Swirbul, Mickey win Vail Pass time trial in Colorado Classic preview
VAIL — Keegan Swirbul found out about the Vail Pass time trial race a few days before it was set to begin.
It proved to be a $2,000 discovery.
Swirbul, a rider for the Jelly Belly Professional Cycling Team who is an Aspen High School graduate, rode to victory on Sunday in a tough race up Vail Pass.
In addition to the nice payday, the race will also serve as a tune-up for the Aug. 16-19 Colorado Classic, which will also feature the Vail Pass time trial as the second stage of the four-stage race.
“Barring any accidents or injuries, I should be back in August with Jelly Belly,” Swirbul said.
Swirbul said the course — a classic route that dates back to the ’70s in Vail — was running fast on Sunday.
“We had a pretty solid tail wind, which made it a couple less minutes of suffering,” he said.
The payout was also $2,000 for women’s winner Abigail Mickey.
“There’s no other races that offer that kind of payout,” Swirbul said. “That helps out, for sure.”
Swirbul now heads to Canada for the Tour de Beauce, and will compete in U.S. nationals and the Tour of Utah before heading back to Vail for the Colorado Classic.
“It was good to see how to ride this course again,” he said. “I also did it in 2014 at the USA Pro Challenge, but definitely had a better race today.”
The podium was tightly contested, with only four seconds separating third and seventh places.
Chad Hall and Jameson Ribbens rounded out the podium in the men’s open division, and Margot Clyne and Andrea Buttine were second and third in the women’s open race.
For local standouts, few rode as impressively as 18-year-old Dylan Fiore, of Eagle, who won the women’s beginner race by more than 12 minutes.
It was her first-ever time trial, and first time competing in a race on Vail Pass.
“I did the beginner because I’ve never done it before,” she said. “I guess I’ll have to do the open division next year.”
Her mother, Mindee Stevenson, also hit the podium in the women’s masters race. It was also her first time trial race up Vail Pass.
“We’ll definitely do it again next year,” Stevenson said.
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