observations on gear, adventure, and the world

Corner Canyon Race Report

So, I’m not even going to try to match the pathos of Yount’s last race report, but, at the very least so that Sponsors know that their products are seeing dirt in addition to chip-seal, I’ll keep filing MTB reports.

Memorial Day. For the last five years, I’ve said no to every in-law sponsored barbecue and thrown down at the Stan Crane Memorial ICUP Race. Plagued by rain this race has had more than it’s share of rain delays, but in spite of the high chance of wacky last minute lets-avoid-confronting-the-fact-that-Corner-Canyon-is-knee-deep-in-mud course reroutes this is a race to not miss. First, it’s our backyard. Second, the course is always AMAZING. Scott Miles, Jessica’s uncle and long-time friend of the shop, is the mastermind behind the brilliant collection of trails and impeccable course markings. If you don’t have fun or you get lost during this race, go to the hospital – you are having a stroke.

We had six riders show up and all of them were in the top ten, some of those in VERY stacked fields. Since the venue is so conveniently located, everyone makes it out to this race and some of the locals can make up a lot of time on the extremely long working descent of the Rush Trail.

Curt Bates and Sam Wolf did battle with a swollen 50+ Mens field and if their race was anything like mine, several riders who really knew the trails were able to make up for a bit of fitness on the descent. Curt came in 8th at 2:05 and Sam six minutes later at 2:11. A little lower on the pole than normal, but I saw them at the end of the race looking very strong so I’ve got high expectations for these guys next week at the state championship up at Deer Valley. I’ve got to say that seeing Curt and Sam at all of the races is great. Since Jessica and I are focusing on the cross season this year we are doing a lot more riding in the dirt – don’t get me wrong the dirt is a fun place to play – but it can get a bit lonely.

Scott Allen deserves a good serving of recognition for his tenth place in the Men’s Pro Race. I can’t ever tell how old Scott is, but I’m sure he could go pick on the guys in some masters category with his eternal youth, but instead he shows up to a field that is really a who’s-who of mountain bike racing in the intermountain west and pulls out a top ten with aplomb. Seriously impressive, sir!

Speaking of impressive (with bias of course), Jessica has been having a really ground breaking mountain bike season. With no more than a handful of mountain bike races over her rather short cycling career, the girl has really brought the heat. Her first race in Womens Cat II she won by something like three minutes, and in Cat I she’s been nipping at the top step of the podium since the upgrade! The Corner Canyon course this week was really a challenge (for everyone I’m sure) for her as the descent of the Rush Trail was a twenty-plus minute free ride shred fest. Her solid third place is a testament to the huge improvements she’s made this year as a technical rider. Great things to come!

My favorite result though, was seeing Scott Miles who had been out marking the course since five in the morning tearing it up in the Mens 57+ category, drifting turns and hammering out a top ten!

I came up with my best ever mountain bike finish in the Cat II field. I had the luxury of grabbing the wheel of the guy who won. Then getting dropped by him and riding a rather comfortable pace just defending my second place since it was clear that he was climbing a bit faster than me and descending like a madman. I figured if he crashed I’d get him, so I played it safe. Happy with my result? Sure, but I’m more stoked about seeing bunch of people turn in inspiring performances!

Lastly a shout out to the Specialized 29er Bikes and tires we were running. The Renegade and the Fasttrack, tubeless on Eastons (Jessica has the Haven wheels and I’m running a stock pair of Rovals that both set up impeccably with the 2bliss tires) were perfect for the conditions, since we’d been getting rain the two days before… now that things are drying up we’re looking for some bigger tread (though the fast track is still surprising me in the dust and sand).

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