NEWS

5 Bears Named to Team USA!

5 Bears Named to Team USA for Mountain Bike World Championships Next Month!

 

 

USA Cycling announced the 44 athletes that will represent the United States at the 2017 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships, on September 5-10 in Cairns, Australia. 5 Bears were named, and we couldn’t be prouder!

U23 Men’s Team

Luke Vrouwenvelder

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Sandy Floren

Berkeley, California

Jerry Dufour

Birmingham, Alabama

Junior Women’s Team

Savilia Blunk – Women’s Jr. XC National Champion

Inverness, California

Katja Freeburn

Durango, Colorado

 

Windham Pro XCT Race Report

by Luke Vrouwenvelder

Dinner after the race, courtesy of Steven van der Zwan!

After MSA, the Bear Dev Squad geared up for the drive to Windham, NY. We took off early on Monday morning, and made it to our host’s (Steven van der Zwan) house in the evening. Luckily for us, Steve was kind enough to host us for the entire week leading up to the race. Thanks Steve!

With the week to kill, we focused on keeping our training ticking on time for one more week; Windham was the last ProXCT of the series, and the last race of the season for many of us!

With no short track, our full focus was set on Saturday’s XC. The course featured a long (roughly 10min) climb, followed by a decent that took us all the way back to the start. This style of course, with the climb punctuated only by a very short decent, is akin to older XC courses. For us, this course was a change in pace from the short, steep climbing of more modern XC courses. We enjoyed the course nonetheless!

On race day, we enjoyed much cooler temperatures from the year before. Even though temps were still in the mid 80s, it felt wonderful in comparison to last years triple digit affair. The start went well for me; a good call-up, and great legs for the first lap found me in a great position. However, as the second lap rolled around, I started losing steam. Unfortunately, I had hit a ‘wall’, so to speak, and that lapse cost me time and positioning. Doing what I could, my legs slowly started coming around again, and I was able to finish on a good note, and grab a top 10 finish. With a UCI ranking of HC, my 9th place finish secured me quite a few UCI points. Overall, I was happy with the way I had persisted through fatigue in the early laps, and was glad to get a few more points towards my ranking.

To that point, I’ll be lucky enough to use those points at World Championships in September! With my results this year, I’m excited to say that I have made the selection for the US Team, and will be racing one more time this season. I leave on September 1st for Carins, Australia, where I’ll spend the week with USAC and the rest of the team preparing for my race on the 8th. Wish me luck!

 

UCI MTB World Cup, Mont Sainte Anne Race Report

by Eli Kranefuss

Mont-Sainte- Anne World Cup is the only race in the series that takes place in North America. As it is fairly easy to get to, Bear decided to put it on the calendar so that the U23 team would be able to gain some important international race experience.

After flying into Quebec City and getting some rest after a long day of travel, I found myself checking lines on the course. Mont-Sainte- Anne is known to be one of the most demanding World Cup tracks in the series. The climbs are steep, the descents are rocky and technical, and the flats are non-existent. On the first day, the track was dry and dusty and very fast. However, with rain in the forecast, we knew the course was just going to get harder – perfect conditions for a world cup. Sure enough, rain came Friday night, and well into Saturday afternoon. With that, rocks became slippery and lines changed.

On Sunday morning, when we lined up for staging, the U23 women were finishing their race. Watching riders come by, it was clear that the course had drained surprisingly well, but the rocks were still treacherous. Finally, the field of 50+ of the best racers around the world were off. We hit the start loop fast, sprinting up every climb trying to gain positions as we entered the single track, as we knew, with traffic, we would be running the first climb, and descent down the famed “la Beatrice” if we were near the back. Sure enough, I found myself with most of the field on our feet trying to get to the bottom of the rock garden. Once the race strung out a bit, I found a rhythm and had a 3 clean laps. On the second to last lap, the heat, humidity and technicality of the course got to me, and I could feel leg cramps coming on. After struggling through the last lap and a half, I found myself crossing the finish line, glad to have had an improvement on my performance from the previous year.

Huge thanks to Bear, all of our sponsors, USA Cycling, and the amazing mechanic Julien Petit for helping us get to the event, and supporting us once we were there!

August Race Results
UCI MTB World Cup
August 5-6, 2017
Mont Sainte Anne, Canada
UCI Men U23 – Cross Country
16th Luke Vrouwenvelder
25th Sandy Floren
26th Jerry Dufour
29th Carson Beckett
40th Daniel Johnson
43rd Eli Kranefuss
46th Steffen Andersen

 

Windham Pro XCT
August 12-13, 2017
Windham, NY
UCI Elite Men
9th Luke Vrouwenvelder
10th Jerry Dufour
18th Sandy Floren
22nd Carson Beckett
25th Eli Kranefuss
26th Daniel Johnson
UCI Junior Men 17-18
13th Adam Croft
20th Dylan Fryer
25th Michael Mace

 

Annadel Classic
August 12-13, 2017
Santa Rosa, CA
Pro Men
1st Xander Sugarman
2nd Carson Benjamin (Alum)

2018 Season Applications

Interested in joining the Bear Development Team?

We are now accepting applications for the 2018 Season!

Submissions will be open from August 1st – August 30th.

Link to apply: https://goo.gl/forms/ghYg9XeJI5bP1JWq1

 

 

11 Podiums in 9 Races at MTB Nationals!

Nationals Race Report

STXC Women 17+

by Savilia Blunk

After arriving on Tuesday, two early mornings were spent dialing in the cross country course before I kicked off the racing on Thursday afternoon with the Womens 17+ Short Track XC.

The warm weather had stuck up to this point and at 3pm I rolled out the door to begin my warm up. The temps were in the 80s and the humid air surrounded me. It was hard to be succumbed to the uncomfortable weather though when the venue was back dropped by endless green mountains and valleys of West Virginia.

At 3:50 I rolled to staging, really excited to see a big category of women line up beside me. I was called to the line second. I was nervous to be here again, I had raced a total of two short track races in my career and none so far this season. I was planning on racing smooth and smart and hoped it’d all come back to me when the whistle blew.

Short track, if any of you are unfamiliar, is a short race, 20 minute plus 3 laps, spread along parts of the XC course. This years course was a bit more challenging than most STXC courses featuring a tricky rock garden and a good climb in the middle. Our laps would take about 5 minutes.

1 minute…30 seconds…15…anytime in the next 15…and we exploded off the line. I found my pedal smoothly and jumped into about third going down the first decent. Back on a flat section my category sprinted into the single track. I was still in third and feeling calm. The course made a sharp off camber right turn and shot us up the first half of the climb. Then we hit the rock garden and it was chaos with running, crashes, and chasing. Up the next steep climb, I was feeling strong sitting in second, right where I wanted to be with my teammate, Katja Freeburn, right behind me.

We kept this formation for the next couple of laps. I drafted off the leader for a while before jumping in front, pushing it when I felt good, and being smart on the flats as a steady crosswind picked up. Slowly the lead group I was with broke off from eight riders to five. With two laps to go I was beginning to fade on the climbs. I fell back and a small gap grew between myself and the leader. I was still in second but by myself in the wind and the rest of the riders were now spread out. Coming through the start/finish going into the final lap I couldn’t see the leader ahead of me. I put my head down and attacked, letting the brakes off on the downhill and sprinting again on the flat. I crested the hill and looked down to see a medic waving his arms to tell myself and the leader to get off and walk out bikes. There had been a crash by a rider behind us. I braked, dismounted, and jumped back on quickly. The leader was still ahead of me with a 2 second gap. I knew these last few minutes of the race were crucial if I wanted to win this, and making a mistake was not an option. I sprinted up the climb, hit the rock garden smoothly and caught the wheel of the leader on the final climb. She still had the lead when we started the final descent but I was able to get around her on one of the blown out turns. I soon realized I was making a small gap and rolled in to take my first National Title.

It was a super exciting and tactical battle, and I was so happy to be back on the podium with my teammate.

 

Nationals Race Report

STXC Women 15-16 & XC Women 15-16

by Maddie Jo Robbins

Maddie Jo before and after her race. Nationals got a lil muddy! // “Before” photo by Chris Tennant

All the days in the saddle, every pedal stroke, and every smile on the bike lead up to these final races of the year. The 2017 mountain bike nationals had finally arrived. I was to start my week off with the short track cross country race. The course was a mile long and featured a pretty substantial amount of climbing for a short track, which I was stoked about, as I tend to do better on courses with lots of climbing.

Going into the race I knew it would be a tough battle, as I was going to be racing Katie Clouse, the reigning national champion with 18 other national titles under her belt. I was called up to the line in the fourth position, which enabled me to secure a great front row starting position. The gun went off and it was immediately Katie and I in the front. I stuck behind her through the forest and towards the rock garden that had been built in the middle of the track. When we arrived at the garden she went for it, but halfway through had to put her foot down. At that point it was faster for me to get off my bike and run, rather than risk popping a tire or crashing in the garden. I came to the end of the rocks, but had a little trouble getting back onto my bike in a fast and smooth manner.

I ended up losing time and I had to fight to get back on Katie’s wheel. I spent the rest of the lap trying to make up for lost time. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to catch her, but I just put my head to it and fought through the pain and by the second lap I had done it. I was back on Katie’s wheel. Through the final lap I stayed right behind her, but when we got to the final climb I didn’t have enough left in me to stay with her when she gave her final attack. At that point I just pushed as hard as I could knowing that anything could still happen. I never ended up catching Katie again, but I came through the line in second place knowing I had left everything on the course.

After the short track the previous night, I was ready to once again put it all on the line for the cross country. I was a little bit tired, but I knew if I just put that thought to the side, I would be fine, as my mom always says, “It is 80% mental” and it was game time, so I was going to have to put my nerves aside and focus on the task at hand. I woke up in the morning only to look out my window and into a cloud. In the back of my mind I thought they might delay our start, but I continued with my routine anyway, only to later find out the start had been delayed by 30 minutes and then later another 30 minutes. This change made things a little bit difficult, but nothing I wasn’t prepared for. When we finally got to start I was once again fourth to the line. It was still super foggy, but we were going to start anyway. In a way I kind of liked the fog, as it made things unique and also cooled down the temperature a good bit.

When the whistle blew I sprinted off the front with two of the other girls. I stayed in the second place position, until the first climb where I felt strong and the others looked a bit tired. There I attacked and gained the lead which I kept through the forest, but when we came out the other side it was a super muddy descent which I was not as fast through as the other girls. They passed me, putting me into the third place position. We were nearing in on the rock garden and I felt pretty good, other than all the mud splashing into my eyes. When we arrived we all immediately hopped off our bikes and ran through the rock garden in a cyclocross sort of manner. From there I stuck with the two leaders up the climb, but when we got to the next descent they once again made time on me. I did not see them again, until the final climb of the lap which was the biggest of the climbs. Here I put my head down and pushed ahead. I was nearing in on them, when the climbing ended and the technical rock section began. There I was at a little bit of a disadvantage with my hardtail versus their full suspensions, but I knew I was capable of clearing all of it even with the mud. Although I made it through all right, the other two were faster than me, and they broke away. From there on I just kept pushing, knowing the pain was only temporary and at the end of the day I would only be happy if I knew I had given it my all. Throughout the next lap, I was consistently 40 seconds off the leaders, and alone, until the fourth place girl caught me halfway through.

We ran through the rock garden together, but after that I had just a little bit more in my legs and was able to drop her on the climb into the feed zone. From there I focused on keeping my position and not making any silly mistakes that would take me out of the race. By the time of the third and final lap I had made time on the second place girl. I gave everything left in my legs on the final climbs to try and catch her. By the top of the last climb I was within feet of her, but then we once again had to go through the muddy rock section where she gained more time on me. At that point there wasn’t enough time for me to catch her, but I gave it my all anyway and sprinted into the finish in third place! I was stoked with the turnout of the week. I finished both races with nothing left in my legs, and came away with two medals!

I could not be more thankful for all the support of the Bear Development family, Julia, my parents and all of our amazing sponsors. The biking community is truly unique and special, and I am honored to be apart of it.

 

Nationals Race Report

XC Women 17-18

by Katja Freeburn

Katja hugs team director Julia Violich post-race.

Nationals had finally come after months of preparation, and lots of interval sessions. To get to Snowshoe, WV I took two planes from Durango to Denver and then Denver to PA. From PA it was a 4-hour drive to get to Snowshoe. During the winter Snowshoe is a ski resort, but unlike most ski resorts, the base area was located on top of the ski hill vs. the bottom. I unpacked my bike and then went to pre ride the course. I felt a little overwhelmed when I rode the course, not riding smooth which can happen when I ride sometimes. It just felt like everything was off for me that day but I got a good feeling of the dirt and how it rode, and I focused on finding lines through the more technical sections of the course.

Thursday was the short track, which went well for me, and I got more of a feel of the dirt. The next day I woke up to it raining very hard and I knew at that point that the course would be very different for the xc even though I didn’t race until the next day. I got out for a spin that afternoon when the rain finally let up, and felt really good and I knew I was ready to race.

I was supposed to race at noon, but that morning we were notified that there was an hour delay due to weather. It cleared up about 2 hours before I raced and the sections of the course that wasn’t in the trees started to dry out some. I knew that the dirt would be super tacky and fun to ride. I was a little nervous about how slippery and technical the course was, but I knew that everyone else was in the same boat riding the same course and I just had to stay smooth and confident and I’d be fine. I got a good warm up and before I knew it, I was on the start line once again. The standard count down happened like always and we started.

This start almost seemed faster than the short track, and the girls were a little more aggressive, but I chose to play it a little safer during the first lap and not blow myself up and just feel out the course since the conditions were way different from when I pre rode it. The group split up right away and four girls broke off. Everyone ended up together again though when we hit the first technical section of the course. Since the trees were so dense in that section, the trail didn’t dry out at all and it was slick and slimy mud mixed in with roots, which is a tricky combination. Everyone was sliding around and ended up walking/jogging through that section because it was faster.

Two of the girls were able to split off from the rest of us who where trying to ride the roots as best as we could, but I just stayed calm through that section knowing that there was lots of double track ahead and that I had 3½ more laps to get into a position that I wanted to be in. I ended up getting separated from the two girls I caught up to in the roots, but I worked to close that gap, but also paced myself so I wouldn’t blow up. Near the end of the first lap, Gwen Gibson, who got caught up at the start and had to work to catch the front group passed me, but I got on her wheel and just got a pull from her as we passed one of the girls who went out very hard in the start. As we got to the double track again to go into our second lap, I rode up next to Gwen and said that we should work together and catch the girls ahead of us. I took the next pull and let her draft, picking up the pace a little more. We kept trading off pulling when we could tell if the other was tired, and soon got to the root section once again. I slipped early on some of the roots and we both started to jog with our bikes and caught up to two of the other girls ahead of us soon enough. We stayed with them for a couple of minuets and then Gwen attacked and started to get away and I went with her. We kept working together to try to catch the leader, Savilia Blunk, who at this point had a good gap on us along with the rest of the field. We pulled away from the other two girls who didn’t seem like they were working together to try to catch us. Gwen and I kept communicating and worked on closing the gap as things went smoothly for two laps.

As we were about to go into our last lap, a girl riding for Competitive Cyclist, Ezra Smith, caught us suddenly and made a break for it. I went right onto her wheel and looked back to see Gwen struggling to keep up. Soon enough Ezra and I dropped Gwen as we pushed really hard though that lap. I stuck with Ezra until the last steep climb of the course and my legs started to get really tired. I pushed and tried to close that gap through the second technical section of the course before the finish, but couldn’t do it. I finished up the lap feeling very strong though and came in feeling the happiest as I have been after finishing a race this year. I was covered head to toe in mud, but I knew that I had done one of the hardest races I’ve done in some pretty tough conditions and I couldn’t have done it without the support of Bear Development and of course Julia Violich.

Bears in Europe, Canada, and the USA!

Bear Development Team June Newsletter

Race Results + Race Recaps

Prefix Swiss Bike Cup Race Report

by Savilia Blunk

After the race in Lostorf, the team packed up and made the short trek to south west Germany where we would spend the week training (and getting really lost) in the Black Forest. We were greeted in Germany with more hot temperatures and newborn baby cows at the farm where we would spend the week.

After reflecting on my race in Lostorf, I was ready to refocus and work on the mental side of things before the second race in Andermatt, Switzerland. I spent the week training on the trails out of our back door and enjoying the summer weather in a place I’d never been.

Before I knew it, it was time to load the bikes back up and pack for the early departure to Andermatt. It was going to be a busy weekend. We would depart Germany on Saturday morning in time to pre ride the course Saturday evening and get ready to race Sunday, then pack everything up before driving to the airport in Zurich Sunday night.

We crossed the border into Switzerland and wound our way into the mountains. The temperatures dropped, and as we began to climb into the Swiss Alps, fog surrounded us and steep rocky peaks engulfed in wisps of fog spread out on either side. Arriving at the venue all I felt was excitement to be racing in such a cool place. It hadn’t even hit me that were racing the next day. I was also more than happy to be greeted with a nice slap of 50 degree winds and dark skies. We kitted up and headed out on course.

The course wound around the base of a steep grassy ski slope with super steep short climbs right off the start, off camber grass descents, and lots of technical sections where we spent some time choosing the fastest line through. Overall there wasn’t a ton of climbing per lap but all  of the climbing was steeper than I’d ever raced and followed by technical descents which would take 100% focus. After a couple laps dialing in my lines I was feeling confident and ready to battle it out with most of the top junior women in the world.

Sunday morning greeted us with cloudy skies and wet roads. There was rain the night before which I knew would change the course a lot. The junior men raced at 9:30 am that morning and as we watched them start, a steady cold rain began to fall all over the course.

Hearing about their race only got me more stoked to race on that course. As we lined up at 12:00 the clouds parted and sun peaked over the mountains. We were doing six laps on the brutal course. The whistle blew and we were going. I took the lead at the start and then settled into about fifth up the first main climb. Riders in front were losing pedals up the climb and we were forced to get off and run to the top. I tried to catch my breath as we entered into the first slick descent and get into a rhythm in the pack.

I stayed in about fifth or sixth for the first three laps, giving it everything on the steep climbs and staying focused on the descents. There were constantly riders all around me so it was crucial to stick to my lines and not make any mistakes on the final laps or I could lose position in a split second.

I was in sixth going into the second to last lap with fifth right ahead and fourth not far off. I attacked on all the climbs to catch fifth and soon realized I had made a gap. On the last lap I battled with fourth, each of us passing each other back before I was able to make a final attack through the feed zone and grow a small gap.

I’m happy to have been able to grab fourth in a strong field, just off of third and not far from second. I’ve learned a lot in these past two races and I’m stoked to keep building the experience and learning throughout this journey.

I’m so grateful for my coach, Dario Fredrick, my family, community, and team for the support. A huge thank you to Marc Gullickson for making this trip possible and to Julien Petit for keeping our bikes flawless through both weekends.

I wouldn’t have been able to make this trip without the financial support of everyone who generously donated to my Rally Me to help me get here. Thank you.

Now it’s time to reset and refocus for National Champs in West Virginia in a few weeks!

 

Chile Challenge Race Report

by Katja Freeburn

With a strong start to my season already, I was ready to compete in my last race before Nationals in Angel Fire, New Mexico. I had always ended up missing the race the past couple of years, so I was super excited to be able to race it this year. I had always heard about how the course was the typical ski resort course where you climb up the mountain and then go back down, like the ones that I had raced when I first started mountain bike racing. I also heard that the climb was steep, but I didn’t realize just how steep it was until I pre-rode the course the day before the race. Going into the race I knew that I wasn’t the fastest and lightest climber out there, but I knew if I could push the less steep sections and not slow down to try to keep my speed up before being able to rest on the downhill, I could do my best to stay up front and hopefully create a gap on the other girls. Because of all the races going on in Europe, many of the girls who I normally race at all the other UCI races weren’t there and so there was a smaller group of girls at this race.

Lining up at the start, I tried to stay calm and positive, knowing that I’d just have to have a strong start and do my best to either try to create a gap right at the beginning and do my best to go on my own, or get behind one of the other girls for the first lap and just feel it out from there. The gun went off and the four of us sprinted to try to get to the single track first and having a good start, I went into the singletrack leading the pack. I knew that I’d have to start off at a little faster pace and then settle into a rhythm but try to create as big of a gap on the other girls as I could. I felt good until I hit the steepest part of the climb and my legs felt a little sluggish and not too amazing. I pushed through it, but one of the other girls caught up to me right before we hit the fire road on the last push of the climb before the descent. I could hear her breathing and working just as hard, if not harder than me, so I slowed down a bit so I could take the time to eat and drink so I could keep up a faster pace. Even though the trail was shaded for a lot of the course, it was still very hot. I felt the heat starting to effect me some and realized that I had to make the effort to drink more and keep pouring water from my bottle on myself to stay cool.

After the descent on the first lap, I noticed that I had made a gap on the other girl who had caught up to me on the climb and I knew that I had to keep a good steady pace going into my second lap and not slow down so I could keep the gap I had made. My goal was to try to create an even bigger one on her and the rest of the field for my last lap. Starting the climb again, I was hoping that my legs would start to feel better, but to my disappointment, they still felt not too great. With as many switchbacks there were on the course, I could see where the rest of the field was on the climb, and I could see the one girl who had caught up to me before close behind me, but not as close as on the first lap. Somehow at the end of the climb, my legs started to feel a lot better and I picked up my pace on the last little part of the climb before going into the decent feeling way more confident.

At that point, I knew that I had to go up that very painful climb one more time, and that made me push even harder going into my last lap. I made sure to keep hydrating and working the parts of the climb that weren’t too steep as hard as I could. The climb didn’t feel as long as it had the first two laps and soon enough I was at the top. I went into the decent faster than I had before, but I still played it safe making sure that I wouldn’t make any little mistakes that could event in an unwanted crash. I made sure to also have fun with it and went into the final corner before the finish smiling. I was very tired but super stoked with having a successful race and my first UCI win.

 

Dumonde Tech – Product Report

by Mina Ricci

Dumonde Tech Racing Oils is one of the world’s leading chain lubricant and grease developers, and for good reason. Its products are some of the most best performing and protecting on the market due to their dependability and easy use.

Dumonde Tech lubricants are made unique by their Micro Resistant Complex Compound (MRCC), a technology developed by Dumonde over ten years ago. This Micro Resistant Complex Compound is incorporated into the lubricants and adheres better, creating a stronger lube that reduces friction more than in regular lubricants. This makes it resistant to water, dirt, and mud, allows the chain to move easier, and lets you to use less of the lubricant while getting the same affect. Dumonde’s PRO X bike lubricant uses this technology, making it one of the most reliable, longest lasting, and popular lubricants available.

Before I used the Dumonde Tech lubricant, my chain and derailleur required maintenance and cleaning every ride. This constant upkeep cost me a lot of money and time, damaged my previous bike’s derailleur and cassette, and rusted my chain. But when I began using Dumonde Tech, my chain stayed clean for longer periods of time and my derailleur shifted perfectly! For anyone looking for one of the best lubricant products, try Dumonde Tech!

 

Castelli Product Report

by Ryder Uetrecht

There is no way to put it but bluntly, these are the best kits and chamois out there. They’re comfortable and fast and there’s no negative to them in the least. I’ve ridden on other chamois all my life and I had gotten used to second rate but when I wear my castelli chamois and jerseys I feel so so much better. The Sanremo is a skin suit that doesn’t just excel at road but also is perfect for cyclocross and mountain biking. I love that skin suit. Other than the extremely comfortable chamois the zip up portion the Sanremo is very easy to put on and uncomplicated. Not having to take 5 minutes to get in and out of the jersey is very welcomed by myself and those I have talked to.

Castelli goes above and beyond not just with their skin suits but with every piece of riding gear. When I was training for cyclocross even before I was on Bear Development I kept a castelli rain protector with me just in case it snowed or rained. On one fateful ride as luck would have it, it began to snow. However I was not wet in the time it took for me to finish my ride and ride home (which ended up being an hour). Needless to say their gear is top of the line and unbeatable. But it’s not just their skin suits or rain jerseys but every product they have. I can never go back to the old stuff I used to ride with. Now excuse me I have to go shop for more of my favorite clothing company, Castelli.

 

June Race Results

Missoula Pro XCT

June 10-11, 2017

Missoula, Montana

Women CAT 1 15-16

2nd Maddie Jo Robbins

Men CAT 1 15-16

13th Ryder Uetrecht

15th Bobby Jones

UCI Elite Junior Men

8th Adam Croft

11th Dylan Fryer

13th JonJon Drain

14th Julian LePelch

17th Noah Hayes*

UCI Elite Junior Women

2nd Savilia Blunk

3rd Katja Freeburn

10th Clodagh Mellett

UCI Elite Men

5th Luke Vrouwenvelder

8th Jerry Dufour

14th Steffen Andersen

18th Xander Sugarman

22nd Daniel Johnson

23rd Carson Beckett

24th Eli Kranefuss

Women Short Track

1st Maddie Jo Robbins

2nd Katja Freeburn

Men Short Track

2nd Adam Croft

Men UCI Elite Short Track

3rd Luke Vrouwenvelder

6th Jerry Dufour

15th Carson Beckett

18th Steffen Andersen

 

Chile Challenge Pro XCT

June 23-14, 2017

Angel Fire, New Mexico

UCI Junior Women 15-16

1st Maddie Jo Robbins

UCI Junior Women 17-18

1st Katja Freeburn

UCI Junior Men 17-18

5th Julian LePelch

13th Josh Peterson

17th Dylan Fryer

20th Adam Croft

 

Canada Cup XCO #5

Trek Store Canada Cup

Oro Station, ON, Canada

June 18, 2017

Elite Men

6h Luke Vrouwenvelder

8th Jerry Dufour

 

Argovia Vittoria-Fischer Cup

June 18, 2017

Lostorf, Switzerland

Junior Women

6th Savilia Blunk

 

Canada Cup XCO #6

Whistler Canada Cup – Final

Whistler, BC, Canada

June 24, 2017

Elite Men

4th Luke Vrouwenvelder

5th Jerry Dufour

6th Eli Kranefuss

 

Prefix Swiss Bike Cup

June 25, 2017

Andermatt, Switzerland

Junior Women

4th Savilia Blunk

 

 

* Conditional Team Rider

 

Mid-Season Wrap Up – State Champs + World Cups 1, 2

Bear Development Team May Newsletter

 

Race Results + Race Recaps!

12 Hours of Mesa Verde

by Maddie Jo Robbins

The day of the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde had finally come. A race like no other, the 12 Hours, is a fun filled relay race on bikes through the Phil’s World trail system in Cortez, Co, about five miles from Mesa Verde National Park.The clock starts at 7 am sharp and until 7 pm, there is always someone on course. This year I raced with a team of three other 14-16 females. Having raced the previous year, we were ready to come back and give it our all.

The day began with Ruth, our first rider, lining up on the starting line for the Le Mans style start. At the blow of the canon she was off! Running through the frenzy of people, Ruth was able to grab her bike and get riding without getting caught up in the traffic jams. She had a pretty good ride, but being the first lap there was plenty of jamming up, and people everywhere. She came in from the 18 mile loop with a sizeable lead over our competitors. Running through the corral, she quickly handed me our clothes pin, which was our “ baton”, and before I knew it I was running towards my bike to begin my lap.

Pedaling to my heart’s delight, I was super stoked to be on course. The 12 Hours course has always been one of my favorites with its super smooth, flowy downhills, and punchy ascents. I felt pretty good throughout the first few miles. My legs were charging, and my lungs felt great. I had found my groove and was moving at a steady pace, passing people here and there.

As I climbed my way up the first ascent, I was eager to get to the top and start the notorious “Coco Race” descent, my favorite of all the descents. With a final few pedal strokes I was at the top with no one in my way. My heartbeat rushed as I flew down Coco Race like I was a car on a roller coaster. The swooping turns and thrilling ups and downs are unbeatable when it comes to fun descents.

From there I just chugged along, putting one foot in front of the other, as I knew I still had a good bit to go, and later another lap.

Catching on to people’s wheels and then passing them, only to repeat the process about a hundred more times, I was quickly making it through the course, and before I knew it I was halfway there and at the top of another awesome descent: The Rib Cages. Known for their flowy characteristics the Rib Cages are a favorite among many and a bucket list for lots. I swooped up and down as I made my way through the descent. When it was over I was a little bit sad, as it was so fun, but I knew I would be back in a few hours to do it again.

By now, all I had left was the new addition to the course, 8 miles of gradual climbing and descending with lots of twisting turns. I still felt good, but mentally I was ready to be back. With little excitement in the final miles, my mind began to wander but I continued to power ahead. The field had begun to spread out so there were a lot less people on my section of the course.

Soon enough, I was shredding back to camp through the tunnel. I was stoked to make it back and into the corral of a hundred cheering faces and my next teammate ready to go. I quickly handed her the clothes pin baton and then she was gone, experiencing the fun for herself…

After all four of us had made our way through the course and then back again, and Ruth had done her second, I once again found myself pedaling through the smooth trails, up and over the hills, down the shreddy descents and over every piece of the trail once again. My second lap was even more fun than the first. I just had an awesome flow going and I felt so happy to be shredding the amazing trails. In fact, I found it to be so much fun, I volunteered to do it a third time. For my third lap I went out with two of my other teammates, as one of them still had her final lap to do. We just joined along for fun. Even though my stoke was high, I managed to lower it as I went over a jump only to come out the other side somersaulting into a tree stump. My handle bars had managed to wrap themselves all the way over my top tube, and I hurt my thumb pretty bad. I told my teammates to go on without me, and I made my way back to camp.

When it was all said and done, we came through the finish line 1 lap and 100 smiles ahead of our next competitors. It was a fantastic race filled with so much fun and even more shredding. I think my teammates would agree, along with all the other racers, when I say that the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde is one of the most fun experiences you can have on a bike.

 

Canada Cup Report

by Michael Mace

With the start of my race season not going as planned due to injuries and sickness, I was excited to go out of my country to race. The first of the two races was on Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada and featured wet technical rock and root sections that made for a very challenging and fun race. Off the start I fell back several positions and went into the single track in roughly the top 25. During the first lap I made several passes and was able to make my way into the top 15 closing in on the top 10. Throughout the rest of the laps, I kept making advancements in my position until finally I caught up to 5th. After riding his wheel for a few minutes I noticed him stumbling on a section of trail and made an attack around him. The two of us stayed together all the way to the finish line where we had a sprint finish together and I beat him and finished in 5th place.

With my great performance at the first race I was excited to get to Baie Saint Paul for the second race up in Canada to hopefully have another fantastic race. Unfortunately, after having a good start and riding really well on the sea of roots that covered the course, I flatted on the A-line drop about 3/4 through the first lap while riding behind the leaders. After running back to the tech zone, I got my tube put in my tire and continued my race now sitting in the top 25. I managed to move up several positions before getting another flat shortly after the tech zone and had to run the whole second half of my second lap to get my flat fixed. Once I had gotten there, my mechanic had issues getting a new tube and ended up getting a wheel exchange from the Summit Bike Club team. Finally, I was able to finish the race feeling very fatigued and tired. I’m very frustrated at my bad luck in the second race but I’m really happy with how my fitness is coming back and how my technical skills were at the two races.

 

State Championships Recap

by Skye Ricci

The day before the California High School State Championship race I felt nervous but strong and excited. I had looked at the weather and knew that it would be perfect racing conditions. When I went to pre ride the course the day before, I rode with the Tamalpais High School girls, my sister Mina, and two friends from Wood Creek High School.The course itself was 6 miles of bumpy doubletrack with plenty of dusty turns and fast downhills. It wove through fields of flowers and grass, and was very exposed to the sun.

The morning of the race, I was super nervous, but as soon as I got to the Tam High tent (my sister Mina and I were warming up there) the Tam freshman and sophomores started to crack jokes and I began to feel less nervous and more excited. My warm up went great–up to this point in the season, I had been warming up on someone else’s bike because my bike wouldn’t work on the trainers. But thanks to a different set of trainers, I could warm up on my own bike. As I rolled up to call ups, I became nervous again. I didn’t know any of my competitors besides Robin Stranton so I didn’t know how fast they would be.

I pulled an early lead and stayed at the front of the pack for the rest of the race with Ethan Sanchez and Robin Stranton right on my tail. At the beginning of the second climb my legs were burning and I was gasping for breath but I kept pushing. As soon as we had dropped most of the slower freshman (about ¾ of them) I ate my first gel and drank about half of my water. I then went on a attacking sprint. A scary moment of the race was when I went around a turn to find a couple of rocks in the way (they had rolled down the hillside and onto the trail). At that point I had to rely on my experience and quick reaction time to not roll over one of them and crash.

Ethan, Robin, and I stayed in the first, second and third positions until Ethan made a mistake when he went to drink and Robin made his move to pass him. Ethan was dropped by Robin and me as I went on an attacking sprint to try to tire out Robin. Robin managed to stay on my tail but was getting tired. When the Division 2 freshman leader passed Robin and me, I went on an attack to keep on the tail of the D2 leader. Robin couldn’t hold on to us and dropped back. He made up some time on the descent but couldn’t catch me, and I ended up winning the race with a 6 second lead on Robin and an 18 second lead on Tyler Duffus, the third place freshman winner.

Overall, I felt really good about the race and I had a blast cheering on fellow racers. NICA did an amazing job putting on this event and I am definitely looking forward to next year’s racing season. Now I’m ready to hit the trails and do a few fun rides before real training begins again!

 

State Championships Race Report

by Dylan Fryer

So you could say this race was a big deal and you’d be way understating it in my head. I was intensely nervous for what was going to be my hardest high school race yet, Varsity State Championships. I began the day watching races, calculating average points for 6 possible contending teams, saying hi to Kate Courtney, and generally being all around nervous. I ate some food, did some of the warming up, had a pep talk with Julia and Xander (which involved me finally understanding that I shouldn’t try and stay with Xander but in fact focus on other more feasible goals), and then rolled up to the start line.

I started 4th row behind most of the big names in our race and ahead of some others. All in all, there were 65 racers lined up. I put myself right behind Julian and Emmet Tuttle figuring they would be fast off the line. Vanessa freaked us all out by not telling us 1 minute warning and just went straight to the final countdown instead. For 5 seconds everyone tried to clip in and start their Garmins. Then we were off, I quickly slid to the outside of the group looking for spots to pass on the right side and moved up a couple places before the single track. When it really tightened up, I was in 10th or so and we were going really fast. I started moving up the field with some guys until I was hovering around 5th and 6th. I say and because it was constant motion at the front of our group. Someone would go for a pass and suddenly everybody would switch positions. It was like musical chairs. But without the chairs. Or music.

At the top of the climb it was sorted out as such, Xander was leading, followed by Tyler, Turner, me, Trevor McCutcheon, and then lots more people. At the end of the first lap we were still a front group of 18 and I was beginning to worry that I would very likely not make podium at all. We hit the second lap fast (again), and things began to sort out more concretely. Riders started sliding off the back of the group and it came out more or less in the following order. Xander and Ben Gomez Villafane went off the front, Turner and I were behind them, and several people including Tyler, Noah Lindenthal, Noah Hayes, Trevor McCutcheon, and such were scattered behind us. At the top of the climb, I heard Tyler latch on to my wheel and we were now a group of 3 with Turner. Tyler quickly passed us and I was surprised to see Turner not follow him. When Tyler started to pull away, I passed Turner and caught up to Tyler. We came through in 3rd and 4th at the end of the second lap. Xander and Ben were long gone and behind us there was a group of Trevor, Noah, and Noah. I sat on Tyler’s wheel all the way up the climb, constantly checking back to see where the other group was. I stayed on Tyler’s wheel for the entire descent.

On the second to last little climb by the RV’s, Trevor caught up to us and got on our wheels. A little while later, he passed us going quite fast. I chose not to go with him worrying that I would not be able to hold his pace on the 4th lap. I crossed the line the third time still behind Tyler and could see Trevor and Noah catching up. In this moment, I decided to do what I haven’t felt strong enough to do all season. I put my head down and cranked up the gears. I passed Tyler and saw him try to get on my wheel and quickly fall back. This spurred me on and I kept the pressure on. I could see Trevor ahead and I quickly closed the gap he had opened up and passed him hoping that he too would not be able to hang on my wheel. He had slowed considerably from when he passed us earlier and started falling away just like Tyler. I could feel the burn in my legs but this was a different kind of burn. This is the burning that makes you want to go faster. This is the burning I race for.

I clicked up another gear and went faster seeing Ben in the distance. It took my the first half of the climb but I caught up to Ben and passed him too, hoping for the same result as I had had with Trevor and Tyler. This time, Ben jumped on my wheel and I was slightly bummed. I kept going to the top of the hill, putting in little efforts here and there hoping to crack him. We began the descent and I knew I was in a podium position now, the question was just which one. At this point, I was completely satisfied with finishing 3rd in Varsity but I certainly wasn’t going to give up 2nd without a fight. I led the descent and hit the second to last climb hard trying to get a gap. Ben stayed with me and I could feel my legs were on the verge of cramping. I rolled through the SoCal camping and into the last loop climb.

When I hit it, I gave it everything I had and saw half a bike length open up. In that moment I knew that I had something to work with and I sprinted as hard as I could. I put everything I had into that last half mile and ended up crossing the line in 2nd, 5 seconds ahead of 3rd and only 50 seconds behind Xander.

Nice job to all you Bear riders who went hard out there and to our two State Champions, Xander and Skye!

 

Sisters Stampede XC Race Report

by Ryder Uetrecht

 

This weekend I raced at a local race called the Sisters Stampede. This race is notoriously hard. It’s not notorious for climbing (because there’s only 1,300 feet of climbing) but rather, the dust, the lack of flow on the course and the absence of recovery.

From the start, you are lead out by a horse and a gun and from there on it is full throttle. I went 99% for the first 9 miles before the pace was too much and needed to back off. At this point we had already gone through so much dust I was covered with a layer of silt on all of my skin. I pushed past the burning of my lungs and focused on the man in front of me and held his wheel on the trail which was lackluster in how the flow worked. You were hammering harder out of every tub because you could not keep your speed at all.

As the race went on I held my competitors wheel and we dropped the man with us. As we neared the finish I put in a slight effort to chip away at his energy. And then I attacked again, and again, and again until we had finished the dirt road. When it came down to a sprint I knew I had him beat before we rounded the corner. I put in one final effort and was able to go to the zone beyond the red zone, the dark-red zone. I had never gone that hard and was completely destroyed as far as my energy was concerned for the next three hours until podium. I went home and slept for hours and hours and hours. All in all an amazing race.

Looking forward to Montana.

 

May Race Results

12 Hours of Mesa Verde

May 13, 2017

Cortez, Colorado

 

Female Team U19

1st Maddie Jo Robbins

 

California State Championships

May 13-14, 2017

Petaluma, California

 

Freshman Boys D1

1st Skye Ricci

 

JV Boys D2

7th Sebastian Dow*

 

Varsity Boys

1st Xander Sugarman

2nd Dylan Fryer

6th Noah Hayes*

 

Varsity Girls

2nd Mina Ricci

3rd Clodagh Mellett

 

UCI Canada Cup #2

May 21, 2017

Mt. Tremblant, QC, Canada

 

Junior Men

5th Michael Mace

15th Tate Meintjes

 

Junior Women

4th Savilia Blunk

12th Mina Ricci

 

Senior Men

2nd Sandy Floren

6th Carson Beckett

25th Steffen Andersen

 

UCI Canada Cup #3

May 27, 2017

Baie St. Paul, QC, Canada

 

Junior Men

15th Tate Meintjes

 

Junior Women

3rd Savilia Blunk

11th Mina Ricci

 

Senior Men

11th Sandy Floren

14th Carson Beckett

20th Steffen Andersen

 

UCI World Cup #1

Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic

May 20, 2017

 

Men U23

38th Luke Vrouwenvelder

98th Jerry Dufour

109th Daniel Johnson

 

UCI World Cup #2

Albstadt, Germany

May 27, 2017

 

Men U23

46th Luke Vrouwenvelder

61st Jerry Dufour

 

Iron Horse Bicycle Classic

Durango, Colorado

 

Road Race – May 27, 2017

Junior Women

1st Maddie Jo Robbins

 

MTB Race – May 28, 2017

Junior Women

1st Maddie Jo Robbins

 

Pro Women

5th Katja Freeburn

 

Sisters Stampede XC

Sisters, Oregon

May 28, 2017

 

Expert Men 19-44

1st Ryder Uetrecht

 

 

* Conditional Team Rider