Northstar bike team rollin’ again | SierraSun.com

Northstar bike team rollin’ again

Justin Swett
Special to the Sun

This past weekend for the Northstar-at-Tahoe/Giant Bicycles Development Team marked the beginning of mountain bike race season at the National Mountain Bike Series opener in Fontana, Calif.

With some new athletes and some new sponsors the momentum is gaining, building a brand with the sole mission to promote the sport we all grew up loving.

New for 2008 is the partnership with Oakley XC rider Paul Zarubin and the downhill additions of Casey Coffman and Jon Wilson. Combined, these athletes represent a Wikipedia of numerous results.

While I stayed home due to a bad head cold that lingered and set me back a month of training, I logged some more long base miles while the guys worked hard beating rattlesnakes and paint ball guns.

Here are some highlight results:

Scott Fifield led the pace overall in the men’s expert cross country and finished third. Zarubin placed fourth in expert men. The huge highlight came from Coffman, the rookie on the team, with a fifth place finish in the semi-pro downhill for his first podium appearance at a national mountain bike series event.

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The log book is filled with countless hours on the saddle and for some who live in snow country, many disciplined hours on the trainer while the Sierra storms dump foot after foot.

But in one hour driving time local racers are transported to 60-degree temps, vivid green grass and world-class single track waiting with desire for knobby rubber tires.

That’s my note. I will see all of you soon enough, perhaps at the Sea Otter Classic or the Napa Dirt Classic. Also, everyone should go to the Teva Mountain Games, where $17,000 is up for grabs in the men’s cross country. It’s June 5. I know there’s a World Cup, but skip it.