The third race in the Series was held on a new course in Castle Rock. Bison Park, and its adjacent Ridgeline Open Space, is a great venue for this type of race. The course wound its way through the hills to the west of Castle rock, complete with tons of fast flowy singletrack, short punchy climbs, and lots of opportunity for spectators to witness the suffering up close. After a paved climb on the first lap to spread riders out, the course hit the dirt for 6 laps on the ten-mile circuit.
In the Men’s Pro race it was a couple of the usual suspects off the front by the middle of the first lap. Kalan Beisel (Pro Cycling) and Brady Kappius (Clif Bar) wasted no time in distancing themselves from the pack, continuing to ride together until late in the race. The two worked together until the gap to third place was nearly 15 minutes. With two laps to go, the cat and mouse game began.
“Kalan gapped me beginning the last lap and I thought that was the end for me. I had been nursing a slow leaking front flat on the last 2 laps so I had to stop a few times and air it up,” said Kappius. Beisels gap continued to grow as Kappius struggled with a deflating tire, but soon Beisel had trouble of his own. “I got the word he flatted and eventually caught him. I knew our gap was big so I stopped to help him start putting a tube in because I didn’t think it was worth ruining a wheel. I guess somehow the tube exploded so he still had to ride the rim in,” Kappius related after the race.
In the end, Kappius ended up finishing first with a time of 4:07:27, with Biesel riding in on his rim 6:22 behind. “I flatted at the last series race and I felt like I could have won that one so it all evened out. It was great spending 4 hours in the saddle with one of my best buddies, so overall it was a great day!” said Kappius.
In the Women’s Pro race, the field was a bit smaller due to the Beti Bike Bash occurring on the same day, but the racing was fierce nonetheless. Stacey Moller took the win with an impressive time of 5:19:02, with Sonya Bugbee (Epic Endurance Cycling) coming in a close second only 2:23 behind Moller. Marjie Tokarski also finished with an fast time of 5:24:32 in the Women’s 40-49 class.
It was a great day with MC extraordinaire Larry Grossman on the mic and vendors area complete with Wahoo’s Fish Burritoes, Rockyard Brewing Company, Oskar Blues, and fun stuff for the kids including the ever popular free kids race. This was a great new venue with plenty of parking, lots of room to spread out, and super fun trails. Hopefully it will remain a staple in the series, and everybody will be back next year to do it again.