Trinidad, Colorado – September 30, 2023 – In a solid display of grit and determination, COS Racing showcased their gravel prowess at the Rad Dirt Fest held in Trinidad, Colorado. Nine COS Racing riders competed across two race distances in an event that featured relentless Colorado sun and the rugged terrain of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The day’s standout performance came from Aaron Sudduth, who clinched an impressive 4th place finish out of 216 riders in the 40-mile “Frijoles” race. At the same time, Robin Schroyer captured 7th place in a talented women’s field, solidifying COS Racing’s reputation as a strong force in Colorado gravel cycling. In the men’s race, Sudduth was followed closely by Masters’ racer Tracy Sharples, who achieved a commendable 9th place finish. George York secured a solid 14th place in the same demanding race.
In the 68-mile “Anteloop” event, Emily Reynolds and new team member Stephen Masopust achieved 9th and 14th in their age groups, respectively.
Back in the Frijoles race, COS Racing was highly visible throughout – particularly on the challenging doubletrack circuit around Lake Trinidad, where most of the top dozen wore the orange-and-blue jerseys of COS Racing. On that same segment, which Sudduth described as more reminiscent of cyclocross than gravel, Sudduth and Erik Hartel went clear of the bunch with a few companions, eventually achieving more than a one-minute gap over a chasing group led by Sharples.
Unfortunately, just before the 7215-ft summit turn-around, Sudduth flatted. On the 7-mile rolling descent through Burro Canyon, Hartel – now alone – wilted in the 25mph headwinds and was eventually overtaken again by Sudduth, who had joined forces with Sharples in a five-person chase group. By mile 39, Sudduth slipped away from that group and finished just off the podium in 4th.
In other finishes, Matt Wright took 23rd , and Mike Elmer finished in 33rd place. All COS Racing riders finished in the top 20% of their fields, except Hartel, who abandoned late in the race.