(CRESTED BUTTE, Colo.) Perfect conditions, peaking fall colors and smiles abound summed up the 2010 edition of the Crested Butte Classic. The Classic, now in its 7th year, dishes up ~ 100 miles of fantastic riding with plenty of climbing and high-altitude single tracks. Crisp fall conditions and recent rain left trails fast and tacky – perfect for a long ride.
Brian Smith took the lead onto the first single track section and stayed near the front for the rest of the ride. Near the end of the Deer Creek trail near Gothic, Kelly Magelky took the lead and left the mostly local crew of Smith, Dan Loftus, Jeff Irwin, Travis Scheefer and others chasing. Magelky worked up a commanding lead at the top of the 401, with Smith still chasing hard and Loftus and Scheefer seemingly out of reach for the overall. Going out for the third and final loop over Keblar and the Dyke, Magelky struggled while Smith hit the jets and started to close the gap. Magelky managed to hold on to the lead and rolled down Elk Ave for the overall win in and a time of 8:13:57, with Smith coming in a mere 5 minutes later. Loftus rounded out the top 3 with a time of 8:40:50.
|Brian Smith chasing, bonus strand trail, 2010 Crested Butte Classic||Dan Loftus going over the top on the 401, loop 2, 2010 Crested Butte, Classic||Kelly Magelky takes the win, 2010 Crested Butte Classic|
The women’s ride was a battle to the end. Strong ladies Becky Sears, Heather McDowell, Sydney Fuller and Hana Fiserova rolled through the Brick Oven Pizzeria after loop 1 within 5 minutes of each other. Even after the massive vertical of the 2nd loop, including the 403 and 401, the ladies were still very close with Sears holding a 3 minute lead over McDowell with Fuller just behind. Sears still had a slim lead over McDowell at the bottom of the Dyke trail, but a focused and motivated McDowell closed the gap on the very last climb over Keblar and came into the Brickoven at 10:57:03 with ~ 2 min to spare over Sears. Fuller had a rough go on the third loop and came in an hour in the rears in 3rd place.
|Sydney Fuller cruising the strand bonus, 2010 Crested Butte Classic|
Hana Fiserova on the yellow carpet, Strand bonus, 2010 Crested Butte Classic
|A determined Heather McDowell chasing Becky Sears on the Dyke trail, 2010 Crested Butte Classic|
The rest of the field kept their noses to the grindstone and kept rolling through the finish well into the dark, exhausted but glowing with satisfaction. “The best way to spend 12 hours” one ragged looking rider exclaimed to Dave Ochs – the ride organizer and heart and soul behind the event. Hopefully, this grassroots event will continue to serve up some of the best riding and atmosphere in mountain biking for many more years to come.
Words and Images by Fred Marmsater, www.fredrikmarmsater.com