Shasta course bodes well for local riders
The Union Staff
Four local Sierra Express Racing Team members took on the challenge that is the Shasta Mountain Lemurian Mountain Bike Race this past weekend, with two of the riders winning their divisions.
Rick Kalb came away with the men’s expert 45-54 division title and Chuck Ross was the winner in the men’s expert 35-39 division. Jason Moeschler finished seventh in the pro field and Terry Hundemer was 12th in the men’s expert 35-39 division.
More than 400 riders competed on the long, intermediate and short courses.
All four local riders, raced in the long course, which was a 26-mile course with more than 4,000 feet of climbing.
“I’ve done more than 50 mountain bike races and this is one of the hardest ones I’ve done,” Kalb said. “The climbs are really steep and the terrain is more technical than a race like the Sea Otter.”
Instead of one major climb to the top of the mountain, the course consisted of a steep climb with a short downhill, followed by another steep climb with a short downhill and continuing on with the pattern – with six to eight stream crossings mixed into the fun.
Kalb explained that some of the toughest spots were areas in which the racers had to be in their lowest gears on loose gravel that made getting traction difficult.
“It really was a fun race,” Kalb said of the challenging course. “It was a chance to show your technical skills off and to gain time over people who are mainly road racers.”
Kalb finished in two hours and 52 minutes, with Ross finishing in 2:27.
This is the second major win in three weeks for Ross, including the prestigious Sea Otter Classic. This weekend he travels to Los Angeles for a national race series race against some of the stiffest competition from the southwest states.
Ross agreed with Kalb is saying the Shasta race played to the strength of the Nevada County racers who are used to the area’s technical riding.
“It was an old school mountain bike race,” Ross said of the difficult course. “It was relentless.”
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