Ketchum’s Dave Harrison raced in the first mountain bike world championships in 1990 at Durango, Co. and for the next two years in Italy and Canada. Now, he has another first on a lengthy race resume.
Harrison, 55, was the third American finisher Aug. 28 when the first-ever Union Cycliste International (UCI) E-Mountain Bike World Championship men’s cross-country race was held at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Quebec, Canada.
A buzz of electric motors went along with the cowbells as the UCI World Championships staged its first events. The age range was breathtaking, from 20 to 57, average age 34.3, with Harrison the second-oldest competitor in the race.
The 45 cyclists starting the four-lap race used machines restricted in power output and top assistance speed, which put a premium on strategy.
Cyclists determined when to conserve electric power that complemented leg power.
Winning the gold was Alan Hatherly, 23, of South Africa with a time of 1.04:53. Harrison was 9:17 back.
Americans ahead of Harrison were former motorbike racer Charlie Mullins, 33, 1:41 back in fourth place, and Ryan Standish, 26, 5:07 back in 16th place.
Supporting Harrison’s ride were Formula Sports of Ketchum, where he works as a technician and service manager, and Trek bikes.
Harrison said, “I was proud to be back racing strong against Olympic and World Cup champions in the USA team uniform.
“I had a near-perfect race, moving up through the field and passing the other ‘gifted’ young Trek riders using my years of training and experience on the steepest, rockiest sections of the course.”
Harrison is proud to come from an athletic family.
His mother Judy is a Masters swim champion. His father Dave Sr. is a Masters triathlon champion and owner of a canoe and kayak publication. His sister Julianna is an Ironman competitor, and his older sister Nancy Harrison worked for Scott in Sun Valley and won the Seattle Marathon.