A mass start for CAT 3 adults and junior field at Glorieta Camp on August 28, 2021. Athletes gather at the start line for a heart pumping cross country bike race. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos Middle School Team, from left, Cullen McLean, Ian McLean and Diego Leonard, sweeps the Torture at Glorieta Camps male 9-12 year old category on Saturday. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos Mountain Biker Cameron McDonald, chased by Ian McLean, takes an early lead on the descent. Courtesy photo
BY PAULA KNEPPER
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team
Fourteen Los Alamos High and Middle School team athletes as well as two Mountain Elementary School students made up the field of close to 70 youth athletes competing in the 9-18 years of age category at the Torture at Glorieta Camps cross country mountain bike race Saturday (August 28). Glorieta Adventure Camp, located 12 miles east of Santa Fe, offers cyclists miles of rugged granite covered mountain biking trails with ample elevation in a forest of thick ponderosa pines.
Los Alamos youth cyclists were amped for an adrenaline pumping day of cross-country mountain bike racing. Women and men youth athletes lined up for an early start on a cool Saturday morning alongside the adult category (CAT) 3 athletes to race across an eight-mile loop. Sharp elbows were required to establish a strong position in a mass start of both adult and youth athletes. Youth athletes competed in three age categories that were roughly divided as follows: 9-12 years of age, 13-14 years of age, and 15-18 years of age.
Los Alamos athletes were not deterred by the threat of a torturous race nor racing alongside the more experienced adult CAT 3 competitors. Los Alamos youth cyclists showed up in force at Glorieta and tortured their competitors.
The women athletes cranked up the competition. Addy Witt, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was the first Los Alamos female competitor across the line followed by Esther Grow who after a quick bike swap at the start line finished on the podium for the junior women 15-18 years of age category in second and third place, respectively. Mila Moseley had the opportunity to hone her bike repair skills as she lost her chain on one of the many aggressive features of the race. Mila practiced the practical skill of repairing a chain during the race which will be useful on future rides, but hopefully not necessary during another race.
James Tyldesley, a junior at Los Alamos High School, was assertive and established his lead early in the race finishing with a smoking time of 35.27 minutes. James vanquished the entire field leaving the next competitor to cross the finish line over half a minute behind. Ian McLean, a seventh grader at Los Alamos Middle School, competing in the junior men field 9-12 years of age was the next Los Alamos athlete to finish the race. Ian hit the jump line, which is an unusual addition to a cross country mountain bike race, sending big airs and speeding through steep banked turns to finish first in his field. He was followed by Diego Leonard, Cullen McLean, and Quanah Moseley. Los Alamos athletes took the top four spots in the youth men 9-12 years of age category. These four athletes had no room for error, finishing within a minute of one another. Next to cross the finish line was Cameron McDonald an eighth grader at Los Alamos Middle School. Cameron competed in the junior men 13-14 years of age category secured a third place finish on the podium.
Joshua Moulton, Nikolai Nelson, Elliot Work, Gavin Bent, Calvin Grow and Colter Witt were the next of the Los Alamos athletes to finish the race. These athletes had an impressive day finishing ahead of many adult competitors in the CAT 3 field.
Mountain bike racing is about more than just the training, competition, or a few second photo opportunity on the podium. Exploring new trails, meeting athletes from other teams, building confidence and fitness, promoting a lifelong passion for cycling, and spending time with teammates are important aspects that the Los Alamos team coaching staff promote. Mila Moseley said, “getting to hang out with everybody was the highlight of my weekend.”
Los Alamos next competes at the kickoff National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) race for the 2021 season in Flagstaff, Ariz. on September 11. Los Alamos competes in the Northern Arizona NICA conference against 1,200 student athletes representing 74 teams from 197 schools in Arizona and New Mexico,
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 Torture at Glorieta Camps mountain bike race and full list of results please see https://www.core-crew.com/la-tierra-torture-4-27
Coulter Witt enjoying the flow trail sections at Glorieta. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos High School sophomore Nikolai Nelson pins the final hairpin turn before the finish line. Courtesy photo
Addy Witt, left, and Esther Grow display medals for second and third place finishes for junior women 15-18 category. Courtesy photo
Mila Moseley sprinting to the finish line at the Torture at Glorieta Camps. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos Mountain biker James Tyldesley, center, was overall race leader and first place finisher for junior men 15-18. Los Alamos athletes competed against three NICA teams from across the state. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos team members celebrating a successful day of racing are, front row, from left: Cullen McLean, Elliot Work, Nikolai Nelson, James Tyldesley, Mila Moseley, Cameron McDonald, Ian McLean, Gavin Bent. Second row: Coulter Witt, Diego Leonard, Wyatt Cloran, Calvin Grow, Mary Grow, Esther Grow, Addy Witt,Jon McDonald, Jim Tyldesley and Joshua Moulton. Back row: Justin Moulton, Chris McLean, Eric Witt, and Monica Witt. Courtesy photo