Steamboat Springs resident Kelly Boniface, far left, celebrates on the podium Sunday after the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race in Breckenridge. Boniface placed fifth in the women’s pro field and was one of seven Steamboat finishers.

Kris Cannon/Courtesy Photo

Steamboat Springs resident Kelly Boniface, far left, celebrates on the podium Sunday after the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race in Breckenridge. Boniface placed fifth in the women’s pro field and was one of seven Steamboat finishers.

Steamboat cyclists finish strong in Breckenridge

Switchbacks, climbs no match for riders

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Firecracker 50 results

Firecracker 50 mountain bike race

July 4, 2010

Breckenridge

Steamboat Springs finishers

Pro men:

Barkley Robinson, 13th place, 4:02:02:90

Nate Bird, 14th place, 4:03:41.60

Men 19 to 29:

Peter Kalmes, 2nd place, 4:15:55.08

Men 40 to 49:

Scott Tanner, 17th place, 4:43:15.91

Men 50 to 59:

Mark Cox, 21st place, 6:15:34.18

Pro Women:

Kelly Boniface, 5th place, 4:34:38.46

Women 50 and older:

Amy Harris, 1st place, 5:09:51.05

Online

For full results from the Firecracker 50, click here.

— Kelly Boniface was running out of gas on the final 45-minute stretch of Sunday’s Firecracker 50 bicycle race in Breckenridge, but she didn’t even think of stopping her titanium Moots Zirkel mountain bike. She was too busy picturing herself standing on the podium with some of the best riders in the country and decided to use every last bit of her energy on the final stretch.

“It was a risk worth taking,” she said Tuesday. “Sometimes, you can play it safe and pace yourself a little bit better, but I knew I had to leave it all out there to get on that podium.”

Boniface, finishing in a time of 4:34:38.46, placed fifth in the women’s pro field and earned a spot on the podium. She spent her Fourth of July conquering the switchbacks, singletrack and steep climbs, excelling in what she calls her most important race of the season. All of her training in the spring paid off.

“You can’t be your best at every single race,” she said. “But I made sure to be in my best shape for this one.”

The Firecracker 50 was a USA Cycling Marathon Nat­ional Championship race this year and featured two 25-mile laps. Racers tackled old mining roads and rocky terrain. Boniface said the course was very challenging — physically and mentally.

“It is a very tough course at a high altitude,” she said. “There’s a lot of steep climbing, and it seems like you’re going straight up or straight down for most of the course.”

Boniface was one of several Steamboat cyclists who finished the race Sunday. Nate Bird, a ski coach and cyclist in Steamboat, placed 14th in the men’s pro field. He said the race had extra meaning for him because it kicked off the Fourth of July parade.

“It was a blast to be there,” he said. “All of the racers got to lead the parade, and we were getting high fives from the kids that were lining the streets.”

Bird, noting more than 3,000 feet of climbing throughout the race, called the course very technical and challenging.

“It was pretty intimidating to line up with all of the other high-caliber riders,” he said. “But I was really happy with the effort and to be with the other Steamboat finishers.”

Barkley Robinson, who finished 13th in the men’s pro field, also was impressed with the results from his fellow Steamboat riders. He was happy just to finish.

“It is an accomplishment just to make it through this course without any crashes or flats,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities for something to go wrong.”

— To reach Scott Franz, call 871-4210 or e-mail scottfranz@steamboatpilot.com

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