cycling utah October 1998
If anything is apparent from the 1998 bicycle racing season, racing is alive and well in our region. Proof of that is to see how well Utah riders fare against national caliber competition. The performances of all the outstanding racers we have chosen to be honored in our Year's Best awards certainly point to the health of our sport.
Our choice of Cycling Utah's Rider of the Year was unamious: Northshore's own Tana Stone. Tana has dominated the Women's road scene in Utah while setting the 40K record in the state time trial of 57:48.70. She placed 5th in the U.S. Nationals road race and 6th in the criterium. She lowered the Snowbird Hillclimb record to 52:33.72, over three minutes faster than the previous mark. Congratulations to Tana Stone, Cycling Utah's Rider of the Year and Female Road Rider of the Year.
The Men's Road Racer of the Year will be shared for 1998. Both racers had outstanding seasons. Burke Swindlehurst and David Zabriskie are Cycling Utah's Male Road Riders of the Year. Burke had a stage win and leader's jersey at the Cascade Classic eventually finishing 5th and won the Tour of the Gila. David won the National Under 23 Time Trial, set an amazing state time trial record of 49:32.94, won the Snowbird Hill Climb and got the opportunity to ride for a national-caliber team, Saturn. Congratulations Burke and David, Cycling Utah's Male Road Riders of the Year.
We picked our Male Mountain Bike Rider of the Year because of his inspiring 7th place finish at the National Championship Series at Deer Valley. Eric Jones was motivated by the crowd for his best-ever NCS finish. When not competing against the nation's best in the series, he was home dominating the local series races. Congratulations to Eric Jones, our Male Mountain Bike Rider of the Year.
Mindy Gillespie jumped into the spotlight this year with outstanding performances. Most notable being her second place finish in Expert Women at the NCS in Deer Valley and her first place at the State Championships at Deer Valley. Congratu-lations to Mindy, our Female Mountain Bike Rider of the Year.
Our choice of Road Racing Event of the Year is always a good one. It sure doesn't hurt that the race travels one of Utah's most scenic routes. Race organization, quality officiating and a heck of a party afterwards makes our choice an easy one. The High Uintas Classic is our Road Racing Event of the Year. Just remember: No Wimps!
Our choice of Mountain Bike Race of the Year goes to the Tour of Canyonlands. What could be better? Spring in Moab, racing through red rock canyons. Think about it.
Our Road Tour of the Year goes to a rookie. The Yellowstone Spring Cycling Tour was a great experience. Imagine no motorized traffic in the nation's most popular National Park. Plan on it in 1999 but watch out for buffalo.
And finally our Special Event of the Year goes to the Great Salt Lake Nationals BMX race that was held at Rad Canyon BMX track in West Jordan. What a great way for kids to get started in bicycle racing.
Congratu-lations to all the racers honored in this column and to all those putting time in the saddle this year.