Enduro-X series a hit at Steamboat Ski Area
August 17, 2013
Steamboat Springs — This was what they have been talking about, a day in Steamboat Springs largely defined by bicycle tourism.
Those who've advocated a greater effort be made to make the city a bicycling hot spot had it all on display Saturday as two cycling races raged, as cruiser bikes rolled up and down Lincoln Avenue and as hundreds basked in a hot, late-summer Steamboat day.
If this was what they've been talking about, Julie Glenn and I Ling Thompson are who they've been talking about.
The pair of Front Range friends have traveled to Steamboat Springs now for three years for the Stinger, and on Saturday, they were cajoled into trying the Enduro-X mountain bike race. Despite a few scares on the course's biggest features, they gushed with praise when they were finished, suddenly big believers in downhill and in Steamboat Springs.
"We rushed over here, and it was great," Glenn said. "It was so much fun."
"I only do the descents, so it was just amazing," Thompson said.
Saturday's Enduro-X Race Series event capped a wild first day of the inaugural Bike Week in Steamboat Springs, and it did so with high-flying finishes on a recently opened downhill course at Steamboat Ski Area.
The race pushed riders up, not timed, from the top of the gondola to a starting point on the Sunshine loop, and from there, they bombed down the course. At the bottom, a long series of new wooden features awaited.
The best used them to launch high into the air, towering over the Gondola Square starting line. Others zipped around them, wide-eyed.
"It was a hard course, but it was a fun course. It was definitely a lung burner," said Steamboat's Sam Frackowiak, winner in the junior men 14 and younger division. "That's only the second time I've ever done that whole course, but I've done pretty much every other course on the mountain.
"They're just so much fun, and there were a lot of awesome people to race with."
Leland Turner finished atop the pro men's field, winning in 21 minutes, 58 seconds. Braden Kappius was second in 22:07, and Steamboat's Trevyn Newpher was third at 22:26.
Yvonne Delahunty won the pro women's division in 26:35, and Lea Julson was second in 29:45.
Glenn, Jacob Ginesta, Stephen Wilson, Matt Hightower, Jon Freckleton and Kelly Johnson also won their divisions.
It all happens again for the Enduro-X on Sunday. The second day of the weekend event begins at 9 a.m. from the top of the gondola. Racers will make two laps, riding some of the toughest downhill trails built by the ski area.
Find complete results here.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com
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