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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of September 3 - 9, 2003

Sports

McClure wins NORBA junior nationals

Local biker to compete at worlds


By MICHAEL AMES
Express Staff Writer

Michael McClure knew that his chances were good to prove himself as the top junior mountain biker in the country.

Thatís exactly what the 18-year-old Wood River High School senior did.

At Durango Mt. in Durango, Co. Aug. 17, McClure captured the NORBA Junior National Championship by over a minute and a half.

The second-place racer from Montana gave McClure a good race; the two were neck and neck for most of the day.
But McClure had brought all the right ingredients for nationals and in the end, he said he "was able to pull away."

The course chose for the National Championship was not an easy one. The Durango Mt. course climbs 1400 feet on each lap. The fact that McClure had enough energy reserved to pull away on the final lap is proof of his training.

The third-place finisher came in nearly 10 minutes after McClure was done.

But McClure was dominant all season in the Junior X 18-and-under cross-country class, while racing for Balance Bar and Team Devoóthe countryís premier mountain biking team.

McClure won the NORBA National Championship Mountain Bike Series in his class with 136 points. He registered totals of 25, 30, 21, 30 and 30.

With three individual victories in five races including the last two, McClure outdistanced second-place Sam Schultz of Montana by 61 points.

But the season isnít quite over for the Junior Menís National Champion. McClure is traveling to Switzerland for the World Mt. Bike Championships at Lugano Aug. 31-Sept. 7.

He will display his talents on the global stage along with junior world teammates Schultz, John Devine of Dixon, Ill., Perry Paolini of California and Bryan Fawley of West Virginia.

The junior menís cross country race is Friday, Sept. 5.

So how does McClure expect to do against some of the top racers in the world, racers who come from countries where mountain biking is a major sport?

He said, "Those Europeans are real fast," he says. "And Lugano isnít my type of courseóall flat and muddyóbut Iíd be happy with a top-twenty finish."

Either way, the son of Royal and Elaine McClure said he is excited to travel to Europe to compete and knows it will be "a great experience."

Next season will bring a huge change as McClure will no longer be a junior and will jump to the U-23 category, a pro-division.

McClure is positive about his future as racing pro. Itíll be something, he says, "to race against the top guys in the country."

 

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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.