Gwin, Kintner Repeat As Downhill Champs At 2014 Gravity MTB Nationals

The 2014 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships wrapped up Sunday at the Angel Fire Bike Park with familiar faces standing on top of the pro men’s and women’s podiums. Aaron Gwin (Wildomar, Calif./Specialized Racing DH) and Jill Kintner (Seattle, Wash./ Team Norco International/Red Bull) both showed off their dominant downhill skills in repeating as national champions.

Pro Women’s Downhill
After the morning’s amateur contests, the pro women took to the downhill course that started at 10,500 feet above sea level, and descended 1,700 feet over 2.8 miles. Abigail Hippely(Santa Cruz, Calif.) was the first to crack the five-minute mark at 4:55.70. The second-to-last rider down the mountain, Amanda Batty (Park City, Utah), joined the sub-five-minute club when she crossed the line in 4:57.40. The only female rider left was 12-time national champion Kintner who left no doubt as she blazed down the trail with a winning time of 4:30.10 to gain her 13th Stars-and-Stripes jersey. Hippely took the silver medal and Batty the bronze.

“It’s crazy to see the evolution of the track from day one until now with how loose and dry and blown out it got with so many people riding it,” said Kintner. “That run was pretty smooth for me, no real big mistakes. I just tried to keep my momentum going and look ahead and keep my hands loose so I didn’t get too tight. You can always go faster but I’m happy with that to get the title.”

Photo by Phil Beckman

Pro Men’s Downhill
The 71-rider pro men’s field took its turn on the course following the pro women and it was the second rider down the hill, Graeme Pitts (Nevada City, Calif./Graeme Pitts Racing) who posted the early time to beat of 4:10.14. The next 53 riders were unable to oust Pitts from the hot seat until Neko Mullaly (Pisgah Forest, N.C./Trek World Racing) took over the top spot by being the first rider to break the four-minute mark as he stopped the clock at 3:59.35. Mulally remained in the hot seat with just two riders left to complete the course. Mitch Ropelato(Ogden, Utah/Factory Specialized) joined Mulally in the sub-four-minute club but finished a fraction of a second behind in 3:59.39. That left defending champ Gwin, the last rider to start, and he did not disappoint the fans on the slopes of the Angel Fire Bike Park. Gwin crossed the line in 3:52.17 to don the Stars-and-Stripes jersey once again.

“This track was hard this weekend,” Gwin said. “As far as physically and a challenge to be smooth, the hardest track we’ve raced all year. I like it. It’s fast, it’s dry and it’s good times racing in the U.S. I made a couple mistakes but they weren’t too costly. All in all, I’m stoked.”

Men’s 17-18 Downhill
The men’s 17-18 downhill kicked off the afternoon session on the final day of competition. Demetri Triantafillou(Salt Lake City, Utah) took over the hot seat with six riders to go as he posted a time of 4:19.90. Podium favoriteLuca Shaw (Hendersonville, N.C./SRAM Factory), the third-to-last rider to start, fell out of contention after suffering a rear flat tire. The next rider down, Charlie Harrison (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.), took over the lead with a time of 4:14.83, but his time was quickly bettered by Shane Leslie (Birmingham, Mich.) who claimed the victory with a time of 4:10.95.

Amateur Downhill Competitions
The juniors and masters races began the day under another gorgeous summer day in northern New Mexico.Chris Bentley (Fall City, Wash./Fischer Plumbing Cycling Team) took the win in the men’s 50-54 race, Brian Lambert (Austin, Texas/Team Cycle Progression) topped the men’s 55-59 field, Scott Lideen (Phoenix, Ariz.) took home the title in the men’s 60+ group, and Paige Ramsey (Auburn, Calif.) won the women’s 40+ race.

In the boy’s 13-14 downhill, Alex Holtzen (Boulder, Colo.) stopped the clock at 4:47.69 to take the win. Morgan Fortin (Albuquerque, N.M./High Desert Bicycles Team), riding with a separated collarbone, showed her toughness in riding to victory in the girl’s 13-14 race, while Dante Silva (Chula Vista, Calif.) and McKenna Merten (Jamul, Calif.) will be taking the boy’s and girl’s 11-12 titles back to California with them. Ryan McGarritywas the youngest winner of the day as he had the fastest time in the boy’s 9-10 class.

Jack Dean (Boulder, Colo./ Specialized Rhino/The Fix) claimed the top amateur time of the day as he won the men’s 19-24 division with a time of 4:22.30. Jesse Hunt (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) and Martin Navarro(Aurora, Colo.) will also bring gold medals back to Colorado after winning the men’s 25-29 and 30-34 races, respectively. Andras Simon (Foothill Ranch, Calif.) earned his first-place prize in the boy’s 15-16 division, Chris Webb (Lakewood, Colo.) edged the men’s 35-39 field, Scott Spangler (Albuquerque, N.M.) earned the men’s 40-44 title, and Joseph Picchiottino (Idyllwild, Calif.) added a jersey to his closet in the men’s 45-49 race.

Other female champions were Alison Osgood (Arcata, Calif.) in the 19-29 division, Michelle Pederson (Los Alamos, N.M./Bike n Sport Racing) in the 17-18 class, Samantha Kingshill (Sacramento, Calif.) in the 15-16 age group, and Kim Godfrey (Santa Fe, N.M.) in the 30-39 racing.

More Information
For additional event information, daily wrap-ups, photos, results and more, visit the USA Cycling event page

Find additional photos and coverage on Twitter via the USA Cycling account, as well as the hashtag #MTBNats, and on the USA Cycling and the Angel Fire Mountain Bike Park Facebook pages.

2014 USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships
Angel Fire Resort, New Mexico
June 22, 2014

Men PR/1 Junior 17-18

 Shane Leslie (Birmingham, MI)  04:10.956
 Charlie Harrison (Trabuco Canyon, CA)  04:14.839
 Demetri Triantafillou (Salt Lake City, UT)  04:19.927



 Aaron Gwin (Wildomar, CA)  Factory Specialized  3:52.179
 Neko Mulally (Pisgah Forest, NC)  Trek World Racing  3:59.352
 Mitch Ropelato (Ogden, UT)  Factory Specialized  3:59.391


Women PRO

 Jill Kintner (Seattle, WA)  Team Norco Intl.  4:30.104
 Abigail Hippely (Santa Cruz, CA)  4:55.700
 Amanda Batty (Park City, UT)  4:57.408


Men Junior 11-12

 Dante Silva (Chula Vista, CA)  5:40.015
 Julien Markewitz (Salt Lake City, UT)  5:51.122
 Will Ramsey (Auburn, CA)  6:19.685
 Sam Kahn (PUTNAM VALLEY)  7:05.738
 Andrew Bird (Salt Lake City, UT)  10:23.155


Men Junior 13-14

 Alex Holtzen (Boulder, CO)  4:47.694
 Garret Kniss (Fremont, CA)  4:54.408
 David Kahn (Putnam Valley, NY)  4:56.294
 Jeremy Schwartz (San Carlos, CA)  5:14.418
 Quinn Reece (Boulder, CO)  5:14.552


Men Junior 9-10

 Ryan Mcgarrity (IRVINE)  6:14.680
 Colin Mcelyea (Scottsdale, AZ)  7:39.647


Men 1/2/3 Masters 50-54

 Chris Bentley (Fall City, WA)  Fischer Plumbing Cyc  4:56.317
 Simon Bosman (Sedona, AZ)  5:07.341
 Curt Clemetson (Aspen, CO)  5:07.556
 Robert Safrit (Beaufort, NC)  5:08.839
 Paul Cherry (Lakewood, CO)  5:09.399


Men 1/2/3 Masters 55-59

 Brian Lambert (Austin, TX)  Team Cycle Progressi  5:31.481
 James Palmer (OPHIR)  5:59.801
 Phil Marsh (Waynesville, NC)  6:04.170
 Doug Strangfeld (Parker, CO)  Mojo Cycles Racing  6:05.075


Men 1/2/3 Masters 60+

 Scott Lideen (Phoenix, AZ)  5:58.678
 Joel Creed (Franklin, IN)  8:59.939


Women Junior 11-12

 Mckenna Merten (JAMUL CA)  6:20.319
 Alicia Kniss (Fremont, CA)  7:08.234


Women Junior 13-14

 Morgan Fortin (Albuquerque, NM)  High Desert Bicycles  11:52.604


Women 1/2/3 Masters 40-99

 Paige Ramsey (Auburn, CA)  5:49.156


Men 01 Junior 15-16

 Andras Simon (FOOTHILL RANCH)  KHS Bicycles  4:25.149
 Quintin Kurtz (Evergreen, CO)  4:26.166
 Joshua Rogers (CLAYTON)  GROM Racing  4:26.689
 Tyler Spence (Carbondale, CO)  4:27.383
 Tucker Kennedy (COLORADO SPRINGS)  4:28.618


Men 01 Masters 30-34

 Martin Navarro (Aurora, CO)  4:38.210
 Jordan Bawden (San Tan Valley, AZ)  4:45.751
 Allen Weber (Tijeras, NM)  4:46.651
 Arthur Sykes (LAS VEGAS NV)  Team Semper Fi/AMC/Vital  4:49.529
 Travis Tomczak (Encinitas, CA)  4:54.279


Men 01 Masters 35-39

 Chris Webb (Lakewood, CO)  4:37.052
 Brandon Sims (Albuquerque, NM)  4:43.900
 Aaron Polly (Phoenix, AZ)  4:44.973
 Ryan Cleek (Santa Cruz, CA)  4:45.065
 Michael Gunn (South Jordan, UT)  4:46.439


Men 01 Masters 40-44

 Scott Spangler (Albuquerque, NM)  4:28.084
 Alex Morgan (AMARILLO)  Team Cycle Progression  4:33.079
 Tyler Earnheart (Bellingham, WA)  4:34.091
 Bryan Connolly (Kent, WA)  4:42.297
 Tony Del Grippo (Golden, CO)  4:43.355


Men 01 Masters 45-49

 Joseph Picchiottino (Idyllwild, CA)  4:35.648
 Rob Wexler (Riverside, CA)  4:56.402
 G John Leslie (Birmingham, MI)  4:58.900
 Ian Starr (Frederick, MD)  5:02.498
 Anthony Stroup (Albuquerque, NM)  5:28.209


Men 01 Senior 19-24

 Jack Dean (Boulder, CO)  Specialized/Rhino Power/The Fix  4:22.303
 Max Kaupas (Dillon, CO)  4:26.918
 Spencer Green (LAYTON UT)  4:31.498
 Rowan Bateman (TAOS NEW MEXICO)  4:31.628
 Lucas Lemaire (Durango, CO)  4:33.481


Men 01 Senior 25-29

 Jesse Hunt (STEAMBOAT SPRINGS)  4:23.345
 Ashton Smith (Cupertino, CA)  4:29.110
 Robert Nichols (Durango, CO)  4:33.105
 James Sandmire (SALT LAKE CITY)  4:33.492
 Matthew Wells (BRECKENRIDGE CO)  4:36.517


Women 01 Junior 15-16

 Samantha Kingshill (Sacramento, CA)  7:21.979


Women 01 Junior 17-18

 Michelle Pederson (Los Alamos, NM)  Bike n Sport Racing  5:47.059


Women 01 Masters 30-39

 Kim Godfrey (Louisville, CO)  5:17.957
 Terah Blake (MISSOULA MONTANA)  5:25.408
 Samantha Chaloupka (Mesa, AZ)  5:34.036
 Rachel Weaver (Santa Fe, NM)  7:01.189


Women 01 Senior 19-29

 Alison Osgood (CARMEL VALLEY)  5:07.517
 Jacqueline Thomas (WINTER PARK)  5:41.598
 Sarah Godish (Usafa, CO)  5:43.941
 Ruth Thomas (Bellevue, WA)  6:22.525
 Bridgette Leber (PORT ANGELES WA)  Colorado Mesa University  6:35.103 
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