July 17, 2009 (Granby, Colo.) –The opening day of the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships saw the future of American mountain represented at the SolVista Basin Mountain Bike Park in Colorado. Hundreds of junior riders contested the steep hills and thin air of the Colorado high country on Friday but only 10 came away wearing the coveted Stars-and-Stripes.
The U23 and junior women started off the racing action on Friday morning in exciting fashion with both races ending with sprints to the finish. Following just under 14 miles of racing, two experienced riders stood head-and-shoulders above the rest in the U23 women’s competition. Multiple-time national champion Chloe Forsman (Tucson, Ariz./Luna) and Amy Dombrowski (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders) finished the approximately 14-mile race nearly eight minutes ahead of their closest competition. Only around four seconds however separated the pair with the former collegiate national champion, Dombrowski outsprinting the defending champion, Forsman.
The junior women’s finish proved to be even closer with a pair of Coloradoans, Alicia Rose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) and Jill Behlen (Boulder, Colo./Tokyo Joes), fighting it out all the way to the line before the powerful Pastore came out on top. Behlen, who finished second in last year’s race and gained valuable experience riding in one of USA Cycling’s European Race Camps earlier this summer, was primed to take the title in 2009, but it was not in the cards.
“I flatted on the first lap and played catch up the rest of the way,” explained Behlen. “She’s a great climber, but I almost caught her at the finish.”
Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) collected his first “vertical” Stars-and-Stripes in the U23 men’s cross country contest, outdueling first-year U23 rider Rob Squire (Sandy, Utah/USA Cycling National Development Team). Steven Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./Black Diamond Sports), Macky Franklin (Taos, N.M./Transparent Racing) and Peter Stetina (Boulder, Colo./Tokyo Joes) rounded out the top five in the stacked field.
“I got a gap from the start, but Squire kept it small throughout the entire race,” explained Cares, a multi-time USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Champion. “I just wanted to keep it smooth, but sure enough on the final descent I went down. I was lucky enough to recover in time.”
The junior men’s race saw another of USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike European Race Camp participants shine as Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Pro Cycling-SRM) rode to a nearly two minute victory over silver medalist Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo./Niner Bikes).
Later in the afternoon six Stars-and-Stripes jerseys representing the future of American mountain biking were awarded in the 10-14-year-old age divisions. Spence Peterson (Mill Valley, Calif./Above Category Racing), Kaylee Blevins (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo), Trevor Baldwin (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas/Hill Country Bicycle), Ksenia Lepikhina (Superior, Colo.), Nathan Baldwin (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas/Hill Country Bicycle) and Lillian Frasier (Boerne, Texas/Hill Country Bicycles) all brought home national titles in the 10-14 age groups.
Several hundred category 2 and 3 riders of various age divisions also took to the cross country course at the Sol Vista Bike Park on Friday afternoon. Dozens of competition jerseys were awarded in these non-national championship categories.
The highlight of tomorrow’s racing will be the pro men’s and women’s cross country contests as well as the pro mountain cross national championships. The pro cross country women are set to tow the line at 11:00 a.m. followed closely by the pro men at 2:00 p.m. The pro mountain cross finals are scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Check out video from the event on our You Tube page, here.
USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships
July 17-19, 2009
U23 Women’s Cross Country
1. Amy Dombrowski (Boulder, Colo./Webcor Builders) 01:34:06
2. Chloe Forsman (Tucson, Ariz./Luna) 01:34:11
3. Kay Sherwood (Colorado Springs, Colo./Tokyo Joe’s) 1:41:55
Junior 15-18 Women’s Cross Country
1. Alicia Rose Pastore (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) 01:45:44
2. Jill Behlen (Colorado Springs, Colo./Tokyo Joe’s) 01:45:44
3. Kaila Hart (Bayfield, Colo./Durango Devo) 01:47:10
U23 Men’s Cross Country
1. Colin Cares (Boulder, Colo./Kenda-Tomac-Hayes) 01:43:39
2. Rob Squire (Sandy, Utah/USA Cycling National Development Team) 01:44:30
3. Steven Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./Black Diamond Sports) 01:48:48
Junior 17-18 Men’s Cross Country
1. Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Pro Cycling-SRM) 01:52:03
2. Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colo./Niner Bikes) 01:54:15
3. Eric Emsky (Fall City, Wash./Rad Racing-NW) 01:55:28
Junior 13-14 Men’s Cross Country
1. Spence Peterson (Mill Valley, Calif./Above Category Racing) 01:17:08
2. Jansen Lindner (Covington, Ga./Cycle Youth Devo) 01:19:51
3. Hayes Ward (Calais, Vt./Onion River Sports) 01:20:00
Junior 13-14 Women’s Cross Country
1. Kaylee Blevins (Durango, Colo./Durango Devo) 50:28:20
2. Myia Wood (Mesa, Ariz.) 53:40:06
3. Taylor Fogg (Colorado Springs, Colo./Front Rangers) 01:00:41
Junior 11-12 Men’s Cross Country
1. Trevor Baldwin (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas/Hill Country Bicycle) 46:48:78
2. Christopher Blevins (Durango, Colo.) 47:51:19
3. Ben Hogan (Louisville, Colo./Boulder Juniors) 52:26:19
Junior 11-12 Women’s Cross Country
1. Ksenia Lepikhina (Superior, Colo.) 45:03:40
2. Hailey Swirbul (Carbondale, Colo.) 47:43:77
3. Nadina Junuzovic (Austin, Texas/Austin PARD) 49:11:75
Junior 10 and under Men’s Cross Country
1. Nathan Baldwin (Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas/Hill Country Bicycle) 41:15:66
2. Cole Avery (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) 41:31:01
3. Ross Ellwood (Boulder, Colo.) 41:50:07
Junior 10 and under Women’s Cross Country
1. Lillian Frasier (Boerne, Texas/Hill Country Bicycles) 55:04:27
2. Courtney Comer (San Marcos, Calif./ACQUA AL 2) 1:15:31
3. Mary Allen (Abilene, Texas/Hill Country Bicycles) 1:17:41
About USA Cycling
Recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the Union Cycliste Internationale, USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, including road, track, mountain bike, BMX, and cyclo-cross. As a membership-based organization, USA Cycling consists of 64,000+ licensees including 1,500 coaches, 4,000 student-athletes, 2,200 officials, 1,800 clubs and teams, 350 professional cyclists, 200 certified mechanics, and 34 local associations. The national governing body sanctions 2,500 competitive and non-competitive events throughout the U.S. each year and is responsible for the identification, development, and support of American cyclists through various initiatives and programs. Additionally, USA Cycling conducts national championship events for all categories of amateur and professional cycling. To learn more about USA Cycling, visit www.usacycling.org.
source: Andrea Smith