Wright hits gas early, holds on at Roundup
summit daily news
FRISCO ” Brett Morgan had dollar signs in his eyes when he pulled ahead of his fellow elite racers at Wednesday’s A Racer’s Edge Summit Mountain Challenge Frisco Roundup.
Morgan was the first racer to reach the dangling $20 bill that marked the beginning of the race course’s singletrack section.
As Morgan approached the criteria prize, Thane Wright was close behind.
“I jumped on Brett’s back wheel as soon as he left the pack,” Wright said. “I said ‘I’ll split (the cash) with you’ and he laughed. He grabbed it, then I went by him and never looked back.”
Wright rode on to win the men’s pro/elite division with a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes and 31 seconds. Tim Graczyk finished second, three days after winning the series-opening Tour de Trash.
Wright won the expert men’s 35-and-over division at Sunday’s SMC season opener and would have been second only to Graczyk had he raced in the pro/elite division.
Patrick McNeely took third in the pro/elite category Wednesday after narrowly missing the podium on Sunday.
“I had another epic battle with Todd (Smith) for third,” McNeely said. “This time I got him in the last lap instead of him getting me. … We tried to chase down the second position but it seemed like it was always 25 or 30 seconds ahead.”
Ronie Graczyk was the fastest female, capturing the expert women 19-34 category with a time of 1:03:01 (13 miles). She was closely followed by Jill Walker (1:04:02), who beat runner-up Graczyk by a convincing four minutes at the Tour de Trash.
“It was just the luck of the draw,” Walker said. “With all the turns on this course, you really can’t tell where other people are. I just kept hoping she would be around the next bend.”
“I had an idea of where (Walker) was because I could hear people cheering for her,” Graczyk said. “I figured I had a good lead, but you never know.”
Holly Harvin took third in the women’s expert 19-34 category for the second consecutive race.
Tim Faia was Wednesday’s single speed champion, finishing the 13-mile course in 57:00.
Although he led the single speeders for most of the race, Faia encountered numerous riders along his road to victory.
“There was a lot of passing out there,” Faia said. “I don’t like dealing with that stuff, but it’s a part of racing. You have to be able to get around your fellow racers whether they’re in your same category or not.”
Racers of all shapes and sizes shared the Frisco Roundup course, as 10 adult and seven junior categories were featured.
According to beginner women’s winner Elna Persson, the course never got too crowded.
“The starting times were well staggered,” Persson said. “The last race I rode in Eagle County, there were experts trying to pass beginners. It was not so smooth.”
For Walker, racing alongside a mixed bag of competitors can often be advantageous.
“It kind of makes it more fun to have the fast guys out there,” she said. “It’s motivating trying to keep up with them.”
Elizabeth Overstreet, who won her second sport women 35-and-over division of the season, also seemed to like the diversity of riders on Wednesday.
“It was busy out there, but we all fit,” Overstreet said. “It was like being out on a bike ride with a big group of friends.”
Frisco Roundup Top Finishers
1. Thane Wright ” 1:19:31
2. Tim Graczyk ” 1:20:46
3. Patrick McNeely ” 1:21:16
1. Ronie Graczyk ” 1:03:11
2. Jill Walker ” 1:04:02
3. Danalyn Rayner ” 1:04:52
Adam Boffey can be contacted at (970) 668-4634, or at email@example.com.
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