Wet trails and the threat of even more rain greeted riders at the chilly, 6am start of the 19th annual Vermont 50 mountain bike race on Sunday. The early start prompted a number of riders to start with lights, an interested twist on the one day 50 miler race format.
Despite the recent rain the course was in good shape, and the singletrack was riding surprisingly well. One rider who took advantage was Ted King (Liquigas). The Pro Tour road racer scorched the course in an unofficial course record time of 4:05:58 despite the less than ideal conditions.
And though King's win was never really in doubt, there was some drama behind him. Matthew O'Keefe (Cannondale), and Will Letendre battled it out for second, eventually sprinting to a tie on the course's downhill finish. A little further back, Matt Williams (Epic Brewing) was working his way through the first wave starters (riders start by age group, with younger riders starting in the second wave) to claim 5th place overall.
On the women's side Kelly Ault (Mountain Moxie) was able to eek out the win just over a minute ahead of former VT 50 winner Bryna Blanchard. Ault's Mountain Moxie teammate Kim Quinlan took 4th and former Moxie Heather Steinhour took 5th in what was a banner day for the Vermont-based team.
As has been the case since year one, the Vermont 50 was a fundraiser for Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports. All proceeds from the race will go to help disabled athletes participate in skiing and other sports in Vermont.
1. Ted King (Liquigas) 4:05:58
2. Will Letendre 4:16:42
3. Matthew O'Keefe (Cannondale) 4:16:42
4. Neal Burton 4:25:57
5. Matt Williams (Epic Brewing) 4:30:09
1. Kelly Ault (Mountain Moxie) 5:22:24
2. Bryna Blanchard 5:33:35
3. Megan Smith 5:30:36
4. Kim Quinlan (Mountain Moxie) 5:43:24
5. Heather Steinhour 6:13:13
For full results visit: http://www.barttiming.com/summer/results12/2012vt50-1.pdf