Local bike team faring well in ’08 | SierraSun.com

Local bike team faring well in ’08

Justin Swett
Column

It’s been a crazy month of racing for the Northstar-at-Tahoe Giant Bicycles Development Team.

The team has been zipping through flights and rental cars and burning the demand of fuel toward major destinations like Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and California. Each member has put in hard work to meet the demanding race schedule, spreading themselves thin from the whip of juggling 40-hour work weeks. But it has paid off.

The Downhill squad has been setting the foundation and leaving courses cinched.

Casey Coffman is one of the top semi-pro gravity athletes on the national tour with multiple podiums and wins on the regional series. Most recently, Casey jumped into a cross country race at a Nevada Cup. He won in his age group, sucking up used GU and Clif shot wrappers to sustain energy and finish.

On the downhill race seen, Casey finished 11th at Santa Anez, the third stop on the National Mountain Bike Series, and is sitting third overall in the national series.

Jon Wilson, the team’s professional gravity star, is back after a season off from injuries and has been clinching top-15s on the national tour, tons of podiums in the regional series and a couple wins. Recently, Jon qualified fifth at Santa Anez of the National Mountain Bike Series and finished 11th, just seven seconds behind the leader. Jon also came out and competed this past weekend in the Nevada Cup cross country race. He ranks 12th overall in the National Mountain Bike Series for pro men.

The cross country riders have been producing mass amounts of wattage and breaking trail. Scott Fifield won stop No. 2 of the Nevada Cup series in the pro-semi-pro class and recently placed ninth at the Santa Anez National Mountain Bike Series race in the semi-pro category. At Santa Anez, Scott was racing top-5 but fell back after a great effort.

Ben Ragains, the Nevada Cup champion, cranked up the long climbs with a fifth-place finish at the second Nevada Cup series race and finished 24th at Santa Anez. Every week Ben is pulling speed. The season is still early.

Paul Zarubin, the team’s vet, has been stomping onto multiple podiums and won at the Santa Anez National Mountain Bike Series race.

For myself, the defeat of training day to day from real-life practicalities and near-future career opportunities has forced regiments to be put on a more enthusiast rider approach with a double shot of espresso. Staying home, managing the team, implementing strategic motives to best represent sponsors brand recognition, and planning for 2009 has become my forte.

Give me a call to ride. I promise I won’t be wearing my heart-rate monitor and I will be able to enjoy that oh-so-sweet, well-earned microbrew.

Till the next report …