Tough day for Van Dine
There was a collective sigh from the local crowd when Park City’s Chris Van Dine went down in a crash midway through the day at the Jeep 48STRAIGHT Mountain Bike Series at The Canyons on Saturday.
Van Dine made it through a Friday full of qualifying to make it into the round of 16 in the finals. However, on the first run of the third round, Van Dine was battling Czech Petr Hanak through the challenging mountainside course when he slipped a pedal going over a berm midway through the run.
"When your foot hits the ground, you’re done," said Van Dine.
The error cost him a 1.5-second penalty on the second run. Rain began to fall before his second time down. He tried to put on the jets and coast down the course to make up for the 1.5 second loss and qualify for the finals, but had to slow down near the end to avoid slipping on the muddy ground. His efforts paid off with a fast run that earned him a 1.2 second victory, but he was still three-tenths too slow to make it to the final round.
"That’s an expensive three-tenths," he laughed.
Van Dine was still all smiles after the race.
"I was having a blast," he said.
And the spill did nothing to Van Dine’s solid fifth place in the season standings.
"It’s not a disappointment," Van Dine said. "That’s racing. I’m happy to be here in front of my family and friends."
Van Dine’s positive attitude goes along with the laid-back approach he has been taking to racing all season.
"There aren’t a lot of bad days anymore," Van Dine said. "I’m healthy and enjoying it."
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Park City officials are preparing to take what is considered to be an important step in protecting the Treasure land from wildfires. City Hall in early June requested proposals from firms interested in the work.