Inaugural Fat Bike Open draws MTB pro Dave Wiens, nearly 70 racers to Gold Run Nordic in Breck | SummitDaily.com

Inaugural Fat Bike Open draws MTB pro Dave Wiens, nearly 70 racers to Gold Run Nordic in Breck

It was the sort of race where even Dave Wiens laughed his way to the finish line.

On a chilly Saturday afternoon, Wiens joined nearly 70 curious bikers for the inaugural Fat Bike Open at Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge. The Gunnison local has won the Leadville 100 MTB six times and owns a spot in the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame, but that didn't stop him from hopping on a fat bike for his first taste of snow racing. And snow sliding. And snow skidding.

"It was a kick, just too much fun," Wiens said after taking second between two fellow pros, Brad Bingham and Taylor Sheldon, which is pretty typical for a Summit podium. "The course had soft areas and those ruts would change with every lap. It was a new course every time you went through."

Wiens first got on a fat bike a few weeks ago and admits that the racing was different than he expected. He even had a crash on the second lap. (So did just about everyone at some point.) Besides, he says, the Fat Bike World Championships are in Crested Butte from Jan. 27-31, and there's not better time than now to practice if he plans to compete. And he does.

Wiens was far from the only never-ever on the course. There was Kate Zander, a 29-year-old veteran of the summertime Summit Mountain Challenge series who was testing the first fat bike from her team, Chumba Cycles of Texas. Then there was Nick Frey, co-owner of Boo Bicycles, one of the first Colorado bike companies to start building fat-tire models two seasons ago.

And then there was Dave "Red Dog" Staub, a frequent Gold Run skier who came for the center's opening day, saw the fat bike shenanigans and decided to give racing a try. He set aside his skate skis for a demo from race sponsor Borealis Bikes, a Colorado Springs company that only makes fat bikes, and took off from the start line pedaling with his Salomon ski boots.

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"This is something new, why not?" Staub said. "I've got a bike. I never raced before, but I've had a bike for a while. It's a good alternative, a way to change the pace and keep from getting bored doing the same thing."

The next local fat bike race is Ullr Bike, held Jan. 15 at Gold Run in conjunction with Ullr Fest in Breck. Fat bikers are also invited to join the Ullr Parade on Jan. 14. For more info see http://www.mavsports.com.

Fat Bike Open results

All divisions in the Fat Bike Open raced three laps for a total of 9.5 miles on groomed trails at the Gold Run Nordic Center in Breckenridge. Look for complete results with times in the Summit Daily soon.

Men’s open

1. Brad Bingham, Colorado Springs

2. Dave Wiens, Gunnison

3. Taylor Shelden, Boulder

Women’s open

1. Sarah Rawley, Dillon

2. Shawna Henderson, Breckenridge

3. Sonja Evers, Leadville

Junior boys

1. Landen Turner, Conifer

2. Henry Boyd, Summit County

3. Dylan Turner, Conifer

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