James Tyldesley establishing his lead on the Oak Flats MTB in Tijeras last weekend. Courtesy photo
BY PAULA KNEPPER
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team
Seven Los Alamos High and Middle School team athletes as well as two Mountain Elementary School students made up the field of more than 60 youth athletes competing in the 9-18 years of age category at the Oak Flats cross country mountain bike race on August 15, 2021. Youth cycling teams from across the state of NM and AZ brought together talented youth cyclists for this spicy ride on a dewy Sunday morning.
The course at Oak Flats offered flowy downhill sections, chunky climbs, and technical rock gardens testing athlete’s technical skills and fitness. The Los Alamos athletes demonstrated the grit, sportsmanship, enthusiasm, and confidence that we strive to cultivate in our youth athletes. Athletes raced across a three-mile loop that they lapped between two to six times depending on age category.
James Tyldesley a Los Alamos High School junior was the first of the Los Alamos athletes to the start line. Once his legs were warm, he quickly asserted himself as one of the overall course leaders. James held his lead position over the 15-mile course with an impressive 2nd place finish in his field.
Next to the start line were Addy Witt followed by Esther Grow and then Mila Moseley. Addy is a senior and Esther is a junior at Los Alamos High School. Mila is an 8th grader attending Los Alamos Middle School. These three ladies were part of an impressive field of young women making up a quarter of the competitors. Addy Witt found a fluid line that brought her across the finish line with a third-place finish. Mila Moseley tackled her fears by acing the technical step up earning a fourth-place finish in her field. After fixing a flat tire while on the course, Esther Grow did not give up after she was plagued by another bit of bad luck with a second flat tire on the course. Instead of letting bad luck end her race, Esther showed her grit and determination as she ran her bike over a mile to cross the finish line.
Addy Witt at the start line. Courtesy photo
Esther Grow pinning the chunky rock descent. Courtesy photo
Mila Moseley pushing her tempo on the first lap. Courtesy photo
Diego Leonard, Gavin Bent, and Ian McLean competed in the 11-12 years old youth male category by sprinting a nine-mile course. Despite crashes, the Los Alamos athletes took two spots on the podium, Diego Leonard with a second-place finish and Ian McLean with a third- place finish. Gavin Bent finished his first cross country mountain bike race with an impressive fifth place position and said, “the best part of the race is the steep downhill section.”
Gavin Bent enjoying the technical downhill
Ian McLean, left, and Diego Leonard, right, on the podium. Courtesy photo
Cullen McLean and Quanah Moseley took off from the start line in a full sprint. They had a relatively short six-mile course to expend all of their enthusiasm and energy, which they did by crushing their field with a photo finish. Quanah earned the top spot on the podium and Cullen McLean followed with a second-place finish.
Quanah Moseley, left, and Cullen McLean with head coach Mary Grow, far right, cheering on athletes at the finish line. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos athletes shined on Sunday. They showed us that mountain bike racing is fun and that despite obstacles we can all make it over the finish line but you have to first show up.
For more details about the team including practice times, event schedule, and registration information, click here to read the team Welcome Letter or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the Oak Flats mountain bike race and full list of results please see https://oakflatsmtb.com