Baker City hosts inaugural Elkhorn Classic race

June 10, 2002 12:00 am
Bicycle racers in the Category 3/4 division charge down Main Street in Baker City en route to a high speed turn onto Broadway. A portion of downtown was closed Saturday afternoon to host the criterium, a high-speed, short course race. Of the four racing divisions — masters, Pro 1/2, Cat 3/4 and women — the Cat 3/4 was by far the largest with 100 entries. Washington resident Jim Rucker won the criterium, followed by Californian Matthew Rozek. (Baker City Herald/Mark Furman).
Bicycle racers in the Category 3/4 division charge down Main Street in Baker City en route to a high speed turn onto Broadway. A portion of downtown was closed Saturday afternoon to host the criterium, a high-speed, short course race. Of the four racing divisions — masters, Pro 1/2, Cat 3/4 and women — the Cat 3/4 was by far the largest with 100 entries. Washington resident Jim Rucker won the criterium, followed by Californian Matthew Rozek. (Baker City Herald/Mark Furman).

By BRENNA KNOWLES

Of the Baker City Herald

For many riders, cars were closets for the three-day Elkhorn Classic. Others packed local hotels or camped at the high school.

To prepare for the races, athletes pulled spandex shorts over freshly shaved legs and wore jerseys splashed with shades of red, orange, yellow, green, black or royal blue. Their bikes, painted the same colors, were worth more than some peoples cars. Athletes strapped heart rate monitors around their chests while others hooked up small radios to communicate with their team members while racing.

"I just drool over these bikes," said Dave Coughlin, pointing to a shiny Italian model. Coughlin is a Baker City resident and cyclist who drove a support car to provide direction and extra wheels for the racers in Friday's Oregon Trail Road Race and Sunday's slog over Dooley Mountain in the snow.

"It's exciting to see Baker attracting such a high caliber group of men and women," Coughlin said.

Coughlin often cycles the course that was used for the road race stage and he said the 79 mile loop would give racers a good idea of the desert, forest and canyon landscapes that make up Eastern Oregon.

Recent BHS grad races

Mike Fors, a 1995 BHS graduate, placed 42nd in Friday's Oregon Trail Road Race with a time of 3:25:09. This was his fourth race of the year and he found the course windy and tough. Fors currently works at a bike shop in Portland called Performance and was excited to come back home and race.

"I'm in pretty good shape and I hope to do better at this race next year," he said. Fors described Sunday's 116 mile Dooley Mountain Road Race as "brutal." He said it was snowing in the mountains at the start and the group he was racing with had to stop for a cattle drive near Hereford.

Fors said the descent was scary because of moisture on the pavement. Fors also said the competitors in his group have "legs the size of trees" and "can really turn it out." He encouraged area residents to watch and support the race next year.

"It's just amazing. They're the best athletes in the world," he said.

Fors planned on watching TV to recover after the weekend of racing. He said he and most other racers watch what they eat but last night he treated himself to what he was craving most — Canadian bacon pizza without pineapple.

Official results will be posted at the race web site www.elkhornclassic.com and the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association at www.obra.org.

Race Results

The winners of the Elkhorn Classic Stage Race have been posted and prizes awarded. There were 293 racers participating in the four stages of the race, including 46 women. The top five winners were given in the following:

Overall winners

Women

First — Heather Albert, of Idaho

Second — Allison Beall, of Washington

Third — Jane Despas, of California

Fourth — Cynthia Mommsen, of California

Fifth — Becky Broeder, of Montana

Masters ages 40 plus

(64 riders)

First — Brian McGuire, of California

Second — David Zimbelman, of Washington

Third — Dan Smith, of California

Fourth — Mick Walsh, of Washington

Fifth — Stephen Holland, of Oregon

Men's Pro 1/2

(86 riders)

First — Geoffrey Burndred of Washington

Second — Rusty Beall of Washington

Third — Barry Wicks of Oregon

Fourth — Ron Schmeer of Washington

Fifth — Tyler Thompson of Washington

Men's 3/4

(100 riders)

First — Matthew Rozek of California

Second — Evan Lawrence of Montana

Third — Kris Stanton of Washington

Fourth — Jim Rucker of Washington

Fifth — Zach Winter of Oregon

Gold Rush Criterion

winners to third place

Men's 3/4

First — Jim Rucker of Washington

Second — Matthew Rozek of California

Third — Anton Jackson of Washington

Women's

First — Emily Westbrook of Washtington

Second — Judy Hay of California

Third — Heather Albert of Idaho

Masters

First — Dan Smith of California

Second Glen Brnselmeyer of Washington

Third — Brian McGuire of California

Men's Pro 1/2

First — Luca Segato of Canada

Second — Troy Critchlow of Washington

Third — Evan Elken of Washington

Dooley Mountain Road Race

Men's 3/4

First — Anton Jackson of Washing

Second — Joel Biederman of California

Third — Kris Stanton of Washington

Fourth — John Behrens of Idaho

Fifth — John Boelsems of Washington

Women's

First — Heather Albert of Idaho

Second — Susanna Gaunt of Montana

Third — Becky Broeder of Montana

Fourth — Cynth Mommsen of California

Fifth — Allison Beall of Washington

Men's Pro 1/2

First — Ron Schmeer of Washington (best time overall with 5 fours, 18 minutes and 6 seconds)

Second — Dylan Sebel of Canada

Third — Barry Wicks of Oregon

Fourth — Geoffrey Burndred of Washington

Fifth — Rusty Beall of Washinton

Masters

First — Dan Smith of California

Second — Steve Yenne of Oregon

Third — David Zimbelman of Washington

Fourth — John Weyhrich of Montana

Fifth — Randall Smith of Washington