Happy holidays | SteamboatToday.com

Happy holidays

Robinson fares well in back-to-back mountain bike races

— Barkley Robinson spent the better part of the Fourth of July holiday on his mountain bike.

On Tuesday, Robinson finished the grueling Firecracker 50 race in Breckenridge in 3 hours, 55 minutes, 40.6 seconds, placing fourth in the elite pro men’s solo division. Last year, he placed ninth.

“I was psyched to get into the top five,” he said.

On Wednesday, Robinson won the Mount Werner Sun–shine Loop with a time of 1:16:38.

In two days, Robinson climbed more than 12,000 feet and rode 65 miles on his mountain bike.

Happy holidays.

“It was hard,” Robinson said about the Firecracker 50, which was on the east side of Colorado Highway 9 opposite Breckenridge Ski Area. “It was a combo of single track and old mining roads. It’s all at altitude, too. There is one incredibly steep climb that goes above tree line.”

Robinson led a contingent of Steamboat participants to Breckenridge, but he was one of a few to return to in Steamboat to race in Wednesday’s Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series. Robinson couldn’t miss the 14-mile Sunshine Loop.

“This is probably my favorite race,” he said. “I love this course.”

The pro/open and men’s expert riders climbed from the gondola base toward the Sunshine trail and back to the top of the gondola before descending. But, unlike most races he enters here, this time Robinson didn’t take the lead from the start.

Runner-up Nate Bird, a freestyle coach with the Winter Sports Club who is having a great season on his mountain bike, took second in 1:18:41.

“Nate led up through Valley View,” Robinson said. “I didn’t catch him until the end.”

Bird said he was trying to keep Robinson in his sight but lost track of the pro rider on the descent.

Marin Campbell has been the woman to beat this season, topping the expert field Wednesday with a time of 1:10:06. Kelly Boniface was 50 seconds behind.

Unlike last year, the women’s expert riders did not race the full Sunshine Loop. Instead, they competed on a 10-mile course, which weaved from the gondola base to the gondola’s top and back down.

Campbell enjoys riding the Sunshine Loop and considered entering the pro/open division Wednesday so she could ride the trails on a less-traveled section of Steamboat Ski Area.

“But I wouldn’t have gotten the points,” she said.

Campbell is trying to win the women’s expert division for the season and is positioned well at the halfway point.

Wednesday’s Sunshine Loop was the fourth race in the eight-week series, and it is the last one on Mount Werner until Aug. 25.

The next race in the Town Challenge series is the Howelsen Hill Cross Country on July 19.

— To reach Melinda Mawdsley, call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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