2021 Pan Am Championship Recap 1130x600
Team USA

Team USA Comes Away with Four Titles after Championships

By: Tom Mahoney  March 29, 2021

Urban, Blunk, Holcomb, and Team Relay Squad earn Pan-American Champion titles.

Team USA brought home four titles over the weekend from the 2021 Pan-American Mountain Bike Championships held in Salinas, Puerto Rico. The four titles went to; Kelsey Urban (San Francisco; Rouleur Devo p/b DNA Cycling) in the Elite Women’s Short Track, Savilia Blunk (Inverness, Calif.; Orange Seal) in the U23 Women’s Cross-Country event, Ruth Holcomb (Durango, Colo.; Bear National Team) in the Junior Women’s Cross-Country event, and the Team Relay squad took top honors in their event. In addition to the titles, U.S. athletes earned 18 top-ten finishes.

Team Relay podium
Team Relay podium

Kicking off the week for the U.S. was the Team Relay squad of Blunk, Holcomb, Russell Finsterwald (Colorado Springs, Colo.; Clif Pro Team), Bradyn Lange (Austin; Rocky Mountain Factory Team), Madigan Munro (Boulder, Colo.; Trek Factory Racing), and Ethan Villaneda (Corona, Calif.). The squad dominated the six-lap event, with the Chilean and Costa Rican teams coming in second and third, respectively.

Ruth Holcomb descending during the Junior Women's XC.
Ruth Holcomb descending during the Junior Women's XC.

On Friday, the Junior Women started the day with their Cross-Country race. Fresh off her win as part of the Team Relay, Ruth Holcomb was able to capture the win. She was joined in the top-five by teammates Lauren Aggeler (Durango, Colo.; Bear Development Team), who took the second step of the podium, and Mia Aseltine (Littleton, Colo.; Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com Devo Team), who placed third, and Bailey Cioppa (Durango, Colo.), for fourth. The Junior Men raced next, with a field of 37 starters. Cayden Parker (Hot Springs, Ark.; Bear National Team) led the charge for the U.S., placing fourth. Blake Wray (Corona, Calif.; LUX Cycling) and Toby Hassett (Golden, Colo.; GBX) followed in short order, placing fifth and sixth, respectively.

Also on Friday were the Elite Short Track races. In the Women’s event, Kesley Urban took home the Continental Champions jersey, and Madigan Munro earned fifth. Stephan Davoust (Durango, Colo.; Giant Factory Off-Road) and Luke Vrouwenvelder (Chapel Hill, N.C.) were the top American finishers in the Men’s race, placing seventh and eighth respectively.

Under-23 was the name of the game on Saturday, with the Women’s and Men’s cross-country races taking center stage. Savilia Blunk raced to a dominant win claiming the Team USA, with teammate Madigan Munro, in her third race of the event, took home the silver. On the U23 Men’s side, Caleb Swartz (Madison, Wisc.; Bear Professional Team) placed sixth and was the top American finisher. Bradyn Lange was the next U.S. rider and finished in eighth.

Kelsey Urban climbing while on course.
Kelsey Urban climbing while on course.

The last day of the event saw the Elite racers take on the challenging cross-country course. Kelsey Urban was the lone American in the Elite Women’s event, and after her win in the Short Track race, all eyes were on her. After a hard-fought race and spending most of the race in the lead, Urban took home the bronze. Cole Paton (Durango, Colo.; Orange Seal) and Luke Vrouwenvelder lead the American contingent on the Elite Men’s side. In a strong field of 32 starters, the two placed sixth and seventh, respectively.

Results from the championships can be found here.