By Christopher See
June 2011 – Installment number four of the Intermountain Cup MTB Series, The Sundance Spin presented by Mad Dog Cycles, held May 14, 2011, was relocated to Soldier Hollow. A deep and unyielding snowpack at Sundance Resort and continuing spring/winter (sprinter) weather conditions prompted the decision. The Soldier Hollow course was designed as a nine-mile loop with one thousand feet of climbing per lap. The pro men would take on three laps of the long loop, and then a shorter finishing loop without the big climbs for a total of nearly thirty miles. The pro women would take three long laps for twenty seven miles.
An uncharacteristically sunny day presented itself on race day. The pro men’s field featured Keegan Swenson (Whole Athlete), Noah Talley (Revolution/Peak Fasteners) and Jason Sager (Team Jamis). This would be a day for the young guns. 17-year-old Swenson went out to an early lead and never looked back. He brought home top honors with a total time of 1:57:03. Talley, 15, rolled in 4 minutes behind with a time of 2:01:36. Third went to Chris Holley (Mad Dog Cycles) at 2:02:28. The veteran Sager ended the day in fourth. Swenson said it was a fun course even with all the climbing.
In the women’s field, Ogden adversaries Kelsy Bingham (Team Jamis) and Sarah Kaufmann (Elete Nutrition) took the start along with seven others. From the gun Bingham and Erica Tingey (Las Vegas Cyclery) opened a gap over Kaufmann and Kara (KC) Holley (Mad Dog). Kaufmann closed the gap. She, Bingham and Tingey took off leaving KC behind. Bingham had a mechanical, which allowed Kaufmann to slip past. Bingham chased hard through the second lap. The gaps between first and third were never more than 30 seconds. Bingham caught Kaufmann as the trio started lap three. In the end Bingham would finish only nine seconds ahead of Kaufmann, with a time of 2:10:54. Holley finished third and Tingey fourth. Post race Kaufmann made the wry observation that for a sunny day, the organizers managed to find the only two mud puddles in the venue and ran everyone through them. That’s mountain bike racing.