The final race in the Series was contested on a new course that worked its way around the beautiful rolling hills of the Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch near Elbert Colorado. The PV Cycle Derby course was a 22-mile mix of service road, old double track, and singletrack that wound its way through Black Forest and Ponderosa Pine. Lots of fast rolling terrain mixed with some great sections of technical singletrack made for super fun riding and a vertical gain of 2150 ft. per lap.
With the full marathon racers doing three laps, everybody had their work cut out for them as the starting gun sent them on their way. There was also a 2/3rds distance and a XC distance of 1 lap. With all the options, there was a race for everybody, and there were even a few junior racers out in the XC race. It was great to see these 10-year-old kids out in the middle of their 22-mile lap with ear-to-ear smiles!
In the Men’s Pro/Open race Colin Cares (Kenda/Felt) and Brady Kappius (Clif Bar) had a few minute gap on the rest of the field by 1 lap in. Taylor Sheldon (Tokyo Joe’s) and Ezekiel Hersh (Kep’s Balls) were both chasing hard throughout lap number two as Kappius and Cares rode together to grow their gap. Sheldon put a couple of the fastest lap times of the day down as he tried to bring the leaders back.
Up at the front, Cares applied the pressure, riding away from a struggling Kappius. Two thirds of the way through the last lap, Sheldon had closed the gap to Kappius to within a couple of minutes. In the end, Kappius was able to hold off Sheldon and beat him by about 3 ½ minutes. Colin Cares finished up first with a total time of 4:56:28 for the 66-mile race. With his second place finish on the day, Brady Kappius wrapped up the win for the overall series title for 2011. Great racing Brady!
Janet Ross (Determinator Pueblo) put down the fastest time for the women in the full marathon distance. Racing in the 50-59 age class, Janet rode an impressive time of 6:59:37, finishing a full 18 minutes ahead of her closest competitor Kathy Judson. Also out for the full distance were Jennifer Kumbier (TriBella Racing Team), Julie Urlaub (Taiga Company), and Minoi Hofmaster (Rocky Mountain Racing).