Steamboat Springs Champions traditionally take champagne showers.
But this is Steamboat Springs, an active mountain community, so Jon Freckleton's teammates and friends celebrated their Rio 24 Hours of Steamboat victory in remote Colorado fashion -- with a shower of Coors Light.
(Results unofficial) 12-hour solo women - Joan Miller, 7 laps 12-hour solo man -- Bill Gamber, 9 laps 12-hour duo men -- Skadi Pals, 9 laps 12-hour duo mix -- Quad-Aholics, 7 laps 24-hour solo women -- Catherine Shenk, 11 laps 24-hour solo man -- Jesse Jakomait, 16 laps 24-hour duo women -- Trainer/Robillard, 13 laps 24-hour duo men -- Smartwood/Git R Done, 16 laps 24-duo mix -- Team Mr. Buddy, 12 laps 4-person open men's sport -- Down to the Wire, 18 laps 4-person open men's expert -- Mountain Cuts, 22 laps 5-person open -- Ride for DeSo, 18 laps 5-person juniors -- Steamboat Sailors, 18 laps Corporate -- Ride for Deso, 17 laps
Freckleton and teammates, Jamie Morgan, Barkley Robinson and Mark Iverson -- all locals -- rode 22 laps between noon Saturday and noon Sunday to easily win the 4-person men's expert division race held at the Steamboat Ski Area.
Well, maybe convincingly is a better word than easily.
"That was the longest, hardest thing I've ever done," said Iverson, an elite Nordic skier.
Team Mountain Cuts built a cushion early and didn't look back, riding through the night and into Sunday morning. Robinson notched the fastest lap during the 24-hour race, riding from the ski area base, past the top of the gondola and back down in 57 minutes, 17 seconds. He also had the fastest night lap, finishing in 1:01:41. Yvonne Delahunty had the fastest women's lap in 1:14:13.
Robinson and Iverson rode six laps. Morgan and Freckleton turned in five laps for the winning team. Christy Sports was second with 20 laps.
"Jamie and I have this new business, Mountain Cuts, and we thought it would be cool to be a sponsor for the race," said Robinson, an experienced road and mountain bike racer but a rookie to 24-hour races. "Then, we thought if we were going to sponsor a team, we should be on it."
Iverson and Robinson started things for Mountain Cuts, combining to ride the first four laps in less than four hours Saturday.
When riding solo, it's tempting -- but ill advised -- to go out as fast as the riders on teams, and Jesse Jakomait fought off the urge to race and found a pace en route to winning the men's 24-hour solo division.
He completed a record 16 laps in 24 hours, an astounding feat considering each lap was 11 miles and gained 2,100 feet in elevation.
"I went up 33,000 feet," said Jakomait, a Canadian native but resident of Pueblo. "That's (Mount) Everest and then some."
Mount Everest towers more than 29,000 feet in the Asian air, so Mount Werner isn't as intimidating. Throw in a mountain bike and a competition, however, and Mount Werner's single track can make a rider nervous.
"This course is the hardest one out there," Jakomait said. "From 2 to 6 a.m., I don't think (me and the next fastest riders) were more than five to 20 minutes apart. I started envisioning a sprint finish. How absurd would that be?"
Considering the race lasted a day, to have riders close to each other sounds ridiculous. Jakomait never got the sprint finish he envisioned, but his ride wasn't smooth either.
"I made a few rookie mistakes," he said.
First, he attached his required light to his handlebars instead of his head. When the handlebars twisted, the light sprayed off into the forest. He spent 10 minutes fixing it.
Second, Jakomait didn't check his racing bike. He brought two, and ended up using his backup bike after realizing the seat on his original bike was too high.
"Here I am, on the first lap, off my bike tinkering around with it," Jakomait said. Overall, he was pleased with how his first 24-hour race went. Jason Stubbe was second with 15 laps.
Women's 24-hour solo winner Catherine Shenk was equally pleased. Although she wasn't a newcomer to full-day competitions, she had not been to Steamboat's race before.
"This was my first 24 hours with major hill climbing," she said, cleaning up her campsite. "The guys at the top (of the gondola) handing out the Gu were huge. That got me up there a couple times."
Shenk and Heather Williams were the only female soloists.
"I lapped her so I knew I had to keep riding because she could have lapped me back if I slept," Shenk said. "She's a good rider,"
Shenk didn't get any sleep. Neither did Jakomait, but solo male John Stevens had to take a six-hour "nap." The Vail rider won the 18-hour division in Fruita earlier this year, so he was hoping for a top three finish in Steamboat. Stevens tied for 10th.
"I was climbing, and I started to fall asleep on the climb," he said. "This is a hard course. I think the physical part is the hardest, at least for me. If I wouldn't have slept I would have done better."
Youth can sometimes be the ultimate rejuvenator, and one junior team opted to give the 24-hour race a try this year.
Called the Steamboat Sailors, the team was gathered at the base, hoping Ryan McConnell would make it to the bottom before noon so Hig Roberts could go out for one more lap.
At 11:59:56 on the clock, McConnell rode into the transition area and handed the baton to Roberts who took off for an 18th lap.
McConnell pointed to his clock on his handlebars. He was fully aware of how much time he had to complete his lap.
"It took me 20 minutes to come down," McConnell said. "I pushed myself on the way up, too. We wanted to beat the 15 laps we got last year."
Filming the Rockies was on hand Saturday and Sunday, taping the race for a television broadcast.