Fontana City, California – Christopher Blevins of the Axeon Hagens Berman Cycling Team emerged a winner in his first UCI professional mountain bike race Saturday.
Competing for Specialized, the 19-year-old overcame a back-row start in the cross county race to earn his fourth win of the season at the Fontana City National US Cup, the opening event of the USA Cycling US Cup Series.
Blevins beat runner-up Luke Vrouwenvelder of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by 34 seconds and Evan Guthrie (Team Solo Evan), who was third, by two minutes and 10 seconds. Multi-time national mountain bike champion Todd Wells – whom Blevins beat in the Specialized Cactus Cup last month – crashed heavily and finished 33rd.
"A lot of the riders I battled with ending up having mechanicals," Blevins said. "I was able to stay smooth on the descents, got a gap halfway through and was able to hold it for the win."
On the sun-splashed day in Southern California, Axeon Hagens Berman's Edward Anderson also competed and finished 13th in his first non-National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) mountain bike race. Nearly 60 riders competed in the race on the 5.6-kilometer course at Southridge Park, northeast of Los Angeles.
Blevins, who lives and trains in Durnago, Colorado, will compete Sunday in the short track event.
Header photo courtesy of Sho-Air Cycling Group.