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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of August 13 - 19, 2003


McClure is big in mountain biking

Local racer ranked number #1 for nationals

Express Staff Writer

Michael McClure, 18, might be the best young mountain bike racer in the nation.

After the national championships in Durango next weekend, it will be clear just how dominant McClure really is.

A senior at Wood River High School, Ketchum native McClure has been a steadily rising star for Team Devo, the country’s premier mountain biking team.

Team Devo has been training in the Sun Valley area for the last week doing mostly road training up to Galena Summit and some cross-country training in Adam’s Gulch.

Sponsored by Balance Bar, Rock-Shock, Oakley and Giant Bikes, Team Devo has been a dominant force in biking since its inception in 1995 and is the winningest mountain bike team in the U.S.

Team Devo has sent racers to NORBA (National Off-Road Bicycling Association) events, collegiate events, national championships and world championships.

In just under 10 years, Team Devo has produced three world champions, about 40 national champions and is undefeated in collegiate racing in the U.S.

John Kemp, co-founder of Team Devo, first saw McClure racing at an event in Big Bear, Ca., when Mike was 15 and "skinny, big as a minute and with a bike bigger than he was," remembers Kemp.

Despite McClure’s size then, Kemp saw talent, "was impressed" and recruited McClure and has been most pleased on the returns on that investment.

Heading into NORBA nationals in Durango, McClure is the headliner of a stacked Devo team and is the number one seed for the entire race.

McClure is also one of five Devo team members who has qualified for the World Championships in Lugano, Switzerland in the first week of September.

The son of Royal and Elaine McClure of Sun Valley has enjoyed an outstanding year.

Needing only one win and a top five to qualify for worlds, McClure was an easy shoe-in for Lugano. In five NORBA events, he has two first-place finishes in West Virginia and Sandpoint, Idaho.

Along with a second place in Big Bear and a third place in Mt. Snow, Vermont, McClure has become fixture on the podium. The Durango nationals are the final race of the summer NORBA series.

Though McClure has focused his athletic vision on mountain biking, he has not been forced to sacrifice many other activities. So far, the sport of soccer is the only casualty of his increasingly single-tracked pursuits.

In the winter, McClure is a big-time freestyle performer. A once-upon-a-time multi-event racer for the Sun Valley Alpine Race Team, McClure eventually veered off the racing circuit in favor of free riding that eventually brought him to freestyling. Now a respected local freestyler, he was featured this past spring in Solfest 2003.

Michael McClure is one of many outstanding athletes in this valley, but as he ages, it seems McClure isn’t going to be satisfied with merely being one of the best.

With his sights set on Durango and Switzerland after that, McClure looks to become one the top bike competitors in the world.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.