Hamilton and Tittensor top Snowmass 50 mountain bike race as youth shine bright

Cody Jones
The Aspen Times
Simi Hamilton competes in the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race on Saturday, July 24, 2021.
Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

In the third year the Snowmass 50 — which formerly went under the Power of Four name — has been held exclusively in Snowmass Village, the locals and the younger generation shined bright.

The Snowmass 50 is a highly contested mountain bike race that traverses the many trails at Snowmass Ski Area. Participants must complete two 25-mile loops that gain nearly 10,000 feet in elevation throughout the trail race.

This year the event offered three divisions, a 50-mile solo race, 25-mile solo race, and a 50-mile team race where each member does a single lap in the relay.

In the 50-mile race on Saturday, three-time Olympian and Aspen bred Simi Hamilton bombed down Fanny Hill to capture the overall men’s title. Hamilton, who retired from professional cross-country skiing earlier this year, completed the race in 4 hours, 17 minutes, 19 seconds.

“This was the first time doing the race after doing the Power of Four (running) race last year,” said Hamilton, who won last year’s foot race. “The race was awesome — the rain helped with the ride, for sure. I had no idea that I would end up winning the race, as I am just getting into bike racing.”

Hamilton also noted the race was not easy, even though the Olympian quickly regained his composure minutes after the race.

“The race was not a breeze. It was hard and there was definitely a few moments I was in a great deal of pain,” Hamilton said.

Aspen native Simi Hamilton chats after winning the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race on Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Snowmass Village. Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times.

Carbondale’s Mike Sampson and Evergreen’s Brian Elander rounded out the top three of the men’s 50-mile race. Sampson finished in a time of 4:25:24 and Elander in 4:39:20.

Nicole Tittensor, from Axtell, Utah, was the first woman to finish the 50-mile race. She had a time of 5:50:11 and placed 14th overall. Tittensor was followed in close succession by Amy Lawton of Steamboat Springs (5:52:06) and Kara LaPoint of Woody Creek (5:56:26).

Gallery caption: Photos: Snowmass 50 mountain bike race

“This was my first race of this distance and I am coming back from a fractured knee, so coming into the race I was just unsure about my endurance fitness,” said Tittensor, who rides for Jans Park City and Scott USA. “The race started off great for me and I felt great after the first lap, but was starting to feel a bit fatigued. I was behind Amy Lawton when I realized I still had good power and to just give it my best. I ended up grabbing a few gears and with 6 miles left I passed both Lawton and LaPoint. The course is one-of-a-kind and we will definitely be back.”

For the 25-mile race, 14-year-old Dante Humphrey from Carbondale broke the tape first in a time of 2:36:19. Humphrey was in the youngest age division and possibly the youngest competitor on the day. He was followed by Park City’s Robert Aldrich (2:37:27) and Tiernan Pittz (2:40:52).

Pittz, a 15-year-old also from Carbondale, was the second competitor from the 14- to 18-year-old division to cross the finish line and stand atop the awards podium.

Audi Snowmass 50 Race Results

Men’s 25-mile race:

1st, Dante Humphrey, 2:36:19 — 2nd, Robert Aldrich, 2:37:27 — 3rd, Tiernan Pittz, 2:40:52

Women’s 25-mile race:

1st, Kerri Starkey, 3:03:39 — 2nd, Ashley Deemie, 3:40:23 — 3rd, Sara Shaw, 3:41:53

Men’s 50-mile race:

1st — Simi Hamilton, 4:17:19 — 2nd, Mike Sampson, 4:25:24 — 3rd, Brian Elander, 4:39:20

Women’s 50-mile race:

1st, Nicole Tittensor, 5:50:11 — 2nd, Amy Lawton, 5:52:06 — 3rd, Kara LaPoint, 5:56:26

Glenwood Springs local Kerri Starkey was the first woman to finish the 25-mile race. She completed the course in 3:03:39 and placed 14th overall. Rounding out the top three in the women’s 25-mile race were Superior’s Ashley Deemie (3:40:23) and Basalt’s Sara Shaw (3:41:53).

Complete results can be found here.

Snowmass Village will next serve as the finish line for the Audi Power of Four trail race on Saturday, July 31. Runners will traverse all four of the Aspen area ski mountains in the 50k race, or two in the 25k race distance.