Cycling star looks to compete on global stage


Photo Courtesy of Rod Miles

Fryer finishes first at the second NorCal race of the season.

Otis Lyons, Sports Editor

This year’s graduating class boasts a host of impressive sporting names.

Seven polo boys penned intents to play in college next year. Shannon McKillop, Zoe Miller, Jenevieve Escabar, and Aaron Davidson all bolstered the cross country and track teams.

Noah Bice won MCAL player of the year for basketball, and Kirsty Star led the girls volleyball team to a NorCal appearance last fall. On the soccer field, Anais Nagle was an MCAL All League player, and Ben Fries will lace up for Chico State in the 2018 college season.

Despite these impressive achievements, one of the greatest standouts is on the trail. After years of tackling the adversity that the sport brought him, senior Dylan Fryer is reaching for the top of the mountain bike scene on a national stage.

Fryer has separated himself from the rest of the Northern California elite racers this year, winning each race he entered in the high school series. The undefeated NorCal champion, Fryer looks toward high school state championships as his next goal in an ambitious list of results this campaign.

“It has been a great year so far, and winning state championships would be great icing on the cake,” said Fryer, who placed second at states in the varsity category last year, and second in JV the year before.
Along with his attempts to bring a fourth consecutive state title to the Pirates, Fryer has other commitments in the national cycling arena.

“My results so far this year make me believe I can place in the top five at nationals,” Fryer said. “After all the work I have put in, that kind of result would be a dream.”

Fryer doesn’t plan to stop there. With five spots available at world championships for the United States, Fryer intends to extend his season as long as possible this year.

Fryer, whose results in past years weren’t up to par for a world championships spot, has risen to the occasion this year. Placing as one of the five best Americans in three separate Union Cycliste

Internationale (UCI) races in the spring, Fryer’s hat is in the ring for a place on Team USA when world championships arrive in early September. In the process, Fryer has entered the top 60 in the UCI world ranking with key results in races in Los Angeles, Montana, and Canada.

Fryer’s rise to the top of the sport wasn’t by accident. For the past six years, he has had to balance training with school and social life.

“I make sure that training comes before everything else, and homework comes next. I go home after school and train, then I do homework until it is done,” said Fryer, who will attend UC Berkeley next year.

“Like training, not doing homework has never been an option for me. That mentality has paid off.”
Of course, Fryer doesn’t completely sacrifice his social life; he has managed to keep an impressive balance throughout high school.

“I wouldn’t want to race if there was no fun in my life. That is probably the most important part,” Fryer said.

Fryer began his competitive career as a seventh grader. Since then, he has faced several setbacks. Fryer was forced to miss the state championship race as a freshman due to a broken foot.

The next year, racing as a sophomore in a competitive junior varsity field, he broke his collarbone a few weeks before the season began, missing out on the first two races of the NorCal series. Due to placement in previous races dictating where riders line up on the start line, Fryer started each race in the back.
Despite that, the under trained Fryer managed a first, second, and third place in the remaining three NorCal races. Starting in 100th place at state championships, he earned a second place finish.
Junior year lent some unfavorable results in the varsity category, with Fryer unable to breakthrough to the top two riders during the NorCal season. He once again bounced back, and finished an unbelievable second place at states.

This year, karma has been on Fryer’s side. After two second place finishes at states, the senior has realistic hopes of finally arriving on the top step of the podium, along with helping the team to a fourth consecutive state championship.

“Dylan has been a key rider for Drake since he started on the team as a freshman,” Coach Rob Reed said.

“He grew from a small skinny kid to the top male varsity rider in NorCal, finding time and energy to also serve as a team captain his senior year.”

Despite all of his achievements, Fryer still craves more.

“As a freshman, I made it a goal that I would be a part of a team that would win states each year I was there,” Fryer said. “So far, we have been successful. I would love to be able to help the team win this year and complete my goal.”

No matter how well Fryer does in his upcoming races, it is clear his accomplishments thus far have been remarkable. Furthermore, the skills he has developed in cycling will transfer to his education and beyond.

“Mountain biking has taught me how to take the suffering more than others, that is what racing is all about, and it transfers to life” Fryer said. “Whoever is able to work harder will be able to succeed.”