Racers at the start of Campus Cross Race 3 ©Chris Miller

Racers at the start of Campus Cross Race 3 ©Chris Miller

by Jesse Pisel

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Gunnison, Colorado: December 3rd wrapped up the Campus Cross Series put on by the Western State College of Colorado bike team. The weather was snowy and cold for the final race of the series, in stark contrast to the first two races in November. The morning of the race the sky opened up, and in whiteout conditions promptly dumped one to two inches of snow on the ground just in time for course set up. Members of the Western State Bike Team showed up in the snow at 9 am to flag the course around campus that included sidewalks, barriers, three different sets of stairs, a sand pit, and a slo-mo tree section.

Brian Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics) led the race from the start ©Chris Miller

Brian Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics) led the race from the start ©Chris Miller

At 2 pm when the sun decided to reappear the racers started to arrive and get their chance to warm up on the course. Half an hour later, at 2:30 pm, the race went off with 22 racers getting their turns to suffer. Team Alpine Orthopaedics immediately jumped to the front of the race with Brian Smith leading from the start followed by Jon Brown.

In the women’s division it was Jenny Smith and Amy Beisel leading the pack from the start and trading the lead back and forth throughout the race, with Jenny Smith coming out victorious in the end. Most riders opted for the wider tires of mountain bikes in the snow, which proved to be an advantage on the up and then down stairs of the library, which many people rode down. The major issue of the day for many riders was snow packing into the bottoms of shoes, preventing clipping into pedals. Some riders decided to forgo the bike shoes and wear everything from running shoes to snow boots.

Brian Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics) led the race from the start ©Chris Miller

Brian Smith (Alpine Orthopaedics) led the race from the start ©Chris Miller

As the race progressed, the snow started to pack out into the grass areas and the course got faster towards the end, and there was less sliding out in the corners and fewer crashes. When it was all said and done the race was dominated by Team Alpine Orthopedics in the men’s and women’s divisions, with Brian and Jenny Smith taking top honors. At the end of the race every single person that raced helped with course take down in the 20 degree weather and almost everyone stayed for results and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. The Gunnison Campus Cross Series was a success raising money for the Western State College Bike Team to head out to Madison in January for Nationals.


Race Results:

Men:

  1. Brian Smith
  2. Jon Brown
  3. Jordan Carr
  4. Dave Ochs
  5. Bryan Miller
  6. Mike Tofel
  7. Bill Swift
  8. Ansel Schimpff
  9. Graham Rukmann
  10. Cody Scott
  11. Jarral Ryter
  12. Brae Patten
  13. Jesse Pisel
  14. Alex Alleman
  15. Greg Giudici
  16. Owen Tulip
  17. John Elm

Women

  1. Jenny Smith
  2. Amy Beisel
  3. Angela Vitulli
  4. Jennifer Drimmer Swift