The Sundance Spin -- Results and Pictures and Full Report
Utah cross country racers must certainly be some of the luckiest racers in the US. Two weeks ago racers passed through rain and snow storms less than 5 miles from the course to arrive at dry and dusty trails. This week, they endured 5 days of rain and snow storms and were still treated to fast tacky singletrack with hardly a hint of mud.
In the pro men's event Mitchell Petersen (Giant) made the first move, attacking early up the steep road section which starts the Sundance lap. Jamis rider Jason Sager quickly closed the gap to Petersen while making it clear the early pace was going to be fast.
Indeed, the opening lap seemed to destroy many of the top riders as a lead group including Petersen, Sager, and Alex Grant (Cannondale) pulled clear of the chasers.
By the top of the first climb Grant had begun to pull clear. The Cannondale rider stayed clear for the rest of the race.
Meanwhile Sager and Petersen traded spots throughout the race with Petersen closing the gap in the steep climbing sections and Sager pulling away on the singletrack descents.
Behind the leaders the field was falling apart with many of the top contenders falling back including last year's winner David Welsh (Kuhl/Specialized), Chris Holley (Gary Fisher 29er Crew), and Tom Bender (Kuhl/Specialized).
In the end it was Grant taking the win followed by Sager, Petersen, Bart Gillespie (Revolution/Peak Fasteners), and Brent Pontius.
In the women's race, adventure racer Renata Bucher (Stoeckli/Craft) charged away on the opening climb and was never seen again. She quickly mixed in with the expert men's field and steadily climbed with some of the strongest men.
Bucher is a successful pro on the XTERRA tour and has already won races in Saipan and Guam this season. While in Utah she is working on her mountain bike skills by racing on the Intermountain Cup.
Behind Bucher it was Kelsi Bingham (Rooster's) and KC Holley (Gary Fisher 29er Crew) battling for the second spot. Bingham, who was competing in her first race as a pro lived up to her expectations using strong climbing to stay in front of Holley by less than 30 seconds at the finish.
Emma Garrard crossed the line in 4th place followed by Erika Powers (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) in fifth.
1, Alex Grant (Cannondale) 1.50.45
2, Jason Sager (Jamis) 1.51.54
3, Mitchell Petersen (Giant) 1.53.11
4,Bart Gillespie (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) 1.55.41
5, Brent Pontius 1.57.02
6, Jake Pantone (Biker Edge)
7, Johnny Hintze (Biker'sEdge)
8, Duff Johnson (Skull Candy)
9, David Welsh (Kuhl/Specialized)
10, Daniel Nelson (Racer's Cycle Service)
11, Tom Bender (Kuhl/Specialized)
12, Chris Holley (Gary Fisher 29er Crew)
13, Quin Bingham (Biker's Edge)
14, Taylor Foss (Kuhl/Specialized)
15, Tanner Cottle (Kuhl/Specialized)
16, Matt Ohran (Cannondale)
17, Shannon Boffeli (iRide Adventures/MTBRaceNews.com)
1, Renata Bucher (Stoeckli/Craft) 2.04.03
2, Kelsi Bingham (Rooster's) 2.05.34
3, KC Holley (Gary Fisher 29er Crew) 2.05.56
4, Emma Garrard 2.07.36
5, Erika Powers (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) 2.11.10
6, Jen Hanks (Revolution/Peak Fasteners)
7, Jennelle Cramer (Revolution/Peak Fasteners)