Reno Tahoe Junior Cycling Team’s Take on US National Mtn Bike Champs

Contributed by Silver Sage Sports and Fitness Lab sponsored, Reno Tahoe Junior Cycling Team member, Drew Swall.

For the Reno Tahoe Junior Cycling team, the entire season has been building to this race. The National Championships. Taking place in Mammoth, California, Nationals was big. Not “Sea Otter big”, but big in importance. Sea Otter was big in that it was a showcase of tech and kit, bikes and products. Plus, the addition of road races. Nationals was massive in that it was what we had been working towards. It was pure, no distractions of showcases and demos. Yet in a sense, it is a showcase; a showcase of riders. Every rider there had been training all season for Nationals. The skill and strength that was seen at Nationals was astonishing.


On Wednesday, Cat 2/3 15-18 combined raced at 8am, staging at 7:45. They would race three laps, each almost exactly 5.5 miles (according to  Strava). Each lap opened with a short flat section and then quickly up a fire road. The rest of the course featured several short and steep fire roads, along with fast and smooth single track, finishing up with a technical downhill. The downhill incorporated several cinder block banked turns and drops along with a wooden wall ride. Wednesday evening the riders received a pleasant surprise, an email notifying them that the category 2/3 race results would be split into separate Cat 2 results and Cat 3 results.


In Cat 3, Jackson Miers finished in 12th place and Drew Swall finished in 8th. In Cat 2, Dylan Syben took home a first place medal and Austin Smith placed 17th. In the Cat 2 women’s race, Camille Syben place 7th.

On Thursday, Cat 1 races took place, The field was fierce. In Cat 1 17-18, Ian Meintjes took 39th place and Zach Waymire took 44th after crashing on the first lap. Tate Meintjes took 19th in the Cat 1 15-16 race. In the Cat 1 17-18 race, Meghan Kelley took 7th. Kate Kelley placed 6th in the Cat 1 15-16 race. Matt Nugent, racing in the junior category, place 25th. On Sunday, Ian Meintjes placed 4th in the Enduro.

The Reno Tahoe Junior Cycling team performed with excellence at Nationals and will only improve as time goes on.