cycling utah April 1999


Gillespie dominates, Peck wins opener

By Robert L. Truelsen


The Intermountain Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series got off to a flying start Saturday, March 6 with the Red Rock Rampage.

Held in the trail-laced hills southeast of St. George, the Rampage provided a picture-perfect start of another season in the dirt.

Bart Gillespie, riding for Sobe Head Shock and Madd Dog Cycles, made it look easy in taking the Menís Pro event. Gillespie finished the Ď98 season with a win at the Utah District Cyclocross Championships in October. And his win at the Rampage seemed like October was just last week.

By his account, he didnít plan on riding off the front early, it just happened that way.

"I told myself to take it easy at the start," Gillespie said. "I wanted to stay with the group and not ride the race by myself. But I just rode my own race, I felt great."

And he looked great stopping after the finish to talk to friends. But he did admit that he began to feel it on the last lap.

Gillespie credited the base miles he has accumulated on his road bike for his early success. The road miles werenít hard, just good base miles.

Gillespie is joined on the Sobe Head Shock team by Eric Jones, third at the Rampage, Tim Brown, Art OíConnor and Matt Ohran. His wife Mindy is also on the team.

Gillespie won the race on a borrowed bicycle. He had just received his team Cannondale days before the race, not enough time for him to get it race ready.

But Gillespie admits the season is a long one. "Iím going to do things a little differently this year,"he said. "Iíll take a break mid season."

Teammate Jones had a tougher time in placing third. His lack of base miles made him a tired racer at the finish. But Jones is always very fast in July and August.

On the womenís side, Lisa Peck was another mountain bike racer benefitting from road base miles. A member of the new Nissan womenís road racing team, Peck overcame first-race jitters and nervousness to claim the first race of the long season.

"I tried to jump out in front early," Peck said, "but I didnít expect to stay out front the whole race."

"Iím surprised but I had a lot of fun," she said. "Iím surprised because itís the first race. Itís a good course, not a lot of climbing, just a good rollers."

In addition to the road miles with her Nissan teammates, she spent hours on the wind trainer indoors. "I was able to catch up on all my TV shows," she continued, "and I think I saw every movie thatís at Hollywood Video." She also ran and skiied for some effective cross training. "It was a productive winter."

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