The Deer Valley Rally Cross Country race on Sept. 1 had it all: course sabotage, broken ribs, broken spokes and, of course, flat tires. Many of the top placers had problems with the course because some sabatour moved trail markers, mixed them up or just removed them altogether. But Ron Lindley (race promoter) and his faithful helpers were able to keep it under control pretty much by keeping their heads. Even with the problems, everyone had a great time.
The course was different from years past. It was not the typical loop, loop, loop kind of course. It was one big loop for all to enjoy. Eric Jones (Plymouth/Ellsworth) Placed first in the Men's Pro/Elite class and had a great time while racing. Jones put the race away after the last little climb coming back up to Silver Lake.
"I just put the hammer down on the uphill because I knew Max (Lawson) was right on my tail," Jones said. "And I let it loose on next downhill." Max Lawson (team Jamis) placed second in the Pro/Elite men. Because of a broken spoke close to the end of the race that he just couldn't match Jones' move at Silver Lake.
"I don't think I could have beat Eric today anyway," Lawson admitted. Most people would say it was the bikes fault. He was glad to get down safely with out his wheel exploding.
John Barth (Bike Board Blade) placed third in the Men's Pro/Elite class. After a long battle with back problems this year, he was finally doing well this season. He was happy to take third. He encountered some trouble on the trail when his bottle cage came off and wrapped around the cranks and later he couldn't find a trail marker at a three-way trail split. Over all he thought it was a great course and it was nice to be racing again.
Teresa Eggertson (VooDoo), who placed first in the Women's Pro class, needs to be mentioned here because she raced the course with fractured ribs, which she sustained in a road criterium a few weeks before. She was not going to race that day but changed her mind to support her friend Lindley. Don't we all need friends like her.
Cindi Schwandt (Amp/PCCC) placed second in the Women's Pro class. Schwandt has been racing for 12 years and was a National Champ this year in her class. She has done many hours of trail work at Deer Valley and worked on most of the trails there. She just loves to be outdoors and ride. Wendy Wagoner (Ionic) placed first in the Women's Expert class. She is also a champion cross county skier trying for a spot on the Olympic team. Said her best biking experience was at Deer Valley when she was 17 years old. It was at a world cup race with hot shot girls with flashy jerseys and sponsors while she was there with just a T shirt. She beat them all.
Jennifer Tribe (Canyon Bicycles) placed second in the Women's Expert class. She was not able to keep away from the curse of mechanicals at this race. She was in first place before suffering a flat. She didn't have a spare tube and was forced to patch the flat. She was unable to really get back into the race after that. To make matter worse she also made a wrong turn.
Kristina Nicholas (Park City Mountain Resort) placed third in the Women's Expert class. Nicholas loves to compete in the races. "It's mind over matter (or hills in our case) to get up the hill and down in one piece," she said. Matt Ohran placed first in the Senior Expert men class. He said the course was definitely the most fun of the year. "The person if front of me flatted so I won by a pretty good margin," Ohran said. "I lucked out on that one but I guess that's part of racing."
So as you can see the race was not boring in the least and everyone loved
the long loop and beautiful scenery of the course. We all had a great time
even with all the various problems. I really want to go an a ride after
thinking about all the great examples of overcoming and pushing to the edge
these people did at the Deer Valley Rally. These are just some of the
reasons we all love mountain biking.