Every year, the Nevada City Classic has its fair share of local competitors testing their mettle against a field of skilled and determined riders — this year’s race will be no different.
One such local rider has even set his eyes on winning the junior 17-18 race and won’t be stopping there.
Team Swift junior development team member and local rider A.J. Seivert, 17, competed in last year’s Classic with sub-par results, but this year, he’s put in the training and feels confident he can earn a spot on the podium, he said.
“This year I’ve been training really hard,” Seivert said. “I feel really confident. I feel like I can win it.”
The ambitious mountain biker who got into racing just three years ago and is transitioning into road races said he will also compete in the Men’s Elite Cat 3 / 4 race, which runs just a few hours after the Junior 17-18 race.
“It’s going to be really hard,” Seivert said. “I’m going to be really tired after.”
Despite dreading the aftermath from the race, Seivert said his training has him ready for both races Sunday and that training in Nevada County gives him an advantage in the Classic, which is notoriously steeper than most other races in the U.S.
“Around here, there is not a lot of flat,” he said. “Everywhere you go, it’s all ups and downs.”
Seivert is a member of the Nevada Union mountain biking club and is coming off a top-10 finish at the 2013 High School Norcal State Championships in May at Lake Stafford.
“It’s all about the legs,” Seivert said about what will be key to winning at the Nevada City Classic. “I’m a climber and I’m strong all around, so I’m confident.”
Other keys for Seivert will be relying on his training, eating well leading up to the race and getting plenty of rest.
Seivert said he does have aspirations of racing professionally and one day competing in the Tour de France.
Seivert won’t be the only local to keep an eye on though, as Maria “Flor” Hodges, last year’s Barbara Schmidt Millar Triathlon winner, will be competing in the women’s race, event coordinator Duane Strawser said.
In addition to Seivert and Hodges, there will be several members competing from local cycling team SHO-AIR/SERT.
SHO-AIR/SERT team member Eric Struble will compete in the Mens Elite Cat 3 / 4 race along with teammates Noah Campbell and Paul Falvey.
Reel Wheels Bicycle Studio co-owner Hollie McGovern said her presence in the Nevada City Classic will be a race-day decision.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I feel really confident. I feel like I can win it.”
— AJ Seivert,
17-year-old local rider