After skipping the first weekend of racing in upstate NY (too far, too early in the school year), MIT sent its MTB team to its first race of the season. UNH put on a fun and well organized race as usual, with XC at the traditional Kingman Farm venue. STXC, Dual Slalom, and Downhill events were at Highland Mountain Bike Park. Veterans Keith Berkoben, John Romanishin, and Cimarron Wortham were joined by Luke Chellis in the endurance races (that’s XC and STXC), while freshman Romi Kadri may well be the first MIT racer to compete in the Downhill race.
Saturday began with the XC races. John started the day off in fine style, taking 5th in his first MTB race (mens C). Cim, apparently getting ready for cyclocross season, made sure to hit the only muddy part of the course at full speed every lap and was probably the dirtiest rider/bike by the end. While the benefits of taking the shortest path were probably offset by the extra weight and degraded shifting, he finished 4th in the mens B race. After the XC racing, the team made the hour drive to Highland to preview the DH course and watch the Dual Slalom action.
Sunday morning brought more endurance racing with the STXC. Again John took 5th and Cim 4th in their respective races. The afternoon was time for the downhillers to fly down the mountain without regard for rocks, roots, or drops. Romi’s 3rd in the Downhill (mens B) capped off a fine weekend.
My only disappointment with the weekend is the number of times I heard “MIT… I didn’t know you had a mountain bike team.” While we have a solid reputation as a powerhouse in cyclocross, road, and on the track, it seems that UVM is feeling pretty comfortable in its position as King of the Mountain(bike). The only way to change that is to get out and race.
On a related note, if you’re sorry you missed out on racing this weekend, don’t worry! There are races coming up on the next three weekends. Stay tuned for next weekend’s Lehigh race announcement later today, to be followed by the UVM race Oct. 2/3 and Easterns Oct. 9/10.