Pedalfest competitors brave snow at Deer Valley | ParkRecord.com
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Pedalfest competitors brave snow at Deer Valley

Tom Noaker, Head Coach, Young Riders Race Team

With the thermometer stuck at 30 degrees and only the lower portion of the course visible through clouds and snow, race director Ed Chauner made the 7 a.m. decision to race on schedule with shortened distances.

The Young Riders were dispatched from their parking lot huddle at 8:15 a.m. for their warm up on Royal Street. Near the top they were met by their team van and shuttled to the start line.

Coach Justin Grisham applied the Belgian solution — a sort of hot sauce for the legs, while the van heater pumped out the BTUs. Just before the start, the team spilled from the van onto their bikes and into the race.

Pro team treatment at this level carries some expectations and the Young Riders delivered.

Keegan Swenson opened an early gap and expanded it to a five-minute lead. He could have stopped for a hot chocolate on his way to victory in the Expert 16-18 division. Teammate Conor Matthews moved steadily through the field to close in on second place until a wrong turn late in the race resulted in a DNF. A turkey sandwich later he was able to laugh about the mistake but his teammates won’t let him forget.

Parker Degray won his second consecutive victory in the Expert 13-15 division by covering the shortened one-lap race in 40:24. Hunt Williams, who suffered a season-ending fractured clavicle at this event last year, placed second in 42:11. Blake Wiehe (42:50) completed the podium sweep in third, while Ethan Fedor, racing in his first event this season, placed eighth in 47:32.

Alex Gordon continued to improve his position in the Expert 19-29 division by moving up another spot to fifth in 1:18:44.

The Young Riders compete next at Deer Valley in the NORBA National Series on June 28.


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