A Blast of heat | AspenTimes.com

A Blast of heat

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

Saturday’s mountaincross results were not available because of an early Saturday newspaper deadline. Check back in The Aspen Times for complete Blast the Mass results.

Saturday, according to a number of weather websites, was the hottest day of the summer so far.You didn’t have to tell that to the mountain bikers who competed in Saturday morning’s grueling cross-country race at Snowmass, one of four competitions at this weekend’s Blast the Mass.Race organizers extended the Big Burn cross-country course by nearly four miles this year for an 11.6-mile loop that covered 2,300 vertical feet. The expanded terrain included a technical downhill section nicknamed “Anaerobic Nightmare” immediately following a climb to 10,000 feet. Riders also had to traverse the mountain for nearly two miles at 9,000 feet.

With midmorning temperatures reaching into the 80s, all of it added up to one hot day of racing.In the pro men’s race, Gunnison’s Brian Smith easily won with a two-loop time of 2 hours, 6 minutes, 44.9 seconds. Boulder’s Nick Martin was nearly three minutes behind with a runner-up time of 2:09:45.8. Another Boulder rider, Brian Fuentes, finished third in 2:11:06. Local men’s pro finishers included Carbondale’s Len Zanni in sixth (2:17:16.1) and Basalt’s Joel Mischke 11th in 2:28.30.8.

Jennifer Smith, the wife of the men’s winner, completed the sweep by taking the women’s pro race in 2:01:20.2. Dellys Starr of Lakewood finished second in 2:06:14.8, and Lisa Hudson of Golden was third in 2:09:23.1.The other top local results came from Basalt’s Amy Connerton, who won the 40-plus women’s expert division with a time of 2:24:02.4 and Max Taam, who won the 19-24 expert men’s race in 1:54:25.6.

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