By Mark Deterline
Utah Riders took home 11 national titles in the 2015 Mountain Bike National Championships held from July 15-19, 2015 in Mammoth Lakes, California. Utah riders results are highlighted below.
Mitch Ropelato, 1st Place, Pro/Open Men Enduro. Ropelato of Team Specialized Factory Racing climbed the podium as the inaugural men’s pro/open National Champion. “It was a nice, easy day,” said Ropelato. “Climbing wasn’t too bad, but you were sprinting pretty good on all the runs. All the courses were pretty fun. I was a little nervous on Stage 1 because it was pretty rowdy, but other than that it was a great day.”
Joey Foresta, 1st Place, Downhill Junior Men 9-14, Dual Slalom. Bryn Bingham, 2nd Place.
Katie Clouse took Gold medals in both the Junior Women's 13-14 Cross Country and Short Track Cross Country events.
Haley Batten, 1st Place, Cross Country Junior Women 17-18. Batten is currently the top UCI ranked junior female 17-18 in the world. Rachel Anders, 2nd Place. Of the race, Batten writes, “Off the start, Rachel Anders took the lead and held a strong pace. I rode behind her in second place, with the field (15 total) right behind. Throughout the lap the group slowly got smaller and smaller and soon it was just Rachel and I with a little gap on the rest of the riders. Before the final descent I took the pass and went into the lead. This allowed me to choose my lines and avoid the thick dust on the long rocky downhill. Going into the second lap I had a small gap on Rachel and was able to grow this throughout the second and third laps. On the final descent it finally hit me that I would earn the stars and stripes, and I couldn't hold back a smile.”
When asked how she felt about the win, Batten remarked, “This win was really exciting for me since it was my first year racing in the 17-18 category, as well as the fact that this would automatically qualify me for World Championships. I was happy with how the season this year had gone, and taking the win at Nationals was really the cherry on top. The season is far from over, though and I look forward to racing at Worlds, which will probably be the most competitive and exciting race I have ever experienced.”
Tom Noaker, 1st Place, Cross Country Masters Men 65-69. Keegan Swenson's coach, Noaker writes, “I won my first national title at Mammoth nearly 20 years ago (45-49), so it was motivating to repeat two decades later and then watch Keegan take Silver in the elite pro race.” Dwight Hibdon, 2nd Place.
Joel Quinn, 1st Place, Cross Country Masters Men 70+.
Ellen Guthrie, 1st Place, Masters Women 55-59.
Zan Treasure, 1st Place, Cross Country Masters Men 55-59.
Kelly Crawford, 1st Place, Cross Country Masters Women 50-54.
Mark Kugel, 1st Place, Downhill Masters Men 45-49
Alex Grant took bronze medals in both the Pro Men's Cross Country and Short Track Cross Country events. [See Alex's comments in this issue's anticipatory World Championships writeup.]
Keegan Swenson, 2nd place, Cross Country Pro Men.
Other placings of note:
Cross Country Masters Men 35-39 – John Osguthorpe, 3rd Place
Cross Country Pro Women – Evelyn Dong 10th Place, Former SLC'er Emma Maaranen, 12th Place, Nicole Tittensor, 16th Place.
Cross Country Masters Men 60-64 – Mark Enders, 2nd Place.
Cross Country Junior Men 13-14 – Skylar Patten, 2nd Place.
Cross Country Junior Men 15-16 – Connor Patten, 3rd Place.
Cross Country Junior Men 17-18 – Anders Johnson, 2nd Place.
Pro Men XC – Justin Desilets, 21st; Jeff Bender, 27th; Kevin Day, 29th
Pro Men Downhill – Logan Bingelli, 5th; Demetri Triantafillou, 8th; Galen Carter, 19th
Pro Women Downhill – Amanda Batty, 4th place
Master Men 50-54 Downhill – Kevin Dwyer, 2nd place
Master Men 35-39 Downhill – Daniel Grolley, 3rd place
Senior Men 19-24 Downhill – Jack Drain, 4th place
Find complete results at http://usacycling.org/2015/mountain-bike-nationals.
(See also our article this issue about the Summit Bicycle Club, which elaborates on the Nationals events and Utah rider participation as well as our article on Utah riders being chosen for the world championships.)