Riding High: Five locals win MTB national titles
SUMMIT COUNTY – Five local mountain bikers won national mountain biking titles at the National Off Road Bicycling Association (NORBA) National Championship held Sept. 23-26 in Mammoth Mountain, Calif. Walker Savidge, TJ Fisker, Todd Smith, LaDawn Stevenson and 10-year-old Tristan White all received custom stars-and-stripes jerseys for winning their divisions in cross country and mountaincross racing.On Friday, in one of the first competitions of the weekend, Breckenridge’s Savidge pedaled to one of the closest finishes of the more than two dozen cross country races held, winning the junior expert division by .3 seconds. Completing a 22-mile course in 2 hours, 13 minutes and 5.53 seconds, Savidge outsprinted fellow teenager Peter Stetina of Boulder at the finish line. The two rode together for much of the second and third laps of the three-lap course reeling in Chris Spencer of California.”We had him pulled back in and then Peter and I were riding close the whole time,” Savidge said. “It was a really cool way to finish the race. I’d have to say this was my best accomplishment (as a mountain biker) so far.”Moments after Savidge crossed the line in the cross country race, Copper Mountain’s Fisker edged three others on the mountaincross course to win the junior sport division. In mountaincross, four bikers ride head-to-head down a short course with tight turns and large jumps. The format usually involves qualifying runs which narrow the field down to a final four.In Fisker’s final, a competitor next to him jumped out to an early lead, but lost control in a turn, allowing the Copper resident to pass him.A few hours after his title-winning ride in the mountain cross, Fisker finished second in the junior division of the super D, a new discipline in mountain bike racing that combines downhill and cross country racing.
Smith’s ride came on Saturday morning, when the Breck resident won the 35-39 men’s expert division, finishing the same course as Savidge in 1:50:34.60, three minutes ahead of Jeff Angermann of California. White was the next to step to the top of a podium, winning the junior 10-and-under race after playing a game of hop-scotch with Nathan Labecki of Wisconsin.”It was kind of tough,” the young Summit Cove resident said. “He was better on the uphills, but I would pass him on the downhills. Almost at the very end I passed him for good.” Stevenson, also of Breckenridge, raced Saturday afternoon and took top honors in the 30-30 women’s sport division. The five title winners weren’t the only local mountain bikers to make the trip to California. Alma’s Chris Costa finished second in the 25-29 women’s expert cross country competition, and Andy Proctor pedaled to third in the junior 11-12 cross country race.Taylor Shelden and Kevin Soller competed in the same race as Savidge, finishing eighth and 12th, repectively, while Cullen Moran finished sixth in the same division as Proctor. Shelden, Soller and Moran all live in Breckenridge. Tyler Krahulec won the consolation round of the junior sport mountaincross for fifth overall in the event. The championship was the first of its kind in American organized mountain bike racing. In the past, NORBA has handed out national titles based on points standings at the end of a season’s worth of national championship events.Many of the juniors who attended the competitions did so with the assistance of Maverick Sports race organizers Jeff Westcott and Mike McCormack.
After holding several fundraisers during the summer as part of the A Racer’s Edge Summit Mountain Challenge, the pair was able to donate $200 to each junior rider going to nationals who also participated in the 2004 Mountain Bike Little League.Complete results can be found at http://www.usacycling.org. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.National Championship winnersWalker Savidge junior expert cross countryTJ Fisker junior sport mountaincrossLaDawn Stevenson 30-39 sport women cross countryTodd Smith 35-39 expert men cross country
Tristan White junior 10-and-under cross countryOther Summit County finishes:Chris Costa2ndwomen’s expert 25-29 cross countryTJ Fisker2ndjunior sport super DAndy Proctor3rdjunior 11-12 cross countryTaylor Shelden8thjunior expert cross countryCullen Moran6thjunior 11-12 cross countryKevin Soller12thjunior expert cross country
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