California Dirt Mountain Bike Series, Race 3 of 3

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John Seivert Racing in the Men’s 60+ Cat 2 division. (Photo by Robert Lowe and Mike Oitzman)

The California Dirt MTB Series is a breathtaking three-race series spread across multiple trail networks in Northern California including Nevada City, Susanville and Grass Valley. Racers face unique challenges that must be overcome to be victorious. These races are not a walk in the park. Additionally, the series is the affiliated USA Cycling regional mountain bike championship for riders from California and Nevada to earn USAC points and qualify for the USAC Mountain Bike National Championships in Winter Park, Colorado.

Each race in the series gets progressively more difficult, ranging from steep cross-country (XC) courses to enduro-style descents. Race 3 was held at Sanchez Ranch adjacent to Empire Mine State Park on June 26. It was steep and fast. Each lap was 4 miles with over 700 feet of elevation gain. The hard-hitting climbs on this hot June Sunday took their toll on the runners. Back-to-back laps got dustier, hotter and harder to see. At the end of each round there was the double slalom, my favorite, due to the high speed and the table jump at the end.

Not only will there be challenging courses and fierce competition, but also camaraderie. The Northern California cross-country mountain biking scene is full of incredibly talented young people. The runners are surrounded by athletes from all over Northern California, Reno and even Ireland. You will never feel like a stranger. The 123 registered runners shared the passion and support of each runner. The exciting atmosphere brings out the best in everyone. It’s a fun day guaranteed for everyone.



The California Dirt MTB series is organized by Youth Bicyclists of Nevada County (YBONC). A special thank you to YBONC Founder, Jet Lowe, and the countless volunteers who spend many hours planning and working to make this event possible. With the generous support of local businesses and sponsors, this is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers, supporting local school bike clubs and YBONC’s mission to inspire more young people to ride a bike.

Be sure not to miss the upcoming California Dirt Mountain Bike Series in Spring 2023!



Diego Velarde is a member of the Nevada Union MTB team.

Diego Velarde, NUHS MTB team racing for men Cat 2 15-18 years old. (Photo by Robert Lowe and Mike Oitzman)

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