Contributed by Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab sponsored Reno Tahoe Cycling Team members, Tate Meintjes and Austin Smith.
March has been an amazing month for the Reno-Tahoe Composite team. It started out with the first of the famous NorCal series. These 6 races host the fastest kids not only in California, but on the west coast. So, for the second year in a row the Reno-Tahoe Composite team made the commute to the first race of this series in East Garrison, Fort Ord. The goal for everyone was podium and we proved that a small team from Reno, Nevada is a force to reckon with.
The race was on Sunday, so the entire Reno-Tahoe Composite team packed into the team Suburban and headed down to pre-ride on Saturday. The drive, however long, was definitely fun. We don’t call ourselves teammates or friends. What we are is a family. We had no trouble sharing a cramped car, or making embarrassing jokes with each other because of the bond that this team shares. Even when we finally got to the race, the jokes didn’t stop. They didn’t stop until it was time to pre-ride. This is when it got serious.
Along with riding the course to get a feel for it, we also had training to do. We started out riding together for the warm up, but we all knew the different speeds we have in our group. When everyone had completed their training, we met back at the Pits, drank our GetReal Nutrition active recovery mixes, and headed off for the hotel. The team met for dinner later on that night. We normally try to eat as healthy as we can in order to maximize our performance for the next day. Our coaches have taught us about the consumption of carbs as our main food group, not just before races, but all of the time. A good source of carbs is the gluten free pasta we all ate for dinner that night and it showed the next day.
The team car picked everyone up from their hotels early in the morning so we could drive to the race and watch our youngest rider, Aubrey Milner, race in the freshman category. Being her first race in a high school league, no one knew what to expect out of her so the pressure she had was very minimal. However, now she proved to us that she can race competitively in the front group.
Aubrey pulled out a strong 4th place in a stacked category of 24 girls.
In the sophomore category, we had three racers: Austin Smith, Zach Waymire, and Tate Meintjes. They also exceeded the expectations of our coaches as well as parents.
Austin Smith powered himself into a 6th place out of 54 riders.
Zach Waymire pedaled himself into a 5th place podium finish.
Tate Meintjes had a strong race getting first place and receiving the leader’s jersey.
In the heavily competitive Varsity category, we had Ian Meintjes racing against some of the fastest kids in California. Ian wasn’t feeling well because of breathing issues, but he still had a great race.
Ian Meintjes secured 23rd place in the stacked varsity category.
The second NorCal race of the series took place in Granite Bay, California. Theses trails were much more familiar to us because we have ridden and raced there previously. We all had high expectations going into this race because we were comfortable with the course. With that being said, it was a record setting 85 degrees come race day. After a 6th place call up at the starting line, Austin Smith maintained that same position with another 6th place finish. Aubrey Milner moved up a podium spot to take 3rd place in the freshman category. Tate Meintjes ended with a strong 2nd place finish. Sophomore racer, Zach Waymire, and varsity racer, Ian Meintjes, were unable to finish the race.
On March 28, 2015, the team loaded into the team Suburban to make another trip to the 3rd NorCal race at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey. We drove down all day Saturday to make it in time for pre-ride. After we rode the course and did our workout for the day, we headed to our hotels. Our coach, Trevor DeRuise, made time out of his busy race schedule to come down and cheer us on. The next day was full of excitement. We got to the venue early to set up our Silver Sage Sports and Fitness sponsored tents and banners. The first race of the day was the girl’s freshman category that Aubrey Milner was racing in. We went to cheer her on. After her race everyone else got ready for their own race. One of our team moms planned a lunch which was well needed after our hard races. The finishes were very impressive by everyone. Since our team had such great placement, we went home with a 3rd place in team points.
Camille Syben and Aubrey Milner finished with a 1st and 3rd place, respectively.
Zach Waymire and Austin Smith finished with 3rd and 5th place finishes, respectively, out of 49 racers.
Tate Meintjes finished with a solid 8th place out of 49 racers.
Ian Meintjes finished with a 14th place out of 22 racers.
Dylan Syben finished with a 16th place out of 22 racers.
March started out really well for the team and it is only going to get better. With riders in almost every category, the Reno-Tahoe Composite team really represented their sponsors well. Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab, Massage Envy, Audi Reno-Tahoe, Cuore, and Specialized have something to be proud of with this young and growing team.