Creekside mountain biking event draws a crowd to Steamboat |

Creekside mountain biking event draws a crowd to Steamboat

Jason Knez crosses Burgess Creek during Saturday's downhill race along Creekside Trail.
Matt Stensland

— It seemed fitting that the podium for the inaugural Creekside downhi

ll mountain bike race happened to be a chair, a sandbag and the ground.

After years without a race or a voice, the downhill mountain biking community turned out Saturday, risking limbs for a five-minute rush, most blazing the 1.7-mile Creekside Trail in less than five minutes.

The race, sponsored by Steamboat Re­­­­ntals By Ow­­­ner, and participation provided a legitimate glance at what could become a staple in the Steamboat biking community.

“It’s absolutely incredible to see an event like this in Steamboat,” event organizer Cory Prager said. “We’ve been trying for so long. It’s really cool to get everybody together and have an event go off smooth.”

More than 50 riders made the trek up Steamboat Ski Area and blasted down the Creekside Trail.

There were crashes. Men’s open competitor Eliot Rosen­berg was taken away on a stretcher with a leg injury but was cracking jokes and smiling as he left.

“It’s insane,” said Kristi Bernitt, the lone female competitor who flew down the course in 4 minutes, 16.3 seconds. “It’s the biggest adrenaline rush you could ask for. What a perfect day and setting.”

On a course where officials can’t agree about multidirectional use, Saturday was all about the downhillers.

Spectators lined the 1.7-mile course as bikers took two rides, using their best as their official time.

In the men’s open division, Adam Smith clocked the fastest time of the day, finishing in 3:27.9. James Koch was second in 3:29.9, and Andrew Bernitt was third in 3:33.3.

In the men’s amateur division, Matt Sowards was first in 4:06.6. David Poussard was second in 4:15.3, and Scott Howland was third in 4:21.

Max Scrimgeour was first in the 16 to 18 age division in 4:00.4, and Byron Brane won the 13 to 15 age division in 4:00.8.

The course was limited to downhill mountain biking, allowing riders to go full bore on a trail where they normally can’t.

The consensus among riders was that the two creek crossings on the trail were where riders made or lost time.

A good portion of the riders ended up wet or had to push their bikes through the crossings.

For Smith, who logged the fastest time of the day during his second run, his ability to cross the creeks allowed him to win.

“It was amazing because you don’t have to worry about hurting someone coming up the trail,” said Smith, who picked up downhill mountain biking while in high school in the Nederland. “Having it roped off lets you push it more. The second lap, I made it through both (creeks) pretty clean. I figure that’s where I made up my time.”

With the inaugural event being a success, Prager said he’s thinking bigger.

He said working with the ski area and Routt County Riders made the event a success, and judging by the participation and after party, downhill mountain biking in Steamboat is here to stay.

“I’d like to see — when we get trails in the future — a Town Challenge Gravity Series,” he said. “We will definitely have another Creekside race. If we get trails, we will have a series. I’ll make it happen.”

Creekside downhill mountain bike race

Sept. 18

Creekside Trail, Steamboat Ski Area

First Run

13 to 15 age division

Byron Brand 4:03.1

Hudsen Mertz 4:27.4

Jack Vanderbeek 4:34.9

Max Parsons 5:00.1

16 to 18 division

Max Scrimgeour 4:01.9

Hunter McLean 4:04.9

Austin Wiede 4:08.9

Evan Weinman 4:25.6

Spencer Noel 4:25.9

Stephen Heron 4:39.5

Jim Vanderbeek 4:45.3

Men’s amateur division

Scott Howland 4:18.1

Matt Sowards 4:19.7

David Poussard 4:20.2

Mark Sloop 4:26.1

Todd Kirkpatrick 5:02.3

Brandon Piersol 5:54.7

Matthew Schuhmacher 8:08.5

Women’s open division

Kristi Bernitt 4:16.2

Men’s open division

James Koch 3:28.7

Dan Gilchrist 3:31.3

Adam Smith 3:34.1

Donny Leavitt 3:34.9

Andrew Bernitt 3:36.1

Greg Jansen 3:38.1

Craig Frithsen 3:38.4

Andy King 3:43.7

Eliot Rosenberg 3:37.4

Peter Kalmes 3:47.7

Chris Otto 3:50.4

Dave Marrs 3:50.8

Matt Ferry 3:51.4

Dacques McCan 3:53.6

Matt Stevenson 3:57.3

Doug Steadman 3:57.7

Skip Warnke 3:59.9

Ned Kajko 4:01.9

Brad Bates 4:08.7

Pete Mormand 4:18.4

Adam Eimers 4:19.1

John Newbold 4:21.4

Jason Knez 4:22.1

Josh Westfall 4:22.2

Grey Schuhmacher 4:24.9

Brian McCleary 4:26.7

Jonathan Finnegan 4:29.8

Chris Reed 4:37.1

Greg Londos 5:11.7

Anthony Niglio 5:53.6

Aryeh Copa DNF

Ron Pannesi DNF

Second run

13 to 15 age division

Byron Brane 4:00.8

Hudsen Mertz 4:22.1

Jack Vanderbeek 4:35.3

Max parsons 4:55.5

16 to 18 age division

Max Scrimgeour 4:00.4

Hunter McLean 4:03.3

Stephen Heron 4:31.2

Jim Vanderbeek 4:33.9

Spencer Noel 4:52.3

Evan Weinman 5:44.1

Austin Wiede 7:22.2

Men’s amateur

Matt Sowards 4:06.6

David Poussard 4:15.3

Scott Howland 4:21

Brandon Piersol 4:42

Todd Kirkpatrick 4:50.1

Matt Schuhmacher 5:57.7

Mark Sloop DNF

Women’s open

Kristi Bernitt 4:16.3

Men’s open

Adam Smith 3:27.9

James Koch 3:29.9

Andrew Bernitt 3:33.3

Aryeh Copa 3:33.7

Craig Frithsen 3:34.7

Donny Leavitt 3:35.2

Greg Jansen 3:36.3

Andy King 3:41.2

Dacques McCan 3:41.7

Peter Kalmes 3:41.8

Anthony Niglio 3:42.8

Ron Pannesi 3:50.1

Chris Otto 3:50.5

Dan Gilchrist 3:51.6

Matt Stevenson 3:53.3

Matt Ferry 3:55.2

Skip Warnke 3:58.6

Ned Kajko 4:00.4

Doug Steadman 4:00.4

Adam Eimers 4:03.2

Josh Westfall 4:08.2

Brad Bates 4:13

Jason Knez 4:17.7

Pete Normand 4:21.7

Jonathan Finnegan 4:22.1

Grey Schuhmacher 4:27.5

John Newbold 4:52.7

Chris Reed 4:53

Greg Londos 5:09.6

Dave Marrs 8:10.2

Eliot Rosenberg DNF

Brian McCleary DNF

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