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 (

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

Intermountain Cup #8 – Snowbird, UT

Written by: Jen Hanks

The Intermountain Cup’s 8th stop of the season was at picturesque Snowbird Resort.  Snowbird’s 8000+ foot elevation was just high enough to give racers reprieve from Salt Lake City’s heat wave that has had temperatures hovering in the low 100s for the past three weeks. The high altitude race was also a perfect final test for racers planning to race cross country nationals at Mammoth Mountain in two weeks; this included the Whole Athlete Development team who has been training at altitude in Park City in preparation for Nationals.  Utah’s own development team, Summit Bike Club, was also out in full force.

The impressive eleven-rider pro women’s race featured some of Utah’s fastest ladies as well as three juniors with UCI rankings in the top-10 worldwide including Haley Batten (Whole Athlete-ranked 1st in the world), Rachel Anders (Summit Bike Club – 4th in the world) and Kelsy Urban (Whole Athlete – 8th in the world).

Joey Lythgoe flows through the wild flowers at Snowbird - Photo by Angie Harker

Joey Lythgoe flows through the wild flowers at Snowbird – Photo by Angie Harker

Rachel Anders took the hole shot and hit the singletrack first with Haley Batten and Nicole Tittensor (Revolution) not far behind.  Joey Lythgoe (Kuhl) who has won five of the seven I-CUP XC races had a slow start and was caught behind traffic in the initial singletrack allowing the lead trio to get away.

Although Lythgoe said after the race that she wasn’t sure she would be able to catch up to the leaders, in actuality it didn’t take her long; as soon as the course opened up she closed the gap and was in her usual position of contending for the win.  The pace remained high and Anders dropped back on the 2nd lap ultimately getting caught by KC Holley (Kuhl).  At the front, Lythgoe was able to build a small, but comfortable lead on the final lap ultimately taking the win by less than a minute over Haley Batten.

Behind Lythgoe, Tittensor was chasing Batten down the final rocky descent.  Just as she made contact, the trail kicked up again and Batten climbed away to the finish.  Holley finished a strong 4th with Anders close behind in 5th.

Although he mainly races on the road Rob Squire never disappoints on dirt - Photo by Angie Harker

Although he mainly races on the road Rob Squire never disappoints on dirt – Photo by Angie Harker

In the Pro Men’s race, Cypress Gorry, the 2014 collegiate XC and STXC National Champ and junior Carson Beckett represented Whole Athlete.  Hincapie/Holowesko roadie and sometimes mountain bike badass Robbie Squire was on hand as was the always competitive Revolution racers Drew Free and Justin Desilets.

Off the start, the trio of Robbie Squire, Drew Free, and Cypress Gorry quickly established themselves at the front.

The leaders rode together until Gorry flatted on the 2nd of 4 laps.  He was able to repair his tire and move back into third place only to flat again toward the end of the race ultimately dropping back to 6th.

Meanwhile, Squire and Free stayed within 15 seconds of each other until the fourth and final lap where Squire, who clearly saved something for the last lap, rode away on the first climb of the final lap and ultimately finished with a 1:30 gap.  Whole Athlete junior, Carson Beckett, finished 3rd followed by Chris Holley (Kuhl) and Justin Desilets (Revolution) to round out the podium.

Click Here for full results from all categories

Boulder Mountain Fox Trot 50k

Melding cross country distance and a backcountry race format, the Shimano Boulder Mountain Fox Trot 50k was added to the Ride Sun Valley Festival for the first time this year.

The race used a point to point format, with racers getting shuttled to Galena Lodge outside of Sun Valley and racing back to town.

Things started fast with racers chasing a $500 prime about 8 miles in at the bottom of the Herriman Trail. Local racers and organizations donated $1,000, which was split evenly between the top men and top women. With cash on the line the race was quickly wittled down to just three riders.

A crash in the final corner before the prime ended any chance at a sprint – Rob Squire (Hincapie) was the only one left upright, and he took the cash prime and kept the hammer down, easily cruising to the overall win.

On the women’s side Nina Otter (Liberty Bikes) provided a challenge to Rebecca Rusch (Niner), who calls Sun Valley home. Rusch just edged out Otter for the prime.

The two rode together for much of the 10-mile climb up to the singletrack as well, but Rusch was able to gap Otter near the top, and then used her local knowledge to stretch her lead on the 12+ miles of singletrack back to town.


Open Men:

 1. Rob Squire    2:09:13
2. John Rueter    2:16:12
3. Eric Chizum    2:16:45
4. Steve Price     2:18:20
5. Justin Healy    2:18:56
6. Colin Rogers
7. Remi McManus
8. Whit Albright
9. Dave Harrison
10. Matt Williams
Open Women:
1. Rebecca Rusch       2:39:14
2. Nina Otter              2:47:21
3. Brett Stevenson     3:04:40