Tuesday, April 24, 2018

2018 Season

Thanks for checking in.

The coaches are working behind the scenes gearing up for another great season of racing in 2018.

The call for registration will be going out in the May / June time frame.

The season kickoff camp out in Teller county is on the calendar for August 3-5.  Details can be found on Highlander Racing Team Snap.

If you are visiting this site and need more information please reach out to us.

Paul von Boeck
Team Director

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Alison Dunlap High School Girls MTB Skills Clinic

Monument Valley Park
Colorado Springs, Aug 20, 2016 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Girls love dirt!! Join Highlander Racing for this 4 hour mountain bike skills clinic run by local celebrity Alison Dunlap. Alison is a mountain bike World Champion and 2-time Olympian and has taught skills clinics for 13 years. In this girls only clinic, Alison will teach the core concepts and fundamentals of riding a mountain bike:
  • Basic bike set-up
  • Core body positioning, balance, movement, and vision
  • Effective braking
  • Cornering
  • Line selection
  • Switchbacks
  • Steep climbing
  • Steep descending
  • Front wheel lift: curbs and ledges
  • Downhill ledges
This clinic will get novice riders more comfortable on the trail and help more advanced riders dial in their skills.

Alison will also share stories of her years of racing, the Olympics, and her travels around the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to ride with one of the best female cyclists in the world!
With over 30 years of racing and riding, Alison uses her unique personal teaching style combined with her passion and love of the sport to offer the girls the highest quality instruction in a safe, progressive, and non-threatening environment. Supporting Alison will be strong and talented women role models, all of whom teach mountain biking skills that empower girls to embrace a life of bike riding. A girls only clinic is a unique opportunity to learn in an environment that is free from the distraction and pressure that comes with riding with boys. The girls will leave the clinic with a new tool bag of techniques, skills, and confidence that will blossom not only on the bike but in everything they do.

Register using the secure form at the bottom of this page.

For adult riders, the Highlander Racing coaches have a fun trail ride planned to keep you occupied during the clinic.

For additional information contact Paul von Boeck

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Haymaker Classic Race Recap

Our third race of the Season brought us to Beautiful Eagle Colorado!  The City of Eagle is one of the Colorado Leagues Major Sponsor’s and to that end the City of Eagle built trails specifically designed to host the high school races.  The Eagle race course is interesting on many different level’s, racers on this course deal with very few passing locations, beautiful flowing singletrack and a hair raising final descent to the finish.

With the State Championships in a month we thought it would be a good time to explain how the riders get to the State Championships.  In order for riders to qualify, riders must complete a minimum of three regular season races and for all classes (except varsity) be one of the top 70 points earners.

So with that out of the way, we move to the first Race of the Haymaker Classic in Eagle.

Sophomore Boys,  Alex Wilson started the day 11th overall which put him in the 3rd row for the start.  Thankfully with the 3rd row start Alex was able to out sprint a crash that occurred in the 5th row just after the start of the race.  Alex has been working very hard in practice and it paid off as he was able to stay with the leaders through the first lap, finishing 11th and scoring 420 points, keeping Alex in 11th overall and helping him to stay within 50 points of 6th place in the overall standings.  Alex has qualified for the state championships which will again be in Eagle October 25th.

Second race of the Day was the Freshman Boys.  We have three Freshman boys racing; Ethan Cefus, Sam Enos and James York.  Ethan started the day in 5th overall  and with a 7th place finish at the Haymaker Classic Ethan stayed in 5th overall and qualified for the State Championships.  Sam had a great first lap but struggled a little on his second lap and came in 34th Sunday but was able to move up to 27th in the overall season points standing and qualify for the State Championships. James continues to improve and finished in 50th position which moves him from 57th overall up to 48th overall and a spot for the state championships.

Just when the heat of the day began to get good and hot, the JV Boys took to the course, three laps on the very dusty track proved to make for an interesting race.  Max Huddleston who started the day in 8th overall struggled with the heat and still recovering from his grueling road racing schedule finished the day in 21st.  Still doing well enough to qualify for the State race.  Baylor Brown was the next to cross the line in 38th position, his best finish of the year and moving from 44th in the overall standing to 41st overall and a ride in the State Championship race.  Next across the finish line was Conor Adragna who had a good ride finishing in 47th for this race and moved to 45th overall from 54th.  Austin Cockell finished the day in 76th position, Austin missed the Leadville race so with a good race in Nathrop has a good chance of qualifying for the State Championship race.  Will Malfeld had a great first lap, but the heat and excessive dust took its toll on Will and he finished the day in 83rd which puts him in  67th overall, so with a strong race in Nathrop he will make the State Championships

The Girls race was the final race of the day and it was excessively hot and dusty but the Lady Highlanders continued to impress, for the JV Girls, Sarah Lease was again on the podium with a 3rd place finish at Eagle and she holds on to the 3rd place overall and only 9 points separates her from 2nd overall.  Sarah is riding very well and she is always at the top of her group!  She has turned out to be a very good leader and very positive role model, her enthusiasm for the sport is very exciting.

Sophomore Girls, Amanda Harman continues to improve her technical skills and her conditioning is improving every week.  The Eagle course definitely tested Amanda’s Technical skills on the final descent to the finish line and she passed that test with flying colors to finish in 17th and score points!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Cloud City Challenge Race Recap

Team and Individual Collage

Race number two brought the team to the Colorado Mountain College campus in Leadville, Colorado.  Leadville has become famous in the endurance sport community for the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike and running races.  The high school league athletes got a good taste of how hard these races must be as they peeled off 2-4 laps on a race course that starts at an elevation of 10,200 feet.

The alternating schedule on race weekends had the Southern Conference racing on Saturday, so most of us made our way up on Friday afternoon for a couple of pre-ride sessions. A favorite of many riders, the Cloud City course presented riders with a completely different experience from the race in Frisco two weeks earlier.  Where Frisco was wide open and unrelenting, Leadville has a great mix of smooth double track, tight ribbon through aspen groves, pines and sage, and punishing sections of rock encrusted terra. As with most courses, if you take the time to look around you’ll find some amazing views.

Each race the race categories shifted their time slots, so Saturday’s racing kicked off with the Freshman boys. Sam Enos (Lewis Palmer) and Ethan Cefus (Woodland Park) got through their two-lap race without incident. James York (Palmer Ridge) overcame a snapped chain to finish his race as well. Ethan came out on the losing end of another finish line sprint - 6th place by less than a second and scoring points for the team overall.

As the day warmed up, we sent out the JV boys for 3 laps. Max Huddleston (The Classical Academy) was our first rider through with a top 20 finish and points for the team overall.  Baylor Brown (Mesa Ridge) was next across the line and we watched the time tick by waiting for Conor Adragna (Home School) and Will Malfeld (Discovery Canyon) who both battled mechanicals during the race. Conor tore a sidewall on his first lap and Will’s chain gave up the ghost. After repairing it on the second lap, Will found himself running back up the trail to find it on lap three after it broke the second time.

Our JV and Sophomore girls went off in the third wave of racing. Sarah Lease (Palmer Ridge) came away unscathed from a get-off on the first lap to equal her 3rd place finish in Frisco. Amanda Harman (Mesa Ridge) demonstrated her continued progression in the sport by completing her two lap race. Amanda just started riding on trails like this about 5 weeks ago when we first started practicing, so this was a particularly inspiring and gutsy ride. Amanda and Sarah both scored points for the team overall.

Alex Wilson (Rampart) rounded out the last wave in the Sophomore boys’ race. He got caught in a pile up at the start, but battled back from a mid-pack start to a 3-up sprint for the line at the end of the race. Alex finished 10th which also contributed to the team’s overall score.  

The take-aways for our riders this weekend are rising to new challenges and dealing with adversity. Amanda stepped up in a big way and pushed herself harder than ever before. Of the thousands of high school girls in El Paso and Teller counties she is one of a small handful who can say they have raced a mountain bike in Leadville.  Three of our riders saw their day go south when they experienced equipment failure. We were happy to see the guys work through the problem and continue on to complete their races rather than throwing in the towel and calling it a day.  Sarah and Alex were able pull themselves out of the dirt and finish on the podium.

So for the second race weekend, all of our riders finished and we are staying competitive in the Division 2 team battle.  We scored a 7th place for this race and slipped to 5th overall. We expect that we can keep our spot or move back up as the season continues. Next up is the Haymaker Classic in Eagle Colorado, September 26-27.

Paul von Boeck, Team Director

Nathan Brown, Head Coach

Brett Billings, Assistant Coach

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Frisco Bay Invitational Recap

Greetings from the Highlander Racing coaches,

Not too long ago we were recruiting riders and reaching out to team sponsors of this fun endeavor.  This past weekend Highlander Racing competed in the Frisco Bay Invitational, the kick-off race of the 2015 High School Mountain Bike season. 728 racers from 58 high school teams from Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico turned out for the two days of racing on the new course staged at the Frisco Adventure Park on the shores of Dillon Reservoir.

Our weekend started with a team pre-ride on Saturday afternoon followed by team dinner hosted by our sponsor Columbine Concrete. This was a great event that went a long way to helping our riders get to know each other off the bike. Because we are a composite team, we have riders from many different schools who had never met before joining us for a practice. It was also fun to meet all the other parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, cousins and extended families who turn out to support their athletes. Thank you Scott Downen and Betty Claybrook for the generous hospitality.

There is a rhythm to each race day, with a short time in the early morning to take care of logistics before racing starts at 9:00 AM. The day at the venue begins at 7:30 for coaches and anyone who wants to get another pre-ride lap in before the race. At 8:00 the coaches meet with the league director for last minute instructions and reminders. The National Anthem kicks off the day for racers at 8:30.  The team was blown away when Sophomore rider Amanda Harman (Mesa Ridge HS) stepped up to sing this for the crowd at this kick off race. 

Our first wave of racers this weekend was the JV boys. Max Huddleston (The Classical Academy) is one of two returning Highlanders and also one of the top junior road racers in the state in the 15-16 age group. His top 10 overall from last season earned him a call up, and he had a strong race and finished on the podium in 5th place. Cousins Baylor Brown (Mesa Ridge) and Conor Adragna (Home School) came in together at the switchback descent at the finish with Baylor getting over the line first. Austin Cockell (Palmer Ridge), and Will Malfeld (Discovery Canyon) rounded out our JV boys.

Next up for us were the JV and Sophomore girls race. Sarah Lease (Palmer Ridge) impressed with the second Highlander podium finish of the day when she crossed the line in 3rd place in the JV race. Amanda Harman was competing in her first mtb race ever and her finish earned enough points in the Sophomore girls to score for the team in the overall standings.

Alex Wilson (Rampart) represented Highlander in the Sophomore boys’ race. Starting in the second wave he worked his way through the field for a top 20 finish and also scored points for the team.

Our Freshman boys lined up for the last race of the day. In a single field of 70 riders with only one lap to work with, good luck in the random call ups would play a significant role in how a racer would finish. We told this group to recognize this fact and to take whatever opportunities came their way during the race.  Ideally smart racing and a bit of luck would allow them to earn a better call up for the second race.  Ethan Cephus (Woodland Park) took advantage of a good call up and stayed at the front to get on the single track in the top ten. From there his fitness brought him to the line for a sprint finish and another podium in 4th place. Sam Enos (Lewis Palmer) was our second racer across the line in the top half of the field and James York’s (Palmer Ridge) finish completed Highlander’s day of racing.

From a numbers standpoint the team had our best weekend in four seasons of racing. All 11 of our athletes finished their races without incident. We ended up with 2 JV and 1 Freshman podium. Our Division 2 team finished the day in 3rd place overall with scoring rides from Max, Sarah, Ethan, Amanda, and Alex.

More important to us than the numbers are the things that aren’t measured – the reasons that coaches and volunteers in the league do this every year.  728 teenagers participating in a sport where no one sits on the bench and someone who is racing for the first time after only 4 weeks of training can score points for her team. We are partnering with fantastic sponsors to make a big impact in the lives of these kids.

Paul von Boeck, Team Director
Nathan Brown, Head Coach
Brett Billing, Assistant Coach

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Practice Schedule August 17-21

Sorry for the late notice.

I've got a schedule conflict this week and need to reschedule Wednesday's practice.

New practice date/time:

Thursday August 20th
Meet on the bike path next to COSTCO

Tuesday and Friday practices are unchanged

Tuesday 4:30-6:30 - Mt Herman trailhead in Monument - https://goo.gl/maps/giduh   We'll be working on our cornering skills.

Friday 4:30-6:30 - Costco bike path - Trail ride or bike polo

Most of you are getting back to school this week and will probably be kind of busy getting used to the routine again. That's your first priority, so make practice if you can.

Coach Paul

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Race Day Nutrition

At practice this week I discussed race day nutrition and want to share my thought with parents and riders who were unable to attend.  If you've been doing this a while you probably already know what works, so go with that.

The guideline is to eat a regular meal at least two hours before race time.  This gives the body adequate time to digest the food.  With our race schedule it can difficult to time this just right if you are traveling to the venue from home and have to be on the road by 6:30, so regardless of your race start time eat a good breakfast before you head out or in the car.  This is the key meal on race day.  When we wake up our energy stores are depleted and we need this meal to get the motor running.  Try for a good mix of carbs and protein. 

Based on your race time, bring something to eat at that two hour window.  A sandwich and a piece of fruit works well for this meal.  For me the longer the gap between breakfast and race time the bigger the snack.  If I have an early afternoon race start I'm going to eat a full lunch.

Keep a water bottle handy and hydrate during this time as well.

15-20 minutes before the race you can top off the tank with a couple of hundred calories and a drink of water.  A banana, energy gels or chews work well because they'll digest quickly.

 Racers need to have some kind of fueling strategy and this may require some experimenting on your part.   Decide ahead of time if you are going to drink from a water bottle or hydration pack and whether you want straight water or some kind of energy drink.  Easily digestible calories are best during shorter duration cross country races like we are doing, for this reason I like gels, sport drinks or the energy chews.   If you plan on taking on a bottle, gel or some other energy snack during the race we need to know ahead of time so someone will be in place in the feed zone to get this to you during the race.   Getting a bottle and some energy food at the same time can be tricky.  I either carry gels in my jersey pocket or tape them to my top tube or stem.

The length of your race and how your body responds to the effort of racing play in to this.  If you are racing two laps (freshman/sophomore) an energy drink in your bottle should be plenty.  If you drink straight water try a gel when you come through for your second lap.  If you are racing three laps (JV and Ladies Varsity) definitely take on an energy gel between laps two and three.

Post Race
The sports nutritionists say the body is primed to replenish calories in the first 45 minutes after hard exercise and that a mix of carbs and protein is best. Most of us don't do well stuffing our faces right after a race.  My recommendation is give the body some time to recovery, sip some water to start rehydrating and then start snacking or have a meal.  There are a lot products for post exercise recovery, but real food does the job just fine.

Don't Break This Rule
When it comes to race day nutrition the best advice you'll ever forget is "Don't try something on race day that you haven't tried in training"   Substituting liver and onions for bacon and eggs at breakfast or trying a new flavor gel for the first time during a race - probably not a good idea.

No Caffeine at the venue
 The league rules prohibits athletes from consuming caffeine at the race.  This is tricky because a lot of energy foods have caffeine, taurine or other stimulants in their ingredients, so please double check this.  They don't actually have anyone walking around checking out what athletes are eating, but please be mindful of what you are consuming.