in its fourth year, the 80 mile Park City Point to Point (PCP2P) is one of just
two sanctioned National Ultra Endurance Series events with a distance shorter
than 100 miles. By the end of the day, weather
conditions and a critically downed course marking would both play a role in the
outcome of the race.
thunderstorms and pounding rains delayed the start of the race by one hour with
race director, Jay Burke, opting to put safety first with his decision to delay
the race by one hour. To help make up for lost time, the round valley loop was
removed, intended to help put racers back on schedule. Within an hour, however,
the race kicked off like bees from the hive as storms gave way to blue skies
for most of the day, along with favorable mild temperatures. Later, as if in a
show of defiance, the storms would return, briefly.
Grant makes it four in a row!
defending PCP2P champion Alex Grant of the Cannondale Factory Team made it four
in a row 5:50:51, continuing his dominance
in Park City. According to Grant, "The Park City Point 2 Point is one of the
most fun, but also the hardest, races that I do all year. I knew it was going
to be a tough battle and before the race there had been some talk of the four-peat.
I tried not to put too much pressure on myself and focused on preparing the
best I could. I knew it would be a hard year with riders Ben Sonntag (BikehausDurango),
Josh Tostado(Santa Cruz/Maxxis.Shimano), Carey Smith (Team CF), Nick Truitt (Yeti
Pactimo Pro XC), Ben Melt Swanepoel (Squirt Lube), Jason Sager and Drew Edsall
(Kenda/Felt) in attendance in addition to the usual strong Utah locals.
morning threw another variable in the equation with pounding rain and wicked
thunderstorms. I wasn't sure if we would race or not, but luckily it stopped
and we got to race most all of the course. Since the trail conditions were
unknown, I jumped into the singletrack first to have a clean line. It was a
little wet in spots with a lot of puddles, but overall trail conditions were
about 30 minutes, Ben Sonntag took up the lead and started to put some more
pressure on, shedding most riders. By the time we started the main climb up to
Deer Valley, Nick Truitt was the only rider left with us. We rode a strong pace
up to Silver Lake and eventually shed Nick as well. After that point, it was
just "The German" and I ripping perfect singletrack for most of the
day, pushing each other and enjoying the trails at the same time.
three hours in, we hit the Steps climb and I got away from Ben on the steep
switchbacks. I was still climbing well and figured that I should try to keep
the pressure on while I felt good and stayed on the gas. I ended up keeping the
lead and taking my fourth win, which was a great feeling. Ben put in a great
performance in his first P2P and finished about four minutes back.
again the P2P didn't disappoint, with most riders I talked to agreeing that is
was one of the best endurance mountain bike events they had done all year. For
the fourth year running I agree!”
than five minutes later, Sonntag crossed the line at 5:55:14, the only two in
the Men’s Open to go sub six on the day.
strongman, Josh Tostado, multiple winner of the Breckenridge 100, including
this year, moved up to six place overall in the NUE Series, finishing third on
the day at 6:13:17. Two minutes behind Tostado, Carey Smith claimed fourth 6:15:37,
moving him up to second place in the NUE Series behind his teammate and NUE
Series defending champion, Christian Tanguy (Team CF). Tanguy was registered
for the Shenandoah 100 in Virginia which takes place the following day, on
claimed fifth in 6:20:19 with Yuki Ikeda (Topeak/Ergon) at 6:25:47 and Sam
Sweetser (Cole Sport Racing) 6:26:57 finishing close, in sixth and seventh
Carey repeats at Park City!
a second straight year, Two-time Kenda NUE Defending Champion, Amanda Carey
(Kenda/Felt) notched her second straight win at Park City, and her sixth win in
the NUE Series this year, completing the course in 7:16:46, "I knew that I probably would be carrying some fatigue
from the Breck Epic and then having done a very hard 100 the weekend before
Breck, so I was totally expecting a slower start out of myself.
didn't feel bad, but I didn't feel great at the beginning. I got knocked off my
bike at the hole-shot and Jenny got about six riders ahead of me on that
forever-long singletrack climb so I just kept losing more and more time. Then I
got stuck behind slower descenders who had passed me on the up. I wasn't going
that slow...but I just happened to be going slower than two other very strong
women for the first three hours of the race!
know that the second half of the PCP2P is the hardest part. Once you get past
Aid 1, the climbing becomes more than just pumping out watts. It starts to get
increasingly technical on the ups and the downs. It takes more handling and
focus with power. I knew all that and refused to panic and blow myself up
chasing the leaders early on. I was third for quite a while and receiving
splits for the first five hours that just kept putting me farther and farther
behind…but I know myself, my style, my own abilities so I never gave up and
just stayed patient.
last time I got a split at the bottom of Johns (right before the awful Steps
climb) pretty much between Aid 1 and 2, I was already down by 7 minutes. I
almost always come on stronger at the second half of races. I knew that if I
could just keep it together until the Silver Lake climb, stay focused, have
some fun on the super sweet Park City trails, I'd make up a lot of time on the
descent to Park City Mountain Resort and then could hopefully open it up on the
final leg to the Canyons.
the time I reached Aid 2, I had Jenny in my sights. I played it smart and shut
down the two minute gap during the first half of the Spiro/Armstrong climb up
to Mid-mountain. I caught Jenny and from there just pushed the pace as hard as
I could to the finish.
rode a dually for a reason-I knew it would be a lot to haul around the first 30
miles but the PCP2P is almost always won in the last 25 miles. The mid-mountain
trail is super rough, rocky and takes a lot of pedaling on bumpy stuff to keep
going fast from PCMR to the Canyons.”
Holley (MAD DOG/4LIFE) rolled in second at 7:24:57 followed closely by Jenny
Smith (No Tubes Women’s Elite) 7:25:56. Smith commented, "I felt really
comfortable and built a lead which was great. Knowing Amanda would come on
I descended a jeep road with two others that we weren’t meant to cross. We just
misinterpreted the course markings thinking it lead us down. This occurred about
two miles before the second feed zone. Realizing the error and climbing back up
the hill, I lost a solid five minutes, maybe more, and it frazzled me too, so I
came into the final feed zone maybe thirty seconds in front of Amanda. She
stormed the course out of there and I was unable to hang. But I did pull it
back together to finish strong. Last year this race was, honestly, possibly the
hardest I'd ever done, so I was super stoked to put it back in perspective
yesterday and finished worked over, but thinking it was fun! Shout out to the
organizers for their work and equal payout.”
place went to Katherine O’Shea (Torq Nutrition) 7:38:04 with Erin Swenson (3B Yoga)
claiming fifth 7:52:04. All of the top five women finished sub eight hours. The highly anticipated matchup between Carey
and Mata may have to wait another year. For a second straight year, Pua Mata
(Sho-Air) from Yucaipa, CA, although registered, failed to show.
Larrabee wins but several other
racers go off course
Larrabee (Revolution/Kuhl) was one of just two to break sub seven in the
Singlespeed division. Larrabee finished first 6:38:32 after finishing second last year. Jason Sherman (3B YOGA, Park Sports) rolled in just over six minutes back at 6:44:55 to snag second.
Linnell (Fitzgerald's Bicycles/Misfit Psycles), an NUE contender, in the
running for a podium finish nationally in the NUE Series was, unfortunately,
one of eight racers who missed a downed turn sign before unknowingly, rejoining
the course later in front of Sherman.
to race official Shannon Boffeli, "Due to heavy rain and difficult course
conditions, several riders made a wrong turn that took them off course and
immediately back on, cutting out a 2-mile section of trail. Upon hearing of the
course deviation, officials identified the confusing turn and, after fixing it,
determined riders who took the cutoff missed 20 minutes of riding. At the
finish, riders who missed the turn and eliminated that portion of the course
were given a 20 minute time correction.
result of the time correction, both Dax Massey ((Honey Stinger/Light &
Motion) and AJ Linnell (Fitzgerald's Bicycles/Misfit Psycles), earned race day
awards for second and third place without protest.
for all eight racers, including Massey and Linnell, NUE rules expressly forbid
a race director from adding or taking time away from a racer for any reason.
The racer either completed the course or is disqualified.
NUE Series rule: For the sake of the integrity of the National Series, No participating
Race Director of the National Series will have the right to alter race times
for any reason! This includes deducting or adding time to a racer for any
reason. A racer’s time must be based solely on actual time. The racer either
completed the entire course or is DSQ’d for not completing the entire course.
This rule will insure that the results of the national series will be based
strictly on finish times and the series will not be decided by a ruling by any
participating race director.
Linnell expressed mixed feelings about the race, "My PCP2P this year was super
fun, and then really disappointing. I felt like I had a strong race, riding the
first half with Corey and then chasing Dax for the rest. Rolling through the finish line I thought I
had come in really well, and then Jay came up and told us that we had actually
cut a portion of the course! I still
have no idea when it happened, but apparently Dax and I were in a group of 7 or
8 guys that missed a hairpin turn. The
problem is that the course continued up the hill, a little way over, so we
didn't know we had missed anything and then we were following markings
upshot is that (PCP2P Official) Shannon Boffeli went out and rode the section
we missed in 16 minutes, so he and race director, Jay Burke, decided to add 15
minutes to our times and give us the finish. That seemed like a bummer for Corey since it put him just a few minutes
back and it's impossible to know how long it would have actually taken Dax and me
to complete that portion of the course after 40 miles of riding, so I pitched
the idea of making it a 20-minute penalty to give Corey the win and Dax and
myself second and third respectively, which was still weird for Dax and me, after
putting in the effort that we did.
me, personally, the bigger bummer is that NUE rules dictate that any racer who
doesn't complete the entire course is automatically declared a DNF for that
race--no exceptions. Thus, I am no
longer a contender for the NUE Series singlespeed division; I needed to finish
the P2P as my fourth race this season. It's clear that Gerry (Pflug) is probably going to win the series again,
but I thought I was a contender for second. Most of the course was well-marked, but I've spoken with a number of
people who missed that turn in their pre-ride and anticipated it being a
problem, especially with the rest of the course continuing up the hill 30
meters away. It's just a huge bummer to
blow my series standing as a result.”
Race Director Jay Burke added, "This was a very crazy day in Park City. We hadn't had rain, let alone major
thunderstorms, all summer. So this
really took a toll on the course and us all week. As for those racers that missed the turn on
course, trust me, we feel as bad as they do.
already made a commitment to change the course for next year so we have no
areas that are so close together like that. Because of the nature of the day,
we made a determination to not DQ any of those racer’s, we applied a +20 minute
penalty, and moved forward with the day. In the grander view of the day, things could have gone much worse, we're
truly just happy everyone made it home safe Saturday afternoon. We're already looking forward to next year!”
PCP2P results show: Dax and Linnell as second and
third place respectively.
NUE Series point standing results show that Mike Barklow (Just for
Fun Racing) finished third in 7:21:48, Jacob Whipple (Methow Cycle Sport/Blue Star
Coffee) fourth at 7:23:47, Derrick Batley fifth at 7:35:01.
Duran Gets the Masters Victory!
Duran (Scott Sports) put twenty minutes on the field, winning in just 7:21:51. When Duran learned that his
finish put him in first place, he replied "I really didn’t know where I was
among the master’s in the race”
second, Andy Leifer (Team Evergreen Racing/ Willas Wheels) came in at 7:41:00,
"Good day, but a very tough course. I awoke Saturday morning at 5am to thunder
and lightning, followed by solid rain for an hour and a half. At 6 am, the race director equivocates for an
hour and a half. "We'll meet at 7am and decide if we are going at 8am or
not.” At 7:15 he gathers the racers
together and tries to get us to make the call for him. "Who wants to go today?” Show of hands… "Who wants to go tomorrow?”
Ended up split 50-50, so he finally says, "we’ll try today and cut off the
Round Valley section”.
was standing water in the trail for the first 20 miles but it never actually
rained on me during the race which was miraculous! The race was almost
exclusively single track with a climb-descent pattern throughout the day.
Extended, but generally flowing ups, with pounding descents made for no rest.
section from TG to the base of Park City had trails that were very tight with
aspen trees, requiring real concentration not to hit a tree. In addition, there
were super rocky intermittently technical bursts alternating with more
relentless grinds that occurred three times, each lasting 3-5 miles in length.
These were punctuated by speedy hairball rocky grinding down hills that were
without any rest, even along sections of 33.8 mph 200 yard screamer speed-ups.
many turns were well-marked except for the bottom of Boulder Trail where we
were supposed to make a hard switchback up to the left that was completely
unmarked. I missed this turn and so did
several others a ways behind me. I
popped out onto Hwy 224 (The Guardsmen Road up above Park City) where I looked
around, riding in circles and searching for the trail, until someone who happened
to be standing around near some parked cars told me I had missed the turn and
had to go back. Went up to the trail,
saw some others turning back, missed the turn again, and fortunately saw people
above me going the right way. Back
around I went and when I got to the missed turn, a course official was there
sticking flags into the ground to mark the turn. Ironically, I found every other turn on the
course to be really well marked, primarily with orange spray paint on loose
rocks or arrows sprayed directly onto the ground. It made me wonder, only in retrospect, about
course sabotage on that one turn. After
the finish, I heard some rumor about others nearer the front getting turned off
course somewhere as well.
of the Bailey Hundo, Breck 100, Leadville 100, Desert Rats 100k, Gunnison
Growler, and some Winter Park Race Series events, the Park City Point to Point
was, by far, the most punishing.”
third, just two minutes back was Kevin Moffett (4 Life/Maddog) in 7:43:54. Just
over five minutes later, fourth place went to Jeff Sumsion (Park City
Orthodontics) 7:49:34. With his fifth place finish in 7:56:59, Mark Hershberger
(Team Jackson Hole/Hoback Sports), who won the Pierre’s Hole 100 earlier this
year, moved up to second place in the NUE Series Overall Standings.
more information on the PCP2P, contact Jay Burke at 801.330.3214 or
email@example.com, or visit www.thepcpp.com.
National Ultra Endurance Race Series Information, www.nuemtb.com
Stay tuned right here for reports
from NUE Series #11 from the Shenandoah 100 in Virginia