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More than 700 riders compete in NorCal mountain bike race

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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More than 700 mountain bike riders descended up Folsom Lake at Granite Bay Sunday for the largest high school mountain bike race ever held in Northern California.
Local teams from around the area, including Folsom High, Vista del Lago and Oak Ridge High, as well as schools from all over Northern California, not to mention riders from high schools in Southern California, competed in the event.
“It was an amazing day,” Folsom High coach Steve Provan said. “There were people everywhere. It felt a bit chaotic, as there were a couple of crashes at the start of some races, but the day mostly went really well.”
Folsom High had 12 riders compete in the event and the school’s top finisher was Alex Blake, who placed 14th out of about 100 riders in the JV boys, Division I level. Blake finished the 18-mile race in 1 hour, 22 minutes. Paul Kozel placed 18th in the same event.
Alex Provan also had an eventful day, placing 37th in the race, while losing blood with every push of the pedal. Provan cut his leg on his chain ring early in the race and upon finishing, headed to Urgent Care where he needed 17 stitches to close the wound.
Top finishers for the girls included Tessa Caruso in the freshman girls division, who placed ninth. Caruso crossed the finish line holding hands with her sisters, Taylor, who competed in the JV girls division, and finished in 32nd place.
Alexandra Silva, also competing in the JV girls division, raced with confidence and finished her second race with an inspiring effort.