Cross Country Mountain Bike Racing. This co-ed program participates in the weekly Lakes Region Mountain Bike Association Series, races matching a collection of private and public schools in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
This program is specifically a Cross Country Mountain Bike Racing discipline and is NOT downhill racing, free riding or has anything with the “X” games. The Dublin School Mountain Bike Program is a well disciplined activity with a focus on learning the necessary skills and gaining the physical strength and aerobic capacity to successfully compete in cross country mountain bike races held over relatively arduous, yet safe terrain. Dublin students compete in cross country mountain bike races of six to eight miles in length. In Mountain Bike Racing, there are no benches and no cuts. Everyone races and boys and girls combine their results for a team score.
Mountain Bike race at Dublin School Nordic Ski Center - October 29, 2104
In a summer of major campus construction (four major renovations or new buildings are in-process right now), it's easy to ignore the less obvious improvements that are happening around campus. However, if you wander down to the Nordic Center and listen carefully, you will hear the sounds of chain saws, nail guns and a mini-excavator echoing through the woods. Backtracking along marker flags through the woods will bring you to a remarkably Dublin construction project.
This last week, RVAL conducted its fall championship week, crowning champions in boys and girls cross country and soccer. Dublin was in competition for the top award in each of the four categories. Dublin walked away from the week with one Championship and three runner-up awards. This was easily the most complete performance by any school in the league. For some of our athletes, this was still a disappointment (we love that they are only satisfied with a win).
That being said, our disappointment is a mark of how far these programs have come.
Coming off of our fall break, the mountain biking team had three riders show up to the optional race at Vermont Academy on Wednesday. Jared Lewis, Sean Brown, and AJ Lee strapped on their helmets and took on a very technical course. It was decided that after a third place finish in his first ever B class race, AJ was ready for a move up to A class, and he joined the small list of riders who have raced A class for Dublin School's mountain biking team.
The race had a LeMond start, meaning that the riders rested their bikes down at the starting line, and ran a 100 yard dash to see who could get to their bike and start pedaling the fastest. AJ, a seasoned track star in Hong Kong, took out ahead of the crowd and took off ahead of the pack. As the race wound down, Jared placed 8th, AJ was 10th, and Sean was close behind with 11th. Overall a great finish, and special mention to AJ for placing in the top 10 for his first A class race.
Mountain Biking hosted its annual Mountain Bike race on October 12th. Ten teams and 96 riders competed on the difficult Dublin School course. Dublin achieved its first team podium result of the season, placing third.
Individually, Sean Brown (Hampton Falls, NH) had his highest career finish in Class A placing 7th. Jared Lewis (Bennington, NH) placed 12th in Class A.
In Class B racing, Dublin had two podium finishes with AJ Lee (Hong Kong, Hong Kong) mounting the boys podium in third and Sita Moses (Dublin, NH) finishing second. Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) had his best result in B, with an 11th place finish and AJ Simpson (New York, NY) finishing 13th.
In Class C racing, Warren Umbach (Birmingham, AL) finished just off the podium in 4th, but less than a second behind the 2nd and 3rd place finishers. Abby Ingram (Dedham, MA) finished 2nd in the girls Class C race followed closely behind by her teammates Imogen VonMertens (Hancock, NH) in 4th; Ella Rutledge (Amesbury, MA) in 5th and Ali Weis (Nelson, NH) in 8th. In boys Class C (easily the largest class with 45 riders), Garret Autera (Roswell, GA) finished in 7th; Yifu Zhang (Beijing, China) finished 17th and Teddy Anderson (Jamestown, RI) finished 19th.
Saturday, five brave cross country mountain bikers ventured into the world of Enduro racing at Highland Mountain Bike Park. An enduro race consists of three timed downhill sections of trails and two sections of un-timed uphill climbs. It combines the dangers and excitement of downhill biking with the endurance and grueling climbs of XC. They had to gear up with full face helmets and pads and rent special bikes, because their regular racing bikes wouldn't cut it on this course. Armaan Gandevia (Hong Kong) turned it up for Dublin, and placed 4th in the entire race. Jared Lewis (Bennington, NH) was 10th, and Emil Hristache (Peterborough, NH) was 14th. Sean Brown (Hampton Falls, NH) and Peter Spang (South Hamilton, MA) had DNF's for bike issues, but still turned in a good day of racing.
Jesse was a really fast Jimmy John's sandwich bike delivery guy long before he began wearing out chainrings leading Mountain Biking tours and coaching Mountain Biking racing. For five summers, he led two week mountain bike tours through the sinuous mountain and valley roads of Vermont and New Hampshire. As a founding coach of the Dublin Mountain Biking team, he has led the growth and improvement of the team from a primarily Class C program at inception to a 3rd place finish (out of 22 schools) last year in the New England Interscholastic Mountain Bike Series.