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Shredding Mt. Tam with 2011’s Mountain Bike Team

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Shredding Mt. Tam with 2011’s Mountain Bike Team


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RIPPIN RUBBER BROThe Mountain Bike club, one of the less prominent sports at Tam has little support by the Boosters, and is run by parent and player donations. To become an official Tam sport the team would need to receive more donations, and have other teams in the district to compete against. Regardless, they have good numbers and an abundance of talent. The team is composed of 18 people, including national champion sophomore Spence Peterson and last year’s state champion Alex Howard. The program hired a new coach this year, Paul Kundrat.

Kundrat has been biking since he was a teen, and is currently racing for the Fremont Bank Cycling Team, a professional category 1-2 team. Before coming to Marin, he presided over the mid-west’s largest racing club, The Ann Arbor Velo Club, based in Ann Arbor Michigan. They would develop and send junior riders to the American Cycling Center in Belgium, the epicenter of bike racing, every year on a full ride scholarship. He was also a cycling instructor with the Endurance and Performance

Training Center for three years, a huge benefit to the fitness of the team. Currently Paul is a professional bike fitter and a private coach. “I really like our new coach Paul; he is very experienced and really pushes us to reach our potential.” Said Peterson. Last year, the team finished the season with eleven wins, and one state champion.

So far, the team has had two races. Sophomore Dominik Cinka and Dillon Charlton placed first at Granite Bay and Garrison Park for JV; with the rest of the team trailing close behind, four podiums. Spence Peterson placed fifth at Garrison Park for Varsity, under perfect clear and sunny racing conditions. Coach Paul Said “Our team is going to do very well. So far, I am beyond pleased with their spirit, potential and desire. As far as skills; put our team on a downhill course and they will beat any team in the area”

Many of the racers are new to the Mountain Bike team, but Captain Bob Siegel is focused on using their abundance of talent to evolve the program. “The combination of inexperienced and veteran riders is a formula for success.” said Kundrat. Siegel conducts practices outside of the regular Sunday and Wednesday rides, in hopes of producing another state champion. The practices are roughly two to three hours of intense, fast-paced riding on Mt. Tam.

Soon the bike team hopes to become an official Tam sport, with full support from the Boosters. Until then they’ll keep blazing trails, and ripping up rubber on Mt. Tam.

Written by Misha Padidar. This article is an online exclusive.

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