Defending men's champion Cody Peterson of Hailey and Ketchum's Rebecca Rusch got off to fast mountain biking starts Saturday, April 12 in the debut of the 2008 Wild Rockies Regional Championship Series.
Now in its 19th season of action, the seven-event Wild Rockies series opened with the 13th annual Barking Spider Bash desert races featuring a 10.5-mile trail run and cross-county mountain biking at Hemmingway Butte Recreation Area 25 miles south of Nampa.
Scott Bicycles racer Peterson won the three-lap Pro Men's race by nearly five minutes with a time of 1.48:19. His closest competition came from runner-up Josh Oppenheimer of Boise, who was 4:39 behind. Fairfield's Dave Harrison (2.06:21) ended up ninth.
Rusch, 11th overall among all Pros, finished her three laps in 2.11:00 for a 96-second Pro Women's victory over Jana Repulski of Boise (2.12:36).
In the mass start mountain bike cross-country race, pros and experts rode up to 30 miles on a rolling grade, off-road course. Ketchum's Karoline Droege (2.31:43) was second behind Jocelyn Jones of Sweet (2.28:56) in Women's Expert.
The Wood River Valley boasted three top-10 cyclists in the Singlespeed category with second-place Greg Martin (1.28:51), fourth-place Pat Schott (1.35:01) and seventh-place Don Shepler (1.42:23).
In the two-lap Sport classes, Ketchum's Chris O'Donnell (1.34:25) was fifth in Men's 35-39 and Chris Schatz (1.49:56) placed 10th in Sport Men 40-49.
There were 221 competitors including 68 Sport, 46 Beginners, 45 in the mountain run, 32 Experts, 14 Pros, 10 Singlespeed and six Trailblazers.
Next up on Wild Rockies:
Saturday and Sunday, June 6-8: The third annual Janna Brimmer Memorial (10k trail run, XC biking and downhill biking) at Salmon.
But first, on the Knobby Tire Series:
Sunday, May 4: Sixth annual Avimor Coyote Classic in Boise.
Visit wildrockies.com or knobbytireseries.com for details.