Carestia back from injury – and atop podium |

Carestia back from injury – and atop podium

RICHARD CHITTICKsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsRichard Light puts the tough face on, getting out of his seat for the uphill climb to Copper Mountain in Thursday's time trial race.

Karin Carestia is back. After violently crashing in a mountain bike race June 23, the Frisco resident made a triumphant return to competitive cycling on Thursday night in the third event of the Great Adventure Sports Road Time Trial Series. Carestia pedaled her way up the 5.5-mile course from Frisco to Copper Mountain in 16 minutes, 45.68 seconds. The time was more than 45 seconds faster than the next fastest woman, Amy Jamison, who finished the course in 17:32.00.”I’m really glad (to be back in competition),” Carestia said afterward. “This was kind of a test. The real race for me this season is (this weekend’s) Mount Evans Hillclimb. This is a good measure to see where I’m at.”

Carestia went down in the final yards of the A Racer’s Edge Summit Mountain Challenge Tour de Trash and badly bruised her left leg.She said the hardest part of her recovery was sitting out the last event in the time trial series.”I watched two weeks ago, and I realized how much I missed it,” she said. Helen Cospolich, who won the last time trial, finished third overall among the women at 17:58.10.

Many racers posted personal bests on Thursday – for once the typical afternoon thunderstorms that have plagued so many of the time trial events over the last two years were replaced by a strong tailwind blowing up the canyon. “We had a big old tailwind tonight,” said Leif Eric Borgeson, who rode on a singlespeed mountain bike, as he normally does, and finished in 18:50.28. “I took nearly a minute off my best time.”Tim Graczyk rode the course fastest among the men, finishing in 15:20.63, more than 30 seconds faster than Steve Prokopiw’s winning time in the last event of 15:50.90. “I didn’t realize there was a tailwind – all I knew was there wasn’t a headwind,” Graczyk said. “I just wanted to go fast, and I did.”

Five other riders also broke the hallowed 16-minute barrier – Kevin Shelden (15:27.36), Mark Thompson (15:31.31), Josh Smith (15:35.39), Kevin Soller (15:44.75) and Jeff Cospolich (15:48.50) .Before Thursday, only Prokopiw and Shelden’s 17-year-old son, Taylor, had posted sub 16-minute times, both doing so in the second event. Prokopiw and Shelden sat out this week’s event. Finish Line: Ian Borgeson won the boys 12-and-under division by riding a road bike in the series for the first time. … The series continues on Aug. 5, as it moves to the Vail Pass hillclimb course, which begins at Copper and finishes at the top of Vail Pass … For full results, check Saturday’s edition. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at

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