Racers battle for the lead just after the start of the race.

Editor’s note: Karilyn Roach wrote this post. She holds a MS in Urban Planning from the University of Arizona and works as a Program Coordinator with Watershed Managements Group, a Tucson non-profit. She currently sits on the Tucson-Pima County Bicycle Advisory Committee and rides a Jamis Aurora Elite.

The  2012 Mountain Bike Association of Arizona race season kicked off on Saturday with the McDowell Meltdown at the Competition Track in McDowell Mountain Regional Park in Fountain Hills.

Racers in 36 categories from First Timers to Pro, and age groups from 10-12 to 50+, rode the course. The racers started in waves beginning at 8:40 a.m. with the Pro Men, wrapping up with Junior Boys and Girls on the short course starting around 11 a.m.

T.J. Woodruff , who coaches and trains in Tucson, took first place for the Pro Men, and Krista Park, who also trains in Tucson, took first place for the Pro Women. Full results are available on the MBAA website.

The next race, White Tank Whirlwind, takes place on Saturday Jan. 28 at the Competitive Track in White Tank Mountain Regional Park in Waddell, just west of Phoenix.

Pro women racers wait for the start of their race.

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