Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs resident and mountain bike racer Kris Cannon faced the dark, cold, rain and mud last weekend in Fruita en route to the top finish in the women's solo division at the 18 Hours of Fruita mountain bike race.
"I wasn't exactly sure how it would go," said Cannon, who rides for the Honey Stinger/Trek team. "This race is pretty early in the season, and I trained as much as I could, but I didn't really have a good feel for the race."
Cannon completed 29, 6-mile laps. The race was held in variable weather conditions near Grand Junction. The race began at midnight Saturday and ended at 6 p.m. that day. Rain turned the trail to mud late in the race, and Cannon was forced to carry her bike for most of the final lap after mud became caked between her wheel and front fork, making it impossible to ride.
"I had a great support crew," Cannon said. "There is no way I could have do this without them."
She said Amy Harris, Nate Bird, and Tadius and Melissa Huser were their through every lap to make sure she stayed on course and on pace to pick up the win.
"Honestly, Tadius had to work on my bike a ton and he was one hell of a wrench," Cannon said. "He works at Orange Peel and he had to cater to that bike a lot due to the 30 pounds of mud it collected."
Cannon won the women's solo division. Grand Junction's Anne Spalding was second with 25 laps, and Steamboat's Jaimie Zelkin finished third with 16 laps.
Other Steamboat riders included Mike Sharkey, who finished third in the men's solo race, and Rob Petersen and Nate Johansing, who placed eighth in the two-man race.