Getting in a frenzy about freeriding at Keystone
KEYSTONE – The first weekend of mountain biking at Keystone wrapped up on Sunday with the inaugural Freeride Frenzy Mountaincross Challenge. Forty-three people from Basalt to Cheyenne, Wyo., showed up to race the specially built course near the Mountain House.The course was similar to the one that debuted last year during the annual Labor Day weekend Snake River Fat Tire Festival. It featured banked turns and double jumps down a short pitch under the Pony Express lift.
Competitors raced down in a four-person, head-to-head format.”This style of racing is so different than downhilling,” said Frisco’s Pedro Delbusto, who won the sport division after entering his first mountaincross. “In downhilling, you have seven or eight minutes to do your thing, but this is 30 seconds of explosion.” Breckenridge’s Chris Cawley won the overall bragging rights, taking first place in the semipro/pro division after he bested Silverthorne’s Lindsay Emore in the final round.
In the expert division, Frisco downhiller Matt Snyder came out on top. Like Delbusto, Snyder had his first experience with mountaincross. “Somehow I managed to hold on,” Snyder said. “I had to fend a few people off. I was getting boxed in hard.” In an interesting development, a handful of mountain boarders showed up interested in riding the course on their off-road skateboards, and event organizer Don Maneth saw no reason to exclude them.Said Jason Small, a professional mountain boarder from Georgetown, “We just wanted to showcase our sport.”
Small missed the start of the event after spending much of the morning exploring trails across the front of Dercum Mountain, but was able to hand off his slot to his friend, Ikaeka Ranger, who went on to win.The race was part of a weekend-long festival sponsored by Keystone to kick off the mountain bike gravity season. Lift service for mountain bikes began on Friday.The weekend included a Street Jump and Jam Party in River Run on Saturday, held to showcase the growing movement of freeriding, where mountain bikers concentrate on riding complicated tricks and obstacles.
After Sunday’s race, competitors adjourned back to Parrot Eyes in River Run for a postrace awards party. For complete results, see page A19. Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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