Jebediah Jake and Nathaniel Nye Yackle showed just how strong mountain bike racing is in Southwest Colorado last Friday in Sun Valley, Idaho.
The two youngsters from Cortez placed in the top three of their respective cross-country racing classes at the 2011 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships.
Jake Yackle, 10, was the defending national champion in the boys 10U class, but stepped up to the 11-12 class this year. Jake Yackles race was 4.5 laps around a 1.75-mile track, and after getting off to a slow uphill start riding his Motobecane 9-speed, Jake battled downhill from ninth-place all the way to third. He finished in a time of 39.32, just four seconds out of second-place.
I was just passing people the whole way. The last lap, I was 10 feet behind second place, Jake Yackle said. He was trying to get his bike around the corner, but his wheels stuck in the way (of Jake passing second-place finisher Nathan Baldwin). Thats how I lost second.
Thirty-four racers competed in Jake Yackles class.
In the 10U class, Nye Yackle, 8, was determined to improve on his ninth-place finish from a year ago.
However, things looked bleak when the chain came loose on his Specialized 8-speed.
At the start, I got off pretty good. But at the first hill, it was like 175 feet, I dropped my chain. I jumped back on my bike after I fixed it, Nye Yackle said.
While Nye fixed his loose bike chain, he fell all the way to 11th place out of 14 competitors. The 10U race was only 2.5 laps, so Nye Yackle had little time to make up ground. He gained ground down the first hill and passed a majority of the racers after lap 1. Nearing the end of the race, Nye Yackle pulled into second and was approaching first-place finisher Mitchell Baldwin, but couldnt pass him around the last corner.
I was about to pass him, but I was just coming into the corner and went, cchhh (sliding noise), and I didnt want to slide out, said Nye Yackle, who finished as the runner-up in a time of 24:02.
Up next for the Yackles is the seventh annual Fraser Mountain Madness race beginning today in Taos, N.M., at 9 a.m. Both Nye and Jake Yackle won the 10U and 11-12 boys cross-country races in 2010 and are looking to defend their Fraser Mountain Madness titles. The race is part of the New Mexico Off-Road Series for competitive mountain bike racers. In Colorado, the Yackles race in the Mountain State Cup Series.
Jake and Nye Yackle are sponsored by Panaracer, Osprey Packs, Full Speed Ahead, Canari, Crank Brothers and Fox Shox.
To donate to the Yackles Live Strong Foundation, which raises money for their mountain bike racing competition, log on to http://www.livestrong.org/Donate/Support-Event-Participants. Once connected, go to Select an Event, click on Iron Horse Bicycle Classic then enter the participants name, either Jake or Nye Yackle.
Fans can follow Jake and Nyes progress on www.facebook.com/Yackle-Brothers-Racing.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.