Alex Pond leads locals to big results in Wyoming race

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— Alex Pond is in a winning state of mind. After he won the local Town Challenge Mountain Bike race last week, he won a much bigger event, the Laramie Enduro mountain bike race in Wyoming.

Pond won the men’s overall division in 4 hours, 49 minutes and 48 seconds, leading the way for a ton of great finishes from Steamboat Springs riders.

“It’s been a good week,” he said. “Hopefully, I can rest up a little bit this week and start gearing up for the end of the season.”

He’ll head into the final stretch of summer racing with plenty of momentum, thanks to a standout performance in Laramie. He said he and two other riders broke away from the pack about a third of the way into the 70-mile course. One rider split off again but got lost and was out of the race.

Pond, meanwhile, made his own move at about the 30-mile mark and soon built a 4-minute gap. When he saw his competition — Josh Tostado, recent champ of the Breckenridge 100 endurance mountain bike race — closing in, Pond hammered it for the next hour.

“I gave it all I had,” he said. “I was going pretty much as hard as I could go.”

He was fast enough, finishing with a 2:40 cushion.

It was his fourth time to ride in the race. His first year he was 24th. The next year he was fifth. Last year, he was third, and now, he’s the champion.

“This is my first official pro-open win, so it was huge," he said. "I’ve enjoyed the race for the last couple of years. This year, a little bit of luck and a little bit of feeling pretty good got me into first place.”

He wasn’t the only local rider to have a good day in Wyoming and was joined by three other local riders on the podium. Becky Edmiston was third in the women’s open division, finishing in 6:10:30, behind champ Christy Olsen, of Casper, Wyoming, and Marlee Dixon, of Breckenridge.

Katie Lindquist and Kent Erikson, meanwhile, won the tandem division in 6:16:01. On one hand, there were only two other competitors. On the other, they won by more than 90 minutes and overcame a blown-up fork midway through their race.

They ended up only slightly off the course record, which, of course, they also own.

“It’s fun,” Lindquist said. “We’ve both raced a lot and the challenge of racing solo is not as high for us as it used to be, so it’s fun to go out and do it together.”

Other Steamboat finishers included Jeremy Macgray, 10th, and Mike Sharkey, 18th, in the open men’s 0-39 division, and Erik Lobeck, 10th, Andrew Miller, 18th, and Patrick West, 19th, in the men’s open 40-49 division.

Bec Bale was seventh in the women’s open division, Patti Lindquist second in the women’s 50-plus division and Jessica Lobeck 10th in the women’s sport 40-49 division.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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