By Tyler Servoss –
The 3rd annual Mt. Ogden 100k was held August 27th. The race has earned a reputation of being one of the most challenging races around featuring loads of single track and a unique asphalt climb to the finish. Racers have taken note and a record 500+ riders took the start for both 50 and 100k distances.
Though well know to Northern Utah riders, Snowbasin resort is a bit of a hidden gem. Linking into the surrounding US Forrest service trails Snowbasin caters to MTB’ers with miles and miles of well groomed trails, including the all new Jardine Peak trail featured in the 100k race. The resort also has bike gondola service to the top of the mountain as well as a full bike shop and rental fleet.
Putting a unique spin on the event, Race Director Steve Andrus offered a free ticket to an outdoor concert featuring homegrown rock band Royal Bliss. Many stuck around or returned later that evening with friends and family. In another distinctive twist all racers received custom Mt.Ogden 100k arm warmers from Epic Cyclewear, in lieu of the standard race t-shirt. A full raft of sponsors supported the event including Rockwell time/Rockwell Relay with their racing semi providing the back drop for the start/finish line and watches to category winners.
100k Pro Men
Race winner Alex Grant (Cannondale Factory Team) has been on a tear in MTB endurance races this summer. In addition to winning the Mt. Ogden race, he placed 3rd at the Leadville 100 two weeks prior and went on to win the Park City Point to Point the following weekend.
This year’s race was a who’s who of top Utah Pro’s. In a Utah first ENVE Composites sponsored athlete Jonathan Page multi time cyclocross national champion and world championship podium getter, took the start in the 100k.
Jason Sager set the early pace out of the gate, marked by Cary Smith, Alex Grant and Nick Fisher. This core group stayed together for much of the first lap. As the riders made the climb along the freshly cut trail to Jardine peak on the second lap, the separations began to occur. Grant pulled away from the others and quickly opened a big gap. Having pre ridden the course and being more familiar with the decent, Nick Fischer nearly latched back on to Grant, but could not quite seal the deal. Fisher was later passed by both Cary Smith and Reed Wycoff.
Grant would go on to finish in 5 hours and 15 minutes, beating second place finisher Cary Smith by over 16 minutes, and third place Reed Wycoff by 21 minutes.
The course provided to be challenging for both man and machine with a number of DNF’s. Early leader Jason Sager succumbed to a mechanical when his fork failed and Jonathan Page’s day also ended early when he triple flatted in the initial single track section.
Alex Grant said “The course was well marked and didn’t disappoint with tons of single track, a real mountain bike course, which is what I like, it can’t be easy. “
100k Pro Women
All groups where started with the sound of a shotgun blast and after a neutral lap of the parking lot, Amanda Cary was on the rivet. She climbed the opening section with many of the pro men and kept the gap for the next 6 hours. 2nd place was harder fought; as Lynda Wallenfells led Kelsy Bingham for part of the first lap, with both riders passing through the start finish at 2:30 back. Then Kelsy opened up enough of a gap that she was not passed by Lynda when she had to stop for several minutes at the top of the climb on the second lap to fix her flat tire.
Amanda Cary went on the win in a time of 6 hours 19 minutes, besting second place Kelsey Bingham by nearly 25 minutes with Lynda Wallenfalls rounding out the podium a further 33 minutes back.
The women were especially appreciative of the fact that the cash purse for Pro men and women was equal. This bodes well for a larger field next year.