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Beisel wins Front Range 60

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The elite men's podium at the Front Range 60

The elite men's podium at the Front Range 60
(Image credit: Team Topeak-Ergon)
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Riders off in the distance during the Front Range 60

Riders off in the distance during the Front Range 60
(Image credit: Annette Hayden / Mountain Moon Photography)
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Racers roll downhill during the Front Range 60 at Bear Creek State Park

Racers roll downhill during the Front Range 60 at Bear Creek State Park
(Image credit: Annette Hayden / Mountain Moon Photography)
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And they're off... for the 2011 Front Range 60 marathon in Colorado.

And they're off... for the 2011 Front Range 60 marathon in Colorado.
(Image credit: Annette Hayden / Mountain Moon Photography)

While Kalan Beisel had no match at the Front Range 60 mountain bike race in Lakewood on Saturday, it was perhaps Taylor Sheldon who had the race of the day - or at least the best story to tell.

With one lap left in the fast, rolling 60-miler at Bear Creek Lake State Park, Sheldon struck a spectator in the feed zone and tumbled hard to the dusty ground. Slowed by a flat earlier in the race, he was mired in fourth place when he hopped back on his bike, bloody and dirty.

But the Boulder racer rallied over the next 10 miles with an impressive comeback that left him completely blasted, finishing second among some top regional talent. His time of 3:39:56 still was more than six minutes behind Beisel, who eased away from his rivals in the fifth lap.

"Lady Luck was on my side this weekend," said Beisel, a 30-year-old from Colorado Springs, who crossed the finish line in 3:33:42 in the second installment of the Rocky Mountain Endurance Series.

Just a week before, with a win within reach at the prestigious Whiskey 50 in Prescott, Arizona, Beisel - racing for Pro Cycling/SRAM - flatted and finished a disappointing 15th.

For the women, the undeniable force Kelly Boniface (Moots Cycles) of Steamboat Springs, bested Marjie Tokarski (Feedback Sports), Christienne Beam (Tribella Race Team), Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon) and Lacy Scott (Team Evergreen Racing).

The longer, tougher offspring of the now venerable Battle of the Bear, the first-year Front Range 60 offered a marathon-distance race as part of the overarching Denver Fat Tire Festival, which included shorter distances for less committed racers.

As a result, several hundred riders of varying abilities all competed for space on the same 10-mile track, making passing an energy-burning, sometimes risky proposition. That slowed some climbers on the short, middle-chainring climbs, but it also meant that even beginner-level cyclists could feel like they were always in a race - never alone.

The scenic course featured five climbs with names like "Grandpa's Grunt" and "The Dam Hill," snaked up and over Mount Carbon, circumnavigated Bear Creek reservoir and twisted through a cottonwood grove before a fast, straight homestretch to the final hill.

The race at the base of the foothills west of Denver attracted a sizeable crowd of spectators on a sun-splashed, warm May day. The event even included a sprint for toddlers still using training wheels, seeding future generations of bike racers.

The RME series, which includes the Breck 100 in July, continues with the Ridgeline Rampage race in Castle Rock on June 12.

Brief Results

Men's 60-mile marathon overall
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kalan Beisel (Pro Cycling/SRAM)3:33:42
2Taylor Shelden0:06:15
3Travis Macy (Team Merrell Adventure)0:06:21
4Zachary Vestal (VeloNews)0:06:33
5Brady Kappius (Clif Bar)0:06:45

Women's 60-mile marathon overall
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kelly Boniface (Moots Cycles)4:11:00
2Marjie Tokarski (Feedback Sports)0:01:22
3Christienne Beam (Tribella Race Team)0:04:36
4Sonya Looney (Topeak Ergon)0:04:45
5Lacey Scott (Team Evergreen Racing)0:07:00

Men's 30-mile half-marathon overall
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mitchell Hoke (Tokyo Joes)1:47:02
2Mark Legg-Compton (KfC Racing)0:00:45
3Josh Carlson (ROCKSTAR Racing/GIA)0:01:30
4Cody Waite (epcmultisport.com)0:01:54
5Jason Young (Feedback Sports Racing)0:04:52

Women's 30-mile half-marathon overall
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Kelli Emmett (Giant Bicycle)1:58:33
2Erin Huck (Tokyo Joes)0:02:23
3Amy Dombroski (Crankbrothers Race)0:05:37
4Amanda Carey (Kenda-Felt)0:07:24
5Caitlyn Vestal (Honey Stinger/Trek)0:08:20

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