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High School Season









Both experienced and beginner riders are welcome. In fact, we have many riders who barely rode a bike at all before joining the team! Don’t be shy. Your skill level will increase tremendously after a few weeks of practice.

The team is affiliated with the Colorado High School League, and the area high schools.

A great deal of information is over on the high school league website:

The Colorado High School mountain bike league is a fall sport. The season starts in August and ends at the end of October with a team celebration in November.

There are 4 conference races, as well as a state championship race. Races are held out of town and families are responsible for their own travel and accommodations. While racing is not mandatory, it is encouraged. The Crankers will practice and race together. The heart of the High School team is skill development embedded in a culture of fun and team camaraderie. Talk to anyone on the team, and they will tell you: the season is so much more than a handful of races!

All riders will need to register with the Colorado League and are responsible for all race fees.

2022 Dates: August 15 thru October 23

Practice Days: 3 days per week

Practice Time: Evenings 6:00 pm (times may change to accommodate sunlight change)

Team Cost: $300

League Registration Cost: $150

Race Cost: $70 (per race)

Deadline: August 8th

There are three mandatory practices per week. Practices are held at the MAC, Ridgeline and Rhyolite Park in Castle Rock. We break up into groups based on skill level, and always have a great time. Student athletes are accompanied by volunteer ride leaders and coaches.

The times for practice generally fall from 5 to 8pm, though it moves up a bit later in fall because of failing sunlight.

Each rider is required to wear a helmet, sunglasses, flat repair kit and needs a mountain bike in good working order. Team jerseys for races are required (purchased typically during your first season with the team). Gloves are also highly recommended.

There are a few separate fees to pay to get you through the season. For first timers, it can seem a little confusing.

$300 — First, there is the team fee which is paid to the Cranker team

$150 — Second, there is the “league registration” fee that is paid to the Colorado High School Cycling League. This fee covers all riders with insurance at practices and races and helps to fund the fantastic race weekends.

$70 — Third, there is the per-race fee, which technically is optional since racing is optional. But when you enter each of the four races during the season, you pay this $70 fee (4 races = $280). If you qualify for State, you will pay an additional $70 for registration.

All league fees are paid online through the league's website It’s pretty easy to navigate once you do it the first time.

$60 — Fourth, your jersey. If you plan on racing for your high school, you are required to wear your high school’s jersey.

Douglas County High School, Castle View High School, and Renaissance Secondary make up the Cranker team however, on race day each school races for their own school. Coaches require that all athletes stay for the entire day on race day to cheer and support their teammates.

Each high school rider wears their own jersey and colors. Points are scored for each high school.

Races are not mandatory, though certainly encouraged. The fee for entry is $65 per race. The locations range all over Colorado, and become a weekend event. They happen every other week in the fall, totaling four races, plus an additional 4th race in Durango, CO for the State Championship (for qualifiers).

2022 Race Schedule

Race #1: Saturday, August 27th, 2022

Leadville, CO

Race #2: Sunday, September 11th, 2022

Eagle, CO

Race #3: Saturday, September 24th, 2022 

Snowmass, CO

Race #4: Sunday, October 9th, 2022

Nathrop, CO

State Championships: October 22-23rd, 2022

Glenwood Springs, CO
(qualification required to race, but all are encouraged to come!)

Mark Neel leads our team as Head Coach. He founded the team 13 years ago when one of his employees at Castle Rock Bike and Ski wanted to race in the Colorado High School League.

Nate Vacura also leads our team as a Head Coach. Nate has been with the team for 6 years and attained Head Coach status 4 years ago. He is an employee of Yeti and races in the Pro Cross Country Mountain Bike Circuit.

Keven Winder also leads our team as a Head Coach. He has been with the team for 4 years and attained Head Coach status 2 seasons ago. He is also a proud parent of one of our very own racers! 


Dan Gump leads our team as an Assistant Coach. Dan has been with the team for 4 years and attached his Assistant Coach status when he joined the team. He is an avid racer and runner himself, and competes in races all across Colorado - including the Leadville 100. 

Our Team Director is Tess Neel. She is a legacy rider who graduated from Douglas County in 2015, and continued on being an Assistant Coach while she was in college. 2022 will be her first year in the Team Director position, and she couldn't be more excited. She helps keep Mark and the team organized. She is here to answer your questions and help you out. You can reach her at


We have several legacy riders that come back to support the team as Ride Leaders. In addition, many parents will come out to practices and lend a hand in any way that the Coaches may need.

Finally, each of the parents give back to the team throughout the season, through managing our hectic race days, hosting team dinners, bringing food for the team tent, etc. etc. etc. We couldn’t do it without the parents!

Get In Touch

Tess Neel is our Team Director and is here to help you. Please reach out to Tess with any questions or help you may need.

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