Local cyclists Jacques, Charity top Guanella Hill Climb podium | SteamboatToday.com

Local cyclists Jacques, Charity top Guanella Hill Climb podium

Luke Graham

Tammy Jacques, center, and Amy Charity, right, celebrate Sunday after finishing the 2012 Guanella Hill Climb. Jacques was first, and Charity was second.

— It was set up perfectly for Tammy Jacques at the 2012 Guanella Hill Climb on Sunday.

The race begins in Georgetown and climbs and winds its way through switchbacks and up the pass.

Category 1 racers climb 3,150 feet in 12 miles with a 9 to 12 percent grade.

And for a climber like Jacques, that's just perfect.

"Guanella Pass is a climber's dream," Jacques said. "It's gorgeous. You don't get bored riding that pass."

Jacques finished first in the pro women's division, blazing the climb in 1 hour, 3 minutes and 57 seconds.

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Fellow Steamboat cyclist Amy Charity was second, finishing in 1:06:23.

With the women's pro division going last, Jacques had time to scout out the course. It begins with steep switchbacks before subtly breaking into rolling hills. Jacques said the plan was to attack early and try and break away from the field.

She succeeded early in the switchbacks, building an initial 45-second lead that she kept extending.

"I wanted to test the field," Jacques said. "If you're going to go, you had to go early or attack at the end."

Steamboat also got top finishes from Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Elite Cycling team members Alec Schaffer and Lesley Myller.

Myller was second in the junior women's event, and Schaffer won the junior men's event.

Other Steamboat finishers included Will Bashan coming in 12th in the SM 45+ category and Vince Hooper finishing 20th in the SM 55+ category.

Charity impresses at Time Trial Championships event

Before Charity could burn her legs in Sunday's hill climb, she competed against some of the top female riders in the Colorado Time Trial Championships on Saturday.

Competing on a dusty parking lot north of Denver International Airport, Charity finished third in the women's pro division in 57:42.

Time trial specialist Angela Des Cognets won with Julie Emmerman coming in second.

Charity said she was unsure how she would do leading into the event. But she was able to borrow a state-of-the-art time trial bike from Steamboat Ski & Bike Kare and time trialing gear from Steamboat Velo.

Because riders go off in intervals, Charity said, it was tough to know where she stood. She said that looking back at past times, she knew she had to maintain a speed of at least 26 mph for the duration.

"I would have loved to win," said Charity, who made her goal of finishing in less than 58 minutes. "All things considered, with limited time trialing, I'm happy where I finished."

Steamboat rider Vince Hooper also was 39th in the SM 55+ division.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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