March Madness with Bear Dev Team!


Check out these awesome visuals from Bear Development Team’s Junior Camp last month in Marin County, CA! Aerial footage & editing by Elliott Jaramillo. #getstoked


Montgomery Bell Winter MTB Time Trial Series #3, White Bluff, TN, March 4, 2018

Pro Men

2nd Harrison Klapheke

New York State Crit Championships, New York, NY, March 10, 2018

15-18 Junior Men

1st Jonah Vasquez

NorCal Race #2 Central Coast Challenge, Monterey, CA, March 10-11, 2018

South Conference

Varsity Boys

1st Noah Hayes

Noah Hayes takes Varsity Boys 1st place by storm at NorCal Race #2, South Conference!

North Conference

Varsity Girls

3rd Clodagh Mellett


Varsity Boys

1st Dylan Fryer
2nd Julian LePelch
3rd Sebastian Dow


JV Boys D1

12th Toby Coughlan


JV Boys D2

3rd Skye Ricci

NorCal Race #2 Varsity Boys North Conference: 1st: Dylan Fryer, 2nd: Julian LePelch, 3rd Sebastian Dow. Good job boys!!

Chain of Lakes Cycling Classic, Ft. Meade, FL, March 10-11, 2018

Criterium Pro Men

7th Nicholas Tabares

SoCal Race #2 Vail Lake Challenge, Temecula, CA, March 10-11, 2018

Varsity Boys

2nd Devin DeBruhl

The Cactus Cup, Fountain Hills, AZ, March 10-11, 2018

Elite Short Track Women

7/14 Katja Freeburn

Elite Short Track Men

4th Daniel Johnson

Elite Fat Tire

5th Katja Freeburn

Fat Tire 40 Mile

5th Daniel Johnson

Elite Super Enduro Women

6th Katja Freeburn

Elite Super Enudro Men

8th Daniel Johnson

Puerto Rico MTB Cup + UCI Junior Series XCO, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, March 11, 2018

Elite Men

1st Luke Vrouwenvelder

Junior Men

1st Paul Fabian

Paul Fabian

Paul Fabian got 1st place in the Junior Mens race at the Puerto Rico MTB Cup!

Super Sweetwater with Old Caz, Occidental, CA, March 17, 2018

Pro/ Open Men

1st Sandy Floren

Sandy Floren took 1st place at Grasshopper’s Super Sweetwater! Check out those views!

Philly Phlyer, Philadelphia, PA, March 17-18, 2018

Road Race, Men A

1st Nick Lando, University of Vermont

Team Omnium

3rd University of Vermont (Nick Lando)

2017/2018 Coconut Cup Series Final, Markham Park – Sunrise, FL, March 18, 2018

Men Cat-1 19-39 Elite XC

1st Nicholas Tabares

Nicholas Tabares won 1st in Elite Men at the Coconut Cup Final!

NorCal Race #3 Back to the Fort, East Garrison, CA, March 24-25, 2018

South Conference

Varsity Boys

1st Noah Hayes

Noah Hayes (center) after a good mud run at NorCal Race #3.

North Conference

Varsity Girls

2nd Clodagh Mellett

Varsity Boys

1st Dylan Fryer
2nd Sebastian Dow
3rd Julian LePelch
16th Liam Howard

JV Boys

12th Toby Coughlan

USAC Florida Cup/ SERC #1, Haile’s Trails – Newberry, FL, March 25, 2018

Junior Boys

1st Nicholas Tabares
2nd Jonah Vasquez

Nicholas Tabares and Jonah Vasquez on the podium together after getting 1st and 2nd place at the USAC Florida Cup. This was Nick’s 4th year in a row winning the FL Cup!! Way to go, Nick!

Bontrager Product Report

by Xander Sugarman

Bontrager supplies us with helmets, shoes, socks, and some components on our bikes. The helmet we use from Bontrager is the Circuit MIPS. The first thing I noticed when I put this helmet on was how comfortable it was. The retention system, (now using Boa) has greatly improved from last year’s model, which was not nearly as comfortable as the new one. Another part of the helmet that I have been impressed by is the MIPS system. This system allows the helmet to slide around over the head to help reduce the stress of angled impacts. The updated MIPS system easily moves around, and is also much more comfortable than previous models. Just a few weeks ago, I was involved in a pretty nasty crash and got a bad concussion. Luckily, for all Bontrager helmets, if you crash and destroy the helmet within the 1st year of ownership, they provide a new one for free!

The shoes we use from Bontrager are the XXX Mountain Shoes. Not only do they look great and match our bikes, they are also extremely comfortable, durable, and stiff. They have one Velcro strap and two Boa adjusters, which make for a very secure, comfortable fit. The part of these shoes that I have been most impressed with is how stiff they are. No matter how much power I am putting down into my pedals, these shoes do not budge, and I have nothing to worry about. The rubber lugs on the bottom of the shoe also make it very easy to walk in loose and muddy conditions. Overall, these shoes are perfect for cross country mountain bike racing, they are extremely stiff, light, comfortable, and unlike many other shoes like these, they are very easy to walk in adverse trail conditions.

Puerto Rico MTB Cup Race Report

by Paul Fabian

With the race almost in sight, we opted to try some of the local food for lunch instead of dinner, and ventured our way through the streets of Mayaguez to the Sancho Panza restaurant. We tried fried plantains and corn sticks, as well as Mofongo, a mashed plantain dish made from green plantains. The Mofongo was stuffed with chicken and served with a tomatoe sauce, accompanied by some Puerto Rican rice and beans.

In the morning I got up around 7 and immediately started on the oatmeal and eggs. I was feeling ready and tried to stick to my pre-race routine as much as possible. We kitted up and rode to the race course before warming up on one of the few stoplight free roads in the town. ​

The Junior field was about two rows deep and started about a minute behind the pro field. There were a couple national champions in the front row, and it was hard to tell just how fast everyone would be. I was nervous for the first race but very determined to leave it all out there. The gun went off, and man did it go off, it was loud enough that I completely lost hearing in my left ear. I don’t even remember if I was able to clip in on the first try. I made it to the grass in about fourth position, and was able to take an inside line in the first switchback corner and then slide into second. By the bottom of the descent I was able to make it into 1st and start to open up a gap on the following climbs before descending into the jungle.

​I made it around the first lap without issues until I got to the steep part of the final climb on the lap and my chain dropped front and rear. At first I thought I had broken the cable, but managed to stay focused and run to a flatter section where I was able to get everything back into a working order. I had lost a 30 second lead on the kids behind me and had to work hard to regain it. I was feeling pretty confident with my fitness and knew that I would just need to focus on maintaining the lead without overheating in the intense weather. After the first four laps I was sitting comfortably in my position and just focused on pushing it really hard in the shaded areas and staying out of the red zone on the more exposed portions. By the final lap I was able to dig deep in the heat and roll it in safely to the finish to cap off the win.

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NorCal Race #2 Report

by Skye Ricci

The NICA NorCal High School Mountain Bike League held their 2nd race at the Laguna Seca Mazda Raceway in Monterey, California last weekend. Laguna Seca’s course is known for ‘Hurl Hill,’ a climb fondly named after what some racers have done after they reach the top. Sunday’s race day was full of sunshine, not a rain cloud in sight. The course had dried out and was generally in good condition, vastly different than the day before. Saturday’s pre-ride was like a trip to the mud bath – my bike was covered in mud and so was I!

Laguna Seca was my redemption race and would test my mental toughness. This was the race to see how far into the “pain cave” I was willing to go. Due to my DNF in Race #1, I had no call-up for this race and started 35 spots behind the leader – a tough spot to be in for this lightening fast group.  I wanted a podium finish and knew I had to ride cleaner, faster and smarter than my competition. There was no room for error. Strategy was everything. Luckily, I had a good start and was able to weave through most of the pack and reach the top 5 riders during my first lap. Talk about lighting a match!

The 3rd and 4th place racers and myself jostled positions during the 2nd and 3rd laps of our race, mostly working together.  As the final lap rolled around, we moved together, pushing to see who would drop off first. We reached Hurl Hill and the other two racers attacked on the steep climb, leaving me a little ways behind. I knew this was it – I had to make my final move at the top of the hill, which continued into a gradual gravel road climb, or the other racers were going to leave me. As soon as I had reach the top, I started my attack. I downshifted and sprinted past the other two riders, using every bit of energy I had left. The two other racers had nothing left from their earlier attack and I quickly dropped them. I reach the top of the final climb and gassed it down the final fireroad descent through the finish line, ultimately finishing in 3rd place.

Throwing an arm in the air, I smiled with exhaustion and happiness. I had done it. I had shown myself what I was made of, what I could accomplish with determination, strategy and strength. The 3rd place finish was amazing to receive, but the confidence I gained from ‘giving it my all’ was priceless.

SoCal Race #2 Report

by Devin DeBruhl

Headed into the second So Cal race I was fully healthy and wanting to improve my results from the last race with an eighth. Saturday felt great and loved the course. The course had lots of up and downs. The dirt was very grippy and I knew race day was gonna have epic conditions.

On Sunday showing up a few hours before my race well rested and ready to warm up. I cheered on my best friend racing, who took the win in Sophomore and cheered on the rest of the team. It was time to warm up on the trainer and get myself mentally ready to race. Having call ups for placing eighth at Lake Perris put me in the second row which was a huge advantage. Once the timer came to zero we were off into the first climb I was sitting in third.

After the short climb and decent came a fire road climb. Our group of five pulled a huge gap on the rest of the field. We pushed this hard pace all the way till the last lap. We started to spread out as Jonah Sanchez lead the group followed by Nathan Hickey, Tydeman Newman, then me. I made a quick pass on Tydeman on the first short climb. Headed onto the fire road I had to pick up the pace as I knew Nathan is a strong rider towards the end. Sure enough Nathan had caught up to Jonah and passed him and was in the lead. I spotted Jonah and gave everything I got to catch up to him. I was able to put a gap on third on the downhill. Nathan was not that far ahead so I put in strong effort to catch up. My legs felt good still and I was wanting the win. Coming into the finish I was second but was stoked on the result. It was surely a fun race with some of the most talented riders in So Cal.

Thank you Bear Development Team for all of the support this year! Also many thanks to my coach Stephen Ettinger and my awesome high school coach Tony Gamberutti! Including Trek, Bontrager, SRAM, Castelli, Fox, Oakley, Gu Energy, K edge, DZ Nuts, Rocktape, Camelbak, ESI, Crash Tag, and Scicon Bags!!!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY – Dylan Fryer, Julian LePelch, and Liam Howard at their first race as high school freshman!

Trek: Bear Riders Take UCI Podiums in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico MTB Cup + UCI Junior Series XCO in Mayaguez, March 11, 2018

Paul Fabian: 1st Place in Junior Men’s Race

Luke Vrouwenvelder: 1st Place in Elite Men’s Race



Trek riders take UCI podiums in Puerto Rico

Meet U23 Member Katja Freeburn

This week, meet…


Racing Age: 19
Hometown: Durango, CO
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 RSL
Favorite Training Song: “God’s Plan” by Drake
Best Post-Ride Snack: Bananas and almond butter

I was lucky enough to grow up in the town of Durango, Colorado and had parents who were very supportive and tried to get me into sports as a child. My roots are actually in Nordic skiing, which was the first sport I really fell in love with. After that came the distance running and cycling. I started racing mountain bikes when I was in middle school when I realized that I really liked the sport. It was a surprise to my parents because I had been extremely opposed to mountain biking for years. The development program in Durango, Durango Devo, really helped me learn to enjoy the sport and make life long friends. Durango Devo also helped me get involved with the community in high school with coaching some of the junior groups and summer camps.

I also got the amazing opportunity to race in the Colorado High School Cycling League all four years of high school. I got to race some of the fastest junior girls in the country, while having incredible amounts of fun. I met so many amazing people and discovered how cool the cycling community was. My freshman year of high school after my first season of high school racing was when I started to really get serious about biking, even though I still thought of it as my second sport behind skiing.

I always thought of Nordic skiing as my main sport up until last year, where I decided to switch over to cycling full time when I was picking colleges. I had put most of my efforts and focus into skiing my senior year of high school, where I attended Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, in hopes of skiing D1 in college. Things did not work out, so I decided to turn my focus on cycling full time. I currently am a freshman at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado and I race collegiate mountain biking and cyclocross for them. I am studying Environmental Studies and focusing on getting my GIS (Geographic Information Systems Mapping) certificate when I graduate college.

Trying to be a full time student and also an athlete, where I will be racing in the professional field this year for the first time has its challenges, but it’s all a learning experience. I’ve learned to balance everything the best that I can knowing that it’ll all be worth it in the end.

Meet U23 Member Jerry Dufour

This week, meet…



Racing Age: 21
Hometown: Birmingham, AL
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9 RSL
Favorite Training Song: “Freedom” by Rage Against the Machine
Best Post-Ride Snack: Gu Energy Labs Stroopwafel

I was born a southern boy, and raised in both Mississippi and Alabama. I grew up playing football, soccer, and other traditional American ball sports, but was introduced to mountain biking at age seven by my dad who entered me in a local race. That was where I fell in love with the sport. By the end of High School, I had ditched all other sports and was 100% focused on racing bikes. Besides the accomplishments, experiences, and life long relationships I have gained, not much has changed since then – I’m still the same Jerry with the same goals: to have fun riding my bike, and help others experience what this beautiful sport has to offer.

When I am not racing, I love to travel to new places and stay there for a few days to train and work. One of my childhood dreams was to buy an RV and travel around the US, exploring new places and racing my bike. At the beginning of 2018, that dream came true and I couldn’t be more happy! I now own my first home and I’m looking forward to enjoying the moment and exploring a little more when traveling.

A few key decisions and opportunities in 2017 allowed me to continue racing and pursuing my goals while making a living. I started working with Mtbfitness as a personal coach, and I also started my own business Dufourfun! Because of this, I was able to continue racing and living my dream, while also giving back in a way that grows the sport.

I am looking forward to the 2018 season and also seeing what my new athletes accomplish!


Meet U23 Member Sandy Floren

Every week for the next month, we will be introducing a member of the Bear Development Pro Team!
Check in to get the inside scoop on Bear Dev’s U23 Riders!
This week, meet…


Racing age: 21
Hometown: Berkeley, CA
Race Bike of Choice: Trek Top Fuel 9.9
Favorite Training Song: “untitled.02” by Kendrick Lamar
Best Post-Ride Snack: Grandma’s cookies

Cycling is really fun and exciting, but it’s not the best outlet for creativity. When I’m not training, I like to spend time on my other hobbies, like playing the guitar and piano, drawing and painting. I also love to cook (almost as much as I love to eat!), and it’s always more fun to do these things together with friends and family. I’m really lucky to have an incredibly supportive circle of people around me, both inside and outside the bike world.For me, cycling was an escape at first. For the first time, I had the ability to go wherever I wanted, and that sense of freedom is still one of the biggest reasons why I love to ride. When I’m outside with nothing but two wheels and the wind in my hair, it’s like a whole world of possibilities opens up, unfolding itself with every pedal stroke.

Although I’m fully committed to racing mountain bikes, I’m also very passionate about my schoolwork. Currently, I’m halfway done with my undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz, studying biochemistry. The biggest challenge is trying to strike a balance. It’s impossible to get 100% out of your body and 100% out of your mind at the same time, so compromises are unavoidable. Thankfully, I have some amazing teammates who are in the same position, and I can always reach out to them for advice.One of my highest priorities as I continue down this path is to maintain a sense of perspective. This means always being grateful for the incredible opportunities I’ve had, and without which I never would have made it this far. My “Bike Family,” as well as my real family, have stuck by me through thick and thin, and their support is what gives me the drive to perform on race day.Perspective also means remembering to “enjoy the moment,” as clichéd as that sounds. Not many people are lucky enough to travel broadly, to explore the world on two wheels. As much as I’d like to, I won’t be a bike racer forever. The memories I make with my teammates, though, will stay with me long after we’ve hung up our collective skinsuits.