By Dave Iltis
Utah has an incredible cycling culture. We have some of the best terrain in the world. And fantastic riders, events, teams, and clubs. Each year, Cycling Utah recognizes the best of best with our Cycling Utah awards.
Alex Grant (Ridebiker/Cannondale/Gear Rush) and Rob Squire (Hincapie Racing) each had fantastic seasons. Grant finished 3rd in both the short track cross country and cross country USA Cycling National Mountain Bike Championships. He won 2 Intermountain Cups, the Grand Junction Off-Road, and earned a trip to the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
Rob Squire had a breakthrough year. The 25 year old from Hincapie Racing finished 9th overall in the Tour of Utah, including a 4th place finish on stage 7. He won both the Crusher in the Tushar and the Park City Point 2 Point, as well as an Intermountain Cup race, and the Snowbird Hill Climb. For their stellar seasons, and for being great ambassadors for the sport of cycling, Rob Squire and Alex Grant are Cycling Utah’s Overall Riders of the Year.
Mindy McCutcheon (Canyon Bicycles-Shimano) swept all three Utah State Championship races on the road. She won the East Canyon-Echo Road Race, and the Antelope Island Road Race, and topped it off with the overall win in the UCA points series. Mindy McCutcheon is our Female Road Racer of the Year.
Cameron Hoffman (Endurance360) was consistent throughout the season. He had seven wins including the Antelope Island Classic Road Race, and the Nevada City Bicycle Classic (in the Masters 35+). He took the silver medal and the bronze in the USA Cycling Masters National Championship Criterium and Road Race. He raced throughout the country and in Utah. He ended up second overall in the UCA Points Series as well. Cameron Hoffman is our Male Road Racer of the Year.
Justin Desilets (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) raced a lot throughout the entire year. He finished second in the Mid-Week Mountain Bike Race Series. He won the Intermountain Cup Cross Country Series, and finished 3rd in the Intermountain Cup Endurance Cross Country Series. For his consistency and top series placings throughout the year, Justin Desilets is our Male Mountain Bike Racer of the Year.
Joey Lythgoe (Kuhl) notched 6 wins and the overall in the Intermountain Cup Cross Country Series. She took 2 wins and 3rd overall in the Intermountain Cup Endurance Cross Country Series. And, she won the True Grit 50 Miler. Joey Lythgoe is our Female Mountain Bike Racer of the Year.
Justin Doll (Squadra/Flying Tigers) was on a roll in the 2014 cyclocross season. The X-Men rider chalked up 6 wins in the Utah Cyclocross Series on his way to the overall title in the A men’s division. He added 3 more wins in the P-Town Cyclocross Series and second overall. Justin Doll is our Male Cyclocross Racer of the Year (2014 Season).
Katie Clouse (Canyon Bicycles) is fast. Really fast. The speedster won four times and took second four times in the Women’s A division in the Utah Cyclocross Series, on her way to second overall. She also won the P-Town Series in the women’s division. She continued with 8 more wins and several other podium placings in Colorado, Idaho, and Iowa where she competed in the senior women 3 category and the women’s open category. She finished out the season in January 2015 in Austin, Texas where she won the USA Cycling National Cyclocross Championship in the 13-14 category. Katie Clouse is our Female Cyclocross Racer of the Year (2014 season).
Joni Wirts (Go-Ride) won a downhill and a Super-D in the Go-Ride Utah Gravity Series on her way to taking the series win in the Super-D and tying for the win in the downhill. Joni Wirts is our Female Gravity Racer of the Year.
Joey Foresta (Factory GT/ENVE/Laketown/DVO/Spy/Kenda/Shimano/Canyons) was undefeated this year in gravity racing. The 14 year old ripped through the Go-Ride Gravity Series, winning every race in the 13-18 category and the overall. He won both downhill and dual slalom at Sea Otter, and the USA Cycling National Championships in the 13-14 category in both dual slalom and downhill. Joey Foresta is our Male Gravity Racer of the Year.
Emma Garrard (Specialized Tri Team) had an incredible year. She won the XTERRA USA Championship in Ogden on September 19, 2015, and then went on to finish third in the XTERRA World Championship. Emma Garrard is our Triathlete of the Year.
The Crusher in the Tushar has built up a loyal following. This road and dirt event held in Beaver, Utah brings in racers from across Utah, the region, and as far afield as Canada and Florida. It has a reputation as being fun, rewarding to those who race, and extremely well organized. Participants comment on the great racing atmosphere, the challenging and beautiful course, the food and beverages at the end, and the proactive communication from the event to the riders. Plus, they donate money to a number of worthy causes. The Crusher in the Tushar is our Event of the Year.
The Draper Cycle Park Association (formerly the Salt Lake Velodrome Committee) and the City of Draper have worked tirelessly to grow and expand the Draper Cycle Park. The park currently features a cyclocross course, a short track XC course, four jump lines ranging from beginner to expert, a skills area and pocket mountain bike park, and a dual pump track. Not to mention that it dovetails with the Corner Canyon Trails area. The park has been heavily used throughout the summer, and will only continue to get better. The Draper Cycle Park Association, The City of Draper, and Sagebrush Trails are our Cycling Advocates of the Year including but not limited to Draper Cycle Park Association's John Newell and Chris Bingham, Draper City Councilman Jeff Stenquist, Draper City's trails person Greg Hilbig, Sagebrush Trails Ric Statten and Bob Radke, and Draper Cycle Park Association board member Jason Avery.
Michael Conti (Cicada Racing) likes to ride his bike. It’s a good thing since he’s often on his bike for a long, long time. This year, he won the 863.2-mile Race Across the West in the Solo Division in 2 days, 17 hours, and 17 minutes (yes, 862.3 miles of racing) through grueling conditions. Michael Conti receives our award for Notable Performance of the Year.
The Bonneville Cycling Club continues to be the club for bicycle enthusiasts in Utah. They organized 1035 club rides this year and had over 70 ride leaders, 42 of whom led 10 or more rides. Their close to 600 members rode 252,350 miles on club rides and commuted 30762 miles in the last year. They promote the wonderfully popular Little Red Riding Hood all-women’s century. And, they donated over $58000 to Huntsman Cancer Institute and over $20,000 to the MS Society. The Bonneville Cycling Club is our Touring Club of the Year.
Ski Utah – Plan 7 turned out to race this year. The powerhouse team won the Utah Criterium Series in not only the A flite, but the overall across all categories. Team rider Cody Haroldsen won the A Flite in the crit series. The team finished second overall in the UCA series, across all categories. Ski Utah – Plan 7 is our Road Racing Team of the Year.
The Summit Bike Club is the wave of the future. They excelled at Nationals with several podiums. Team rider Rachel Anders went to World’s. They finished 3rd in the ICup Series. They held trail days and put on the Wasatch 360 race. They travelled as a team. Team riders Sienna Leger Redel, Connor Patten, and Skylar Patten won their Utah High School Cycling League divisions. The Summit Bike Club is our Mountain Bike Team of the Year.
Honorable Mentions – Tiffany Pezzulo for winning the USA Crits Series, Allie Dragoo for winning a stage of the Tour of Utah Women’s Edition, Rachel Anders and Hailey Batten for racing Worlds, the many Utah National Champions, Cody Haroldsen for winning the Utah Criterium Series, Trevor Jackson for winning the UCA Series, Cody Kelley for winning the Enduro Cup Series, the many, many promoters and bike advocates that help to build our community, and best of all, the cyclists of Utah for helping to make our community great.
See you next spring!