BetterRider Mitch Ropelato Beats World Champ Greg Minnaar!

Great weekend of racing at the Triple Dip at the Sol Vista Bike Park! Three fun and challenging tracks, tight racing, great organization (stats and timing went off perfectly) and great prizes (thanks to the town of Granby and SRAM).  Three downhill races on three separate tracks made for a great weekend of racing.

The Pro men’s class saw a different winner in each event and some tight racing. Mikey Sylvestri through down a super fast run to win the first race on Stranger (last years Amateur National Champs track), World Champ Greg Minnaar won the chainless race on Cheese It to Ashley Larry (one of my favorite training tracks) and Sick Mick battled though broken ribs to win the final race on Drifter to Lemonade (last years Pro National Championship track)

What a great event for BetterRide racers!  BetterRider Mitch Ropelato finished 3rd behind Needles and Sick Mick Hannah and just ahead of 3 time World Cup Overall Champion (and BetterRide assistant coach) Greg Minnaar in the final race to secure 5th overall in the 3 race format.  Brian Buell earned a solid 8th place and Joey Schussler was 9th (I think).

Mitch, Needles, Greg, Mick and kids, Mikey

In the Pro Women’s class BetterRiders Julie Olsen and Jackie Harmony earned  3d and 2nd place overall behind US power house Jill Kitner!

Julie, Jill, Jackie

In the 15-18 year old open class BetterRider Luca Cometti won the final race with BetterRide alumnus Alex Willie in second and BetterRider Matt Branney in 3rd! Luca earned a second place overall finish and Alex finished 4th overall.

All BetterRide Alumni Podium, Luca on top, Alex in second and Matt in 3rd!

In the old guys class, I managed to place second in all three races and earn 2nd overall behind Quentin Splauding of KHS. Shawnee Mac won the second race and finished just behind me in third. BetterRider Joe Dodds earned an 8th place overall finish and Jason Krause race to 10th overall.

 

I am already looking forward to next years Triple Dip!

Shawnee, Q and me

Great Story and Photos from a MTB Skills Camp Student

Great email and story of success from student Rich Schmit!
Gene,
I’ve been wanting to pass on a personal success story. Before your mountain bike camp in Indiana with Coach Andy W. I participated in my first mountain bike race in Copper Harbor, MI. I placed 6th in my age group (over 6 min. behind 3rd place) on a very technical course. Considering the field, I was happy with the results. My goal after the BetterRide camp was to be in the top 3 in the same race with a similar field. With my new found skills I placed 1st this time with 2nd place over 7 min. behind. I tore it up! Attached are a couple of pictures. Thanks, I’m always telling people that no matter how much they think they know how to ride a mountain bike, they owe it to themselves to attend one of your camps. A year later I still practice my skills every time I’m out.

Rich Schmit on his way to victory

Notice how he is centered on the bike, arms bent and looking way ahead instead of at the bottom of the rock! Great riding!
BTW, a while back you suggested some reading material. I chose Body, Mind Mastery by Dan Millman. (in audio book form). Not only do I feel it helped my mountain bike skills with things like, how tension is counter productive and how the “opponent is not the enemy, but instead the teacher” it also helped me in my own personal life. Good recommendation!
Keep up the good job, Rich S

Rich Schmit on Top of The Podium

BetterRider Wins Pan American Championships in Colombia!

Jackie Harmony on her way to the Pan American Championship!

Congratulations to BetterRide coach and athlete Jackie Harmony on her Pan American title! Making this more impressive, she was on a new bike and suspension (Canfield Jedi and Marzocchi 888 fork) that was assembled just in time to make her flight! So she had to get used to and dial in a new bike and fork in practice, not a lot of time.

BetterRider Mitch Ropelato finished just off the podium in 4th for the highest placing US male in the downhill competition.

Other BetterRiders including Jackie’s husband Dante finished in 63rd place, Michael Buell was 30th and Heiki Hall was 44th.

Feels great to see students I coach doing well all over the world. Keep up the good work!

Two articles about the race:

http://www.vitalmtb.com/photos/features/2011-Panamerican-Championships,2158/Jackie-Harmony-Womens-Panam-Champs-DH-Winner,17134/sspomer,2

http://www.usacycling.org/news/user/story.php?id=6084

What a weekend for BetterRide MTB Students!

What a rewarding weekend! While I was busy coaching a downhill camp (with a healthy mix of pro racers, Cat 1 racers and advanced beginners) I received three emails from stoked students conquering their on trail nemesis’s and BetterRide athletes made to xc race podiums!

Sarah Kaufman on her way to 2nd place!

Congratulations to these BetterRiders on sweeping the pro women’s podium! In 3rd Erica Knight Tingey, in 2nd Sarah Kaufmann, on top of the box Lynda Wallenfels! Interesting that they finished in the order that they have taken skills camps with me! Could be a fluke but seems to show what many books on learning are pointing out, more deliberate practice equals better skill. Check out this article on the race: Desert Rampage, St. George, UT, http://www.mtbracenews.com/view_article.jsp?id=251

Also on the podium was Darren Casden Taking 3rd Place at the Black Mountain Winter Series Final and taking home 1st place overall in the series.

One of the great emails from a student:

Gene,

Wanted to thank you for all of you time an patience this last week in Phoenix, I do appreciate all of your effort. I really did not expect to be e-mailing you so soon about some of the skills that I apparently acquired in Phoenix, but I am. Had a chance to go out on a ride yesterday, not with the intent of testing the skills but to enjoy a ride. I quickly found myself reflecting back on the weekend and began working on looking ahead. I quickly realized that much of the trail that I was riding, very narrow single track and notorious for loosing momentum when you get off of trail was much smoother that I have ever remembered, occasionally when my eyes drifted back to where I was at and now where I was going I would like old, get off track. Within a very short period after starting my ride it was obvious that focusing on looking ahead and using the vision techniques you taught us to do the up close steering was working. In addition to looking ahead, there are a couple of difficult and loose uphill switchbacks that often cause me to dab. Remembering back on the Sunday drills, I focused on not getting impatient and watching my body position and balance and again, probably one of the smoothest runs on the switchbacks I have ever had. I also had the opportunity to work on the various wheelies and bump jumps and like the other techniques felt that they were enhancing my riding. I plan on going back out again today to work on more of the same.

Stay safe, and keep riding….

Jerry

That was from his first ride after the camp! He hadn’t even start to do the drills (that will commit these skills to his subconscious) yet. Wait to all the skills he learned in his camp are ingrained through drills and they just “happen” without thought to them!