Park City Point 2 Point

Larissa Connors Repeats and Alex Grant Makes Crushes in his Return to the Point 2 Point

Written by: Shannon Boffeli @pearlizumi_pivotmtb_team

Saturday saw the 10th edition of the Park City Point 2 Point endurance mountain bike race in Park City, Utah.

In it’s tenth year, and ninth consecutive sellout, the Point 2 Point reached new heights in racer satisfaction and competition. With a field of 350 hearty souls and some the North America’s best mountain bike racers toeing the line, the Point 2 Point got rolling just as the sun crested the mountains; seventy-five miles of endless singletrack and over 10,000 feet of climbing lay ahead.

Riders come from all over to enjoy and suffer on the miles and miles of Park City’s gold certified mountain bike trails capping off the racing season and hopefully taking home some cash and prizes too.

The sun rises on the 10th edition of the PCP2P. Photo by: Jay Dash

Giving away almost $12,000 in cash for podium finishers and thousands more in prizes, the Point 2 Point gives riders everything they could imagine and more. And once they throw in unique prizes like the “I am Somebody Prize,” a free Scott bike that goes to a randomly selected race finisher and the Red Lantern prize package, every participant has a chance to come away with more than just an exceptional singletrack experience.

This year’s event saw top-notch riders like Geoff Kabush (Yeti/Maxxis), teammates Ben Sonntag and Russell Finsterwald (Clif), Aussie Ryan Standish (Orange Seal/Merida), 6-time P2P winner Alex Grant (Cannondale/Gear Rush), Jamey Driscoll (Pivot/Maxxis), and youngster Zach Calton (Spry/Legacy).

The leaders started off on what seemed a leisurely pace for the first hour before Jamey Driscoll heated things up getting off the front and creating the first selection of the day.

The chase group made contact with Driscoll around mile 30, with all the top talent still represented in the group. Rob Squire briefly gave it a go trying to break things up on the long Corvair and John’s trail descents but couldn’t shake the top talent.

Alex Grant rolls through the aspens on his way to a win. Photo by: Jay Dash

On the subsequent climb Finsterwald, Grant, and impressive 21-year-old Zach Calton began their rise to the top of the race.

At the Park City feedzone, mile-53 in the race, this trio attacked the final big climb of the day wheel to wheel. The climb up Armstrong trail is over 1,000 vertical feet of winding singletrack and unrelenting elevation gain. It has also been the location of the decisive attack in each of Alex Grant’s six previous P2P wins.

“We we’re rolling up Armstrong at a pretty good pace,” Grant shared after the finish. “Russell was leading and seemed to be feeling strong. I could feel Zach suffering a little bit and suddenly Russell said ‘I gotta stop’. I wasn’t sure what was up.”

After a few soft pedals to see if Finsterwald would continue on, Grant decided this was his time to go. The Cannondale rider flexed his climbing muscles and quickly opened a gap on his breakaway compatriots.

Behind the leader, Calton moved into the runner-up spot as Finsterwald was forced to dismount to negotiate a natural break of a secondary nature.

Sonntag, Standish, Driscoll, and Kabush were chasing hard behind.

Calton started to feel the first 55 miles in this final stretch and drifted back to the chasers with the Clif duo of Finsterwald and Sonntag shuffling Calton into the four spot.

In the end, no one could bring Alex Grant back. After missing several years because of injury and family life, Grant was back on the top step of the Park City Point 2 Point taking the win by over 4 minutes. This time greeted by his wife and daughters at the finish line.

Grant, the lone leader, was followed by Russell Finsterwald who was just seconds in front of his teammate Ben Sonntag.

Zach Calton looked poised to take the final podium spot. He put his head down sprinting toward what he thought was the line. In heartbreaking fashion however he missed the final turn into the finish. Calton was in sight of the finish line arch as dozens of spectators yelled, waived, jumped up and down and did anything they could to get his attention.

Sadly for the youngster, by the time he had corrected his route Jamey Driscoll and Geoff Kabush had snuck in to take the final step on the podium. Calton, recent winner of the Crusher in the Tushar, would have to settle for sixth.

Kabush had put in his familiar fast finish over the last 20 miles of the race. The former Canadaian national champion passed Standish on his way to the finish before disaster struck almost within sight of the line.

“I was on the final rocky descent and things were going really well until they weren’t.” said a bruised and battered Kabush at the finish. “I felt like I was downhilling really fast until I hooked a tree and ended up on the ground.”

Unfortunately for the Canadian, he went down on the Iron Bill descent which has almost no actual “ground’ as it is mostly just rocks piled on top of rocks. Kabush limped in for the final podium spot with torn up shorts, a bleeding hip, deep abrasions down his back, and a deep laceration on his left elbow that would require stitches to close.

One of the most talented women’s field ever assembled for the Park City Point 2 Point took the start Saturday morning. Defending champion Larissa Connors (Twenty20/Felt) would be challenged by previous P2P winner Evelyn Dong (Spry Cycles/NoTubes), Singletrack 6 winner and Canadian Jena Greaser (Gear Hub Sports/Rocky Mountain), Aspen Power of 4 winner Marlee Dixon (Pearl Izumi/Pivot), and 23-year-old Luna rider Hannah Finchamp.

As she did last year, Larrisa Connors got off to a fast start already opening up a big lead by the first feed zone at Deer Valley resort. Not far behind was Evelyn Dong and Marlee Dixon  who followed in third after getting past Greaser and Finchamp.

Larissa Connors flashes her characteristic smile on course. Photo by: Jay Dash

Connors appeared to be on a tear as she crested the first big climb before the Corvair descent. Dong continued to occupy the runner-up spot followed by Dixon with Finchamp closing in.

Dixon was able to hold off her challenger through the aspen-tree-maze of John’s trail but on the subsequent climb Finchamp’s climbing legs kicked in and she caught and passed Dixon opening up a several minute gap before the next descent where Dixon closed down the advantage to mere seconds before Finchamp dealt the final blow on the Armstrong climb.

All the action behind did nothing to bring back the sole leader as Larissa Connors’ lead continued to grow reaching just over 10 minutes by the finish.

Evelyn Dong rolled in second followed by Finchamp and Dixon in fourth.

The final podium spot of the day went to KC Holley (Kuhl) who is a veteran of the P2P and turned in one of her best rides overcoming Greaser, Meghan Sheridan (Bingham’s), and Nicole Tittensor (Scott) on her way to the podium.

Open women’s podium. Photo by: Jay Dash

As impressive a win as it was for Connors, what she did after the race was perhaps the highlight of her performance.

For the second year in a row, Connors, a school teacher, donated her $2,000 winner’s check to the Summit Bike Club junior development program. And after 75 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing Connors took her turn on the podium, grabbed a bite to eat and went out to ride another 28 miles. Why? Because she wanted to get over 100 miles in for the day.

Congratulations aren’t hard to find for P2P finishers. Photo by: Jay Dash

With all the podiums done and most the riders on their way home one prize was left for Jay Burke and the Park City Point 2 Point staff to hand out: The Red Lantern Prize Pack. An annual recognition of the final rider to cross the finish line, the red lantern is a special acknowledgement of the rider who pushed themselves the most to earn the title of Point 2 Point finisher.

This year’s lantern went to open women’s rider Lucie Kayser-Bril. Kayser-Bril dug deep and persevered to finish with a time of 12 hours and 45 minutes. Crossing the finish line just before dark with her husband and children cheering her in.

Over six hours after race leader Alex Grant finished, Lucie Kayser-Bril marked a successful end to the tenth edition of Utah’s premier mountain bike event; the Park City Point 2 Point.

Click Here for full results from the Park City Point 2 Point 

Larissa Connors prepares to chow down on a well deserved post race meal. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

 

 

 

 

 

 

Park City Point 2 Point

Keegan Swenson Takes Sprint Victory Over Todd Wells While Larissa Connors Dominates the Women’s Field

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

Saturday morning, the backcountry mountain bike spectacle known as the Park City Point 2 Point sounded the start canon. The race that normally ushers in Utah’s colorful fall blasted off but none of the cool temps, changing foliage, or damp hero dirt that usually accompany the event were on hand. Instead, summer conditions were in full force in the Utah high country.

The forecasted temperatures in Park City were hotter than ever but so was the competition at the 9th annual Point 2 Point. With a $2,000 winners purse the Point 2 Point always draws some top talent but 2017 featured a faster-than-ever group of men vying for the top positions. Highlights of that group included former national champions Todd Wells (Scott/Troy Lee) and Geoff Kabush (Scott), defending P2P champion Keegan Swenson (Cannondale), who passed up a trip to the world championships for a shot at defending his title, as well as a host of ultra-endurance honchos like Construction Zone Racing/Scott Sports teammates Kyle Trudeau and Fernando Riveros-Paez, Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar), and Justin Lindine.

Todd Wells cuts through the early morning sunlight. Angie Harker/Selective Vision

Right from the gun it was clear this year’s P2P was going to be like no other. An hour in, despite miles of singletrack, no fewer than a dozen riders still occupied the lead group, and they were rolling fast.

Another hour of climbing only managed to dislodge two riders as a pack of 10 powered through the Deer Valley feed led by ’15 P2P champ Robbie Squire. All the top riders were represented with Geoff Kabush biding his time a few bike lengths off the back.

Around the halfway point, Swenson attacked, pushing the pace into the long enduro segment on the Corvair trail. A move that worked for him in 2016, Swenson popped more riders from the lead group but couldn’t shake Wells. By the time he entered the aspen-rooted maze known as John’s Trail, Swenson and Wells established a gap of a few seconds over the rest of the lead group.

Geoff Kabush rode to third place in his inaugural P2P. Photo by: Angie Harker/Selective Vision

The two leaders stayed wheel to wheel and Kabush rejoined the affair as they climbed up and around Shadow Lake, the high-point of the race. As they descended down the 20-minute Crescent Mine Grade trail Kabush would blow a tire before they reached Park City Resort (Support Station #3), dropping him back a little more than 5 minutes.

With just over 20 miles left the lead duo now had a 2-minute gap on Kyle Trudeau and Ben Sonntag and over 5 minutes on Canadian, Geoff Kabush.

Wells and Swenson continued their two-man battle over the final mix of climbs, rocky descents, and unbroken singletrack from Park City Resort to the new finish line outside Skullcandy headquarters.

An unregistered participant spotted on course. Angie Harker/Selective Vision

After 75 miles the race came down to a sprint finish. Wells took the early lead out on the slightly downhill paved bike path that made up the final 200 meters of the Point 2 Point course. Swenson tucked in behind as both riders built up speed all along the finishing stretch. In fact, they were coming so fast that race director Jay Burke had to clear all the spectators from the finishing venue and pull up stakes on the finishing chute to make room for the elbow-to-elbow battle.

Both riders powered out of the saddle in their biggest gears, surging toward the line with Swenson popping out of the draft in perfect slingshot position to nip Wells at the line and take his second Point 2 Point title.

Eric Porter manuals his way to the finish line. Angie Harker/Selective Vision

Geoff Kabush made an impressive final surge, posting the fastest time over the final 20 miles, taking minutes out of the leaders but coming up just short only a minute and a half behind at the finish.

Ben Sonntag rolled in for fourth just in front of Kyle Trudeau.

The ladies of the 2017 Point 2 Point provided their own firepower for this ultra-endurance event.

Larissa Connors smiling her way through the 75-mile P2P course. Photo by: Angie Harker/Selective Vision

Past winner Evelyn Dong (Liv) made her return to Park City and the P2P. Hannah Bingham (Eriksen), winner of the Steamboat Stinger, made her debut at the race as did TransSylvania Epic winner Kaysee Armstrong (Liv). Recent Pierre’s Hole 100k champion Caedran Harvey (Fitzgerald’s) was also on hand along with Breck 100 and Lutsen 99er champion Larissa Connors (Twenty20/Felt).

From the start the pace was high as Connors and Armstrong jumped to the front opening gaps early on.

Kaysee Armstrong testing her legs out west. Angie Harker/Selective Vision

Connors quickly established herself as the early leader though, pulling away from Armstrong and the rest of the field in the winding one-track of Round Valley. The early climbs certainly didn’t slow Connors either as she steadily opened a gap to the chasers while picking off riders in the open men’s field that started in front of her.

A battle for second was brewing behind the lone leader however, Firecracker 50 winner Marlee Dixon (Pivot/DNA Cycling) was riding just in front of Caedran Harvey as both riders climbed past Deer Valley and Shadow Lake over 50 miles into the race.

Dixon held about a minute lead until both riders entered the Park City feed together. Harvey left the feed just in front of Dixon and despite having several thousand feet of climbing in front of her, Harvey started to feel her best form of the day coming on.

Harvey made the best of it, putting almost 10 minutes into Dixon in the last 20 miles. Despite Caedran’s impressive surge Connors was too far-gone to even think about bringing back.

Larissa Connors had such a good day in fact that at the finish her time would have placed her in the top-20 of a stacked open men’s field.

After just over 7 hours of riding Connors crossed the line to claim another win in her long list of ultra-endurance triumphs this summer. In a surprise move Connors donated her entire $2,000 prize purse to the Summit Bike Club, a local youth mountain bike development team.

Connors took the win by almost 30 minutes over second-placed Caedran Harvey. Marlee Dixon held on for third over past P2P winner Evelyn Dong who finished fourth. Hannah Bingham took the final podium spot in fifth.

Once all the excitement, awards, and money had been dispersed the final finisher was still on course. Although the fastest finishers cross the line in just over 6 hours most riders in the Park City Point 2 Point take much longer to cross the line.

Josh Murphree collects the red lantern award after completing his first P2P. Angie Harker/Selective Vision

Each year the P2P saves a special prize package for the Red Lantern, the final racer on course, recognizing the incredible effort of the rider who spent the longest time on their bike and persevered to the finish. This year Josh Murphree took home the Red Lantern prize who in his second attempt at the Point 2 Point finished the 75-mile course in 12 hours 52 minutes and looked surprisingly fresh doing so.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL RESULTS

PHOTO GALLERY

 

 

Park City Point 2 Point Report – Park City, Utah

Local Boy Keegan Swenson Sets New Course Record at Point 2 Point and Gretchen Reeves Takes Her Second P2P Title

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

In it’s 8th year the Park City Point 2 Point continues to establish itself as a favorite of racers throughout the country. Over 75 miles, the Point 2 Point circumnavigates the resort town of Park City, Utah, traversing the Wasatch mountains and the two world-class ski resorts of Deer Valley and Park City/Canyons.

A classic fall scene greeted the riders as the maples of the Wasatch range speckled the 9,000 foot peaks with shades of red and yellow and temperatures on race day hovered in the mid-seventies. Overnight rains tamped down the dust on a landscape that hadn’t seen rain in almost 80 days.

Pro women roll off the start line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Pro women roll off the start line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Riders were twitching with anticipation as Fruit Loops, fired from a potato gun, rained from the sky signifying the start of the race.

And they were off, 350 riders of all experience levels, taking on the truly unique challenge of a course that’s 75-miles in length with a whooping 10,000 vertical feet of climbing spread across over 95% singletrack riding providing every rider a top-notch mountain bike adventure.

In the open men’s group everyone expected a showdown between Park City native Keegan Swenson (Cannondale), who also happens to be one of the United States top world cup racers, last year’s winner Rob Squire (Felt/Assos), and multi-year Point 2 Point runner-up Ben Sonntag (Clif Bar).

Keegan Swenson leads Ben Sonntag not long before Swenson decides to go solo. Photo by: Selective Vision

Keegan Swenson leads Ben Sonntag not long before Swenson decides to go solo. Photo by: Selective Vision

The trio didn’t disappoint as the created a clear separation early in the race and continued to power away from the chasers.

Around mile 32, the three leaders approached the base of the Team Big Bear climb, the steepest of the race’s early climbs, Swenson’s pace opened a slight gap that Sonntag was unable to cover. Squire attacked around the Clif Bar rider in an effort to close the gap but the separation stayed.

“I felt it might be a little early for me to be on my own,” Swenson shared after the finish, “But I figured if I kept Robbie off my wheel on the descents and didn’t let him follow my line I could keep putting time on him.”

The strategy seemed to work as Swenson crushed the enduro segment by over a minute on Squire and Sonntag.

Cary Smith took the singlespeed title in Park City and finished in 6th overall.

Cary Smith took the singlespeed title in Park City and finished in 6th overall.

With some climbing mixed in, Swenson went to work on the John’s trail, Powerline, and Crescent Mine Grade descents and had over 8 minutes in hand by the time he reached the Park City feedzone at mile 55. Still looking fresh with an all-but-insurmountable gap all that was left for the young Cannondale phenom was the course record, set by his teammate and 6-time Point 2 Point winner Alex Grant, of 6:16:31.

Meanwhile, Squire was doing his best to hold off Sonntag. Powering through the climbs, the defending champ was looking good until a high-speed rock garden on the Crescent Mine Grade descent stopped him dead with two flat tires. He used his only CO2 cartridge to air up the rear but was forced to ride a flat front tire the rest of the way down to the feedzone at Park City. He was still holding onto the second spot at this point but Sonntag came and left the Park City feed while Squire’s bike was still in the repair stand.

Once his tires were aired up Squire remounted and produced an all out chase but Sonntag knows how to pace himself and had plenty left in the tank to punch through the final 20 miles and hold off Squire to the finish.

Out front most of the day, Keegan Swenson steered clear of any trouble and hammered his way through the final sections of the course in record time. He crossed the line 15 minutes in front of second place with an incredible finish time of 6:11:04 to take home the $2,000 race winner’s purse plus an extra $100 for posting the fastest time in the enduro segment.

Keegan Swenson looking relaxed after laying down an unbelievable time in his hometown of Park City. Photo by: Selective Vision

Keegan Swenson looking relaxed after laying down an unbelievable time in his hometown of Park City. Photo by: Selective Vision

Sonntag crossed the line with a time that would have won in 2015 of 6:26:00. Rob Squire put his misfortune behind him for third place at 6:33:17.

Behind the leaders, Point 2 Point veteran Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport) was putting on a clinic on overcoming adversity. Somewhere around the horribly steep Steps climb, about mile 45, Sweetser felt his saddle break. “I could feel it crack and start to sag in the middle but it was still rideable,” Sweetser later relayed.

Just a mile or two later Sweetser stood on a climb and when he sat down the saddle was gone and only rails remained. “I tried to stand for the whole climb up and around Shadow Lake but at some point you just have to sit again.”

So for the next 10 miles the Cole Sport rider made-do with metal rails for a seat until he reached the Pack City feed and a friend quickly swapped the saddle of his bike for Sweetser’s.

Sweetser said the next 20 miles were the toughest of any Point 2 Point he has done but he proved strong enough to hold off David Krimstock (Giant) for fourth.

The Flynn Twins charging to the finish. George leads Bart through some final sections of single track. Photo by: Selective Vision

The Flynn Twins charging to the finish. George leads Bart through some final sections of single track. Photo by: Selective Vision

Carbondale, Colorado, rider Krimstock took fifth just in front of the Flynn twins, George and Bart, who sprinted for the finish crossing less than a second apart respectively.

The women’s group packed equal punch with previous winner Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe’s), multi-year runner-up Marlee Dixon (Pivot/DNA Cycling), Canada’s U23 national champion in 2011 Mikaela Kofman (Ridebiker/Liv), reigning collegiate cyclocross national champion Sofia Gomez-Villafane, and local speedster Nicole Tittensor (Scott).

The front group formed quickly after the start with Kofman, Reeves, Dixon, and Gomez-Villafane establishing an early lead.

Gretchen Reeves leads Mikaela Kofman at mile 30. Photo by: Selective Vision

Gretchen Reeves leads Mikaela Kofman at mile 30. Photo by: Selective Vision

Kofman and Reeves would break away to form a lead group surging ahead on the climbs and rollers in Round Valley and on their way to Deer Valley Resort.

At the first aid station the leaders held a solid lead with Reeves looking fresh and cruising through the feedzone while Kofman made a stop to fill her bottle.

The leaders then attacked the Team Big Bear climb where Kofman was able to all but close the gap to Reeves before the next feedzone at Guardsman Pass when Kofman again stopped and appeared a bit stressed to catch back up to the leader.

She wouldn’t see Reeves again however.

Into the singletrack descending portion of the course the Tokyo Joe’s rider appeared in her element as she stretched the gap behind her.

Marlee Dixon grinds out a few of the P2P's 10,000 vertical feet of climbing on her way to a second place finish. Photo by: Selective Vision

Marlee Dixon grinds out a few of the P2P’s 10,000 vertical feet of climbing on her way to a second place finish. Photo by: Selective Vision

At this point Kofman started to slowly drift back in the pack, appearing to suffer from her early efforts. Marlee Dixon, who was riding a hardtail, caught and passed her on the punishing Steps trail ascent.

Kofman still held onto third position as she hit mile 55 at the Park City feedzone.

Gretchen Reeves was long gone however. At Park City she had over 9 minutes on Marlee Dixon and kept the hammer down pulling further ahead with each mile.

By the end, Reeves would claim her second Point 2 Point title by just over 16 minutes with a time of 7:34:52. The Avon, Colorado, rider posted on Facebook later that the Point 2 Point is the toughest single-day race she has done.

Marlee Dixon powered through the finishing miles of the race to take another second place at Canyons Resort with a time of 7:49:59 and a $100 bonus for winning the enduro segment.

At this point the only question left to answer was where Mikaela Kofman would end up.

As the crowd looked on, they would first see Sofia Gomez-Villafane crisscross her way down the mountain to take the third spot.

Next would come the bright orange helmet of Nicole Tittensor, who wasn’t in the early lead group, but climbed her way into the mix finally moving into the fourth spot as Kofman struggled to find the finish line.

Big smiles from Gretchen Reeves after taking her second P2P title. Photo by: Selective Vision

Big smiles from Gretchen Reeves after taking her second P2P title. Photo by: Selective Vision

Finally, 18 minutes after Tittensor crossed the line Mikaela Kofman came in to finish off the podium in fifth spot.  It took a big effort from the tiny Ridebiker rider that was enough to finally get her home and still on the podium.

After the crossing the line riders and spectators spread out onto the lush lawn surrounding the finishing shoot at Canyons Resort. Both exhausted and elated, riders of all levels spun tales of their shared 75-mile struggles over free drinks and meals provided by the event organizers. After 8 years, the quality of the Park City Point 2 Point remains high; from the racecourse to the volunteers and race organizers, this five-star event keeps packing in the participants year after year.

Jon Russell was all smiles all day but especially at the finish line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Jon Russell was all smiles all day but especially at the finish line. Photo by: Selective Vision

Registration for the 2017 Park City Point 2 Point starts in February. The event has sold out in under 10 minutes that past 6 years so get ready when the exact date is announced.

Click Here for Full Point 2 Point Results

Click Here for Full Enduro Segment Results 

 

Park City Point 2 Point

Rob Squire and Evelyn Dong Take Down Point 2 Point

Written by: Shannon Boffeli

Once again the Park City Point 2 Point lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest endurance races in the west. 78 miles, 90% singletrack, 12,000 feet of elevation gained, and stacked fields make the Point 2 Point a serious brute of a race and a major accomplishment for all who finish. Most riders will tell you racing the Point 2 Point makes the Leadville 100 seem easy.

The 7am start was unusually warm this year. Blustery winds made pack riding popular in the opening miles of the race.

After the first hour, a lead group of 12 riders took up the front of the open men’s race. As riders started the long, slow climb up to Deer Valley’s Silver Lake Lodge Hincapie Racing rider Rob Squire made the first acceleration of the day, jumping around a pack of riders on a short section of road and putting in a hard effort on the following climb.

Squire’s “test” of the leaders proved to be a major selection as he quickly built a lead on the way to Silver Lake and kept the hammer down using his impressive climbing speed to open a sizable gap on the hour-long climb through Deer Valley.

Justin Lindine (Competitive Cyclist) proved to be Squire’s closest competition but struggling with a softening tire for part of the day insured he would not be able to close the gap on the lone leader which stood at 9 minutes after the Park City feed zone just 22 miles from the finish.

Josh Tostado putting in a hard effort to catch Justin Lindine. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

Josh Tostado putting in a hard effort to catch Justin Lindine. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

At that point Lindine was feeling a threat to his own position coming from a hard-charging Josh Tostado (Santa Cruz). Tostado had Lindine in his sight at the base of the day’s final big climb up Armstrong trail.

Shortly after leaving Park City Resort the Point 2 Point unleashed some added brutality on the racers as a brief storm dropped temperatures 20 degrees and pelted the lead riders with hail and rain.

Freak hailstorms weren’t enough to slow down Rob Squire as he powered through the final miles of singletrack, so cold he couldn’t feel his fingers on the brake levers.

Squire crossed the line with a time of 6:32:29 and claimed his $2,000 for the win. Over 12 minutes ahead of Justin Lindine who surged in the final portions of the race to maintain his position.

That left three riders to battle for third place, which all came down to the final mile before the finish. With just minutes left to race Drew Free (Revolution) occupied the third position with Josh Tostado just behind him and Park City resident Sam Sweetser (Cole Sport) bearing down on them both.

Aaron Campbell throwing down a big effort on the enduro segment just 5 months after breaking his femur. Photo by: Angie Harker

Aaron Campbell throwing down a big effort on the enduro segment just 5 months after breaking his femur. Photo by: Angie Harker

Sweetser had planned a late charge from the day’s start and the race was unfolding according to his plans. Shortly after making contact with Tostado the Santa Cruz rider dropped his chain and was forced to pull over. This allowed Sweetser to sprint past quickly bridging up to Free.

“I saw Sam coming for me,” Drew Free shared after the race. “I knew there was one short little climb before the finish and I sprinted up that pretty confident that I would leave Sam behind. At the top I looked behind again thinking he would be gone but he was passing me!”

With the finish line just ahead Sam Sweetser wrested third place from Drew Free and crossed the line just 10 seconds clear of the Revolution rider with Tostado crossing the line 11 seconds later.

Evelyn Dong handles the roots and everything else at the 2015 Point 2 Point. Photo by: Angie Harker

Evelyn Dong handles the roots and everything else at the 2015 Point 2 Point. Photo by: Angie Harker

The women’s race had a very different feel. With several of the best ultra-endurance racers in the country on hand, there was no clear favorite at the start.

Fresh off a win at the Breck Epic, Evelyn Dong (Sho-Air/Cannondale) was clearly in good condition but so was Sonya Looney (Freakshow Defeet) who recently won the Rincon de Viaja 100-miler in Costa Rica.

To confuse things even more, the field included Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Epic Brewing) who finished second at Breck Epic taking a stage win in front of Dong. Also sure to be in the mix was Steamboat Springs rider Kelly Boniface (Moots) and locals Sarah Kaufmann (Stan’s NoTubes) and Meghan Sheridan (UtahMountainBiking.com).

Sonya Looney got off to a great start. Opening up a lead early on in the winding singletrack of Round Valley. Unfortunately for her, about 45 minutes in she followed an open men’s rider off course and lost about 5 minutes before returning to the missed corner.

Her misdirection dropped her back in the field and allowed Evelyn Dong to get out front.

Once the climbing started Dong was in her element. A long-time resident of Park City the Sho-Air rider has spent hours and hours riding the limitless singletrack of Park City and polishing her climbing skills. Once out front she used her light, high-cadence climbing style to stretch the gap on her competitors.

Few can match Dong’s climbing speed especially at altitude and it showed as she quickly made her way through much of the open men’s field who had started 2 minutes in front of her.

Behind the leader Colorado riders Marlee Dixon and Kelly Boniface were once again locked in battle as they both crested the climb out of Deer Valley within seconds of each other.

Looney was solidly in 4th position now with Meghan Sheridan in 5th.

By the time riders reached Park City Resort Evelyn Dong had increased her lead but now Marlee Dixon occupied second place just in front of Boniface.

Kelly Boniface sits in 2nd exiting the Deer Valley climb. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

Kelly Boniface sits in 2nd exiting the Deer Valley climb. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli

Neither Colorado rider had anything left to chase down Evelyn Dong who was too far out front and eventually crossed the line with a nine minute advantage.

Marlee Dixon used the final 22 miles from Park City to the Canyons to open up a slim one-minute advantage over Boniface to finish second with Boniface taking third.

Sonya Looney stayed steady in fourth all the way to the finish.

NoTubes rider Sarah Kaufmann showed good form late in the race, overtaking Meghan Sheridan for the final podium position.

For the second year the Point 2 Point featured a mid-race enduro segment that included one of the long downhill sections on course. Justin Lindine took the title in the open men’s race while Marlee Dixon claimed the title for the women. Each racer took home $100 for the win.

Click Here for full results from all categories 

Click Here for full enduro results from all categories