Chain Gang racing team completes season

Beckett St. Cyr races at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton, Mass.

Beckett St. Cyr races at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton, Mass. PHOTO BY MELISSA ST. CYR

Emmitt Allen at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton, Mass.

Emmitt Allen at Holiday Brook Farm in Dalton, Mass. PHOTO BY ZACH ALLEN

Published: 06-25-2024 8:01 AM

The Contoocook Valley Chain Gang cross-country mountain bike team of Greenfield (not affiliated with the ConVal School District) ushered in a new head coach, several assistant coaches and 16 riders for the 2024 season. The team included members ranging from Hopkinton to New Ipswich to Keene.

Early practices in March and April were fit between late-season snowstorms, local trail system openings and input from the youth riders. Rocks, roots, bridges, back roads, uphills and downhills were all encountered as part of the rides, helping riders build endurance. By the time May arrived. the race season was ready to begin.

The race season was a series of six New England Youth Cycling (NEYC) races located between Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, with over 30 teams in attendance. Earlier races in May saw some wet and slick course conditions due to spring rains. Chain Gang riders improved their results through the first half of the race series.

In June, the team’s racers were pedaling in the additional miles and climbs during practices during a part of the season that saw a variety of trail conditions and weather. Some races were beautiful days with full sun accompanied by a fast dry course, while other days saw torrential rain and mud thicker than peanut butter.

Throughout the season, newest racers Ryder Johanssen and Daniel McLoughlin exceeded their personal goals as they gained experience. Veteran riders Ian Austin, Will Austin, Beckett St. Cyr and Emmitt Allen displayed improvements in their riding and personal strengths in each race. At the conclusion of the season, the Chain Gang was represented at the podium, as Anton Weinert placed fifth overall in the Junior Series – Varsity category.

The team thanks the riders’ friends and family, team manager Christine, all the assistant coaches, the Greenfield Trails Association, the Brattleboro-Keene New England Mountain Bike Association chapter and Alpine Bike Works in Keene for their equipment and service support.

The regional cross-country mountain bike team is now looking forward to a summer season of mountain-biking with friends, families and interested newcomers. The Chain Gang offers mountain-bike riding and racing for boys and girls grades 5 to 12. For those interested learning more and riding with the Chain Gang this off-season, visit convalchaingangmtb.com and stay connected through Facebook and Instagram to catch a group ride.

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