Lemorande shines at mountain bike nationals
Bay Port sophomore Aidan Lemorande racing at the mountain bike nationals in Snowshoe, West Virginia (Submitted photo).
By Rich Palzewic
SUAMICO – Bay Port sophomore Aidan Lemorande recently had an impressive showing at the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships in Snowshoe, West Virginia, July 16-22.
The 16-year-old Lemorande finished 17th in the 16-mile cross-country race in a time of 1:17:26 and 11th in the short track cross-country race, which was an intense 25 minutes of racing.
There were 104 and 34 competitors in each race respectively.
Lemorande participated in the Junior 15-16 Category 1/2 races.
“Overall, I was happy with my performance,” said Lemorande, who was participating at Snowshoe for the second straight year. “The course was the same, so that was nice – I had it down well. Realistically, my goal was top-15, but earlier in the season I had some minor knee surgery that set me back a little. I was in the mid-20s last year, so I improved.”
Lemorande had some extra cartilage removed from his growth plate in late March just as he was about to ramp up his training.
He mentioned that Snowshoe is notorious for its rainy conditions. The week before the races, it had rained almost every day, so the course was wet initially, but it dried out as the race week went on.
Snowshoe is also a ski resort in the winter, so one can imagine what the terrain is like: hilly, unrelenting and technical.
“The course was obviously hilly, but it also had a lot of single-track sections and plenty of wide areas to pass when you needed,” Lemorande said. “Organizers are going more for shorter-length races where spectators can you see you more often. The distance wasn’t crazy, but they packed a lot of climbs and steep sections into the 3.5-mile lap in the cross-country race. The short-track-race lap was only like three minutes long, but there was no chance for recovery at all there.”
Going forward, Lemorande will be looking for continued improvement working with his coach.
“I took a little break after nationals, but I’ll be back into the high-intensity training here again soon,” he said. “I’ll finish off the year with the high-school series in the fall, take a break and get back into cross-country skiing this winter and then hit it hard again next spring on the bike. We are not sure of the date or where nationals will be next year, but my season will revolve around that for sure. The training program that I’m on will be upped a level next year, so I’ll be doing longer, harder rides. You can’t do too much too soon, otherwise, burnout is a possibility.”