Local mountain bike team fares well in Utah race | SierraSun.com

Local mountain bike team fares well in Utah race

The Northstar-at-Tahoe/Giant Bicycles Development Team had a strong showing that included an individual victory on the fourth stop of the National Mountain Bike Series at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah, this past weekend.

On Sunday morning, expert rider Scott Fifield set the course on fire with a 4-minute lead on the rest of the pack, finishing the 27-mile race in 1 hour, 53 minutes.

Fifield wasn’t the only team member who put in a strong effort.

Pro rider Patti Buerkle finished midpack out of 70 women in her first season racing in the professional category. Buerkle is currently ranked 45th on the national tour but has great potential. Watching her performance in the short-track, she is just getting stronger and stronger.

Elizabeth Reeder, the youngest rider on the team, raced in a competitive expert women’s field and grabbed a top-15 result.

For the semi-pro men, well, Ben Ragains and I have had better days.

The semi-pro race kicked off at noon Friday with scorching temperatures topping out in the 90s for the 35-mile race. Despite dehydration, altitude and the seizing of quads and hamstrings, we hung tough to secure any points we could and finished the three-hour race.

Ben finished 41st while I placed 45th out of 60 competitors.

Sunday, we hoped, would be a better day with short-track. Indeed it was for three laps.

Going into the short-track with a ranking of ninth overall in the series, I had a great start and held on with all my energy with the powerhouses in fourth position until my legs blew up with lactic acid after the third lap. It was a great short-track, and I was able secure a top-20 result, which bumped me up to fifth overall on the national tour.-

It was another five-day road trip traveling eight-plus hours a day in a rental car packed to the brim with gear to get home. But this time, a smile was on my face after the weekend of racing.

You just never know what your legs are going to do and you constantly go back and back to try and solve the scientific formula. The famous words are true:

“It’s what you do while off your bike that’s most important.”

Rest, rest, rest, and stretching, and Coca-Cola.

Nice work everyone!

Our next stop will be Mount Snow, Vermont for the National Championships.

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.

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