ST. CLOUD - A group of athletes from St. Cloud are taking a less conventional path to being student-athletes. .

The St. Cloud Composite Mountain Bike Team are a part of the growing Minnesota High School Cycling League. Student Athletes are between 7th and 12th grade.

The sport is just like most at the high school level. Depending upon the amount of people on the team there are JV and varsity divisions. Boys and girls are welcome to join the team.

Wednesday evening the team hosted an informational meeting at Fitzharris Ski and Sport in St. Cloud for kids who are looking to join the 2017 team.

Mike Rathlisberger is the owner of Fitzharris and coaches of the mountain bike team.

He says the sport has grown immensely in Minnesota since starting in 2012.

"The national league started in Northern California in 2009 and started in Minnesota in 2012 with 15 teams. Now in Minnesota there are over 50 teams and 1,000 racers."

The team in St. Cloud has around a dozen racers and is still looking to grow. The team is filled with racers from Tech, Apollo, Sauk Rapids, ROCORI and Sartell.

Rathlisberger says one of the best parts about this sport is everyone gets a chance to compete and get better.

"It's not like other sports where people are on the bench. Every single rider competes. Everyone is out there riding and having a good time."

St. Cloud hosts the second meet of the season in early September and expect nearly 1,000 racers in the area.

Practice will start in July for the upcoming fall season.

If you are interested in joining the team or are looking for more information regarding the St. Cloud Composite Mountain Bike Team you can visit Rathlisberger at Fitzharris Ski and Sport or follow the link the below.



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