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Wasatch Back 50 - Utah

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |July 29, 2014 12:29 AM
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Wasatch Back 50 - Heber, Utah

Jamey Driscoll Dominates Wasatch Back While Joey Lythgoe Rides Away From the Women


Just east of Heber, Utah, the Riverview trail system played host to a sell-out crowd at this year’s Wasatch Back 50. Just two years after completion the 25-mile loop offered up old-school style racing for the enthusiastic crowd of riders. With a healthy mix of big climbs, fast descents, and a few rocky sections thrown in for good measure the Riverview trail system is a gem of a racecourse.

Following their plan of reversing the course direction each year the organizers of the WB 50 sent the field in a counter-clockwise direction for 2014. Riders enjoyed the new direction, so much so that reverting to clockwise for next season may not be an option.

After the finish, race organizer Ty Hansen had this to say, "We had so many people tell us they really enjoyed this direction we might not be able to go back for next year. We’re really happy so many people came out and enjoyed the event.”

One rider who really seemed to enjoy the new direction was the open women’s champion Joey Lythgoe (Kuhl). The lean climbing specialist devoured the field on the race’s opening 50-minute climb.  Putting time into her competitors over the entire 1,700 vertical feet gained in one massive grind uphill.

Once out front and on the descents Lythgoe was able to hold off a serious challenger in Amanda Carey (Liv/Giant). Carey, a multi-time champion of the NUE series and legitimate endurance superstar, the Liv/Giant rider was admittedly a bit off her game with a nagging ankle injury. She proved no match for Lythgoe who gapped the field riding her way up into the open men’s group that start a minute in front of her.

After 4 hours and 14 minutes the Kuhl rider crossed the line in first over 10 minutes in front of Amanda Carey. Debbie Mortensen (Diamond Peak) soloed in for third place with KC Holley (Kuhl) and Nicole Tittensor (Revolution) finish off the podium.

Much of the excitement in the open men’s race came from cyclocross badass Jamey Driscoll (Raleigh/Clement) making a rare foray into mountain bike racing. Driscoll, who currently resides in nearby Park City, threw his hat into the ring against some of the top pros in the region including Cary Smith (Hub Cyclery) and Chris Holley (Kuhl).

While he may have been outside his chosen specialty Driscoll did not appear to be outside his comfort zone. The Raleigh/Clement rider engineered the first selection putting the rest of the field under stress on the mammoth opening climb. Chris Holley matched Driscoll’s accelerations on the opening slopes of the climb until breaking just before the summit.

"Driscoll got a gap on me just before the top of the climb on lap one,” the Kuhl rider said following the race. "He stretched it out to about two minutes and just stayed there for the rest of the race.”

Indeed the two would finish about 3 minutes apart with Driscoll taking the win.

Holley hadn’t burned all his matches chasing the leader through. He had enough left in the tank to hold off Cary Smith who finished third.

Fourth place came down to an exciting sprint finish between Aaron Campbell (Bountiful Bikes) and Geoff Montague (Blendtec). Montague led in the final singletrack sections, which allowed him a clear path to the finish line just two seconds in front of Campbell.

Race Notes:

The Wasatch Back provided equal payout for the open men and women with each winner taking home $500 and a custom Blendtec blender

Open Men

1,

Jamey Driscoll

Raleigh/Clement

3.41.36

2,

Chris Holley

Kuhl

3.44.34

3,

Cary Smith

The Hub Bikes

3.47.13

4,

Geoff Montague

Blendtec

3.50.37

5,

Aaron Campbell

Bountiful Bicycle

3.50.39

6,

Brandon Firth

Rocky Mountain

3.52.35

7,

Josh Brown

Bountiful Bicycle

3.56.55

8,

Justin Desilets

Hate Furnace

3.58.55

9,

Reed Abbott

4Life/Mad Dog Cycles

4.00.19

10,

Brian Tolbert

Kuhl

4.00.42

11,

Jon Russell

Kuhl

4.02.14

12,

Matthew Turner

Summit Devo

4.02.50

13,

Gabe Klamer

Fitzgerald’s Bicycles

4.04.29

14,

Brock Cannon

Cole Sport

4.06.36

15,

Christian Faatz

Kuhl

4.08.03

16,

Dave Harward

Ski Utah

4.21.42

17,

Stewart Goodwin

Kuhl

4.30.11


Open Women

1,

Joey Lythgoe

Kuhl

4.14.51

2,

Amanda Carey

Liv/Giant

4.25.40

3,

Debbie Mortensen

 

4.37.35

4,

KC Holley

Kuhl

4.42.26

5,

Nicole Tittensor

Revolution

4.45.53


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