ETV News stock photo by Mark Jespersen
It has only been a few years since the inception of the Carbon mountain bike club, but its growth has been undeniable. The team more than doubled in size once more and includes 23 athletes of all different skill levels. Carbon is not alone, however, as the increased numbers in the sport have occurred on a state-wide level, forcing NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association) to expand from two divisions to three. The move puts the Dinos into the new Central Division.
The club’s reach goes far beyond the sport and will positively impact the community once again. Carbon will host a race in late August that will bring in over 1,100 riders and their families to the area. “It’s an impactful weekend for the economy, hotels and restaurants,” said head coach Mark Jespersen.
Craig Olson (Jr.) will lead the team once more after winning state last week in the JV-B category. He has moved up to JV-A and is determined to defend his title. Olson is not the only rider vying for a state qualification. Jespersen believes that “at least half of the team will qualify for the state championship race.”
Carbon expects to continue to improve and have a successful season. “Our goals are for Craig to repeat, to have fun and that those that want to take it more serious, compete well.” Jespersen concluded, ” We have a handful of riders, 7-10, that will be regulars on the podium*.”
*The podium consists of the top five times in each race.