Steamboat's Boniface notches top finish at Idaho cross-country race

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— Steamboat Springs mountain biker Kelly Boniface last weekend extended her already strong cycling summer with a high finish at the USA Cycling cross-country national championships in Sun Valley, Idaho. Against the top field in the sport, Boniface scored a 16th-place finish in the women’s pro category.

“I did great,” Boniface said. “I was only three minutes out of the top 10. I felt really good about it. I was in the race.”

The course, a 3.6 loop, proved nightmarish for riders, with a sharp drop down a treacherous face of rock on one side and a steep climb on the other.

“We would go down the rock face, weave through the base area and the crowd, over a flyover, through two man-made rock gardens then climb up again,” said Boniface, who climbed in her tight group as high as 12th. “It was so steep, I was in my smallest ring and pushing down on the handlebars so my front wheel didn’t flip up. Some girls were walking.”

Jon Freckleton was second in the men’s Category 1 ages 30 to 39 Super D race. Sam Chovan was 16th in the Category 1 ages 19 to 29 division. Koby Vargas was 13th in the ages 13 and 14 boys cross-country race, and Elijah Vargas was 15th in the ages 11 and 12 cross-country race.

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or e-mail jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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