BMX racing comes to Cortez

Championship race attracts 100 riders to local track

Dillon Turner flies over a jump followed by local rider Tyson Schmidlin at the Parque de Vida BMX track. Enlargephoto

Sam Green/Cortez Journal

Dillon Turner flies over a jump followed by local rider Tyson Schmidlin at the Parque de Vida BMX track.

Over the past several years, BMX biking has become increasingly popular in the Cortez area.

So local riders were hardly surprised when 100 competitors showed up at the Cortez BMX Track on July 26 for a state championship Race.

Hoping to accumulate points that count towards state rankings, riders from as far away as Fountain, Colo. peddled around a technical, perfectly groomed Cortez track.

Leading the way was Cortez resident Cole Baxter, who easily won the 17-18-year-old boys expert division while cementing his status as one of the area’s top riders.

Discussing his performance after the event, Baxter explained familiarity with the track contributed to his success.

“I’ve been riding this track for a long time,” said Baxter. “I feel like I have the knowledge.”

Also riding impressively was 10-year-old Mancos resident Chase Moore, who finished second in the expert class.

According to Moore, the opportunity to compete in front of local fans provided a special experience that he would like to repeat in the near future.

“I like the awesome people in Cortez and I like the track,” said Moore. “It’s pretty cool.”

The track to which Moore was referring was redesigned earlier this year.

In all, 30 riders from the Cortez area competed in the one-day event, which featured competitors between the ages of four and 49.

Several local businesses, including Kokopelli Bike and Board, New Country Auto Center, PC411, Notah Dineh, Tucker Transportation and Four Corners Surgical contributed to the event.

Medical personnel were provided by Southwest Memorial Hospital.

“(The race) went so smoothly,” said Cortez BMX president Mark Baxter. “We had a few wrecks in the main, but otherwise, it was great.”

While the major portion racing season in Cortez is now complete, several local riders will compete in state-wide events in the coming weeks.