Grant Ingram enters one of the final turns during Sunday's Quick and Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race. Ingram finished 11th in the men's elite class in a time of 14:32.19.

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Grant Ingram enters one of the final turns during Sunday's Quick and Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race. Ingram finished 11th in the men's elite class in a time of 14:32.19.

Conditions 'perfect' for downhill mountain bike race

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— The combination of rain, snow and sub-freezing temperatures Saturday pushed back the Quick and Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race a day, but competitors said the Sunday conditions were perfect.

Quick and Chainless results

Men's ELITE top 5

■ 1. James Koch, 13:34.82

■ 2. Stephen Wilson, 13:37.48

■ 3. Adam Smith, 13:42.64

■ 4. Peter Knepper, 13:45.33

■ 5. Hazan Kreis, 13:49.88

Women's ELITE

■ 1. Liana Gregory, 15:37.07

■ 2. Sarah Dills, 16:11.69

■ 3. Alana Ratzell, 16:17.22

Men's Amateur top 5

■ 1. Christopher Firth, 14:39.13

■ 2. Brian Phillips, 14:53.80

■ 3. Scott Anfang, 14:59.03

■ 4. Andrew Burns, 15:10.31

■ 5. Alan Czepinski, 15:12.18

Women's Amateur

■ 1. Julie McElvain, 16:05.21

■ 2. Kelly Gilleland, 16:06.63

Junior U-15

■ 1. Patrick Dillon, 15:06.44

■ 2. Sam Frackowiak, 15:16.17

■ 3. Palmer Porteous, 16:02.51

■ 4. Jacob Patterson, 16:07.44

■ 5. Tanner Demara, 16:16.92

■ 6. Dane Freckleton, 17:07.23

■ 7. Kelly Ryan, 17:15.62

■ 8. Jake Olson, 17:35.70

■ 9. Ryli Adrian, 19:50.26

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Men's elite winner James Koch takes on a turn during Sunday's Quick and Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race. Koch won by less than three seconds and said the conditions on the trail were perfect.

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About midway through Sunday's Quick and Chainless Downhill Mountain Bike Race, finished competitors wait for those still at the top of the mountain. About 50 men, women and juniors raced.

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Women's elite class winner Liana Gregory, center, accepts her first-place award alongside Sarah Dills, left, and last year's Quick and Chainless winner Alana Ratzell.

This year, about 50 men, women and juniors took the chains off their bikes and bombed down the track at Steamboat Ski Area. Although postponing the event seemed to chase away a few competitors — numbers were down from 80 entries a year ago — Sunday’s racers enjoyed what is becoming a growing interest in Steamboat Springs.

“With all the new trails that we’re building and new progress, it’s a big step forward for Steamboat that’s a lot more fun and more diverse than stuff we’ve had in the past,” said men’s elite class winner James Koch.

Riders raced with minute intervals in between. Koch crossed the finish line in 13:34.82, about three seconds faster than runner-up Stephen Wilson. In the women’s elite division, Liana Gregory cruised across the finish line in 15:37.07, beating out Sarah Dills at 16:11.69 and last year’s winner Alana Ratzell in 16:17.22.

Koch, 33, said a day off the course after the wet conditions during the weekend made the dirt tackier and corners easier to handle.

Gregory agreed.

“It was the best I’ve ever ridden up here,” she said. “It was perfect.”

Gregory, 29, praised the Steamboat Ski Area location as not just being an ideal spot for winter sports, but for the downhill scene, as well.

Competitors didn’t get to use the wooden jumps along the trail this year, and a few found the track to be a little slower than they were accustomed to, but just having a downhill mountain bike event in Steamboat is opening eyes to locals and beyond.

“It’s awesome that they want to start having events up here, because it encourages people to get up on the trials and check them out,” Gregory said. “Hopefully people come from out of town and check out the trails.”

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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