The men's 40-49 cat 2 downhill podium. (photo by Philip Beckman)
Angel Fire, N.M. (June 20, 2014) -- Downhill competitions for category 2 and 3 riders began the racing Friday at the 2014 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships. Under beautiful, sunny skies at the Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico, 13 separate age classes between the two categories took to the downhill course that started at 10,500 feet above sea level, and descended 1,700 feet over 2.8 miles.
Category 3 races
First to head out from the start were the category 3 men. Teddy Jaramillo (Espanola, N.M.) turned in the fastest time of all cat 3s as he posted a 5:02.785 in winning the 15-18 category. Austin Brown (Hixson, Tenn.) and Alex McElyea (Scottsdale, Ariz.) earned wins in the 30-39 and 40-49 men's groups, respectively.
In women's cat 3 action, Makenzie Kjaer (Aptos, Calif.) repeated as 15-18 downhill champion while Regina Jefferies claimed the gold medal in the 30-39 age group.
Makayla Weist had the fastest time in the women's cat 2 19-29 class. (photo by Philip Beckman)
Category 2 races
The fastest downhill time of the day was set by Matt Osman (Littleton, Colo.) who crossed the line in 4:22.379 to top the men's 15-18 race. Jeff Leishman (San Clemente, Calif.) took first in the men's 19-24 division, Christopher Rizzon (Hillsborough, N.J.) set the top time in the men's 25-29 race, and Dustin Mason (Telluride, Colo.) earned the win in the men's 30-34 contest.
A pair of Albuquerque riders from the Downhill Syndicate USA team rounded out the winners in the cat 2 men's races as Jesse Percifull (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Joshua Michaels (Albuquerque, N.M.) took first place in the men's 35-39 and men's 40-49 divisions, respectively.
Two women's races concluded the day, with Makayla Weist (Saratoga Springs, Utah) riding to victory in the 19-29 cat 2 competition and Jennifer Risley (Albuquerque, N.M.) finishing first in the 30-39 race.
Christopher Rizzon was the winner in the men's cat 2 25-29 division. (photo by Philip Beckman)
Dual Slalom Finals on Saturday
Today's downhill races were non-championship, so the first Stars-and-Stripes jerseys will be handed out tomorrow when the dual slalom finals are held. Those competitions begin at 2 p.m. with the age group classes. The professional dual slalom races are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. Qualifying runs were held today for all dual slalom categories.