Truckee local tops mountain bike division |

Truckee local tops mountain bike division

It’s only April and Truckee local Paul Zarubin is having a banner mountain bike-racing season, taking first in his class in the Sea Otter Classic cross-country mountain bike at Laguna Seca on April 13.

Zarubin raced in the men’s beginner bracket with 41 other riders in the 50-54 age group, and another 20-30 riders from other age brackets.

“All the training seems to have paid off,” he said, “You really get out of these races what you put in, plus a bit of luck.”

The cross-country trail stretched 18 miles of diverse terrain, and 2,400 feet of climbing and descending. Sections of the trail included fire roads, single track, steep climbs, tight tree sections, sand, and lush grass.

The Sea Otter Classic has become one of the biggest cycling events of the year with more than 8,000 athletes, 50,000 spectators, and 17 different cycling events.

This was Zarubin’s second race of the year, and second first-place finish. He won his age group at an early cycling event in Cool CA. “I’m ranked seventeenth in the nation for my age group right now, but my goal is to be number one,” said Zarubin.

Giving up on skiing and the lack of snow this winter, he spent his time taking indoor spin classes and riding in the foothills of the Sierra on his weekends. Zarubin recently became certified and now teaches spin classes at Paramount Fitness in Truckee.

With two first-place finishes under his belt in his first year of competition, Zarubin plans to enter three more national races and a handful of other cycling events this summer. “I am set and determined to be ranked number one in my age group, this is the first step to accomplishing that.”

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