Thanks in large part to Billy Olson and his Sun Valley Road and Dirt, it looks as if Oktoberfest is a Sun Valley cycling event here to stay.
According to witnesses, hundreds of onlookers lined up at River Run over the weekend, watching 60 to 70 racers from Idaho, Utah and Wyoming negotiate a cycle-cross course of barriers and dirt on their rough-and-tumble, outfitted road cycles.
The weekend was one of "huge crowds, cold weather, cold beer and non-stop racing action," said Olson.
Olson also said that it was Sunday's youth racers, a group of 25 racers under 12 years old, who stole the cycling show at River Run.
Locals were especially successful, taking home state titles in five of nine categories. Richard Feldman, professional road cyclist, was named the overall Idaho State cycle-cross champion in the Category I, Men's A race. The top cycle-crossing woman was Ketchum's, Claudia Hattrup. Abbi Gould, another local, finished second.
The day was also a success for Sun Valley Company, selling discount ski passes all weekend at $100 off regular prices. Additionally, River Run was more crowded than any day within months.
"There were more families with kids down here than on regular days during the winter," said Oktoberfest co-coordinator and Sun Valley retail director Sam Cochran.
Cochran has been a strong supporter of the event since Olson first approached him. By now, he's sold on making Sun Valley Oktoberfest a tradition.
"As far as we're concerned, it's here to stay," Cochran said.
Results from River Run:
Category I/II Men: 1—Feldman. 2—Daryl Price. 3—Sam Krieg. 4—Shaun Mitchell.
Category III Men: 1—Eric Enbright. 2—Mike Hattrup. 3—Mark Gilbreath. 4—Denny Kacar. 5—Lee Roquet.
Category IV Men: 1—Scott Ahrens.
Veteran Men: 1—Eric Rector. 2—Mike Kennedy. 3—Mark Neff. 4—Matt Luhn. 5—Craig Pack. 6—Don Sewell. 7—Mike Olenick. 8—Charles Stearns. 9—Kris Quardt. 10—Eric Ruggeri. 11—Bob Walker. 12—Ken Edwards. 13—Mike Herlinger. 14—John Gorham. 15—Terry Stumph. 16—Derrick May. 17—Herberth Corrales. 18—Sam Adicutt.
Veteran Women: 1—Claudia Hattrup. 2—Abbi Gould. 3—Kris Walker. 4—Evan Simms.
Intermediate Boys: 1—Cary Reinemann. 2—Willie Adicoff.
Shimano Youth series: 11-12 boys: 1—Brock Mary. 9-10 boys: 1—Payton McCune. 2—Timo Gould. 3—Adam Brown. 7-8 boys: 1—Gavin McDonald. 2—Kagen Albright. 6 and under boys: Ike Buxton. 6 and under girls: 1—Emmy McCune. 2—Landry Walker.