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

March Madness with Bear Development Team!

The Bear Dev Team held their annual Junior Team Camp over St. Patrick’s weekend in Marin County, CA at City Cycle Bike Shop! Check out our Instagram for more pics from camp! @beardevteam


Canada Cup XCO #1

Bear Mountain Canada Cup

Victoria, British Columbia 3/4/17

Elite Men

12th Sandy Floren


NorCal Race #2

Central Coast Challenge

Laguna Seca, CA

3/11/17 – 3/12/17

Southern Conference

Varsity Boys

4th Noah Hayes

Northern Conference

Varsity Girls

1st Mina Ricci

2nd Lauren DesRosiers (Alum)

3rd Clodagh Mellett

4th Mackenzie Lewis

7th Emily Harris

Varsity Boys

1st Xander Sugarman

2nd Tate Meintjes

3rd Dylan Fryer

4th Liam Howard

7th Julian LePelch

JV Boys D2

2nd Sebastian Dow

Freshman Boys D1

1st Skye Ricci


Junior Bear Team Camp

Marin County, CA

3/17/17 – 3/20/17


Southern Classic Race #2


Sanford, NC


Pro/Open Men

1st Luke Vrouwenvelder


NorCal Race #3

More Fun at the Fort

Fort Ord, CA

3/25/17 – 3/26/17

Southern Conference

Varsity Boys

3rd Noah Hayes

Northern Conference

Varsity Girls

1st Mina Ricci

2nd Mackenzie Lewis

3rd Clodagh Mellett

5th Lauren DesRosiers (Alum)

6th Emily Harris

Varsity Boys

1st Xander Sugarman

2nd Julian LePelch

3rd Dylan Fryer

JV Boys D2

1st Sebastian Dow

Freshman Boys D1

2nd Skye Ricci

Bear Development Team U23 Camp + Race Results!

To kick off the 2017 season, Bear held it’s first team camp for the U23 riders in Marin County, CA over MLK Weekend. The U23 team participated in group rides, sports psychology and nutrition classes, strength training seminars, and team building exercises at City Cycle Corte Madera. The camp was supported by our team director, Julia Violich, and the families of our team members in the Bay Area. Stay tuned for updates on the Junior Camp, coming up in March!

We’re stoked for this season!

Front Row left to right: Team Director Julia Violich, U23 Rider Sandy Floren, U23 Rider Daniel Johnson, Women’s Junior Rider Savilia Blunk, U23 Rider Carson Beckett, Strength Training Coach Aaron Lautman.

Back Row left to right: Coach Jason Jablonski, U23 Rider Eli Kranefuss, Men’s Junior Rider Jon Jon Drain, Guest of Honor Pro-Cyclist Todd Wells, U23 Rider Jerry Dufour, U23 Rider Luke Vrouwenvelder, U23 Rider Steffen Andersen.



USAC Cyclo-Cross National Championships, Hartford, CT – January 4th – 5th

CX Men U23 Pro

1st Lance Haidet – Alum

CX U23 Women

1st Ellen Noble – Alum

CX Men Elite Pro

5th Tobin Ortenblad – Alum


USAC Fat Bike National Championships, Grand Rapids, MI – January 28th

Junior Men 15-18

1st Bobby Jones

2nd Annual Borealis Fat Bike World Championships, Crested Butte, CO – January 25th – 29th

Open Men U21

1st Daniel Johnson


TBF Racing MTB Classic, Granite Bay, CA – January 29th

Pro/ Expert Men

1st Xander Sugarman – Alum

2nd Bryce Lewis – Alum

HS Sport Female

1st Mina Ricci

2nd Mackenzie Lewis

Novice Men

1st Skye Ricci

UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships, Bieles, Luxembourg – January 28th

CX U23 Women

2nd Ellen Noble – Alum

2016 – New Year, New Bears!

We’re stoked to announce the 2016 Bear Development Team Roster!

Lauren Desrosiers
Mackenzie Lewis
Savilia Blunk
Uma Teesdale
Viveka Brockman

Clayton Puckett
Connor Jinguji
Dylan Fryer
John Waldron
Jon Jon Drain
Josh Peterson
Liam Howard
Matthew Tracey-Cook
Roberto Cribley
Tate Meintjes

Bryce Lewis
Carson Benjamin
Eli Kranefuss
Jerry Dufour
Nate Barnett

Applications for 2016 Season Open Soon!

The Bear Development Team will be accepting race resumes for the 2016 cycling season from August 15th to September 5th. Please send your complete resume with your contact info to us at – – We look forward to hearing from you! Good luck!


It’s been a great start of summer for the cycling community here in Fairfax, California.18284146131_a07d6dd5cb_k

The Bear Development Team held their annual Mt. Tam Fondo on May 30th, which kicked off from the new Marin Museum of Bicycling at 1966 Sir Francis Drake Blvd in Fairfax. The Fondo cyclists rode 60 scenic miles and climbed 3,000 feet around the beautiful Mt. Tamalpais. The riders’ investment in Bear brought in over $4,000 for the boys and girls of our junior cycling team! With their support, the Bear Development Team will continue to give hard-working, committed, bright, good kids a great experience racing bikes. Last year, we traveled all over America and sent several kids to Europe where they were able to compete at the highest levels of competition. This year, our expanded team roster includes 1 junior woman, and 17 junior men riding road, mountain and cyclocross.

For those of you who missed the Bear Tam Fondo, here’s some amazing footage from Elliot Jaramillo’s GoPro cam mounted to a drone helicopter. Stunning views of the Mt. Tamalpais, Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay, and the Bear Development Team.

Come ride with us next time. ➼➼➼

Stop by Marin Museum of Bicycling, open this summer Thursday – Sunday, 11:00 – 5:00 or by appointment. You can also find out more information online at


WHEN :   9 AM, May 30, 2015
START : Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax, 1966 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax, CA 94930




Meet Bear Team Director Chris Burnham

Chris Burnham has been the Bear Development Team Performance Director since our initial season in 2012.  This year he moves into the role of Road Team Director as well.  Chris is one of the brightest, most knowledgeable, best communicating, best listening, most experienced coaches we’ve ever met.  He is able to keep it fun while developing riders who continue to improve year after year.  His work with Bear Team Riders Bryan Duke and Tim Aiken has been nothing short of awesome.  These two continue to blow the doors off of what we thought was possible.  We are stoked to have Chris as a member of the Bear family and are looking forward to seeing him grow both the performance level and the stoke level on the road team this season.


What are your basic stats: hometown, job, family, etc?
I live in Monterey CA, am a full time coach and bike fit practioner, husband, and father to an awesome 5 year old girl.

What is the Bear Development Team, to you?
Bear Development represents a chance to give back to a sport that has given me so much, as well as have an impact on future generations of cyclists and cycling culture. Creating a fun team atmosphere with a focus on confidence,team work, and professionalism helps these kids build good character that not only makes them good cyclists, but also good people. If we create athletes with strong character and ethics, than we can affect much more than the riders that are on our team. We can make a change in the sport itself.

How did you come to be involved with Bear?
I have coached Bryan Duke (one of the original riders with Bear Development) for several years before he started riding with Bear. Once Bryan was on the team I met Stu Bone who gave me the opportunity to be more involved with the program. I officially started working with the team at the Cascade Classic in 2012.

What do you like about the program?
We keep things fun. Everyone involved in the program is 100% professional and committed to athlete development, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun activities and make long lasting friendships at the same time.

How would you characterize Bear’s philosophies in terms of rider development?
Instill confidence, work ethic, and professionalism in their training and racing while keeping the sport fun. The reality is that not all of these cyclists are going to become Professional cyclists, but they can grow as people through this sport. I think we can make a positive impact on whatever they decide to do in life.

How would you characterize Bear’s philosophies in terms of helping young riders develop in other areas of their lives, away from the bike?
Bear has a strong history of helping our athletes get over the awkwardness of talking to girls through the development of games like heat seeker, a game where riders have to say hi to person of the opposite sex. I am pretty sure that Tim Aiken is the reining Heat Seeker champion after our trip to Nationals in Madison Wisconsin.

What is your background in the sport?
I began mountain bike racing at 18 years old and raced up to the elite level on the road and mountain bike for next 15 years. After racing for close to ten years, I started coaching a few athletes on the team I was racing for. I really enjoyed the process, and what originally started as helping a few friends become more of a passion. Slowly my racing started taking a back seat to coaching and working with athletes until I became a full time coach over 10 years ago. This year will be my 15th year coaching and 11th full time.

How would you characterize your fitness coaching and race day coaching philosophies with development riders?
My philosophy with coaching development riders is that effective coaching is a combination of exercise prescription based science to meet their unique goals and physiology, and a continuous conversation between athlete and coach that addresses all aspects of fitness. I make myself very accessible to my riders to make sure they are getting the information and guidance they need to excel.

With all your experience helping to develop and coach some really strong riders, what would you like to all tell young, developing riders?
Be patient! Not every rider develops along the same pathway and there isn’t a set timeline that athletes need to follow to get to the top of the sport. Trust in the process, stay committed to your goals, and put in the work. You can achieve more than you think.

What are your goals for the Bear Team in the years to come?
I would love to see the program continue to grow and be able to offer amazing experiences and challenges to these junior athletes. Even more so, I would like to see the philosophy of the Bear Development Team continue to grow to give as many young cyclists as possible the same opportunities to grow as athletes and people as our riders.

You generously give a massive amount of time and energy to the help these kids. What are you trying to accomplish through your involvement with the Bear Team?
To give back to the sport, and give awesome kids the support that I wish I had when I was racing at their age.

Quick Chat with Road Team Rider Director Rob Evans

rob trust

photo alex chiu

When we first started Bear we knew right away that we needed to put some really experienced racers around these kids.  But these Rider Directors had to be more than just fast.  They had to be guys who could #keepitfun, look out for the kids first, do the right thing, travel well and sacrifice their own ambitions to work for the kids out on the road.  Cat 1, 2 bike racers are a lot of things, but unselfish isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when describing the majority of them.

Ben Jacques-Maynes is local to Santa Cruz and he was a great mentor to the kids long before Bear came into the picture.  But, understandably, with a full time job as a pro bike racer and a loving family, he didn’t have much free time to invest in the kids.   He recommended we reach out to Rob Evans and then introduced me to him on the Saturday ride in Santa Cruz.

Rob joined our team for the last few races of the 2012 season and is now a permanent fixture in our program as a road team Rider Director.  We count on him in so many ways.  Most importantly, the kids know that if they are on his wheel he will be right there in the mix when the race-winning move is made.  And he’ll work like a dog to help launch them forward at exactly the right moment.  He’s also been known to drop back, give young buck an earful and then tow him up to the front where he needs to be.  The kids count on Rob and he’s always looking out for them.

I asked Rob a few questions about the nature of cycling development and this program.  He had some insightful things to say.

Photo Alex Chiu
Photo Alex Chiu

What has it been like working with these kids?

Working with the kids is great, I’m always impressed by the level of professionalism and respect they show to each other, our sponsors and our supporters.  Stu and Julia have made my role very easy, they have the hard talks, manage the sponsors and parents, so I’m free to be a bro.  It’s much like the difference between being a parent vs. an uncle…I can buy them ice-cream and cookies, but it’s Stu and Julia who has to make sure they get to sleep every night.

What kinds of things have you taught them?  What have you been working on with them?

If theres one single lesson I want everyone to learn, it’s the importance of loving to ride your bike.  It can’t be forced by a parent, a coach, a sponsor, a team, it has to come from the rider.  At a certain point, each of our riders will be forced to make difficult life decisions, weighing the opportunity cost between riding, school, relationships and work.  I’ve seen it happen over and over again, big sacrifices, with no payout.  It’s crushing, so much so riders walk away from their bike never to ride again.  The day you give up school or work to “go pro” is the day riding a bike becomes a job, and like most jobs, work sucks…unless you love what you do.  As Steve Jobs said, “our work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

What have they taught you, if anything?

Discipline.  From diet, to intervals, to Strava, to wattage, to remembering your shoes before the race, these kids are dialed.  I’ve always approached racing as a hobby, these guys approach racing as a profession…there’s a big difference.

What does the cycling development culture in the USA need more of?  What does it need less of?

It needs more personality, more emotion.  The entire sport, including our own federation is built upon the omertà.  Do you job, don’t piss anyone off, and you will be rewarded (with contracts, coaching jobs, selection committee positions, grand fondo sponsors, industry positions, etc), it’s created a culture of drones.  Fans want real heroes with real personalities, victory solutes and drama, underdogs and and trash talking, tears of joy and sorrow, above all fans want to feel the emotion.  Until we find a way to bring emotion back into he sport, development will be stifled. Riders dreams will continue to get crushed by those who uphold theomertà, and the cycle will continue.  This sport is ripe for disruption, I’m not quite sure how it will change, but I do know it won’t come from the top.

What makes Bear different from other programs you’ve raced with?

The ethos of the team is unlike any I have encountered before.  The mission of the team is not to win 100 races, not to please sponsors or parents, it’s quite simply to help our riders become better, more well rounded people.  As we achieve that mission, the rest simply falls into place, sponsors love us, parents trust us and results pour in.  Our ability to stick to this approach is rooted in the lack of a title sponsor (or in other words, the generous donations of our private sponsors).  Our objectives can then be set by the riders, not the sponsors.   It’s a subtle, but important difference.

How does the experience these kids are having differ from your experience of developing in the sport?

These guys are under much more pressure than I was.  I knew well before college that I wasn’t pro material…however each of our riders are.  It’s taken me 20 years to develop to the level these guys have achieved in 2-3 years, it’s a mind-blowing level of talent.  Currently the opportunity cost of “going pro” has never been higher, yet the “pro dream” is no less real.  Reconciling those two is extremely difficult for a high school kid.  Throw in the culture of doping (which was something I was completely aloof to at their age), and it’s even harder.

Photo Alex Chiu
Photo Alex Chiu

We’re stoked to have Rob in the program.  Can’t imagine doing this without him.

Thanks for reading, Stu