Local professional and youth athletes, from left,Neal Pederson, Cullen McLean, Haiden Jorgenson, Ian McLean and Macky Franklin attained top podium spots at the Enduro bike race at Pajarito on Saturday. Courtesy Photo
BY PAULA KNEPPER
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team
Pajarito mountain hosted the 4th annual Team Trail Party Enduro mountain bike race since its 2019 debut on Saturday August 6. Nearly 100 downhill specialists of all ages descended on Pajarito Mountain for a long weekend of Enduro bike racing. Riders from across New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and Arizona were welcomed to Los Alamos by the newest addition to the Pajarito Bike Park, the recently rebuilt Aspenola flow trail, soon to be renamed Aspenflow. A clear dawn sky met riders on Saturday morning, but that sky was quickly consumed by a thick layer of menacing clouds and frequent rumbling of weather looming on the horizon.
During Enduro mountain bike races, athletes are timed on the downhill stages with neutral transfers between stages. Various stages are assigned to different race categories and each athlete must complete their assigned stages. The stage times are summed to determine the placement of race finishers. The athlete with the lowest time for all combined stages earns the coveted top spot on the podium. During the Party at Pajarito, which is part of the Gravity Stage Racing Series (GSRS), athletes are assisted with transfers by lift service. Competitors displayed their technical and endurance skills as they charged down Pajarito trails including the recently rebuilt Aspenola, Half Aspen, Sidewinder, JR to Chupa to May Day, Braking Bad, and Dog Patch Downhill.
Haiden Jorgenson geared up for grueling day of Enduro racing. Courtesy photo
Cullen McLean building up speed at the start stage 4 at Pajarito on Saturday. Courtesy Photo
Despite the impending threat of weather athletes had to complete at least 4 stages before lightning halted the party. Los Alamos cyclists crushed the demanding technical features, soaked up the steep terrain, and found their flow on Aspenola.
In the under 17 age category, Haiden Jorgenson, Junior Los Alamos High School and Ian McLean, 8th grader Los Alamos Middle School set a high bar for a contentious and competitive field of riders. Haiden Jorgenson led the field by over 2.5 minutes earning the top spot on the podium, followed by Ian McLean in 2nd place.
Haiden Jorgenson and Ian McLean earned 1st and 2nd places, respectively amongst a fierce under 17 field of competitors. Courtesy photo.
Cullen McLean, 6th grader at Los Alamos Mountain Elementary School, earned the 1st place spot on the podium for the 12 and under age category, followed by Quanah Moseley, 4th grade Mountain Elementary School, in 3rd place. The youth fields were dominated by talented competitors from across the region.
Los Alamos youth cyclists were recognized for both their outstanding performance and courteous trail conduct. Our local youth athletes raced with intensity while serving as extraordinary ambassadors of our community, all skill sets encouraged by the coaching staff of the Los Alamos Bike Team.
Cullen McLean and Quanah Moseley celebrate1st and 3rd place podium spots in the under 13 field. Courtesy photo
Not only were our local youth athletes successful on Saturday, but also our local professional cycling community conquered the race course. Neal Pederson riding for NM Bike n Sport of Santa Fe took 1st place in the veteran professional category. Macky Franklin riding for Niner Bikes earned 3rd place in the men’s professional category and Anne Galyean riding for Juliana Bicycles/SRAM found the top spot in the women’s professional category. Macky Franklin and Anne Galyean are both recent additions to the Los Alamos community.
The next GSRS event provided by Team Trail Party is on Sept. 10, 2022 at Purgatory bike park in Durango, Colorado. For more information about the GSRS and results from the Party at Pajarito please see https://www.trailparty.com/events-header