Fesperman enters the event with several wins. Career highlights include: 2010 U.S National Downhill Champion (Junior Men’s 14 and under), 2011 U.S Open Downhill – 1st Place (Junior Men), and first place finishes this year at Snowshoe, W.V. and Beech Mountain. At the Championships, he will compete in the dual slalom event (18-under category) and downhill (15-16 year old category).
Fesperman has been competing in downhill mountain biking since the age of nine, and his goal is to some day compete at the international level in a World Cup event, he says, but riders must be 17-year-old to enter. So for now, he is focusing on training, building strength and racing whenever he can.
“This season I’ve been really working on my technique and working out,” Fesperman said. “I want to continue building speed and strength on the bike. I’m building up to National Championships at Beech Mountain this year, and I’m shooting for a win there. Next year I’m hoping to be able to race the in the UCI World Cups and make USA Cycling’s world team as a Junior.”Fesperman rides with GROM Racing, a mountain bike team of junior riders sponsored by Specialized bikes and Cornelius bike shop, The Cycle Path. Eric Vest, of Davidson, also is on the team and will be competing in the national event.
Before GROM Racing, he attended race events on his own. Now, he and his teammates walk the course and trade advice about lines to take, help each other out with bike repairs and maintenance, eat meals and travel together.
“My teammates have pushed me to be a better rider, and I’ve made great friendships through biking,” Fesperman said. “And it’s not just my teammates – there are so many cool people I’ve met at race weekends from all over.”
From Davidson, Fesperman must travel about two hours to get to the closest downhill mountain biking course. Cross country riding provides most of his weekly training. He also is able to do his off-bike training at his high school, the Community School of Davidson.
Jay has competed in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Colorado, and looks forward to someday competing internationally. The upcoming National Championships at Beech Mountain are the next step in his downhill journey – and he’s ready for the trip.