Mountain bike season gets underway as athletes compete in Frisco Roundup
The Summit Mountain Challenge Mountain Bike Series got off to a wonderful start as the town of Breckenridge’s recreation department hosted its first race of the season at Frisco Adventure Park on Wednesday, June 8.
Coined the Frisco Roundup, the debut race of the season was not lightly attended, rather participants came in droves as the race featured 23 different divisions from junior categories to pro-level races.
Among the talent in the race were several Summit County locals who were able to have performances that put them on top of the podium.
The junior races were dominated by Team Summit and Cycle Effect riders. In the junior 10-year-old and under age division, 9-year-old Erin Walsh from Dillon won the girls 3.4-mile race in a time of 23 minutes, 35 seconds.
Walsh was followed by Annika Krum who finished the course in 25:15 to place second in the age division.
In the boys 10-years-old and under age division, a race to the finish line tape occurred between Frisco’s Niall Slavin and Leadville’s Cooper Stanek.
It was Slavin who broke the tape first as he finished the race in a time of 20:47 to win the race title while Stanek placed a second back in 20:48 to secure the silver medal.
Leo Gilbert of Team Summit rounded out the top 10 in the boys 10-years-old and younger division, placing seventh in a time of 24:04.
In the boys 11- and 12-year-old race, Louie Devito and Elliot Drumwright, both from Team Summit, placed first and second. Devito finished the race course in 16:56 while 10-year-old Drumwright finished in 17:24.
In the junior girls 13-to-15-years-old race division, the 5.92-mile race was dominated by The Cycle Effect team. June Baniewicz, Willow O’Hara, Fernanda Fuentes and Angie Kane Pineda swept places five through eight –strongly representing the organization and Summit County in the process.
In the beginner 16-plus division it was Ksusha Shambarger from Silverthorne who was able to cross the finish line in first place. The 41-year-old expertly navigated the 9.32-mile course in order to put a seven minute lead between her and second place. Shambarger finished in a time of 1:02:42.
It was in the sport 16-years-olds plus division that several locals displayed their biking fitness. In the women’s race, 24-year-old Breckenridge resident Maria Leech burned through the course, setting a rapid pace in order to place first in a time of 51:17.
The sport 16-plus division mens race was spearheaded by young talent. 16-year-old Josiah Horning kept an honest pace despite racing against many competitors that were much older than him. The race strategy worked as the teen rider placed first in a time of 45:07.
Horning was followed by Silverthorne’s Vlad Shambarger who placed second in a time of 46:09. In third was Breckenridge local and endurance athlete Zachary Russell who finished the course in a time of 46:25.
For Russell, it was his first experience racing a Summit Mountain Challenge race and one of the first times he has raced a mountain bike race.
Russell, who usually spends the majority of his time running in long endurance events, was pleasantly surprised not only by the talent present but the amount of participants at the race.
“It was a good atmosphere. It was a great community event that Breckenridge puts on. It brings a lot of mountain bikers together who you may not see on the trails very often,” Russell said.
Russell, who represented Gnarly Nutrition in the race, said he will be back for future races because of how much he enjoyed the first race of the season.
“It’s fun everyone is out there having a good time competing,” Russell said. “It’s something to test your fitness level if you have bigger race plans going on and it’s nice for locals as it’s a low cost for everyone.”
Rounding out the talent, was the men and women pro/open division races. Maggie Reid, 16, raced unopposed in the women’s race and therefore placed first in a time of 50:54.
In the men’s race, Cory Wallace of the Kona Bikes’ Endurance Team placed first in a time of 39:38 while Taylor Shelden and Nathaniel Vacura placed second and third respectively.
The next Summit Mountain Challenge Mountain Bike Series race will be the Gold Run Rush on Wednesday, June 22. The races will take place every other week through Sept. 10. To find out more information or register for a race visit BreckenridgeRecreation.com.
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