Rim Nordic kicked off its is 21st XC Mountain Bike racing series Sunday at the XC ski area. About 140 racers took to the line in beginner, sport, expert, and pro fields. Pro and expert started in the same set. The Rim Nordic Series is non USAC this year and used an older system of categories for racers. Beginners did one lap, sports did two, while Pro/Expert did three with some age classes doing two. Each lap was over 8 miles with a mix of dirt roads and tight technical trails going up and down with base elevation about 6800 feet through the mountain forest. Each race day of the series the course changes slightly and hovers around 8 to 9 miles in length with just under 1000 feet elevation gain per lap. Racers started with a small loop going into the big loop with last miles on a rolling dirt road into the finish on each lap.
Photos & Report by Kenneth Hill / Light & Shadows Photography
This was the first of four races for the series, with the best three races counting for overall, with the third race being a stage race. Getting the points early at the first race was critical for racers to set themselves and their teams for the series overall. In the Pro Men, Zachary Valdez (Sycamore Cycles) and Miguel Valadez (Bear Valley Bikes) were riding together going onto the second lap with huge gap back to third and fourth then everyone else was spread out. Valdez and Valadez were going back and forth and it was a race to make the least amount of mistakes for almost two hours. Valdez won by just 27 sec over Valadez. Third placed Daniel Munoz (B-rads Bike Shop) finished almost six minutes back and fourth placed Greg Gibson (Bear Valley Bikes) was just 30 seconds behind. John Nobil (Bear Valley Bikes) finished 3 minute behind his teammate. The rest of the Pro Men’s field came in about one to three minutes apart from one another.
Without any Pro Women, the Expert Women had chance at the money. In the 30+, Troupe Racing’s Laura Morris and Wilhelmina Zuckerman finished first and second respectively in their class, but 1st and 3rd for the money. Madeline Bemis (Bear Valley Bikes) won the Expert Jr 18 & Under and placed 2nd in the money for the Women.
Just guessing by looking at the results, Bear Valley Bikes is leading the team rankings for large teams. It’s too hard to make a guess at the small teams. On another note, a good number of cyclocrossers were out priming their skills and fitness for September and put in a solid showing.