About 100 high school mountain bikers across Colorado are looking forward to the start of the school year because Sept. 19 will bring the first event in the inaugural Colorado High School Mountain Bike Racing Series.
The Colorado high school league is the first to be established outside of California by the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). The four-race series is organized by the Colorado High School Cycling League and spans six weeks. The first race is at Chalk Creek Ranch in Nathrop, near Buena Vista, Colorado on Sept. 19. The venue offers a classic Colorado desert mesa course that includes technical challenges and fast climbs.
Schools from Boulder County, Carbondale, Chaffee County, Colorado Springs, Crested Butte, Parker, Durango and Fort Collins expressing strong interest in the fledgling series, according to Kate Rau, Colorado League executive director.
“I continue to be impressed by the breadth of support and depth of experience associated with the many people stepping up to lead teams, provide race expertise, and promote the Colorado High School Cycling League is outstanding,” Rau said. “Emails arrive every day from folks interested in starting or helping with teams, parents and students looking for local teams, and supporters wanting to volunteer at races. I can hardly wait for September 19th to experience the buzz in the Pit Zone at Keith Darner’s ranch.”
Rider registration is now open and online at www.coloradomtb.org. Prior to the race series are several one-day skills training camps, led by the acclaimed mountain bike coach Lee McCormack. These camps prepare both coaches and riders for a safe and fun season of riding. Registration for these, too, is at www.coloradomtb.org.
“Even for those who attended our Leader’s Summit in June, I highly recommend these informative clinics,” Rau said. “They effectively teach the fundamentals to riders from a wide range of abilities. Whether you are a novice or experienced rider, people always learn something at Lee’s clinics.”
The NorCal High School Cycling League was founded in 2000, and in 2009 a SoCal League was formed. Also in 2009, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association was launched with the goal of starting similar leagues in Colorado and Washington in the next few years. By 2020, NICA’s vision is to have developed high school mountain biking coast to coast.
The Colorado League was kick-started with a generous grant from the founding SoCal sponsor, Easton Foundations, and is also generously supported by founding national sponsor, Specialized Bicycle Components, as well as SRAM, Trek Bicycles, Clif Bar and Co., Primal Wear, Yeti Bicycles, Wheat Ridge Cyclery, GU Sports, Shimano, Mellow Johnny’s, Fox Racing Shox, CamelBak, Dirt Rag, Feedback Sports and Mountain Bike Action.