Steamboat’s Gravity team collects top finishes |

Steamboat’s Gravity team collects top finishes

Steamboat team members return from Crankworx in Winter Park with honors

Steamboat Springs’ Jack Vanderbeek

Steamboat Springs' Jack Vanderbeek, left, who won his age division in the super downhill, and teammate Robi Powers, who was second, stand on the podium at Crankworx in Winter Park last week.

— The members of Steamboat Springs Gravity Team returned from Crankworx this week with plenty to celebrate.

The downhill cycling team from Steamboat Springs traveled to the Winter Park mountain bike races last week hoping for top finishes at the event geared toward downhillers. They got their wish.

"Crankworx is a big draw for downhill racers," coach Cory Prager said. "The event draws a lot of big-name pros. It's like the X Games for mountain bikes."

Steamboat's top results incl­uded a 1-2 finish in the super downhill (a combination of downhill and cross-country) in the boys 13 to 15 category July 30.

Steamboat's Jack Vander­beek won the race and was followed by teammate Robi Powers. Steam­boat's Sam Harrelson was third in the men's junior division for riders between ages 16 and 18.

Steamboat also picked up a couple of top results in the dual slalom July 29. James Koch earned a third-place finish in the master men's 30-plus division, and Hunter McLean was fourth in the men's junior 16 to 18 class. Prager and fellow coach Ned Kajko also raced in the open men's 19 to 29 division, but they did not place.

Steamboat's Kyra Alexander highlighted the Steamboat finishes in the women's downhill July 30 by winning the women's 19-plus division. Fellow Steamboat rider Mindy Mulliken was third. Both riders are from Steamboat but are not part of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club program.

Prager said most of the young Steamboat riders struggled on the demanding technical course in Winter Park. He said heavy rain made the race more difficult and was something the Steamboat riders haven't had to deal with.

Kai Rogers was the top Steamboat rider in the boys 16-and-younger division, finishing 15th. Xander Couchoud was 18th, Austin Weick was 19th, McLean was 20th and Reed Wipperfurth was 22nd. Vanderbeek raced to 23rd place, Pike Wipperfurth was 25th and Andrew Hitchcock had mechanical problems and did not finish the race.

Prager said the season is just heating up for the local downhill racers. He said there is another Mountain States Cup Race in Telluride this month, and a race in Winter Park in early September.

Steamboat Gravity Team Results From Crankworx 2010

*Did not place

Winter Park

July 29 to 31

Super Downhill

Boys 13-15

1 239 Jack Vanderbeek

2 398 Robi Powers

4 206 Xander Couchoud

Junior Men 16-18

3 245 Sam Harrelson

Dual Slalom

Masters Men 30 and older

3 James Koch

Open Men 19-29

Ned Kajko*

Cory Prager*

Junior Men 16-18

4 Hunter Mclean

Down Hill

Women 19 and older

1 Kyra Alexander 08:05.44

3 Mindy Mulliken 08:50.08

Boys 16 and younger

15 Kai Rogers 08:18.62

18 Xander Couchoud 08:47.10

19 Austin Weick 08:54.29

20 Hunter Mclean 08:58.78

22 Reed Wipperfurth 09:23.75

23 Jack Vanderbeek 09:52.39

25 Pike Wipperfurth 10:34.25

Andrew Hitchcock*