Hundreds of mountain bikers flocked to Cortez for the 12 Hours of Mesa Verde event Saturday at the famed Phil’s World Mountain Bike Trail.
Athletes could compete solo or in teams of four. Tamara Donelson, a 43-year-old from Edwards, was the first finisher of the women’s solo race and the only competitor in the category to finish seven laps, as she finished in 11 hours, 30 minutes, 54 seconds. Suzie Livingston of Fort Collins was second. Eirin MacLaren of Mancos was fifth, while Durango’s Liz Carrington was seventh.
The men’s solo top finisher was Mike Mcauley, a 37-year-old from Crested Butte. He finished seven laps in 9:55:46. Five men finished all seven laps, as Nathan Berg of Albuquerque was second and Graham Robinson of Cortez was third. Robinson finished in 10:24:07. Durango’s Lee James Paustain finished sixth, Moses Cooper of Durango was 15th, Scott Arter of Cortez was 18th, Dolores’ Scott Clow was 19th, Durango’s Bryan Lott was 21st and Durango’s Mark Mastalski finished 22nd. Christopher Brock of Cortez also placed 32nd.
Some solo competitors even opted for a singlespeed attack of the course. Grand Junction’s Nicholas Sandstrom was first in 10:42:21, while Durango’s Travis Palmer also did all seven laps and finished in 11:12:54. Veronika Hewitt of Dillon was the top woman on a singlespeed, as she did six laps in 10:59:28. Durango’s Stuart Buergler finished sixth overall in singlespeed, while Durango’s Ted Compton was 14th.
Another 13 solo riders competed at the age of 50-or-over. Crested Butte’s Sean Riley was first, as he did six laps in 9:49:53. Durango’s Kevin Hall was fourth in 11:35:36. Dolores’ Stephen Axt also placed sixth, while Mancos’ William Vaughn was 11th.
The co-ed race was won by the team named Snot Spit & Fury, made up of Bettina Wills, Jeff Fox, Michael Grajeda and Terry Gorsuch. They won after completing eight laps in 10:26:10. Another group of Caitlyn Kneller, Dale Knelle, Ben Kneller and Todd Wells did eight laps in 11:09:08.
The all-female team “Lady Sharks” won in 11:16:41 with riders Trish Thomas, Elizabeth Lanman and Sarah Warren. They were the only all-women’s team to finish eight laps.
The all-men’s team “Bad Hombres” won after doing nine laps in 11:03:14. The team was made up of Cody Stephenson, Alec Pasqualina, Bryan Alders and Dave Schell.
The 50-and-over team “Rippin Geezers” of Grajeda, Fox, Andrew Ward and Charles Shaw won in 11:15:19 as the only squad to complete eight laps in the category.
The under-19 co-ed team of Durango’s Ruth Holcomb, Maddie Jo Robbins, Riley Amos and Ian Kutzleb won with nine laps completed in 11:11:08. Another Durango squad of Abbey Shepard, Lauren Aggeler, Nick Glotfelty and Sean Holley finished seven laps in 11:06:11.
The under-19 girls team race was won by Durango’s Maggie Holcomb, Hannah Garvey and Willow Lott with seven laps completed in 10:30:49.
The under-19 boys team race was claimed by Tate Larking, Euan Lamprecht and Isaac Zabriskie, who did eight laps in 11:00:57. The Cortez-based High Desert Devo team of Thorin Howell, Gabe Frizzell, Tyson Schmidlin and Will Brown did seven laps in 10:59:50.
The team singlepeed race was won by Will McDonald, Dax Massey and Nathan Miller, as they did eight laps in 10:13:07. The duo singlespeed race was claimed by Aaron Adams and Darrell Roundy with eight laps completed in 10:44:46.
The two-person co-ed team of KC and Chris Holley did eight laps in 10:46:03 to win the category. The two-woman team of Becky Edmiston and Hannah Bingham did seven laps in 10:07:08. The two-man team of Christopher Baddick and Samuel Dolzani won with nine laps in 10:53:51.
The 50-and-over duo of Stuart Mann and Todd Barth did eight laps to win their category in 11:38:27.