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Mountaincross events postponed

Richard Chittick

KEYSTONE – If anyone was hoping to catch the mountaincross event this weekend at the Snake River Fat Tire Festival but missed it, don’t worry, there is still plenty more to be seen today.

The men’s pro/semi-pro and expert divisions and the women’s pro/expert division were postponed because of the setting sun yesterday evening.

The events have been rescheduled for this morning at 10.

All of the junior and sport class races were finished Sunday.

According to Thane Wright, organizer, the downhill schedule for today will not change. Wright is confident that the junior, beginner and sport class downhill schedule will allow the overlapping events to be completed tomorrow without conflicts.

“These riders get to ride two national-caliber courses,” Wright said. “Eat a big breakfast.”

The men’s pro-race is brimming with the potential of being a tight race. The top four seeds all qualified within 0.4 seconds of each other, with the top three separated by 0.02 seconds. And like the NCAA basketball brackets, the racers are seeded.

The mountaincross event is a new type of racing, where riders ride a qualifying round and are assigned to four-person brackets based on those qualifying times. Riders then race to eliminate each other as the first two riders in each group of four advance.

The course was universally greeted with glowing reviews by all racers.

“It’s awesome,” said semi-pro Dave Ignatew shortly before his qualifying round. “It should be pretty entertaining.”

“It’s super-fun,” was how expert rider Johnny Shelton described it.

The course was designed by Wright and Sy Meheen of Keystone Mountain Operations.

“Sy and Mountain Ops were instrumental in putting this course together and introducing this format to the festival,” Wright said.

Meheen and Wright also pointed out that the race would not have been possible without the cooperation of White River National Forest.

Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236, or at rchittick@summitdaily.com.


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