For the second year in a row the USA Cycling Association Cross Country National Championships took place against the beautiful backdrop of Sun Valley, Idaho. Blue skies, warm temperatures, and calm winds greeted racers from around the country who showed up to challenge the best of the best and battle for the coveted national championship jerseys.
The pro fields were stacked and we witnessed some outstanding battles with Sam Schultz eventually pulling away from Todd Wells on the last lap in the men’s Pro race. Georgia Gould blew the Women’s Pro field apart at the gun and never trailed with Lea Davison following for second. All four of these riders proved they were the correct choices to represent the USA in the upcoming Olympic Games.
The real standout for me was the tremendous participation in the junior fields. Mountain biking is alive and well among the youth of our nation. Boys and girls as young as 8 years old tackled the grueling XC course with their parents lining the course cheering. Growth of the high school mountain bike leagues was evident with some of the best battles taking place among the 14-18 year olds representating their schools. It was really exciting to see the enthusiasm these youths are bringing to the sport. Local, Osprey supported athletes Jake and Nye Yackle made us proud by each bringing home a gold medal in their respective age groups. I encourage all to become involved with the youth movement in cycling by supporting one of the many organizations getting kids on bikes or simply taking a kid out for a ride and showing them why we all love this sport so much.
Jeff Fox is Osprey’s bike marketing manager and is dedicated — love it or hate it — to endurance racing.