Hometown rider Taylor Shelden wins Breckenridge 100 mountain bike race

Breckenridge local Taylor Shelden on the Wellington Park neighborhood mountain biking trails in his hometown of Breckenridge ahead of the Breckenridge 100 in 2018.
Photo by Hugh Carey / Summit Daily archive

Riding in his first Breckenridge 100 mountain bike race, professional road cyclist Taylor Shelden took the overall victory on Saturday with a time of seven hours, 40 minutes and 27.7 seconds.

Breckenridge-raised Shelden, 31, completed the Breck 100’s “ultra” discipline — which required pedaling three grueling mountain bike laps — in an overall time two minutes and 52 seconds faster than any of the 54 other participants who tempted the course.

Riding for Tokyo Joe’s, Shelden did so by completing the first lap of the Breck 100 in 2:28:05.8 — a time more than a minute-and-a-half faster than any other competitor. It was that early separation from the rest of the field that made the difference for Shelden on his championship day.

Entering the second of three laps with that lead, Shelden completed the second lap in 2:52:21.9, the second-fastest time on that section, behind only 21-year-old Tanner Visnick.

Shelden possessed just a 16-second lead over Visnick entering the third and final lap. By the time he returned to Carter Park, though, Shelden’s hometown familiarity with vast portions of the high-altitude course shone through, as his time of 2:19:59.18 was nearly three minutes faster than Visnick’s third-lap time of 2:22:37.0.

Shelden ultimately defeated the second-place Visnick by nearly three-minutes, while also posting top-two times on all three laps, behind only 33-year-old Sam Sweetser of Cole Sport on that third lap (7:47:36.2).

The time of 7:40:27.7 ranked Shelden at the top of the 17 total finishers in the 19-39 ultra 100 age group, as six other riders did not finish.

Five riders did not finish in the 40-49 ultra 100 age-group division, which was won by Andre Breton, 47, of Team NCGR with a time of 8:59:46.8, one minute and 16 seconds faster than second-place finisher Paul Rapinz, 48, who raced to a total time of 9:01:03.3.

In the 50-59 ultra 100 division, Theodore Fleming, 54, secured the win with a time of 9:35:53.0. The mark was more than 21 minutes faster than his nearest age-group competitor, second-place finisher Curt Wilheim (9:57:17.6).

The men’s 60+ ultra 100 age-group division did see one entrant complete the race, Bob Brunswick of Team Absolute Bikes, who finished the course in 12:47:58.8.

On the women’s side, the fastest time was posted by 32-year-old Larissa Conners. Conners finished her three full laps with a time of 9:31:24.0. It was more than 17 minutes faster than her nearest competition. Four of the seven female entrants to the ultra 100 division completed the course.

In the two-lap marathon race the fastest time was achieved by 17-year-old Zac Richardson of Race CO – Groove Subaru. Richardson was fueled to the victory by a blazing first lap time of 2:37:40.2, five minutes faster than the seven other pro marathon racers who completed the race. In the second lap, Richardson held off his Race CO – Groove Subaru teammate Thomas Herman, who nearly came back to edge Richardson thanks to his second-lap time of 2:18:52.2. But in the end, Richardson defeated Herman by 93 seconds.

On the women’s side, the fastest time was posted by Jennifer Ann Gerow, 33. Gerow’s time of 6:53:26.1 was more than seven minutes faster than single speed rider Kara Durland, 47, who completed the course in 7:01:02.7.

In the single-lap cross-country race, professional rider Anthony Iannicito recorded the fastest time of 2:43:57.9. Second-place overall finisher Adam Zimerman was four minutes slower with a time of 2:46:01.3.

In the women’s race the top time was recorded by Celeste Cannon, riding for Scheels Sugar Beets. Cannon’s time of 3:23:02.3 was 14 minutes faster than the second-overall female racer in the single-lap race, Rachel Holden, who raced to a time of 3:57:18.4 while riding for the team known as “Petunia Mafia.”

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