Puebla, Mexico (April 7, 2012) – The United States kicked off the 2012 Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships in Puebla, Mexico on Saturday with outstanding performances that yielded two gold and two silver medals.
Grace Alexander (Boise, Idaho/BMC MTB Dev. Team) wowed the spectators in Puebla today with an outstanding race that saw her solo over the finish line to take the win in the junior women’s cross country contest. The 17-year-old Alexander beat out second- and third-place finishers Xiomara Guerrero (COL) and Andrea Fuentes (MEX) to claim the continental title.
Adding to the success of American women this weekend was Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.) who descended the downhill course with a time of 2:40.88 to grab the gold medal in the elite women’s downhill competition. The American bested silver and bronze medalists Diana Lorena Droomundo (MEX) and Diana Maggraff (ECU) by three seconds. Also riding to an impressive finish for the U.S. was Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif./CU Cycling-Boulder) in sixth-place.
Keegan Swenson (Park City, Utah/Cannondale Factory Racing) continued the medal winning ways for the U.S. in the junior men’s cross country when he rode to a silver medal behind winner Jose Tito Hernandez (COL). Rounding out the podium for the junior men was Luis Camacho (CRC).
Also riding to a medal on Saturday was Neko Mulally (Reading, Pa./Trek World Racing) who posted a time of 2:11.11 to finish second in the elite men’s downhill time test. He finished behind Marcelo Gutirrez (COL) while Mario Jarrin (ECU) rode to the bronze medal. Fellow American Joey Schusler (Boulder, Colo./Yeti Fox Factory) also posted an impressive time to place 14th.
Taking center stage in Puebla on Sunday will be the U23 men’s cross country race in which Jack Hinkens (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Dev. Team), Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, N.C.BMC MTB Dev. Team), Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo./Subaru-Trek, and Howard Grotts (Durango, Colo./Team Specialized Racing) will represent the red, white and blue.
Pan American Continental Mountain Bike Championships
April 4-8, 2012
Junior Women’s Cross Country
1. Grace Alexander
2. Xiomara Guerrero (COL)
3. Andrea Fuentes (MEX)
Junior Men’s Cross Country
1. Jose Tito Hernandez (COL)
2. Keegan Swenson
3. Luis Camacho (CRC)
1. Jacqueline Harmony
2. Diana Lorena Droomundo (MEX)
3. Diana Maggraff (EDU)
6. Katie Holden
1. Marcelo Gutirrez (COL)
2. Neko Mulally
3. Mario Jarrin (ECU)
14. Joey Schusler