5/7/2014 8:27:00 AM Utah cyclist wins Chino's first gravel road event
Cyclists in the Chino Grinder 106-mile race start off on a calm May Saturday morning and return five-plus hours later after the day grew hot and windy.
Cyclist Julie Kramer, talks to Zoe Dunn at the Chino Grinder registration desk. Zoe, on the Chino Valley Mountain Bike team, and her sister, Phoebe Dunn, front, volunteered. Event organizer/promoter Mike Melley, standing on right, watches.
Utah resident Jamey Driscoll, the winner of the inaugural SPY Chino Grinder Saturday, called the 106-mile course "the real deal," one that challenged him tactically.
"It's a very hard course and the race played out differently than I expected," said Driscoll, who finished the course in five hours, 36 minutes. "I had to attack very differently."
As Driscoll approached a group of 35-40 riders, he normally would take a bigger lead early on, but when the wind kicked midway, he chose to stay in a small group.
"It's hard if you're by yourself because of the wind," the professional rider from Park City, Utah, added.
He also commented that the "gravel was not too bad," except for the new gravel at the beginning of the course.
"The new, loose gravel absolutely destroyed me," he said.
He advised the optimal bike for this race is a cross bike with gravel tires as "the way to go." He also said using his gears was the "biggest advantage I had."
A total of 202 cyclists - from six states, mostly from Arizona, 20 from the Prescott area, and one from France - competed in the races that began at Old Home Manor, the Town of Chino's property on east Perkinsville Road, and took riders between Chino and Williams and back for the 106-mile course. Or racers could ride to just past the trellis at the Verde River and back for the 42-mile course. And the third race option was a relay, in which partners switched at the turn-around point at the Elk Ridge Ski and Outdoor Recreation Area in Williams.
The 106-mile course was about 60 percent gravel and 40 percent pavement.
Chloe Woodruff was the first female rider to finish in the 106-mile with a time of six hours, 55 minutes.
In the 42-mile course, Chop Pork took first in two hours, 16 minutes; first female was Jona Davis with a time of two hours, 54 minutes.
The relay team winners were Nutless Monkeys - teammates Fleming and Papineau (no first names given), in a combined time of nine hours, 48 minutes.
Chino Valley Police Det. Steve Jones, who competed in the 42-mile race, called the course brutal because it was a 9,700-foot climb, or one-third the height of Mt. Everest, he said. He did the course in four hours, 21 minutes, coming in 38th place. Last August, Jones and his son rode part of the course. He thought it was great to see an event like this come to Chino Valley.
Some riders found the location hotter than they expected and many also called the course "brutal." One rider experienced stomach craps and had to stop.
Three aid stations along the course provided water, sports drinks, energy bars and more. Local HAM amateur radio operators provided communications along the route, at the aid stations.
Coaches and athletes from the Chino Valley High School Mountain Bike team volunteered at the event, and proceeds from the on-site camping went to the team. Team members also earned donations by washing bikes after the races.
Roving event announcer was Kaolin Cummens, owner of Flat Tire Bike Shop in Cave Creek and one of the event sponsors, who called himself the event's "chief motivator," by giving information, talking to people and selecting motivational music.
Volunteer Nacho Reyes of Chino Valley, a long-time bicyclist and member of the now-defunct Chain Gang Cycling Club in Prescott, took the pre-ride March 15 and found an oddity of the course - surging power lines that cyclists had to ride under, picking up residual. If they touched skin to any metal on the bike, they'd get a shock, he said. He also described the climb up from the Verde River as "steep and long." He decided against the ride until he was in better shape and because of the strong winds he experienced on the pre-ride.
Rotary Club of Chino Valley worked at the event, as well, cooking and selling hamburgers and hot dogs and other concession items.
Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014
Article comment by:
Prescott valley MTB'er
Really? You gave Chloe Woodruff only a one line mention for winning the women's division? Here is a new Prescott resident who is not only a terrific person and athlete but she won this event after winning the Whiskey 50 race just last weekend. Way to support your hometown girl !! This paper doesn't speak for the MTB community in the Prescott area, we understand what an accomplishment this was to do Chloe. AWESOME JOB !!!!!!!!!!!!!