Steamboat riders find singletrack success
Steamboat Springs — Brad Bingham and Kelly Boniface went the distance for a couple of top results in a pair of endurance races during the weekend, and several other Steamboat Springs riders found success at the Mountain States Cup stop in Winter Park.
Bingham won the overall title at the Dakota Five-O on Sunday after posting the fastest time of the day during the 50-mile race in Spearhead, S.D. Bingham survived a nasty crash about 15 miles into the race that left him with a few mechanical problems. But he was able to overcome, and he put the hammer down when another racer threatened to take the lead about one-third of the way through the race.
“I saw him creeping up behind me, but I was able push the pace a bit until I lost sight of him,” Bingham said.
Bingham drove seven hours to the race and said it was well worth it. He pocketed $400 for the win, along with a new Garmin GPS.
“They have some amazing singletrack in that area,” Bingham said. “It was a great experience.”
Boniface traveled to Park City, Utah, where she finished just five minutes behind Heather Holmes to take second place in the Park City Point 2 Point race.
Holmes finished the 78-mile race, which included 14,000 vertical feet, in a time of 8 hours, 30.18 minutes. Boniface, who races for Moots Cycles, was second at 8:35.32, with Sarah Kaufmann in third at 8:42.40.
“I really enjoyed the first six hours, but the last 2 1/2 hours were pretty tough,” Boniface said. “There was a span of about 30 minutes where I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish the race.”
Boniface said one of the reasons she traveled to the race was to visit a former college roommate in Park City. She thought it would be a chance to ride some of the trails in the area. But she said she ended up riding nearly all the trails — including Round Valley, Deer Valley, Park City Mountain and the Canyons — during the event.
“I was toast when I finished,” Boniface said. “I think I’m through for the season, but you never know. Someone might talk me into racing again in a few days.”
A little closer to home, several local riders collected top finishes at Mountain States Cup races in Winter Park held Sept. 3 to 6. Len Zanni, part owner of Honey Stinger and captain of Honey Stinger/Trek, topped the men’s pro division in the cross-country race with a time of 1:44.37 on Saturday.
Zanni, who lives in Carbondale, pushed the pace from the start and ended up more than six minutes ahead of second-place finisher Travis Scheefer, of Crested Butte. Steamboat Springs racer Nate Bird, who also rides with Honey Stinger/Trek, did his best to keep up with his teammate along the course and placed fifth with a time of 1:52.23.
“I just wanted to make sure that I finished in the top five for the team points,” Bird said. “Anytime I can get in the top five, I’m pretty happy.”
Honey Stinger/Trek is currently in third place in the team standings of the Mountain States Cup circuit with one event left. The local team trails first place CoMotion Sports (10,118 points) and second place LiveTrainRace.com (9,734 points). Honey Stinger/Trek is third at 6,696 points. Steamboat’s Alex Pond also posted a top result in last week’s races by winning the men’s category 2 (19 to 29) division.
Steamboat also enjoyed several top results in Monday’s Mountain States Cup downhill with Kyra Alexander taking second in the women’s pro division. Tony Achilli was eighth in men’s Category 2 (30 to 39), and Austin Weide was eighth and Sam Harrelson 15th in the men’s Category 3 (15 to 18) division. Harrelson also tied for seventh in the Super D race, which combined downhill and cross-country.
The biking season quickly is coming to a close. The final race of the Mountain States Cup, The Fall Classic, will take place this weekend in Breckenridge. Several riders, including Bird and Kris Cannon, will travel to the 12-hours of Snowmass. Bird plans to compete in the duo division, and Cannon will enter the solo women’s class.
— To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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