Over Fourth of July weekend, they could have given a patriotic 21-gun salute for the effort by 260 mountain bikers who finished the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike Championships staged Saturday, July 6 on Baldy.
The champions of each class didn’t get a 21-gun salute. They settled for the 21 Stars-and-Stripes jerseys emblematic of setting the pace over 41 miles of demanding terrain in extremely hot conditions.
Saturday’s field of 314 starters and 260 finishers was quite an increase over the 202 bikers who completed last September’s 54-mile national marathon course at Bend, Ore.
And there were six repeat champions, starting at the top.
Wood River Valley bike enthusiasts could also be proud of their three gold medalists—Rebecca Rusch, Muffy Ritz and Jena Greaser. They were the most prominent of the 10 podium finishers out of the 41 locals racing Saturday.
Reigning USA Cycling marathon mountain bike national champions Todd Wells, 37, of Durango, Co. and Monique “Pua” Mata, 33, of Yucaipa, Ca. pulled away to win the final event of the 10-day 2013 Ride Sun Valley Bike Festival.
Three-time Olympian Wells of the Specialized Factory Team (2.52:36) was a Pro Men’s winner by 1:48 over Stephen Ettinger of Bozeman, Mt. (2.54:24). Wells also won the USA short-track national title at Sun Valley last July.
ShoAir/Cannondale racer Mata, a nine-minute winner at Bend in the 2012 and 2011 national marathons, earned her three-peat by over 13 minutes Saturday with an amazing final time of 3.24:36 (40th overall).
Marathon racers competed on a 41-mile two-lap course with 4,000 feet of climbing and about 85% single track. Saturday’s national races started at Ketchum Town Square and finished at River Run—after suitable challenging climbs along the Cold Springs, Warm Springs and River Run trails.
It was the first time Sun Valley had hosted the Marathon Mountain Bike nationals, after the resort staged USA Cycling Cross-Country Mountain Bike Nationals in 2011-12. The Idaho resort has pledged to stage the 2014 marathon nationals.
Saturday’s other repeat champions were Kyle Dixon of Reno, Nev. (Men 35-39), three-peat champions Cary Smith of Jackson Hole, Wyo. (Singlespeed) and Dario Fredrick of San Anselmo, Ca. (Men 40-44) and Helene Drumm, also of San Anselmo (Women 40-44).
Winning again like they did in 2011 on Bend terrain were Muffy Ritz of Ketchum (Women 55-59) and Dwight Hibdon of Park City, Utah (Men 60-64).
Professional mountain biker Rusch of Ketchum captured gold in Women’s Singlespeed and Greaser of Ketchum won Women’s Senior 19-29. Placing second from the valley were Andy Andrews of Hailey (Masters 70-plus) and Susan Bernatas of Bellevue (Women 55-59).
Earning podium spots were the top five in each class.
Placing third were Terry Duran of Hailey (Masters 50-54) and Kris Thoreson of Sun Valley (Masters 55-59). In fourth were Cameron Lloyd of Hailey (Singlespeed) and Tiffany Larson of Ketchum (Masters 45-49). In fifth place was Sara Schroeder of Hailey (Singlespeed).
The race weekend was another big success for the local organizing committee.
USA Cycling, in announcing the new two-year sequence of its national championship sites last November, said in awarding the marathon finals, “Sun Valley has proven to be a huge hit as a destination.”
Class winners and local results follow:
Pro/Open Men 17-plus: 1—Todd Wells, Durango 2.52:36. 15—Michael Tobin, Boise 3.12:47 (16th overall). 23—Cody Peterson, Bend, Ore. 3.20:00. 32—Sam Young 3.39:19.
Pro/Open Women 17-plus: 1—Pua Mata, Yucaipa, Ca. 3.24:36.
Men singlespeed 19-plus: 1—Cary Smith, Jackson Hole 3.15:37. 4—Cameron Lloyd 3.35:46.
Women singlespeed 19-plus: 1—Rebecca Rusch 3.47:30. 5—Sara Schroeder 4.22:32.
Men Senior 19-29: 1—Joseph Petrowski, Littleton, Co. 3.16:10. 8—John Reuter 3.35:45. 9—Ryan O’Hara 3.57:49. 11—Taylor Benz 4.12:24.
Women Senior 19-29: 1—Jena Greaser 3.54:25.
Men Master 30-34: 1—Gabe Klamer, Jackson Hole 3.26:24. 7—Brad Walker 3.40:38. 8—Adam Greene 3.41:59. 9—Mike Stemp 3.45:07. 11—Mark Lovlien 3.52:35. 13—Jedediah Young 4.01:52.
Women Master 30-34: 1—Hannah Williams, Steamboat Springs, Co. 4.18:16.
Men Master 35-39: 1—Kyle Dixon, Reno 3.16:29.
Women Master 35-39: 1—Nicole Dolney, Sacramento, Ca. 4.12:49. 6—Megan Stevenson 4.27:07. 9—Brett Stevenson 4.50:51.
Men Master 40-44: 1—Dario Fredrick, San Anselmo 3.13:59. 9—Christopher Pic 3.38:01. 24—Brad Mitchell 4.00:00. 28—Joshua Wells 4.12:34. 29—Jason Miller 4.21:50.
Women Master 40-44: 1—Helene Drumm, San Anselmo 3.58:40.
Men Master 45-49: 1—Jon Gould, Boise 3.25:14. 6—Joel Brazil 3.45:13. 7—Kyle Rafford 3.46:26. 11—Mark Gilbreath 3.49:06. 14—Jeffrey Roth 4.12:53. 15—Hank Dart 4.24:13. 17—Tony Buoncristiani 4.32:56.
Women Master 45-49: 1—Julie Young, Auburn, Ca. 4.00:20. 4—Tiffany Larson 5.07:26.
Men Master 50-54: 1—David “Tinker” Juarez, Whittier, Ca. 3.10:46. 3—Terry Duran 3.37:44. 11—Steve Butler 3.55:28. 12—Matt Morell 3.56:14. 14—Timothy Harmon 3.57:00. 17—Matt Luhn 4.01:53. 21—Lance Levy 4.19:47. 31—Herberth Corrales 5.10:51.
Women Master 50-54: 1—Kris Walker, Pocatello 4.28:35.
Men Master 55-59: 1—Zan Treasure, Ogden, Utah 3.37:47. 3—Kris Thoreson 4.11:06. 12—Roger Mankus 4.52:40.
Women Master 55-59: 1—Muffy Ritz 4.35:57. 2—Susan Bernatas 4.52:00.
Men Master 60-64: 1—Dwight Hibdon, Park City 3.57:46.
Men Master 65-69: 1—Allan Marvin, Denver, Co. 4.38:42.
Men Master 70-plus: 1—James Wagner, Auburn, Wash. 4.14:55. 2—Andy Andrews 4.41:22.