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  • Writer's pictureCaleb

MTB Wrap Up & Snowshoe World Cup

I've been meaning to get a new website going for quite awhile now, so that's why it's been about ten months since my last race report/blog. So, I'll do a quick overview on what I've been up to!

First, Cyclocross National Championships in Louisville, KY. I won the collegiate varsity race (my first cx national championship!), placed third in the collegiate team relay, and helped win the overall collegiate team omnium championship, and finally placed 9th in the U23 race.

After a little time off, I started building up for my first MTB season with Bear Pro Team. In March I raced the Vail Lake Pro XCT in California. In April I raced Barry Roubaix Gravel race in Michigan and Whiskey 50 Off-Road in Prescott, AZ. In May I took 3rd at the Englewood Open in Wisconsin and later headed off to Canada where I placed 2nd at the Mont-Tremblant Canada Cup C2 and 15th at the Baie-St-Paul Canada Cup C1. Straight frrom there I shipped off to Missoula, MT for the Missoula XCM stage race where I placed 10th overall.

In early July I won the Midwest Regional XC Championship and then headed to Durango, CO to train at altitude before mtb nationals. At nationals I place 15th in XC and 8th in STXC in the U23 fields. Then I hopped on a flight to Europe where I got my first taste of mtb World Cup racing at Val di Sole, Italy and Lenzerheide, Switzerland. Scroll through the gallery below to see pictures from each one of these events.

Snowshoe Race Report:

The opportunity to race a World Cup on home soil was pretty thrilling to say the least. The course this year was very different from the National Championship courses of the best two years. The lap was about half as long time wise, fast paced and full of some new, gnarly descents and punchy climbs. It rode almost like a cyclocross course! I pre-rode with some hot laps Friday and Saturday, and my U23 race was at 10:15 Sunday morning.

Although this field size was approximately half the size of what I raced in Europe in August, everyone here was at the World Championships in Canada two weeks ago so it was a ripping fast field. When the light turned green we flew through up the cobbled ski village road and hooked a left into the first off-camber 180 and climb before the first drop. I got lucky and managed to sneak through the early carnage but it as still single file and almost at a standstill through the flyovers and into the first descent. I opted to stay on my bike, track standing as other riders ran and I got a clean run into the chute making up some time.

We bombed across the next traverse and into the faster, flowy descent before climbing almost all the way back to the top. The first few laps were absolutely flat out for me, with my heart rate well into the upper 180s and 190s. There was hardly anywhere to recover and with the altitude being almost 5000 ft, it was tricky to not overdo it.

Eventually I settled into my rhythm and passed a few people each lap until I found myself inside the top 40. With 3 laps to go I started to fade some and I had to back it off a tad or risk wrecking myself on the demanding descents and rock gardens. I lost one spot on the second to last lap and crossed the line in 40th place. A solid improvement over my my previous best finish of 74th. Overall racing a domestic World Cup was a pretty sensational experience. I don’t think I have ever raced in such a cool atmosphere. There were so many fans going absolutely nuts for all the U.S. riders and it pretty inspiring. Finally thank you to Bear Development Team, Julia Violich, Julien Petit, and all of our sponsors for a season to remember. Lastly thank you to all my Bear teammates, especially the guys moving up into the elite field for the advice, encouragement and camaraderie.

While I've got you here I'm pleased to share my new cyclocross program for the fall! I'll be racing for a Linear Sport RT/Trek hybrid with some of personal privateer sponsors. Those privateer sponsor’s include Violich Farms, Englewood Grass Farm, Challenge Tires, Mike’s Mix, and JM Coaching Group. The sponsors of the Linear Sport Racing Team are Trek, Bontrager, Wheel & Sprocket, Styled Aesthetic, and David Hobbs Honda. Checkout the release here on CX Magazine and my new kit below. Thanks for reading! Keep an eye out here for regular race reports here on the new site as well as on my social media @cswartzz.

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