Baker takes Brecktobercross under blue skies
BRECKENRIDGE – As festival goers were enjoying bratwursts and beers on Main Street in Breckenridge, cyclists were testing thier limits just a mile up the road at Brecktobercross. In the annual cyclocross race, riders maneuvered the course under cloudless skies around the Breckenridge Nordic Center, which included three sections that required the competitors to dismount from their bike and jump over obstacles.In the men’s open division, Boulder resident Jon Baker finished first despite having to change tires after the first lap. Baker was about 20 seconds behind the pack after changing tires, and had a hard time getting back to the front due to the lack of passing areas.
“On a course like this, it’s so narrow, it’s hard to pass,” Baker said. “I was nervous, but I punched it on the road section to catch up.”Breckenridge’s Tim Faia, the only local to compete in the men’s open division, finished seventh. Faia is a veteran mountain bike racer in the county, but said his focus has gone to cyclocross racing of late. “I’ve been saving it all season for cross,” Faia said. “I kind of burnt myself out on mountain bike racing.”Faia, who finished third last year, said his lack of riding this summer may have held him back on Saturday. “I went as hard as I could,” he said. “I just don’t have the speed that front group has. This was my first hard effort since December.”
On the women’s side, Sandra Bloomer took the lead early and held on throughout to take first place. Bloomer used to do cyclocross races strictly for training, but said she plans to compete in the American Cycling Association’s entire series this year. Bloomer won the Mountain States Cup women’s pro cross country division this year. “It felt like there was a lot of riding and a little running for a cyclocross race, and that’s what I prefer,” Bloomer said. In other results, Breckenridge resident Jeff Cospolich won the men’s category 3 division, while Leonard Stemmons (category 4), Dennis Farrell (35-plus), Dillon’s Steve Meyer (35-plus, category 4), Brook Watts (45-plus) and Lee Waldman (55-plus) also won their respective divisions.
Baker said he planned to join the German-inspired drinkers as soon as he could. “I think I’ll be going down there,” Baker said. “I’ll be spending my winnings.” Andy Frame can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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