Mayhem on the Mineral Belt Sees More Racers
Leadville’s Mineral Belt Mayhem mountain bike race saw a 35% increase over last year’s registration, putting 108 riders at the Start line last Saturday, March 7.
“It was a record number of racers this year,” said Sterling Mudge, coordinator of the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike series, which includes the Mineral Belt Mayhem. While Mudge attributes the increase in participation to nearly perfect weather and course conditions, but he also noted that it will probably be the added single track to this year’s course that will have riders coming back for more.
Setting out on a crisp, clear night ride under the glow of a full moon, racers saw a slight variation in this year’s 11-mile race which takes riders primarily on the Mineral Belt Trail (MBT). However this year, participants saw the addition of 2 miles of single track, replacing a portion of the MBT, according to Mudge.
“The added single track was the most talked about thing afterwards. I think everyone will return and ride it again and again,” added Mudge.
The top three podiums spots were awarded to out-of-towners, as Jason Hanson, Colorado Spings, took first place with a time of 1:03:56, followed respectively by Miguel Arias, Boulder (1:04:08) and Jesse Swift of Golden rounding out the top three with a time of 1:04:13.
In the women’s division, Leadville locals fared a bit better with Lisa Sandoval (1:24:04) taking second and Ann Stanek (1:24:29) in third. But neither lady could beat Tracy Thelen of Colorado Springs who was nearly ten minutes ahead of any other female racers, clocking a 1:15:01 finish time.
In the single speed division, it was Chris Plesko of Westminster across the finish line first, with a time of 1:08:36. For complete race results, connect with the Cloud City Wheelers website.
“All but one person finished the race, but only because they had a flat tire,” stated Mudge, indicating that was a first, considering the drop-out rate in the past for this nighttime, winter mountain bike race.
The next and final competition in the Winter Mountain Bike Race Series will be the East Side Epic on April 18. The Cloud City Wheelers, who host the entire Winter Mountain Bike Race Series, advocate that winter racing is a great way to keep up riding and racing during the off-season. The Cloud City Wheelers are a Leadville club dedicated to providing bicycle activities to promote individual health and recreation. The Wheelers also support education and advocacy to help promote a more bicycle friendly environment and a more livable community for members, bicyclists, and the community at-large.