Greg Gosman took advantage of some fast track conditions at the Norba Nationals bike race in Red Wing, Mn. on Saturday, placing second overall in the 19-24 age group in the beginner division.
Gosman, 22, of Fort Frances, was up against more than 250 riders in the beginner division, including 30 in his own age group, at the Welch Village track (about 90 minutes south of Minneapolis).
The race attracted some of the world’s top cross-country mountain bike racers, with competitors coming from as far south as Florida and California in the United States and other racers making the trip from Europe.
All told, there were close to a 1,000 racers competing in divisions ranging from beginner all the way to the semi-pro and pro circuits.
Also making the trek was local racer Gershon Morris, 17, who placed 14th overall in the 15-18 age group in the beginner division but also competed in the junior Olympic age division.
Still, it was Gosman who stole the show, finishing the 12-mile race in a personal best time of 58 minutes. By comparison, he clocked 1:12 at his lone competitive race last year, which earned him 13th overall in his division.
Gosman said he definitely was happy with his performance—and was pleased with his improvement.
“The course conditions were a little better, a little faster than last year,” noted Gosman, who admitted he didn’t train for the race during the off-season.
“It was a faster course and we started first, which helps because that means no one is in front of you and no one is in your way,” he noted.
While only one person finished ahead of Gosman in his race, he admitted it was quite an eye-opening experience to watch the race at the pro level, where racing takes on a more serious demeanor.
Those guys not only race for the thrill of the sport but also financial gains, he noted.
“I [had a chance] to see the pros and it was pretty wicked,” said Gosman. “Some of the [racers] are all covered with sponsors and that’s how they make their living.
“The quality of riders is better and they ride quicker,” he continued.
Gosman said he will be skipping a race in Minnesota this weekend but is expecting to head down to Biwabik for the state championships in late August or early September.