Familiar favorites Barkley Robinson and Katherine Zambrana topped the results of the largest opening race for the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Series on Wednesday night at Howelsen Hill.
The Howelsen Hill Bluff Circuit drew 193 riders eager to get back on the trails for a new season.
"It was a good field tonight," Robinson said. "There were a lot of old faces from the Town Challenge out and it was just a lot of fun."
Race Director Gretchen Sehler said the field was a record number for the series opener. However, some races in the series have topped 200 in the past.
"Before tonight, the most racers we've ever had show up for the first race was 177," Sehler said. "We are off to a good start."
Zambrana also was off to a good start as she cruised to a relatively easy win in the women's expert class, which completed three laps on a challenging course. The veteran racer finished the course in a time of 45 minutes and 26 seconds. Karen Tremaine followed her in second at 47:24 with Liz Rostermundt in third at 49.12.
Zambrana said she is easing back into the mountain bike racing this year after spending the past couple of seasons pursuing adventure racing.
"I'm focusing on mountain biking this year," Zambrana said. "Because that's what I love to do."
Robinson and teammate Ian Prichard stayed close for the first few laps of the men's professional division before Robinson shifted into high gear and pulled away in the fourth 3.2-mile lap.
He finished the race in a time of 53:35. Prichard was second at 54:15, and Doug Demusz was third at 55:22.
"He's just faster," Prichard said after the race. "Bark's flying this year. I normally do a little better in the hill climbs, and he does a little better in the cross country races. Right now he's faster everywhere."
The two riders, who are members of the same road cycling team, worked together to pull away from the rest of the pack. In the final lap, Robinson had a clear shot to the victory.
"We were battling it out the first couple of laps," Robinson said. "It was a good course with a lot of fun single track."
Other winners included Pat West, who topped the Men's Expert 30-39 Division after winning a sprint to the finish against Ron Famiglietti. West finished at 43:03, and Famiglietti came in at 43:05.
Marc Sehler beat out Craig rider Steve Martinson in the Men's Expert 40-plus Division.
In the Sport classes, Ian Gale won the 19-29 Division, Cactus Beauregard won the 30-34 Division and Peter Boniface won the 35-39 Division. Tom Keenan topped the 40-49 Division and Stephen Colby won the men's 50-plus Division.
In the Novice classes, Bo Randolph took the top spot in the 19-29 Division, Bill Murphy won the 30-39 Division, and Mark Edelfelt won the 40-plus Division.
Tara Lynn Johnson won the Women's Sport 19-29, and Sarah Langley won the Women's Sport 30-plus.
Trent Naused won the Kids 9-and-under Division, and Tucker Olson won the Kid's 10-12 Division.
In the Youth classes, Wiley Thayer won the Boys 13-15 Division, and Marty Smith topped the Boys 16-18 Division.
Anna Anderson won the Youth Girls 13-15, and Emily Keiss of Craig won the Girls 16-18.
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