By Dave Iltis
Cycling in Utah keeps growing and growing. There are more events, more riders, more bike lanes, and more trails. To celebrate our bike community, each year, we recognize the best cyclists in the state with Cycling Utah’s Year End Awards.
Katie Clouse (Canyon-Shimano, Cole Sport) had a season most people could not even imagine. The thirteen year old won five National Championships and a second place. She had multiple wins in multiple disciplines. She recently won one of the Cross of the North races in the senior open division in Colorado. She had a win in the Tulsa Tough cat 3 women’s criterium. And wins in two stages in the category 3 race of the Steamboat Stage Race. And a win in the cat 2 division of the Barn Burner MTB race in Massachusetts. Local results include wins in three of the City Crits series and in the Antelope Island Road Race in the 3-4 women’s field. The national titles were in the Junior 13-14 field in cyclocross, the road race and criterium on the road, and cross country and the 9-16 field in short track cross country in mountain biking. She notched 24 wins throughout the year. Katie Clouse is the Cycling Utah Overall Rider of the Year.
In 2014, Alex Grant had yet another great year. The 34 year old from Salt Lake City won his 5th consecutive Park City Point to Point, took 4th in the USA Cycling Cross Country National Championship, 5th in the USAC Marathon National Championship, and first in the Lambert Park and Solitude Intermountain Cup races. Alex Grant is our Male Mountain Bike Racer of the Year.
Joey Lythgoe (Kuhl) excels in long distance races. In 2014, she won the 6 Hours in Frog Hollow, was second in the 50 mile True Grit, won both the Draper Fall Classic and the Wasatch Back 50. And she was tops at the Crusher in the Tushar. Her season highlight was a second place in the USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championship. Joey Lythgoe is our Female Mountain Bike Racer of the Year.
Mitch Ropelato (Specialized) was at or near the top of the field in major races in downhill, enduro, and freeride. He finished third in the USA Cycling Pro Downhill National Championship. He won the Sundance Showdown Downhill and the Enduro Cup Race at the Canyons. He qualified for the Red Bull Rampage, and finished fourth in the Colorado Freeride Festival stop of the Enduro World Series Tour. Mitch Ropelato is our Male Gravity Rider of the Year.
Amanda Batty had another great year, maybe even better than last given that she battled through a couple of injuries. She won the Sundance Showdown Downhill, finished third in the USA Cycling National Downhill Championships, and had a second and two fourths in the Pro Gravity Tour. Amanda Batty is our Female Gravity Rider of the Year.
Tanner Putt (Bissell Development) is a rider on the move. The 22 year old Park City native won his second in a row U-23 National Road Race Championship. He also placed in the top 10 in two Tour of Utah stages, and in the top 20 in 4 other stages of the Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Challenge. He also wore the best young rider jersey for a few days in the Tour of Utah. Tanner Putt is our Male Road Racer of the Year.
Breanne Nalder (DNA Cycling p/b K4 Racing) raced locally, nationally, and internationally in 2014. Locally, she finished second overall in the UCA series with wins in the East Canyon Road Race, Bikes for Kids Stage Race, High Uintas Road Race, and the Powder Mountain Hill Climb. She was second overall at the Steamboat Springs Stage Race. She was awarded the most aggressive rider jersey in the Tour of Utah Women’s Edition. She was also the top non-professional rider in the USA Cycling National Championship Road Race in 15th place. She had solid finishes throughout the year in NRC races, including a third place in a stage of the Cascade Classic. She raced internationally in the Vuelta Ciclista a El Salvador and the 2014 Premondiale Giro Toscana Int. Femminile. Breanne Nalder is our Female Road Racer of the Year.
Mindy McCutcheon (Canyon-Shimano) dominated the Utah Cyclocross Series in 2013. She had 8 wins and 4 second place finishes, and raced in all 12 races. She also finished second in the Harvest Moon Cyclocross race and topped off the season with a 4th place in the 30-34 division in the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championship. Mindy McCutcheon is our Female Cyclocross Racer of the Year (for the 2013 season).
Justin Doll (Squadra Flying Tigers) was consistently strong throughout the 2013 cyclocross season. He won 2 of the 12 race Utah Cyclocross Series and had three second places on his way to winning the overall against a very tough Men’s A field. In the P-Town Cross Series, he won the last 6 in a row of 8 races. Justin Doll is our Male Cyclocross Racer of the Year (2013 season).
The Park City High School Miners High School Mountain Bike Team was on top form all year. They won all five of the Utah High School Mountain Bike League races in the team category and the overall. Three of their riders won season titles: Sienna Leger Redel in the Girls D1/D2 Varsity, Jon Jon Drain in the Boys D1 Freshman, and Estin Hicke in the Boys D1 Sophomore. The team also worked on the new trail system in Nordic Valley, and acted as a sister team to the new team from Vernal. The Park City High School Miners High School Mountain Bike Team is our Mountain Bike Team of the Year.
DNA Cycling p/b K4 is the little team that could. The Utah based elite women’s team is in their second year and they have made a splash on the national scene. They had numerous wins locally, and won the UCA women’s 1-3 points series. They raced in a number of NRC races across the country with several podium placings against much larger teams. They traveled to El Salvador where they raced in the Vuelta Ciclista a El Salvador. They also won a national championship with Anne Perry topping the masters 40-44 road race. DNA Cycling p/b K4 is our Road Racing Team of the Year.
Bonneville Cycling Club continues to provide a great environment for cyclists to meet and ride together. This year, their members rode a total of 213,446 club miles with 4,368,879 vertical feet of climbing. Additionally, club members commuted a total of 35,917 miles which resulted in 33044 lbs of carbon emissions saved. The club organizes low-key century, social, climbing, mountain bike, and other regular rides – 945 rides in all this year. They also promote the Little Red Riding Hood all women’s century and donated $50,000 to the Huntsman Cancer Institute. An additional $20,000 was donated through the ride’s partnership with Huntsman Hometown Heroes. They are a gold level sponsor of the MS Bike Tour and donated $10,000 to the MS Society. Bonneville Cycling Club is our Touring Club of the Year.
Have you ever been to a Utah High School Mountain Bike League Race? It is an event! Tons of kids racing. Tents for many of the teams complete with barbeques. A festival atmosphere. And camaraderie. Tons of camaraderie. The kids stick around to cheer their fellow competitors during the awards. They cheer their teammates and others. There are announcers, great courses, great timing, great feed zone support, and tons and tons of camaraderie. The recent event in Round Valley saw 668 kids race. The rest of the events have large attendance as well. The events foster teamwork, accomplishment, and competition. 812 kids raced during the year with an average of 650 in each race of the five race series. The Utah High School Mountain Bike League Race Series is our Event of the Year.
Josh Jones has been the driving force for bike improvements in Ogden for many years. He has helped to organize the Weber-Ogden Bicycle Advisory Committee (WOBAC). He has directed the Ogden Bike Collective for approximately the last 8 years. He has helped to secure funding and a donation for a building that should provide long term stability to the Collective for the future. The Ogden Bike Park would also not have happened without Josh’s efforts. “Anytime there is a bike project, Josh is the first person to step up,” said Ogden’s Mayor Mike Caldwell. He also rides to work everyday, in all weather conditions. For these valuable contributions to cycling, we recognize Josh Jones as our Bike Advocate of the Year.
Erica Tingey’s first big foray into road racing was in the 2014 USA Cycling Masters National Championships in Ogden. She won both the time trial and the road race in the 30-34 field. For this, we give Erica Tingey our Performance of the Year award.
Tim Mulvihill topped the UCA series and won a national Elite Time Trial Championship. We recognize Tim with an Honorable Mention Award.
Haley Batten didn’t race much in Utah, but won 10 races in 2014 including two Mountain Bike National Championships in the cross country and super-D junior 15-16 field. We recognize Haley with an Honorable Mention Award.
Utah riders accomplished many great things this year. A few others that we know about include Evelyn Dong’s 3rd place in the USA Cycling Cross Country National Championship. Eric Slack’s 2nd place in the USA Cycling Elite Amateur Road Race National Championship, Keegan Swenson’s U-23 Cross Country National Championship, and many, many age graded national titles (see articles in this issue and our August 2014 issue). There are countless others too.
Cycling Utah wants to thank you, our readers, our advertisers, our writers and photographers, everyone who has contributed, and our bike community for another great season. We enjoy bringing you the best regional cycling information, stories, and news. When you are out on the road or trail, say hi to your fellow cyclist for us! Cycling puts a big smile on our faces, and we hope it does that for you too! We look forward to seeing you in the spring!