Town Challenge rescheduled

Howelsen bike race cancelled after Wednesday's storm

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— Gretchen Sehler, director of the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge mountain bike race series, was pleased with the turnout at Wednesday night's Another Root Canal race at Howelsen Hill.

More than 160 local cyclists showed up for the race, and Sehler estimated that another 20 would have registered had the weather cooperated.

After starting the four expert men's divisions, a gust of wind knocked over the event's loudspeakers, and the rain began to fall.

As the downpour intensified and lightning struck near the courses, Sehler cancelled the race. It has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, except for the Miller Light, youths and kids divisions, which were completed before the event was cancelled. The results from those divisions will stand.

The results posted by the few pro/open division racers who weathered the storm and finished Wednesday's race also will count toward the series point standings. The pro/open division will be the first division to race next week. That race begins at 6 p.m.

"It's basically an extra race for the pros," Sehler said, explaining how it would only be fair to count the points of the racers who stuck it out and finished the course Wednesday.

Among the seven pro/open division racers who rode the full distance to the tree root-riddled "Root Canal" section atop Emerald Mountain and down the muddied trails, Barkley Robinson finished first in a time of 1 hour, 5 minutes, 45 seconds.

Ben Duke finished second in 1:07:34, and Brad White finished third in 1:07:45.

"It got ugly," Robinson said, understating the mud splattered over his body and covering his bike. "The worst was the Bluffs trail coming down. It was so slick, I couldn't get any traction -- it was just survival."

Sehler also reminded volunteers that Trail Work Day, sponsored by Routt County Riders, is at 5:30 p.m. today at the bottom of Blackmere Drive and in the Heart Field.

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