Steamboat Springs Several locals garnered top finishes at the Ute Valley Pro XCT mountain bike race in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
Because of the recent Olympic Trials and cross-country nationals less than a month away, the event drew top pro names.
The course involved five 4.5-mile laps on a moderately technical course.
Leading the way was Steamboat stalwart Kelly Boniface finishing eighth in the women’s pro field.
Despite miserable conditions and constant rain, Boniface finished in 1:46:59. Linnea Dixson was 23rd.
The weather toyed with the field. Boniface said that after the first lap, the skies opened up and poured on the elite women’s field.
The mud from the trails stuck everywhere, and bikes were sliding all over the place. Boniface navigated the first four laps fine before her luck ran out.
“My bike just stopped,” she said.
Boniface, who was fifth at the time, had to go into the woods, get a stick and dig out the mud from her chain and derailleur.
“Just keep the rubber side down. That was the goal,” said Boniface, whose bike was stuck in one gear for two laps because of the mud. “I came around one corner and just slid down the hill.”
Still, Boniface was happy with the result. The finish marked her first career top 10 finish in a national cross-country event.
“I felt really, really good,” she said. “I think rainstorm or not, I would have been up there.”
Trevor Walz had a highlight 29th-place finish in the men’s pro division, and Alex Pond was 38th.
“It was a pretty good butt kicking,” Walz said. “But you take it for what it’s worth and make the best of it. Really, it was to see how I stacked up. Looking at the field, I wanted to be in the top 40. I definitely bettered that a little bit.”
Sam Chovan, racing the 19 to 24 Cat 1 category, won.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com