Even after bending a wheel on the first lap, Fort Lewis College cyclist Rotem Ishay still was the best collegiate mountain biking has to offer in Fridays cross country discipline.
Ishay, also the champion in 2009, shrugged off the mechanical issue to win by more than four minutes and capture his second consecutive Division I national championship in the discipline on Day 1 of the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships at Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort in Truckee, Calif., on Friday.
He still stuck it out on a wheel that could have failed, but it didnt, FLC cycling coach Matt Shriver said Friday from Truckee.
Jack Hinkins finished fifth, and Colton Andersen was eighth for the Skyhawks, whom Shriver said held a lead of 40 points over rival Lees-McRae in the overall omnium after the first day.
Colton is pretty new to racing, Shriver said. Its his first national championships, and he really stepped it up.
FLCs Sage Wilderman was impressive on the womens side, leading a majority of the laps before Lees-McRaes Erica Zaveta overtook her near the end of the race. Wilderman held on to finish second by a shade less than three minutes.
Wilderman, the reigning champion in the discipline, won the U.S. Mountain Bike National Championships this summer at Sol Vista Bike Park at Granby Ranch.
I knew she wanted to win, so she may be disappointed, Shriver said. She shouldnt be; she rode awesome.
FLC was the top team overall in the womens cross country race, which takes the top three times from each team. All four FLC cyclists finished in the top 10, with Sarah Sturm sixth, Kaila Hart eighth and Lauren Catlin ninth.
Having four in the top 10 was awesome, Shriver said.
USA Cycling action continues today with mens and womens short track cross country, and FLC will look to increase its lead as they seek their 17th national championship and fourth consecutive mountain biking title.
Some schools have velodromes; we have mountain biking. ... The kids are killing it, and were loving it, Shriver said.