Soda Creek Scramble: Mike Schilling edges out Stamp and Bobb to win
After a 24-hour rain delay, the Soda Creek Scramble Andy Proctor Memorial mountain bike race got underway Thursday evening in Keystone. Professional rider Mike Schilling, 36, of Breckenridge, edged out fellow pro Kyle Stamp and 17-year-old racing phenom Cameron Bobb to finish first overall.
Schilling finished the 15.5-mile course in 1 hour, 10 minutes and 22.9 seconds. Stamp, whom Shilling said he passed in the final 5 minutes of the race, finished second, just under a minute later. Bobb, who finished first overall and beat Schilling by 6.2 seconds in the previous Summit Mountain Challenge series race, claimed first in the Expert Men 19+ division Thursday evening, finishing a little over two minutes after Shilling.
“He beat me last week, but he had a target on his back this week,” said Schilling. “I want to beat him every chance I get. With his progression, my days are numbered.” He described a friendly competition developing between the two. “He’s a great kid.”
Race organizer Jeff Westcott, of Maverick Sports Promotions, decided to postpone the race, originally scheduled for Wednesday evening, because of heavy rain earlier in the day and wet conditions that could potentially damage the trail.
“We’re going to ere on the side of the trails every time,” he said. “Had we raced on Wednesday, we would have damaged the trails.”
While much of the trail network has a well-designed drainage system that would have been able to handle the rain and riders, Westcott said there are a few sections that are due for maintenance and don’t drain as well.
“It depends on the trail,” he said. “Much of the trail network here can handle traffic when wet.” Still, he opted for the delay in order to protect the parts of the trail in need of maintenance. “Despite the postponement, participation was very good.”
By Thursday evening, conditions had improved substantially.
“The course was great,” said Schilling. “I think it’s my favorite course the year.”
He said he saw a few crashes, however, that might have been caused by loose dirt.
He credited a last-minute bike adjustment for contributing to his win. “I put a bigger gear on the night before. I think that gearing made the difference.”
Shilling made the decision on account of the less aggressive climbs on the course, compared with other races in the series. He said the harder gear made it possible to pass Stamp.
“I was playing catch up. I probably passed him in the last five minutes.”
Both the large and small courses started and finished at Keystone Stables, which hosted a post-race bonfire again this year.
The race course incorporated the singletrack trail network near Keystone Resort.
“Anytime we get to race on the Colorado Trail it’s a treat for everyone,” said Schilling.
The race was named in honor of Andy Proctor, a 2011 Summit High School graduate and aspiring rider who died following a dirt-bike accident. He wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
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