The venue from the Dual Slalom side.
The 2016 Volkswagen USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships got underway on Wednesday with eight national titles being awarded to juniors in the cross-country race, and another fourteen gold medals earned in the cat 2/3 non-championship cross-country races.
With 43 wheels on the start line, the junior men’s 13-14 contest was the largest national championship race of the day. The hot and dry central California day saw the front part of the field string out over the four laps, allowing Hayden Rosborough (Prescott, Ariz.) to make his winning move.
“It was really tough for the first three laps because I couldn’t figure out how to get around,” Rosborough told a group of fans after the race. “Then I started to notice a pattern. Every time we hit the singletrack we’d get recovery, so I knew if I sprinted up the steep part we wouldn’t get that recovery any more. So then I just put the hammer down and went for it.”
Luke Lamperti (Sebastopol, Calif./Team Swift) was second, two-and-a-half minutes off of Rosborough’s winning pace, and Ryder Uetrecht (Bend, Ore.Bend/Broadband/WebCyclery) was third about a minute after Lamperti. All of the national champions from day 1 All of the national champions from day 1 The second national title of the day went to Sydney Palmerleger (Park City, Utah/Cannondale 360 Fly) when she rode solo over the finish line of the junior women’s 13-14 event which was also four laps of the 2.32 mile course. With a minute to spare, she took the gold medal ahead of Megan Jastrab (Apple Valley, Calif./Swami’s Cycling Club) and Tai Lee Smith (Breckenridge, Colo.).
The next wave of juniors to test their skills on the cross-country course was the 11-12 year old men and women. Raulito Gutierrez (Reno, Nev.) won the men’s contest and Mya Dixon (Reno, Nev.) won the women’s. Nicholas Konecny (Breckenridge, Colo.) was the national championship among men 9-10 while Haydn Hludzinski (Boulder, Colo./Boulder Junior Cycling) took top honors for the women’s 9-10 field. The youngest of the juniors, the 6-8-year old boys and girls, were the last ones to put their wheels on the line in the afternoon. The youngest national champions of the day were Simon Hewett (Fairfax, Calif.) and Keaghlan Robinson (Bellevue, Wash./Rad Racing NW) when he crossed the line victorious after two laps of the course.
Before the juniors vied for national titles in the afternoon, the morning featured fourteen cat 2/3 non-championship groups that raced three laps each of the amateur cross-country course. In what was arguably the most competitive group of the morning, 17-year-old Rainer Barth (Boulder, Colo.) took a commanding win in the junior men’s 15-18 contest after he stayed out front for most of the race and completed his fastest lap in 26 minutes and 35 seconds. Thirteen others earned gold medals on the cross-country course this morning.
The Dual Slalom course gets prepped.
The largest class of the day, XC Cat 2/3 Male 15-18, blasts off the starting line.
The Women's Cat 2/3 15-18 class takes the start.
The Men's Cat 2/3 45-49 class winner, KC Mares (Reno Wheelmen).
There was no stopping Boulder, Colorado's, Rainer Barth in the Men's Cat 2/3 15-18 division.
Sydney PalmerLeger (Cannondale-360Fly) easily topped the Women's Cat 2/3 13-14 class.
Temecula, California's, Raulito Gutierrez (Baja MTB), gave us a glimpse of the future with a dominant Junior Men 11-12 class victory.
Nicholas Konecny of Brekinridge, CO, captured the Junior Men's 9-10 division.
Haydn Hludzinski (Boulder Junior Cycling) styled her way to the Junior Women's 9-10 class win.
The Junior Men's 6-8 class fell to Fairfax, California's, Simon Hewett.
World Cup points leader Aaron Gwin (YT Mob) is in the house.
Day One's National Champions!
View the full results.
Story courtesy of USA Cycling
Photos by Jason Cleghorn
and Philip Beckman