Riders roll big in Winter Park | SteamboatToday.com

Riders roll big in Winter Park

The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club contingent poses after riding hard at the Colorado Freeride Festival in Winter Park.
Courtesy photo

— The cycling season is winding down, at least for the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club summer cycling program.

Before it did, however, the club sent a large contingent of riders to the Colorado Freeride Festival Epic XC race in Winter Park, a major out-of-town trip for the club this summer.

They returned with plenty of positive experiences, program director Blair Seymour said.

The course in Winter Park offered unique challenges for athletes who’ve been hitting Steamboat Springs’ Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series all summer.

For one, the courses were significantly longer. They also proved much more technical than the often smooth riding on Emerald Mountain.

The pro/expert course stretched to 25.5 miles. Sport riders went 20.3, novice athletes 16.4 and junior riders 5 miles, all across rocky singletrack laden with roots.

Kelly Boniface, who’s coached mountain biking with the club this summer, placed second in the women’s pro field. Nathan Williard was first in the men’s expert 19-29 division.

Among SSWSC athletes, three came away at the top of their respective classes.

Reilly Mewborn won the novice women’s race. Jack Fox won the junior boys 11-and-under division, while Emi Cooper won the junior girls 12-14 class.

Other top finishes came from Trey Seymour, second, and Chase Seymour, third, in the men’s sport 18-and-under class. Jake Olson was third, Alden Wade fifth, Forrest Christian seventh and Derek Pettigrew eighth in the novice men’s 15-and-under class. Max Hamilton was third in the junior boys 12-14 division, and Tanner Hamilton was sixth in the junior boys 11-and-under class.

Blair Seymour said the place an athlete got was only one aspect of the success of the trip.

“We told the kids, ‘Let’s not take it as a race, but more as an experience, because it’s a lot longer race and more technical’” Seymour said. “They weren’t as much focused on racing it as they were completing it, and they were very successful in that, with big smiles on their faces. They pushed themselves.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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