There isn’t much “talk” on the webs about Junior and U23 racing at the world cup level. There should be, and this year I have become obsessed a bit with the U23 races. Mainly because I can now watch them (well, the XCO at least) online for free. The Juniors weren’t even on my radar at all, these are KIDS out there giving it their all. Many of them won’t even make it into the Elite races anyway.

But, so many of our recent Elite racers were in fact great U23 racers, and great Junior racers. Every few years, there’s a few U23 who absolutely killed everyone all season, move into Elite and disappear from the top results for a few years. Mona Mitterwallner? She won every single U23 race the year before she went Elite. And until last year, she was not a winner. It took her a few years to gradually get it together. She won Marathon champs, and plenty of local races. There are so many examples of men and women having a tough time when moving up to the top level.

So, here comes Trek. Did you know that 5 of the 6 races in Junior and U23 were won by Trek sponsored racers? Riley Amos, U23 men, has been undefeated so far this year, 6 for 6. Madigan Monroe has been podium fodder almsot every race if I recall. Bjorn Riley, U23, podium almost every time. This isn’t even mentioning the U23 woman, Holmgren. She won so easily, it was scary. She’s already been sent to the Trek pro road team, and will dabble in both it seems.

Specialized seems to have the Elite levels covered this year. But Trek seems set for a future that’s bright in the XC world. With Jolanda Neff admitting to lung issues going on 4 years now, how long until they start replacing some of their veteran racers with these young guns?

I think Trek is doing it right. And most are North American on top of it. Way to go!