Steamboat Springs Stage Race speeds to a start
Second annual event started with a time trial today, continues all weekend
Steamboat Springs — At least on the surface, everything seemed to be stacked up against Jeannie Longo in the second annual Steamboat Springs Stage Race.
She had just arrived from France with her husband and coach, Patrice Ciprelli. There was the jet lag, the constant waits at airports, and of course, the adjustment to the altitude.
But a glance at the Olympic gold medalist and 13-time World Champion’s past made it clear that little would stand in the way of her taking Friday’s prologue stage.
Longo blazed the stage, an Aspire time trial that took riders down River Road to Chuck Lewis State Wildlife Area and up Mount Werner Road to Knoll Parking Lot.
She finished first in the women’s pro division, completing the 10-kilometer course in 13 minutes, 59.77 seconds, a full 43 seconds ahead of second-place-finisher Megan Hottman.
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Angela des Cognets was third, 57 seconds behind Longo.
“It was tough because it was short and fast,” Longo said. “We just arrived from France. With the high elevation, there was tiredness. The flight and spending time at the airport was hard. But I’m familiar with U.S. races like this. The three- or four-day races I like.”
It seemed like the rest of the field liked the race, too.
There were only a few minor blips with traffic near Central Park Plaza, but the route held up well with logistics and the 350 riders.
“The new course was great,” race promoter Corey Piscopo said. “Racers loved it. It had a nice combination of flat on River Road and a hill at the end. It was a top-notch course, and there were definitely some fast times.”
In a deep men’s pro field, Garmin-Transitions rider Peter Stetina managed the course best. His time of 12:19.83 was good enough for first place. Greg Krause was second in 12:24.45, and Marc de Maar was third in 12:29.79.
The men’s pro field was tight throughout, with only 30 seconds separating the top 13 riders.
Stetina, who was in town taking a break from the pro season in Europe, was able to get a brief look at the course before Friday’s event. He credited the early look for the win, specifically citing his knowledge of the last two kilometers up Mount Werner Road.
“If I hadn’t known that, I would have gone out too fast and been toast and not won,” he said. “It’s real short. You got to be really warmed up, loose and ready to go. You can’t conserve at any point.”
Troy Meeker won the junior division in a time of 12:53.25. Steamboat’s Jeffrey Gay was third in 15:11.56.
Jeremy Green won the senior men’s 3 category in 13:31.68, and Logan Oxford won the senior men’s 4 category in 14:15.93. Matthew Segur was first in the senior men’s 35 plus 3 category, crossing the finish in 13:15.46. Joseph Manning was first in the senior men’s 35 and 45 category 4 division, finishing in 14:24.61.
In the senior men’s 45 and older division, Barry Hughes was first in 13:51.27, and Kim Workman was first in the senior men’s 55 and 65 division, with a time of 14:04.07.
In the senior women’s 45 and 55 plus division, Amber Rydholm was first in 15:45.46. Steamboat’s Amy Charity was 26 seconds back in second, and Linnea Dixson was third, 28 seconds back.
Action continues today with the Marabou Ranch Circuit Race. Races begin at 8 a.m.
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