Local mountain bike team fares well in ’07 | SierraSun.com

Local mountain bike team fares well in ’07

Justin Swett
Special to the Sun

Hard work, determination and perseverance paid off for the Northstar-at-Tahoe Giant Bicycles development team, which featured racers Patti Buerkle, Ben Ragains, Scott Fifield, Elizabeth Reeder and myself.

The 2007 mountain bike race season just flashed through my brain like a comic flip book with a thousand images.

It felt like yesterday I was training with friend and fellow racer Katerina Nash during the winter months. The roads were topped with slush, the legs were fresh and the anticipation to ride fast was hard to control from all the long base miles from the saddle.

The thoughts are different now after a long season, as the training plans have shifted to riding fun descents with features to play on.

But before putting the 2007 season in the bag, it’s time for a final reflection:

– Ben Ragains became the 2007 Nevada Cup Mountain Bike Series champion in the pro/semi-pro category by beating out pro rider Kyle Dixon. Ragains also finished in the top 15 at the Firestone NORBA National in semi-pro short track.

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– Scott Fifield is the Northstar-at-Tahoe Cross Country Series champion in the men’s open category. Other accomplishments for Fifield this season include winning the Deer Valley Resort NORBA National at Park City, Utah, in the expert men’s category. He also won the 2007 Cougar Mountain Classic.

– Patti Buerkle is constantly cleaning house on her competitors with multiple wins in the Oregon State Series. Buerkle showed improvement climbing up the ranks, hanging on to a top-20 through most of the pro women’s race at the National Championships in Mount Snow, Vt.

– Elizabeth Reeder showed determination making a big jump to the expert women’s category with an eighth-place finish at the National Mountain Bike Championships at Mount Snow, Vt. Other accomplishments for Reeder include finishing 16th overall in the Mountain States Cup Rocky Mountain Regional Championship Series.

– Justin Swett secured eighth position overall in the NORBA National Mountain Bike Series for semi-pro short-track and 14th overall for super d. He also secured fifth position overall in the Nevada Cup Mountain Bike Series in the pro/semi-pro category.

Justin Swett is a semi-pro mountain biker and manager of the Northstar-at-Tahoe/Giant Bicycles development team. He may be reached at justinswett@hotmail.com.