Mountain bikers take first place |

Mountain bikers take first place

The NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League kicked off the first race of its season this past Sunday in Fort Ord.

As many as 350 racers from 25 high schools participated, including students racing for western Nevada County’s Miners Indie Mountain Bike Team.

Sarah Ely, won the varsity girls race for the Miners, while Christine Weir won the freshmen girls race.

Greg Hermansen won the boys sophomore race, with Lawrence Saiyo close behind in fourth place.

Nate Byrom placed second in the JV boys division, seconds behind 2-time national champion Jeremy Blalock.

Evan Smith placed sixth in the varsity boys race.

In the freshman boys race, David Lowe placed second, and Nick Talbott placed fifth.

The Miners Indie team was able to rack up enough points to take first place for the overall points series in the NorCal High School Mountain Bike Racing League.

The Miners totaled 3,533 team points, ahead of second-place Redwood High’s 3,362 and the third-place Harbor Pirates’ 3,358.

On the Fort Ord course, each rider raced 12-24 miles, depending on their category, through technical, windy, rolling terrain.

“This course offers the least advantages to our teams particular strengths such as climbing or technical bike handling skills, yet we smoked our competition,” said Miners Indie coach Debra Little. “We have a more mature team this year. Every student has been training with tremendous dedication.

“Probably the most significant difference is the level of involvement of our assistant coaching staff, including our new coach Erin Moeschler, who together with Jason Moeschler and Chuck Ross have redefined our training plan so that we’ve been anticipating, with on-the-edge-of-our-seats excitement, super results.”

Little is backed up by a larger force of assistant coaches than previous years, including local cyclists Sam Raymond, Matt Wittler, Wil Dea and David Barrett.

On the net: For video of the Fort Ord race, visit the Web site

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