BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Nine Cascadia Junior Cycling riders from Bend and Portland attended USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike National Championship last weekend in Winter Park, Colorado, with a win and two other podium finishes.
Jenna Raymond, 15, of Bend, was competing in her first national championship among a very competitive field of young women from all over the country. Jenna raced well against the adult women in Oregon throughout the spring.
“Going into nationals, my goal was to get within the top 10,” she said. “When I realized I got fifth in the cross-country race, I couldn’t believe it. The hardest part for me was after the big downhill we had to go up and down so many steep little hills — and it felt like they were never going to end.”
After a long week of scouting the courses, practicing the technical sections and racing two events, Jenna said, “One of my favorite moments was when almost the entire team was hanging out in the pool, taking turns launching each other into the water.”
Ian Brown, also 15 and from Bend, was defending champion in the cross-country and short track events for his age group. After leading the first lap in the cross-country race, he finished in fifth place, on the podium for that event, but two days later, was able to win both his qualifying heat and the finals in the short-track race.
Ian is now a 3x National Champion and is looking forward to training with the Olympic Development Academy this fall for cyclocross.
“This year’s nationals was crazy,” he said upon returning to Bend. “But the brutal racing was rewarded with fun times with the team afterwards.”
With the venue at nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, the lack of oxygen made the racing tough for everyone.
“In the short track race, at the bottom of the climb on the second lap was one of my harder moments on a bike,” said Brown. “It took everything to get to the top of that hill, but once I was halfway through the race, I knew I could hold on [to the lead] to the finish line. After pushing the limit all day, it felt amazing to unwind with the team while skipping rocks and swimming in the mountain creek below our hotel. It was such a great time, showing our larger cycling community the hard work CJC has put in all year. Stoked!”
CJC’s head coach, Bill Warburton, was there with several parents to support the riders. He said, “I’m super-impressed by the dedication these riders have to training, keeping it fun and supporting each other through this last difficult year. They continue to learn about themselves and their sport — and to see so much success after a year without big races is a positive sign that our athletes are enjoying the process while becoming very adept at racing. They’re bringing the stoke back to Bend with them!”
A reception will be held on Tuesday, August 3rd at Cog Wild Bicycle Tours from 4 – 6 to meet the riders and coaches, watch a video recap of the trip and celebrate the mountain bike race season. Open to the public with an RSVP to email@example.com.
Full results from the CJC team at 2021 Mountain Bike National Championship in Winter Park:
- Ian Brown, age 15, 5 XC, 1 STXC Finals
- Jenna Raymond, age 15, 5 XC, 8 STXC Finals
- Madeline Stover, age 15, 8 XC, 11, STXC Finals
- Jack Billowitz, age 12, 26 XC, 28 STXC Finals
- Caiden Hartrich, age 17, 46 XC, 31 STXC Finals
- Reid Farmer, age 14, 21 STXC, broken chain in XC
- Zane Strait, age 15, 70 XC with a bad crash that sent him to the hospital as a precaution but he’s all good.
- Bjorn Blankenship, age 12, 20 XC, 13 STXC Finals
- Curran Jacobus, age 15, 26 XC, 26 STXC Qualifier