Garvik ready to race in the ‘hills’ |

Garvik ready to race in the ‘hills’

Post Independent/Kelley Cox

This fall, Dane Garvik will be riding on a new path.Instead of racing his mountain bike in the Rocky Mountains, the Roaring Fork senior will be competing for Lees-McRae College in North Carolina.The under 800-person, private Presbyterian college recruited Garvik after his impressive 2005 season where he was ranked third nationally in the sport men 18 and younger division and second in Colorado in the same category.

“I’m happy to join the team. They are three-time, Division II national champs,” Garvik said of the team that won national titles 2003-05. “This year they are moving to Division I, so that’s how they recruited me. They are expanding their roster and I’ll be racing on the D-I downhill team.”Garvik chose college in western North Carolina because it offered him two scholarships.”They offered me the most – an athletic and institutional scholarship and they are going to cover half of my tuition,” Garvik said. “It was the best choice for my career.”Doug Owen, the coach of the team hopes to have 60 riders in the fall for the mountain bike season. The mountain bike portion of the year consists of cross county, short track, dual slalom and downhill events. Garvik will be on the Lees-McRae gravity team, the group of the cycling squad who participate in the dual slalom and downhill competitions.

“I was interested in signing Dane because of his experience as a gravity rider. With our move to Division I this fall, we are looking to strengthen our gravity team. Dane will be one of six very strong gravity riders and help us in our quest to work our way to the top of the DI rankings,” Owen said in an e-mail. “As a gravity rider, the skills are very specific. It is a hard transition for an endurance rider to excel in the gravity events. Dane’s experience in gravity gives depth to our team.”Although he’ll being leaving the Rockies for the smaller Blue Ridge Mountains, Garvik is excited about his future.”It will be going to what they call mountains and what I call hills, but it is great for my mountain biking career and I can work on my business plans, work on my degree and ride my bike.”Once it moves to Division I, Lees-McRae will be the smallest school in the country to race in the Division-I cycling category. For Garvik, the school’s small size is one its most appealing aspects.

“I’ve kind of come from small numbers and I think it is a perfect balance of racing for a Division I team and not just becoming a number at a school of 30,000 people,” Garvik said.He visited the school a month and a half ago and loved everything about it.”I met with Doug, who is an awesome guy, and met some of the team and they welcomed me with open arms,” Garvik said. “It’s a great school and I am very excited to join the family.”As for the immediate future, Garvik will continue training in Colorado and will compete in the National Off Road Bike Championship Association (NORBA) Mountain Circuit and the Mountain States Cup this spring and summer. He will then head out to start his college career in mid-August.

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