Riders take a cross country challenge at Keystone | SummitDaily.com
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Riders take a cross country challenge at Keystone

Ryan Slabaugh
Breckenridge resident Tim Graczyk.
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KEYSTONE – With so many riders slugging it out up the road in Montezuma, a few took to the Trail Crew Cross Country race at Keystone Saturday.

Some were trying racing for the first time, and the 3-mile uphill climb at the start showed them why they shied away for so long.

“I’ve never raced before,” said Jesse Quinn, 19, from Madison, Wis. “It’s got to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I really tried to keep my butt on the seat and keep pedaling. That climb was an experience.”

As one rider noted, the race was 50 minutes up and 10 minutes down. Beginners and juniors rode seven miles, sport classes 11 miles nad experts took the 15 mile challenge.

“That’s a tough course. That’ll shake your bones,” said Corey Salzer, a sport rider from Arvada. Salzer won his category with a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 53.26 seconds. “I kept seeing these yellow jerseys chasing me. I could hear their chains.”

Less than two minutes behind Salzer, Englewood’s Ram Mikulas and Dillon’s Mike Kane came rolling across the finish line.

In the expert division, Tim Graczyk from Breckenridge took the race in 1:26:16.35, followed by Bernie Romero.

But, it wasn’t only a man’s race. Dillon’s Rebecca Kane tried chasing her 12-year-old son up the mountain, but to no avail.

“I never did catch him,” Kane said.

Her son, Kevin, heard her and began the mockery.

“I guess I should feel good about just racing,” Rebecca joked. Her friend, Kim Johnson, lives most of the year in San Diego. But when she’s at her second home in Frisco, Johnson hops on a bike and competes.

“It was hard enough,” she said. “These guys did a great job constructing the field.”

Twelve-year-old Thomas Sawyer became the first across the finish line. He sounded like a pro as he described his race.

“This is the first time I won the (junior) race,” Sawyer said. “I was by myself for most of it.”

The race was the next to last in the Mountain Sports Outlet series, which concludes with a 12-hour competition.

For more information on the series, visit

http://www.mountainsportsoutlet.com.

Ryan Slabaugh can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext .257, or at rslabaugh@summitdaily.com.


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