Park City’s mountain biking team incredibly strong, bolstered by diverse group of riders

Park City Schools Mountain Bike Team members dance in the rain at their first meet of the season at Beaver Mountain. The Team is possibly their strongest ever, bolstered by their diverse group of riders.
Photo courtesy of Barry Hill Photography

Park City Schools Mountain Bike Team has potentially their strongest team to date, bolstered, per usual, by its diverse group of riders. The team, which is composed of approximately 40 percent female and Latino riders, has been built around the value of inclusivity that Head Coach Pete Stoughton has maintained since co-founding the team in 2012.

In what’s traditionally been a male dominated sport, Coach Stoughton has been able to retain these riders due to the team’s welcoming, fun-loving environment. Coach Stoughton touched upon the value of these riders, especially the women, saying “the women are actually going to carry the team, which has always been the case.”

This year’s group of female riders has continued the legacy of those before them, dominating the team’s last race at Snowbasin, where they accounted for 13 of 30 available high school girls podiums. Their other riders landed 14 additional podiums, on a day the coaching staff described as “perhaps our finest day ever,” in a prepared statement. The coaching staff also discussed how the Snowbasin race was incredibly eye-opening to the possibility that they could be hoisting a state title when the season concludes next month.

A Team member rides along the trail at Snowbasin on Sept. 9. Park City landed 27 podiums that race, a team record.
Photo courtesy of Alison Watkins

Whether or not their team is able to grab the top spot at the State Championship on Oct. 20 and 21, Stoughton is sure to label this season a major success. Stoughton described his goals for each year, saying “first and foremost (the goal) is to maintain a club and team atmosphere of inclusivity and having a good time. Make sure the fun is first and the fast is later.”

Park City next travels to Mantua for a race on Saturday, Sept. 23, which will be their third and final age-wide (grades 7-12) race before their high school riders head to the Regional and State Championships next month. There they’ll be seeking their first state title since 2015, which was their fourth consecutive since their founding in 2012.

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