U.S. grabs six medals at Pan AM Mountain Bike Championships

  
  



The women's downhill podium
The women's downhill podium
The United States collected six medals over the weekend at the 2011 Pan American Mountain Bike Championships in Bogota, Colombia, with the highlight coming from Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.) who descended to a continental title in the elite women’s downhill contest.
 
Harmony proved to be a strong contender when she seeded first in front of the two Brazilian favorites. But then in the final, she really put her stamp on the course when she took the win by a whopping eight seconds. Defending champ Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif.) ended the contest in 12th-place after crashing off a berm while attempting to take the gold for a second straight year.
 
In the elite men’s downhill race, a young Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/SPS North America) posted the top result for the U.S. in fourth-place. Although the American team seemed to struggle a bit with the 8,500 feet of elevation, Ropelato posted an admirable seeding run and improved his time in the final. Compatriot John Swanguen (San Diego, Calif.) also put forth an impressive performance for the U.S. in 14th-place. Also finishing for the United States were Michael Buell (Nederland, Colo.) in 30th, Ethan Quehl (Grayson, Ga.) in 39th, Kyle Thomas (Issaquah, Wash.) in 40th, Heikki Hall (Durango, Colo.) in 44th, and Dante Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.) in 63rd.
 
The elite men's cross country podium
The elite men's cross country podium
Following Saturday’s downhill competitions, 15 Americans toed the line for Sunday’s cross country races where they collected another five medals.
 
“The Colombian team was well-prepared for this important race on their home soil and showed their strength by taking gold medals in all of the cross country events,” recalled USA Cycling’s Mountain Bike Programs Director Marc Gullickson. “The U.S. team proved to be their biggest challenger, however, with podium results in three out of the four categories.”
 
In the elite men’s race, Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing) spent thed uration of the race moving up from his mid-pack call-up to finish for the silver medal. Not far behind him was fellow American Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.) who grabbed the podium’s final step. The gold medal went to Colombian Hector Leonardo Paez Leon. Other American finishers included Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-TREK) in 7th, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK) in 10th, Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant) in 11th, Troy Wells (Durango, Colo.) in 26th, and Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes) in 27th.
 
The elite women's cross country podium
The elite women's cross country podium
The red, white and blue repeated its podium appearance for the elite women’s contest with Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK) and Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass/Seven-Kenda-NoTubes) riding to the silver and bronze medals. Pacing the women’s pack for gold was Colombian Angela Carolina Parra Sierra. Also posting an impressive finish for the U.S. was cyclo-cross star Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Planet Bike-Stevens Bikes) who crossed the line in 14th-place.
 
In the U23 cateogories, Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development Team) improved upon his seventh-place finish from a year ago to land a spot on the podium in third-place. He finished behind Colombians Jaime Yesid Chia and Diyer Rincon. Ettinger was followed over the finish line by Jack Hinkens  (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development Team) in eighth, Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, NC/BMC MTB Development Team) in 13th, and Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK) in 26th. In the women’s U23 event, Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa./BMC MTB Development Team) represented the U.S. with a strong 13th-place finish. The race was swept by Colombians Gloria Garzon, Yessica Legarda, and Laura Valentina Abril Restrepo (Colombia).
 
The U23 men's cross country podium
The U23 men's cross country podium
For results and pictures from the weekend, visit the Colombian Cycling Federation’s website.
 
UCI Pan American Mountain Bike Championships
April 1-3, 2011
Bogota, Colombia
 
Elite Men’s Cross Country
1. Hector Leonardo Paez Leon (Colombia)
2. Jeremiah Bishop (Harrisonburg, Va./Cannondale Factory Racing)
3. Todd Wells (Durango, Colo.)
7. Sam Schultz (Missoula, Mont./Subaru-TREK)
10. Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK)
11. Adam Craig (Bend, Ore./Giant)
26. Troy Wells (Durango, Colo.)
27. Michael Broderick (Chilmark, Mass./Kenda-Seven-NoTubes)
 
Elite Women’s Cross Country
1. Angela Carolina Parra Sierra (Colombia)
2. Heather Irmiger (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK)
3. Mary McConneloug (Chilmark, Mass./Seven-Kenda-NoTubes)
14. Katie Compton (Colorado Springs, Colo./Planet Bike-Stevens Bikes)
 
U23 Men’s Cross Country
1. Jaime Yesid Chia (Colombia)
2. Diyer Rincon (Colombia)
3. Stephen Ettinger (Cashmere, Wash./BMC MTB Development Team)
8. Jack Hinkens  (Eden Prairie, Minn./BMC MTB Development Team)
13. Kerry Werner (Banner Elk, NC/BMC MTB Development Team)
26. Russell Finsterwald (Boulder, Colo./Subaru-TREK)
 
U23 Women’s Cross Country
1. Gloria Garzon (Colombia)
2. Yessica Legarda (Colombia)
3. Laura Valentina Abril Restrepo (Colombia)
13. Erica Zaveta (Erwinna, Pa./BMC MTB Development Team)
 
Elite Men’s Downhill
1. Marcelo Gutierrez Villegas (Colombia)
2. Mauricio Ernesto Estrada Pulgarin (Colombia)
3. Mario Jose Jarrin Molina (Ecuador)
4. Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, Utah/SPS North America)
14. John Swanguen (San Diego, Calif.)
30. Michael Buell (Nederland, Colo.)
39. Ethan Quehl (Grayson, Ga.)
40. Kyle Thomas (Issaquah, Wash.)
44. Heikki Hall (Durango, Colo.)
63. Dante Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.)
 
Elite Women’s Downhill
1. Jacqueline Harmony (Sedona, Ariz.)
2. Luana Maria De Souza Oliveira (Brazil)
3. Mariana Salazar Paloma (El Savador)
12. Katie Holden (Scotts Valley, Calif.)


This Article Published April 4, 2011 For more information contact:
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