Los Alamos Youth Mountain Bikers Win Big At Torture At Glorieta Camp

James Tyldesley (center) overall race leader and first-place finisher for junior men 15-18. Los Alamos athletes competed against three NICA teams from across the state. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

The Los Alamos Middle School Team sweeps the Torture at Glorieta Camp male 9-12 year old category Aug. 28, with athletes from left, Cullen McLean, Ian McLean and Diego Leonard. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

Los Alamos team celebrates a successful day of racing, front row from left, Cullen McLean, Elliot Work, Nikolai Nelson, James Tyldesley, Mila Moseley, Cameron McDonald, Ian McLean and Gavin Bent.  Center row from left, Coulter Witt, Diego Leonard, Wyatt Cloran, Calvin Grow, Mary Grow, Esther Grow, Addy Witt, Jon McDonald, Jim Tyldesley and Joshua Moulton. Back row from left, Justin Moulton, Chris McLean, Eric Witt and Monica Witt. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

By Coach PAULA KNEPPER
Los Alamos Mountain Bike Team

Fourteen Los Alamos High School and Los Alamos Middle School team athletes as well as two Mountain Elementary School students made up the field of close to 70 youth athletes competing in the 9-18 years of age category at the Torture at Glorieta Camp cross country mountain bike race Aug. 28 in Glorieta.

Glorieta adventure camp is 12 miles east of Santa Fe and offers cyclists miles of rugged granite covered mountain biking trails with ample elevation in a forest of thick ponderosa pines.

Los Alamos youth cyclists were amped for an adrenaline pumping day of cross-country mountain bike racing. Women and men youth athletes lined up for an early start on a cool Saturday morning alongside the adult category (CAT) 3 athletes to race across an eight-mile loop. Sharp elbows were required to establish a strong position in a mass start of both adult and youth athletes.

Youth athletes competed in three age categories roughly divided as follows: 

  • 9-12 years of age
  • 13-14 years of age
  • 15-18 years of age.

Los Alamos athletes were not deterred by the threat of a torturous race nor racing alongside the more experienced adult CAT 3 competitors. Los Alamos youth cyclists showed up in force at Glorieta and tortured their competitors.

The women athletes cranked up the competition. Los Alamos High School, senior Addy Witt was the first Los Alamos female competitor across the line followed by Esther Grow who after a quick bike swap at the start line finished on the podium for the junior women 15-18 years of age category in second and third place, respectively. Mila Moseley had the opportunity to hone her bike repair skills as she lost her chain on one of the many aggressive features of the race. Moseley practiced the practical skill of repairing a chain during the race, which will be useful on future rides, but hopefully not necessary.

James Tyldesley, a junior at Los Alamos High School, was assertive and established his lead early in the race finishing with a smoking time of 35.27 minutes. Tyldesley vanquished the entire field leaving the next competitor to cross the finish line over half a minute behind.

Ian McLean, 7th grader at Los Alamos Middle School, competing in the junior men field 9-12 years of age was the next Los Alamos athlete to finish the race. McLean hit the jump line, which is an unusual addition to a cross country mountain bike race, sending big airs and speeding through steep banked turns to finish first in his field. He was followed by Diego Leonard, Cullen McLean and Quanah Moseley. 

Los Alamos athletes took the top four spots in the youth men 9-12 years of age category. These four athletes had no room for error, finishing within a minute of one another. Next to cross the finish line was Cameron McDonald an 8th-grader at Los Alamos Middle School. McDonald competed in the junior men 13-14 years of age category secured a third-place finish on the podium.

Joshua Moulton, Nikolai Nelson, Elliot Work, Gavin Bent, Calvin Grow and Colter Witt were the next of the Los Alamos athletes to finish the race. These athletes had an impressive day finishing ahead of many adult competitors in the CAT 3 field. 

Mountain bike racing is about more than just the training, competition, or a few second photo opportunity on the podium. Exploring new trails, meeting athletes from other teams, building confidence and fitness, promoting a lifelong passion for cycling, and spending time with teammates are important aspects that the Los Alamos team coaching staff promote. Mila Moseley said, “getting to hang out with everybody was the highlight of my weekend.”

Los Alamos next competes at the kickoff National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) race for the 2021 season Sept. 11 in Flagstaff, Ariz. Los Alamos competes in the Northern Arizona NICA conference against 1,200 student athletes representing 74 teams from 197 schools in Arizona and New Mexico. 

For more details about the team including practice times, event schedule and registration, click here to read the team Welcome Letter or email layouthmtnbiketeam@gmail.com. For more information about the Torture at Glorieta mountain bike race and full list of results, click on this link.

Addy Witt, left, and Esther Grow display medals for second and third place finishes in the junior women 15-18 category. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

A mass start for CAT 3 adults and junior field at Glorieta Camp Aug. 28. Athletes gather at the start line for a heart pumping cross country bike race. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

Mila Moseley sprinting to the finish line. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

Cameron McDonald, chased by Ian McLean, takes an early lead on the descent. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

Wyatt Cloran followed by Calvin Grow shredding the single track at Glorieta Camp. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

Coulter Witt enjoying the flow trail sections at Glorieta. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

LAHS sophomore Nikolai Nelson pins the final hairpin turn before the finish line. Courtesy/Paula Knepper

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