Firecracker 50 crowns national champions |

Firecracker 50 crowns national champions

summit daily news
summit county, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” Jeremiah Bishop pounded through the pinball final stretch of the Firecracker 50, well in the lead and on his way to the U.S. Cycling Marathon National Championhip title.

The crowd in Breckenridge’s Carter Park cheered as he crossed the finish line, where he was greeted by a group of friends who doused him in beer.

Though he had just won his country’s championship, on his country’s Independance Day, Bishop’s reaction wasn’t exactly what the crowd expected.

“What are you doing?” a confused and PBR-soaked Bishop said to his friends. “Wait… I won?”

Even though Bishop didn’t realize it, his time of 3 hours, 49 minutes and 37 seconds was the top time of the Men’s Pro Open division, earning him the

national title.

“Wow,” Bishop said, taking in the moment. “I guess it hasn’t sunk in yet what I did. I am still trying to get the beer out of

my eyes.”

Breck’s annual Fourth of July mountain bike race, which covered 50 miles of grueling inclines, steep descents and even some singletrack over its two laps, crowned 12 national champions, one for each division of the race.

Despite the finish not looking particularly close, the Men’s Pro Open race saw some

serious drama.

Bishop, after recovering from twice breaking the chain on his bike, was gaining on race leader Evan Plews of Salem, Ore. with a little more than one mile left in the race when Plews blew out a tire for the second time.

Plews eventually finished third, riding home the flat

in 3:51:03.

“It ws a crazy day for me. Nothing about today was predictable,” Plews said. “That’s just racing bikes. I have had my fair share of good luck over the years, but I’m definitely happy to be on the podium with having those flats.”

Finishing in second place was New Mexico’s Mike McCallah (3:50:47).

On the women’s side, Sari Anderson took over the lead in the first lap of the Women’s Pro Open division and never looked back.

“I felt good off the start,” Anderson said. ” When I came through the first lap, I was told that I was in front. … I just rode with my head down to try to keep them from catching me.”

Anderson’s finishing time of 4 hours, 29 minutes and 12 seconds beat second place finisher Gretchen Reeves by an astounding five minutes.

“Sari was actually my dark horse to win for today,” Reeves said. “She was super strong and I was having a hard time hanging onto her wheel.”

Reeves (4:34:13) was followed by Jennifer Gersbach (4:36:52).

The race, for all divisions, began on Breck’ Main St. The racers started amongst a sea of spectators, clad in their red, white and blue, waiting to watch the town’s parade that followed.

Both Anderson and Bishop were racing in the event for the first time.

“It was a great race,” Anderson said. “I will be back and I definitely enjoyed it.

For full results from all divisions of the race, visit

Bryce Evans can be reached at (970)668-4634, or at

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