Pro Dual Slalom Titles Awarded Along with 23 Age Group Titles
July 10, 2021
Day 5 of #MTBNats Determined by The Stall Wall and Switchbacks for All
Winter Park, Colo. – On Friday at the 2021 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships, Trestle Bike Park saw junior XC racers take on huge fields, age groupers shred the downhill course, and the best Dual Slalom riders in the country go head-to-head on the first day of professional competition.
On the Downhill course today, we saw Juniors and Masters take on a rocky, dry course that is customary in the Colorado high alpine. In the Master Women 60-64 field, Ellen Guthrie (Salt Lake, Utah; Guthrie Bicycles) took the win. In Master Women 55-59 Lynn Childress (Stauntan, V.A.; Brc P/B Reynolds Gm/Subaru) captured the top spot. On the Master Men side, the win in 65+ was Russell Asleson (Colorado Springs, Colo.; Procycling), 60-64 Dennis Foster (Murrieta, Calif.; Intense Cycles), and 55-59 Jon Strickler (Avon, Colo.). Foster only began riding about 10 years ago.
For the Juniors, a course that required riders to be on top of the pedals for the entire race took its toll, while pushing racers to new levels. For Junior Women 13-14, Teagan Heap (Boulder City, Neva.; Transition Bikes, Maxxis, Fiveten) took first and Sophie Gregory (Riverton, Utah) Junior Women 11-12 pedaled the hardest for the “W”. On the Junior Men side, Asa Vermette (Hesperus, Colo.; 2nd Ave Sports) won his first National Championship in Junior Men 13-14, in the Junior Men 11-12 race Boston Bryant (Lehi, Utah; Outlaw) proved to have the strongest legs.
On the dual slalom course built by McGill Trail Fabrications, racers were treated to tight berms, challenging rhythm sections, and a stall wall for the ages. Max Vogel (Boulder, Colo.) proved to be the showstopper for the Junior Men. Vogel wowed the crowd with style and speed. Parker Nishkian (El Granada, Calif.) put up a solid fight for second.
For the Pro Men and Women sides, neither national champion was in attendance including multi-time champion Jill Kintner, who is home healing from a broken hand. Today, two new champions were crowned. While the women’s field was young, their riding showed seasoned expertise. At the end of the day Kialani Hines (Auburn, Wash.; Pivot Cycles) took gold and her first national championship, Jordan Scott (Henderson, UT; Hyper Bicycles) silver, McKenna Merten (Jamul, Calif.; Intense Cycles) bronze, Shealen Reno (Dallas, Texas) in fourth. Hardly a wheel’s length separated Hines and Scott.
“In seeding, I ended up second which was probably pretty accurate,” said Hines. “Jordy was riding really fast. I knew if I wanted to get to finals, I had to go hard every lap and it paid off. Seeding was close and the racing was even closer. She got me pretty good actually. It surprised me a little bit how good she got me on the first lap, and then the second lap, I rode a lot better. She had a little mistake, so I was able to get it. I’ll take it!”
On the Pro Men’s side, favorite Kyle Strait looked smooth in practice and qualifying. Sadly, Strait hit the deck with a day-ending crash on the first berm and would finish eighth. With serious speed and stall wall scrubs, Joseph Foresta (South Jordan, Utah; GT Bicycles) took the gold in Pro Men, followed by Tommy Zula (New Carlisle Ohio; Airborne Bicycles) with silver, Collin Hudson (Longmont, Colo.; Airborne Bicycles) bronze, and Trevor McCutcheon (Temecula, Calif.; Pivot/ Stan’s NoTubes) in fourth.
First out of the gate were the Junior Women 11-14 on the Short Track course. They raced for a total of 10-minutes plus one lap. Kira Mullins (Littleton, Colo.; Avout Racing) stunned the crowd as she rode away from the group early and never looked back. She won out this week taking the top step in both Endurance events. The Junior Men 11-14 toed the line next. This race was by far the most entertaining race of the week. Benjamin Bravman (Golden, Colo.; Waite Endurance Development Team) took an early lead, but after a gnarly crash coming out of te final corner, George Frazier (Louisville, Ky.) and Logan Drevlow (Golden Valley, Minn.; Donkey Label Racing) gained control of the race. Frazier attacked through the finish and put a significant lead on Bravman. After multiple laps of going full throttle, Bravman regained control of the race to win gold. “It feels good to win, but it’s also the environment that’s really fun. It’s really fun hanging out with friends and watching teammates. The short track felt really short, it went great. It gives me some good momentum going into Cyclocross later this year”, said Bravman when asked about the race. When asked about Bravman’s incredible comeback after a mid-race slide-out he said, “When I went down I was thinking I can only do so much and push as hard as I can. Luckily, I was able to make it back up to the front in the Short Track”. Drevlow and Fraizer went on to claim the silver and bronze.
The Master Men 30-39 and 40+ field took to the Short Track course in the afternoon. Jamie Yanik (Boise, Idaho) and Cody Waite (Lakewood, Colo.; WE Development) were two of the only riders left on course for Master Men 40+ and after a hard-fought battle, Yanik pulled away and beat Waite by 50-seconds. In the Master Men 40+ race, a group of four formed at the front early. Matthew Dockins (Welsey Chapel, Fla.; West Coast Cycling), Matt Rengo (Synergy p/b Now Bikes), and Michael Palmer (RA Racing Apparel/Mellow Velo), and John Wessling (Park City, Utah.; Wessling Fitness) had a hard-fought battle to the finish with Wessling taking the top spot. The showdowns didn’t stop there with Elliott Baring (Marietta, Ga.; Baring Performance) outsprinting Amaette Nsek (Ontario, Calif.; L39ion of Los Angeles) in the last corner to take home gold.
The Junior Cross-country races were full and fast as the 15-16 and 17-18 fields took to the 5.9-mile course. The story of the day was Bear National Team who made themselves at home in Winter Park with an overwhelming performance. Ruth Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team), Nicholas Konecny (Breckenridge, Colo.; Bear National Team), and Brayden Johnson (Littleton, Colo.; Bear National Team) all earned the top step in three of the four elite junior fields. Andie Aagard (Highland, UT; Spry Cycling) rounded out the junior cross-country fields with a dominate 2:13 gap on the field.
Pan-American Champion, Ruth Holcomb when asked about her performance, said, “This is my first national title, and my first national championship. I’ve been racing since I was 13, but I’ve had 2 broken arms and mono during nationals every year.”
Tomorrow will see the fastest XC and enduro riders in the country race for the stars-and-stripes and the downhill field compete for positioning on Sunday.
You can find the full results HERE.
Visit USACycling.org for more information on the athletes, events, and membership programs, and follow @USACycling across all channels for the latest on Team USA.
For more information, contact Katherine Santos at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT USA CYCLING (usacycling.org)
USA Cycling is the national governing body for the sport of cycling and oversees the disciplines of road, track, mountain bike, cyclocross, and BMX. USA Cycling’s mission is to champion accessibility, participation, and excellence in the sport of cycling to make more Americans healthier, happier, and better on two wheels while achieving sustained international racing success. USA Cycling supports cyclists at all levels, from those just beginning in the sport and participating in fun rides to international caliber racers. The organization identifies, develops, and selects cyclists to represent the United States in international competition through the support of kids’ and interscholastic programs, amateur bike racing and grassroots development programs, and the provision of critical infrastructure to run organized racing. USA Cycling has a membership of 100,000, annually sanctions over 2,500 events, and is a proud member of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).