Steamboat Springs Last Wednesday, an evening storm drenched Howelsen Hill, turning participants away from the Steamboat Springs Town Challenge mountain bike race after the adult divisions of the race were cancelled.
This week's Wednesday night incarnation of the rescheduled Another Root Canal race had the same name and same winding courses up Howelsen and Emerald Mountain, but the differences from the previous week were obvious.
"This is a whole new race," said Town Challenge race series director Gretchen Sehler in reference to the 15 separate divisions, from pro/open to novice, that were renumbered and restarted from behind the Howelsen Hill Lodge.
Sehler also noted the ideal weather.
"With the earlier rain, these are the perfect conditions," Sehler said.
After screaming down the technical switchbacks of the Bluffs trail, many of the top finishers, not to mention the corps of orange-shirted race volunteers dancing at the finish line, agreed with Sehler.
"There was no dust and you could rail through turns," said 15-year-old Bryce Gordon who finished second in the pro/open division with a time of one hour, 2 minutes and 34 seconds. "That was the best conditions on Emerald I've ever raced."
Gordon finished just behind pro/open and overall winner Barkley Robinson, who finished in 58 minutes, 51 seconds.
Gordon managed to shave seven minutes off his time from last week, where he and a handful of pro/open racers made it to the finish line, covered in mud, despite the cancellation.
"I just got (my bike) runnable again before the race," Gordon said. "This was much more enjoyable."
Mike Sharkey, racing on Gordon's heels, finished third in 1:02:50.
"I could see Bryce and every time I'd shift, he'd shift -- I just couldn't reel the whipper-snapper in," Sharkey said.
The female side of the race was equally close between Marin Campbell and another Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club cycling team fifteen-year-old -- Katherine Ingalls.
"She so strong, she was on me the whole way until the downhill," said Campbell, who won the women's expert division with a time of 1:10:02.
Ingalls finished second in 1:10:37 and Jody Gale finished third in 1:12:36.
Sehler said any racers from last week that did not show will have a one-year credit for a variety of Steamboat Springs Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services' activities.
The next Town Challenge race is Aug. 2 at Howelsen.
To reach Dave Shively, call 846-1129 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.