Paris.

The 2024 Olympic Games only became a possibility last year, when she was invited to race with the A team in Team Pursuit at the Elite Nations Cup in Canada. After the event, she decided to focus on track cycling instead of road cycling. The rest? It’s Olympic history.

Fun Fact: Her spirit animal is a llama.

#Meet #Colorado #Athletes #USA #Cyclings #Olympic #Team #303Endurance

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