July 20, 2011

Mason Bond - JR.X Super-D National Champion (If competing in the pro class, Mason would of placed 10th.)

The prestigious stars & stripes jersey is a representation of the pain, sweat, hard work and the commitment it takes for a cyclist to become the top U.S rider at the National Championships. The best of the best U.S. riders come to the event where the competition is fierce.  This years event was held in Sun Valley Resort at Bald Mountain in Idaho where the elevation is around 3500 feet.

The USA Cycling National Championships featured cross country, short-track and super-d competitions that the Ride Giant-Ride Northstar team riders competed in. This years weather was perfect hosting 70 degree temps and sunny days.

Each race weekend for the Ride Giant-Ride Northstar mountain bike team program this summer  just keeps on getting sweeter and sweeter. After an amazing performance set out by Mason Bond and Lizzy English at the Downieville Classic, both put in a solid effort along with Don Morehouse and Nate Byrom in Sun Valley.

Mason Bond is in peak performance and has timed his training perfectly in time for National Championships to win the super-D title stars & stripes jersey. Mason was riding so fast the young teenager would of placed 10th in the professional category of the event.

Mason showcasing his Cavendish sprinting skills for the win!

Mason competed in 3 events, Friday’s xc 17-18 cat1, and Sunday super-d & junior cat.1 short track.

Mason says; “The xc course was a short lap similar to a world cup course, but demanding, which consisted of a long, loose and steep double-track climb, tight single track, a sketchy rock waterfall decent and a long rock bed section.  I worked my way through a field of 40+ to finish a respectable 17th place.”

On Sunday, the super-d course started off with a sustained climb followed by a fast, loose and dusty single track descent with many difficult switchbacks and turns.  Mason says; “I blazed the course in 20:38:78 ( 10th overall pro time!) to win the junior open super-d national championship and collect my stars and stripes jersey.”

The winning stars and stripes bike. Giant Bicycle Reign equiped with WTB Stryker all mountain wheel sets and Fox Racing Shox Float 36.

For Mason's win, Shimano donated the new xtr shadow "switch" all mountain rear derailleur for the win!

After a brief 2 hour rest Mason suited up again for the last event of the weekend, short-track. It was his first time competing in the red-lining event and worked hard through the pack to pull off a 10th position.

Mason in the cross country event

Mason and his dad Mike have been putting in a lot of time, hard work and effort into racing this year traveling together in their RV motor-home to each event through our the western U.S. They have a few days to relax and have some fun with a moto trip and then the next stop is the Oregon Super-D Series event in Oakridge!

The moto trip. Mike (dad) and Mason on the right.

Lizzy English has really blossomed in the last year and over the last month of racing her performance has really showcased her fitness. On Saturday Lizzy had her best cross country finish yet with a very respectful 12th place finish against thirty five competitive women athletes.

Lizzy English placing 4th in the pro womens Super-D Class. ( She also placed 12th in the women's xc event.) "Cyclingnews.com photo"

Cyclingnews.com reported, English put in a solid ride for fourth place in Sunday’s super-d event. “I started up the climb and it hurt, but I dug as deep as I could and kept going. I passed a few girls and I wrecked. I tried to pass again and wrecked again. We were all balled up and then I gave up trying to pass. We were hooting and hollering and skidding around corners,” said English.

Lizzy goes on to talk about the weekend; “Adam and I rolled into Sun Valley and immediately saw the “wall” that we were to climb in the XC race.  Fives times for me six laps for Adam.  “I’m not doing it,” I said jokingly, kind of.  My first attempt up the “wall” was on the hardtail with 1.95 Wolverines and a 34 single chain ring.  I got half way up at approximately 6000 feet and almost passed out.  Three rings for me, please!  I made serious of use of my 2nd and 1st gear.  Yes, Granny and I made cookies every lap 🙂  I worked my way up from dead last in call ups to 12th place in the end.  Stoked!”

Lizzy interviewing with Cyclingnews.com. "Cyclingnews.com photo"

“The night before the Super D, I didn’t sleep much.  Ribs hurt and nerves were high as I thought about each loose-as-heck switch back that was best ridden with one foot out and right hand full of breaks.  I chose to use the bigger Wolverines, WTB XC wheel in back and the the All Mountain in the front.  Wow.  Sick combo for buff high speed bombing and super nice to have the light wheel in the back for whipping around corners.”

Wellll, I got smoked in the climb by Lea Davison, I wrecked twice trying to make passes and ended up 3rd.  Oh well!  better starting spot for next year.”

“Next up…  Missoula, MT pro XC race!  Gotta make good use of the pro license that I just bought 3 days before Nationals.  Word on the street’s saying Sam Schulz put in a gap jump that saves 20 seconds.  If I can manage that on the HT with my new WTB Nanos- I could be in the money! … or in the bushes with my feet in the air.”

Nate Byrom and Don Morehouse of the team also competed in the super-d on Sunday and put in a solid effort of racing. Nate took 13th in the pro class while Don got on the podium with a 5th place in the cat. 1 category.

Nate Byrom competing in XC. Most riders walked this section. "Cyclingnews.com photo"


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