Wednesday, 08 December 2021

Clear Lake High mountain bikers place second and fourth in Monterey season opener

Clear Lake High School sophomore Miranda Cramer races at Fort Ord, Calif., on Sunday, February 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of Tami Cramer.


MONTEREY, Calif. – After six years of steady growth in numbers, the Clear Lake and Kelseyville Mountain Bike Teams have “slimmed” down this year, but their grit and determination is bigger than ever.

The season opener on Feb. 25 marked the first of three races in a row in the Monterey area.

A favorite among riders, race No. 1 took place at Fort Ord National Monument, just east of the town of Seaside.

The course provided lots of twisty turns and short climbs on fast-draining sandy soil with a punchy climb just before the finish.

The weather couldn’t have been better as the riders raced two to four laps of between 12 and 24 miles; each lap was five and a half miles with 450 feet of climbing.

At the end of the afternoon, two Clear Lake High School riders, both sophomores, stood atop the podium: Miranda Cramer placed second out of 17 riders in her class while Bron Falkenberg placed fourth out of a huge field of 61.

Falkenberg really stepped up his game after last season, training in the off-season by road biking all summer and fall to prepare.

Other finishers of the day included sophomore boys Nicholas Holmes (CLHS), 19th; Jacob Stahr (CLHS), 23rd; Ryan Rigby (KHS), 29th; and Garrett Smith (CLHS), 37th.

Clear Lake High School sophomore Nicholas Holmes races at Fort Ord in Monterey, Calif., on Sunday, February 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of Tami Cramer.

The goal of a new rider is often just to get their feet wet and finish the first race and freshman riders Michael Salata (KHS) and Ethan Bonson (KHS) did just that.

“It felt amazing to finish even though I didn’t do as good as I wanted to. I learned not to push it too hard at the start and get there early to get a good spot at the start,” said Salata.

With race No. 1 done, new goals were made and sights set for the next race held at Laguna Seca Raceway just outside of Monterey.

A 6-mile course with nearly 800 feet of climbing – riders compete two to five laps – Laguna Seca is known for its fast descents, long climbs, gale force winds and infamous “hurl hill.” Luckily, the winds never materialized and the weather was clear and sunny.

Both Cramer and Falkenberg repeated their performances by walking atop the podium once again in second and fourth places, respectively, in their categories.

Cramer held on the wheel of the rider in first place for most of the first lap, but after each of them washed out in turns, first place was able to pull ahead and Miranda just couldn’t catch her.

Cramer’s plan for race No. 3 was to “pace myself so I can sprint at the end and hopefully take the lead.”

Clear Lake High School sophomores Bron Falkenberg and Miranda Cramer were among the top finishers at the season opener race in Monterey, Calif., on Sunday, February 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of Tami Cramer.

“Laguna Seca was fast paced and fun,” said Falkenberg. “My game plan for is to shoot for second in the next race.”

Other finishers included Rainey Vanoven (CLHS JV girl) finishing mid-pack, 15th of 33, and sophomore boys Jacob Stahr (CLHS), 22; Nicholas Holmes (CLHS), 23; and Garrett Smith (CLHS).

Ryan Rigby (KHS), had a rough go with two flat tires in the first lap and was unable to finish the race.

“That’s racing,” said Coach Tami Cramer. “Sometimes things are out of your control and just don’t go your way. I look forward to upcoming battles at the next race.”

Upcoming races include Granite Bay (Folsom Lake) on April 14 and Six Sigma in Lower Lake on May 5. For full info/locations and the NorCal High School Cycling League, go to http://norcalmtb.org .

For more about the local high school mountain bike teams, check out their Facebook page at Lake County High School Mountain Bike Teams, on Instagram check out #lakecountymtb for info and pictures.

Tami Cramer is coach of the Clear Lake and Kelseyville Mountain Bike Teams.

Kelseyville High School sophomore Ryan Rigby races at Fort Ord, Calif., on Sunday, February 25, 2018. Photo courtesy of Tami Cramer.

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