Cycling: Barville continues to put pedal to the metal

  • Caleb Barville (center) stands in the center of the podium after placing first in the Malaekahana State Time Trial Championship on Oahu earlier this month. Courtesy Photo

KAILUA-KONA — Fresh off his record setting cycling performance at the Lavaman Waikoloa triathlon, Kealakehe High School senior Caleb Barville put more riders in his rear view mirror on May 5 with in a dominating victory at Oahu’s Malaekahana State Time Trial Championship.

The 17-year-old Kailua-Kona resident pulled away from the field, winning by more than a minute during the 40 kilometer race in Laie with a time of 54 minutes and 18.4 seconds.

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“I was the first racer to go out so I never really could tell how far ahead I was until the turnaround,” Barville said. “After the turnaround I expected to see a lot of people, but it took two or three minutes before I finally saw the first rider.

“I just kept pushing,” he added. “It was an all out mental effort and the finish line came up fast.”

It would be more than fair to call Barville a phenom. At Lavaman, Barville obliterated the bike course record with a jaw-dropping record setting time of 53:37. The previous best of 54:56 was set by Daniel Folmar in 2012.

He’s also started the Big Island Hill Climb Racing Series, a weekly competitive cycling race series of ten events featuring some of Kona’s most deceptively steep hill climbs with gradients ranging between 7 and 16 percent, to help boost the local cycling culture and cycling awareness in the community.

During the time trial, riders went out every 30 seconds. Barville received the first slot, and after four miles, he found himself in a similar situation as Lavaman. Barville was all alone, with only the motorized escort out in front.

“After about a 10-minute warm up I was the first to the start line and then I was off,” he said. “It was my first time racing on Oahu and it was a hard experience.”

The wind was not in Barville’s favor. He had a head wind for roughly 2/3 of the course. Barville also found out how good he has it with the roads on the Big Island.

“I always thought the roads in Kona were pretty bad but on Oahu they are much worse,” he said. “And there are a lot more people. It was definitely different and a new experience for me.”

It was Barville’s first time racing on Oahu. He will add another first in June when he travels to compete on the mainland for the first time. Barville will race in the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships from June 20-23, starting with a 21K time trial on Day 1, followed by a 60K road race on Day 2 and 3.

Barville has also been invited by Team California to compete in the 50th anniversary of the Tour de l’Abitibi. The Tour de l’Abitibi is a junior stage race taking place July 16-22 in Quebec, Canada.

“I love being exposed to all these new places and meeting new people,” Barville said. “Right now I am having a lot of fun and my passion for the sport has never been greater.”

Barville got is start in the sport as a member of the Kealakehe Triathlon Club. However, a little bad luck on a swim-bike-run course resulted in a severe injury, which led him to focus solely on cycling.

“After a year and a half of racing in triathlons I cut my Achilles when I fell during a transition,” Barville said. “I landed right on my bike chain. It was a weird injury and I have only met one other person that has happened to.

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“After that I have only done the bike and that is when I discovered my passion for the sport,” he added. “I hope to someday become a professional cyclist.”

Barville is currently looking for support from the community to help offset travel costs. He is also looking for sponsors. Anyone wishing to donate can go to Barville’s GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/caleb2019cyclingraces. For sponsorship opportunities email Barville directly at CalebHBarville@gmail.com.

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