Multiple downhill mountain bike racers take home awards at the Gravity Bike National Championships
By Tonya Adelsperger
Photo of Ainsley Wolf by JAWS Media NC
Boulder County and surrounding areas are known for its great mountain bike scene that includes trails, single tracks, and bike parks. The local gravity racers — racers that use gravity to propel themselves down steep hillside courses — are making people across the nation take notice of our area with multiple National Champions and podium placements at the 2023 Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships which took place July 12-16 at Ride Rock Creek, North Carolina. . The trails for the championships were steep and technical — riders raced across the Dual Slalom, Enduro, and Downhill disciplines and then the skies opened and the rain fell. The trails were muddy and slippery giving these Coloradoans a run for their money in conditions that they do not normally see.
Henry Rapinz, Boulder: Boulder Junior Cycling went neck and neck to win the Enduro National Title for the men’s 17-18 category 1. He finished first in the championships with just one second separating first and second place finishers int a field of 44 of the best riders from across the nation.
Ainsley Wolf, Erie: Mojo Wheels and Trestle Gravity Teams, at age 14, reached the top of the podium two times. As a junior rider in her first nationals race, she competed in both non-championships and championships where sheled the field in the tight races and brought home gold in both, making her the Downhill National Champion for the girl’s 11-14 fields.
Maylei Leaneagh, Longmont: Boulder Junior Cycling also reached the podium multiple times at the championships. Competing in the 17-18 womens category 1, Leaneagh finished second in the Enduro championships, just behind Lacey Dobb’s winning time of 17:29. In the downhill championship, Leaneagh finished fifth with a 2:37.00 with only a mere 22 seconds separating riders in this category.
Kate Lawrence, Boulder, a local professional rider, brought home her silver medal in the Pro Women’s Enduro National Championships.
Tom Pearson, Erie, a category 1 downhill rider, finished fourth with just 17 seconds of separation between the downhill racers in the 50 to 54 year class.
This was the first year that the USAC Gravity Nationals was held at Ride Rock Creek and Coloradoans left their mark. Keep your eyes open and you may see a couple of national championship winners sporting their coveted USA jerseys in the Boulder county area!