Windham, NY - September 1, 2015 - As top mountain bike cyclists from around the around the world return again to Windham, N.Y. for the 2015 UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, young Long Island Hurricanes riders got their first taste of Elite World Class cycling competition.
Windham Mountain hosted the eighth of nine UCI WORLD CUP stops and is the only stop in the United States. Hurricanes riders got to rub shoulders and test their mettle against the worlds best in their age groups and watch the top pros go at in Downhill & Cross Country disciplines of mountain biking. (other UCI tour stops include Lourdes, France; Nove Mesto na Morave, Czech Republic; Albstadt, Germany; Fort William, Great Britain; Leogang, Austria; Lenzerheide, Switzerland; Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada; and Val di Sole, Italy.)
NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association)- New York Selected Long Island Hurricanes riders to represent the NY League in the world cup event. In the 12-18 year old "Kenda Tire Race the World Cross Country Race World” cross country event, NICA New York placed 4 riders in the top 20, including 12 year old Hurricane rider Christian Symons of Huntington, NY. Christian placed 19th on a technical and challenging 8.42 mile course, despite a spill on the rock garden section. As the youngest rider in the race, Long Island Hurricane Rider 10 year old DJ Toback of Merrick, showed he can battle with the big boys, placing 22nd,from recovering from an early crash at the start. 12 year old Chris Thompson of Centerport NY placed 27th putting in an excellent ride. Also selected but unable to ride due to an earlier hand injury was Benjamin Zelenetz.
Team Director Scott Zelenetz said these boys supported each other as a team and rode so well. We are all extremely proud of their rides and the manner they represented NICA NY and the Long Island Hurricanes.Team Coach Bryan Symons observed “While the Hurricanes is only its first year has accomplished a lot we all have had a lot of fun with it. Most importantly it has become an important part of these the boys development and maturity”.
The team is sponsored by Brands Cycles of Wantagh NY. Brands is a huge supporter of grass roots Cycling and Fitness programs on Long Island. In addition to the Hurricanes Program Brands sponsors an Elite Road team, an elite mountain bike team, a tri team and several cycling clubs on long island.
Along with putting in a great ride representing NICA NY and the Long Island Hurricanes, the boys got to experience the celebration, festivities and pageantry that of World Class Bike Racing. The Windham World Cup continues to grow. Tens of thousands of visitors including professional and amateur athletes from more than 40 countries and six continents come to watch the best cyclists in the world take on the Windham Mountain courses and to participate in the amateur races themselves.
For more information on Long Island Hurricane Youth Development mountain bike programs or to start your child mountain biking please visit www.limtb.org
Photos courtesy of Ed Thompson.