Mountain bikers bask in sunshine at Soldier Hollow | ParkRecord.com

Mountain bikers bask in sunshine at Soldier Hollow

by Nan Chalat Noaker, Record editor

Race director Ed Chauner couldn’t have asked for better weather for the fifth race of this year’s Intermountain Cup Series. After nearly being rained out two weekends ago at the Five Mile Pass Showdown, last Saturday’s blue skies and balmy temperatures at Soldier Hollow were a welcome relief.

The sunshine showcased the venues stunning views and challenging terrain.

"From our perspective, and what I hear from racers, they really like this course. They start and finish in the grass, it’s pretty private, and there are a lot of tempo changes," Chauner said of the scenic climbs, technical single-track, downhills and rolling cross-country stretches.

He was also pleased with the turnout 294 registered mountain bike competitors in a range of categories from beginner to expert.

"That’s a good trend. I’m happy to see the beginners show up. It shows there are a lot of new people coming out."

The Intermountain Cup Series continues most weekends through Aug. 1. The next races are the Stan Crane Memorial Cross Country race in Draper on May 25 followed by the Sundance Spin at Sundance Resort on May 30.

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New this year is a season finale at The Canyons in Park City on Aug. 1.

Chauner said he continues to tinker with the points scoring. He has weighted the top five places a little more which, he said, should please the competitive types who can’t make it to every race.

Absentees can also make up a few points by doing voluntary trail work for organizations like the Mountain Trails Foundation or the U.S. Forest Service. Individual racers can earn 30 points for completing four hours of IMBA/ICUP approved trail maintenance and teams can rack up as much as 100 points. The specific requirements and application forms can be found on the Intermountain Cup website.

On last Saturday’s crowded podium, no one team dominated. Alex Grant from team MonaVie Cannondale earned first place, covering three-and-a-half laps of the 9-mile loop in 2:01:20. Amanda Carey of team Kendra-Tomac-Hayes led the pro women with a time of 2:13:22 for three laps.

Among the Park City contingent, Roxanne Toly earned first place among the expert women. Toly, who races for Jans posted a time of 1:50:51 for two-and-a-half laps. Lara Kendall, racing for White Pine Touring, finished third in that class with a time of 1:53:25.

Jack Dainton, racing for Team Dar finished second among the Expert Men 40+.

Tom Noaker, head coach of The Young Riders, finished third (on a single-speed) in the men’s 50+ division. Other Young Riders in the event included Ethan Fedor, who finished fifth in Sport Expert 13- to 15-year-old class, Parker DeGray, who finished sixth in Sport Expert 16-18 and Blake Wiehe who came in ninth in Sport Expert 16-18.

In the meantime, 15-year-old Keegan Swenson opted out of the 16-18 Junior Expert class and hung on for a respectable fourth place in the 19-29 Expert Men’s group.

Among those beginners that Chauner sees as the future of the sport, Colleen Tvorik of Park City, racing for UtahMountainBiking.com grabbed first place in the beginner women’s division and Julie Chahine was close behind in third. Dylan Noaker, making his debut on the Intermountain circuit for The Young Riders, finished third in the Beginner 13-15 class.

Additional results will be listed in Saturday’s Scoreboard section.