Six from Durango named to USA Cycling’s mountain bike world championships roster

Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 5:05 PM
From left, Fort Lewis College’s Savilia Blunk and Durango’s Maddie Jo Robbins, Howard Grotts and Quinn Simmons earned a combined five national titles in West Virginia two weeks ago. Now, all of them will travel to Switzerland for the world championships in September.

Durango-based mountain bikers could fill a private jet when they load up for the world championships next month.

Six of the 41 riders selected for the USA Cycling roster for the 2018 International Cycling Union (UCI) Mountain Bike World Championships have Durango ties. The event will be held Sept. 5-9 in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

Four of those six are native to Durango, as Christopher Blevins, Howard Grotts, Madeline Robbins and Quinn Simmons were named to the team. Savilia Blunk and Cole Paton, a pair of Fort Lewis College riders, also were selected.

All six of Durango’s athletes will compete in cross-country mountain biking. Downhill events also will be contested the same week in Switzerland.

Durangoans will make up 24 percent of the cross-country team for the world championships. All of them earned automatic qualification through the national championships.

Grotts, the 2016 Olympic selection for USA Cycling, is the four-time defending cross-country national champion at the age of 25. He will race in the elite men’s field along with USA teammates Keegan Swenson of Park City, Utah, and Luke Vrouwenvelder of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.


Blevins, 20, won the short-track national championship in the elite men’s field this year and was third in the elite cross-country race. He will race in the under-23 men’s age division along with Paton.

Cole Paton of Fort Lewis College was third in the collegiate cross-country national championship race last fall and fifth in the men’s under-23 national title race two weeks ago. He was selected for the USA Cycling world championship team this September in Switzerland.

The only team Durango won’t have a rider in is the elite women’s field. Kate Courtney of San Francisco, of Specialized Racing, will lead that team including New York’s Lea Davidson, Boulder’s Erin Huck, Maine’s Ellen Noble and Arizona’s Chloe Woodruff.