By Nate Gibby –
Eden, Utah (July 7, 2018)—Ryan Standish (Orange Seal/Merida Bikes Australia) and Sofia Gomez Villafane (Stans Pivot Protein p/b Maxxis) powered through the heat, dust and fierce competition to take top spot in the elite men’s and elite women’s respectively in the Intermountain Cup Battle at North Fork X-country MTB race.
Situated north of Pineview Dam in Ogden Valley with incredibly scenic mountain views featuring ubiquitous green scrub oak obscuring the trails and granite slabs protruding from the mountains above, the second iteration of the Battle at North Fork has become one of the more difficult X-country races of the Intermountain Cup series. Not only did the 200+ racers struggle with approximately 1,300’ of climbing in the seven-mile loop, but they also battled temperatures in the mid 90s and dry, dusty trails with respite coming only in some of the fast and flow singletrack.
After trailing Anders Johnson (Whole Athlete p/b DNA) after the first lap, Durango-based Standish attacked on the second lap to take the lead in the elite men’s division. After the two battled for the next two laps, Standish created some separation on the fourth and final lap. “I gave it a little squirt near the top and pinned it on the descent, and tried to keep it smooth to open up a little bit of a gap” he said. “Coming into the last time up the road, I just kept it solid.”
Standish held off Johnson and Rylan Schadegg (Pivot Competitive Cyclist) to win by 1:09.
In the elite women’s division, Argentina transplant Gomez Villafane jumped to a quick lead after starting from the back of the group. “I nipped Nikki (Tittensor) right before the singletrack,” she said. “After that I rode at my own pace and then had a little bit of gap and rode consistent and I just kept chasing the guys in front of me.”
Gomez Villafane added to her lead during each of the three laps to beat out Kelsey Urban (Whole Athlete p/b DNA) and Ellen Campbell (Pivot Summit Bike Club) by nearly two minutes.
In the varsity divisions, Porter Hawkes (ImpactDevo p/b Bountiful Bicycle), Andrew Draper (Maybird Reyes-Psych) and Brayden Johnson took the boys podium, while Layla Walker (ImpactDevo p/b Bountiful Bicycle), Jane Haight (Summit Bike Club) and Alisha Bacon (Rouleur Devo p/b DNA) rounded out the podium for the girls.
Full race results can be found at intermountaincup.com.
About the Intermountain Cup Mountain Bike Racing Series
Founded in 1991, the Intermountain Cup consists of X-country and endurance MTB races throughout Utah. With six X-country races of approximately 25 miles and one endurance race of approximately 50 miles, the series covers some of the most pristine and difficult rides in the state. With categories for kids and youth to the highly competitive elite segments, Intermountain Cup offers a competitive MTB race for every level of rider.
For more information about the Intermountain Cup, visit: www.intermountaincup.com