Every now and again, there are performances and results that bring a smile to one’s face. Paul’s 3rd place in his final NorCal race was one such occasion.
Paul Serra is one classy rider. In 2016 he was 3rd at States in the Sophomore class, a last minute passing attempt gone wrong cost him a higher placing. That race was won by one Noah Hayes, this year’s Varsity champion.
Noah and Paul went on different paths. While Noah continued to focus on Cross Country, Paul took up his passion of Enduro racing. Enduro is more about downhill skills, cornering skills, and requires power rather than aerobic endurance. Paul still did the cross country races but with a different training regime he was never as competitive as he might have been.
We knew the Six Sigma course, with its many twists and turns, would suite a rider with Paul’s cornering skills. But we still had to talk him into riding.
Pre-riding the course with Paul was a eye opener in terms of advice for getting round corners fast and what’s the best line.
Paul had visions of holding onto Noah’s wheel (they are still good friends from their Sophomore days) but that didn’t last very long as Noah was in a class of his own. But a 3rd place podium finish is not just any podium place, its a very respectable one and Paul was clearly ecstatic with his placing in his final race.
What characterizes Paul is his outgoing personality. They guys have been racing together for 4 years, it’s their last race in NorCal. Normally 4th and 5th are standing on grass but Paul pulled everyone together for one last past race podium hug! This epitomizes the spirit of NICA High School Mountain Biking. Its the friends and experiences you make along the way that are important.