Peter Kalmes smiles wide as he closes in on the finish line of the final Town Challenge race Wednesday. He won the event, his 15th in a row spanning three seasons.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Peter Kalmes smiles wide as he closes in on the finish line of the final Town Challenge race Wednesday. He won the event, his 15th in a row spanning three seasons.

Steamboat's Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series charges to a close

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2013 Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series schedule

(Find results from the race here.)

It came as no surprise that Hannah Williams won the season-long championship Wednesday night as the Town Challenge Mountain Bike Race Series wrapped up its summer season with an Emerald Mountain race.

Williams already was guaranteed the victory mathematically thanks to the points she’d accumulated in the rest of the season.

It wasn’t even surprising when she won the final race, adding an exclamation point to her season title.

Still, the lack of Wednesday night drama doesn’t mean remove any of the jaw-dropping ridiculousness of Williams’ path to the top of Steamboat Springs’ town mountain bike races.

Williams only started the sport of mountain biking a year ago, and she started last season in the sport division. She was so dominant that she bumped up to the top category, expert, midway through the season. And she was so good there that now, a little more than a year after she first dedicated herself to mountain biking, she was racing at a championship pace.

“It’s pretty cool,” she said. “I don’t know how I did it. I just committed to training and showing up every Wednesday.”

Williams edged out Kate Rench in Wednesday’s finale and then finished ahead of Mindy Mulliken in the season’s standings.

Linnea Dixson was third Wednesday, and Rench was third on the season.

“Kate was pretty close to me, but I stayed ahead on the top,” Williams said. “She caught me on the way down, but I passed her again on the uphill.

“I’m better at the uphill. I’m a little new to mountain biking, so my technical skills aren’t there yet.”

Peter Kalmes handily won the race and the season championship on the men’s side. He skidded around the final turn then grinned wide as he coasted across the finish line. Alex Pond was second Wednesday and Barkley Robinson was third, finishing Wednesday exactly the way they finished in the season standings.

“It was close through the first half of the climb. Alex was pushing it, and I was hurting,” Kalmes said. “I passed him to get him to slow down and finally, once it got a little steeper, I gained some ground.”

Kalmes finished a perfect season, seven wins. Combined with his wins in every race last year, six more, and the final two races in the season before, Wednesday’s triumph marked his 15th-consecutive win.

He credited a shift in his training — from logging a few big rides and calling it “training” to actually adopting a plan and following through — for his surge of success.

“We’ll see if I can do it three in a row,” he said. “I have plans for another good year of training.”

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

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