Goochland Cycling Team Has Impressive NICA Performance

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Robby Fletcher, sportswriter

A thriving competitive mountain bike club in Goochland is wrapping up an impressive fall season that has seen several local cyclists earn podium spots.

Founded in 2015 by Ethan Seltzer, the Goochland County Composite Mountain Bike Team has just 20 riders on its roster, comprised of students ranging from elementary school through high school, regardless of school affiliation, and well Although many are newcomers to the world of competitive mountain biking, the team has already impressed against teams that are often triple in size.

This was displayed during the team’s main competition of the fall season: the four-race Virginia NICA series which just concluded with a race at Monticello High School on November 5.

Among the highlights of the series were the Goochland College Division Bikers placing second overall in the series, as well as the High School Division placing sixth. As for individual highlights, the top biker in his respective ranking was Eden Miles with a first place finish in the Middle School Boys A division. In the Freshman Boys division, Christopher Brewer also placed third for Goochland .

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Miles started when he was 9 and is in his fifth year of cycling with the team, and notes how encouraging the riders and coaches are with newcomers learning the sport.

“We’re all working together to go faster and we’re all pushing each other,” Miles said.

To top off his impressive streak, he earned a first-lap placement in the final race at Monticello, where Miles endured muddy trails to win his race with a time of 32:00.53.

Additionally, sisters Andrea and Annika Rogerson both performed well in the fall series, with Andrea finishing second in the Middle School A Girls division and Annika finishing second in the JV Girls division. Annika, who has been cycling with the team for two years, said she saw a flyer for the team and checked it out with her sister, saying the positive and fun environment immediately stood out for her.

“We went to one of the races and saw the environment, and it was great fun,” Rogerson said. “Everyone was so nice, so we went to practice and decided it was a fun thing to do.”

Matt Brewer, who coaches the team alongside Steven Miles, says the key to training new riders is to focus on the principles of riding the bike and endurance, with intermediate riders working more on maintaining strength. endurance during a race. Advanced riders practice more to hone their skills on the bike.

“We do a good job of taking a kid who obviously understands how to ride a bike, but we do a good job of taking kids who can also be athletic in other ways and turning that into competitive cycling,” Brewer said.

With the fall season over, spring allows elementary riders to begin competing alongside them as well.

The hope, Brewer says, is to have at least a 30% increase in the team roster and at least one runner in each category of competition.

With the team they have now, it’s clear that the budding biker club is growing with each series and having fun while doing it.

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