Youth serves notice in Ride for the Pass |

Youth serves notice in Ride for the Pass

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
Riders in the competitive division of Saturday's Ride for the Pass pop off the start line at the bottom of Independence Pass, near Aspen. / Janet Urquhart The Aspen Times

The numbers tell the story.

The 2013 Ride for the Pass cycling event is in the books, thanks to a window of pleasant weather in the Aspen area Saturday.

The annual benefit ride up Independence Pass from the winter gate to the ghost town of Independence attracted some 300 cyclists, coming off two consecutive years when the event was snowed out.

Chris Carr, of Littleton, posted the key number of the day, winning the nearly 10-mile climb in 41 minutes, 21 seconds. He nipped runner-up Wade Newsom by two seconds. Aspen endurance wizard John Gaston finished third (41:34.)

Aspen’s Anne Gonzales won the women’s competitive race in 48:50, edging the leader of Aspen’s next generation of elite endurance athletes. Gonzales, in the 51-59 category and proud of it, edged 14-year-old Hailey Swirbul at the finish line.

And Gonzales was quick to credit the fitness, talent and hard work of Swirbul, one of the nation’s top junior Nordic ski racers.

Swirbul was far from alone in terms of teenagers at the top of the Ride for the Pass.

In the final overall results, four of the top 13 finishers were either teens — or younger.

Registered in the 11-19 age group, Cormac McGeough was fourth overall in 43:03.

Colby Lange and Keegan Swirbul, brother of Hailey Swirbul, finished 10th and 11th, respectively. Their times were 45:07 and 45:09, respectively.

Hunter Callahan crossed in 11th place (46:15).

Kevin Callahan, who also braved the cold and wet conditions of Sunday’s downtown criterium, finished 25th in the Ride for the Pass overall standings.

There were plenty of senior riders to balance the youngsters, of course. The two most senior cyclists, both in the 70-plus category, were Linda Loeschen and Jacques “Frenchy” Houot.

Their times?

1:28 and 1:30, respectively.

Aspen Cycling Club

The Aspen Cycling Club will resume its regular schedule with a 6 p.m. road race today, starting near the Woody Creek Tavern.

The race will begin at the intersection of Upper River Road and Woody Creek/Lenado Road. This race course includes modest descending and climbing grades, which will allow opportunities for riding within a peloton.

From the intersection of Upper River Road and Woody Creek/Lenado Road, the course heads down Upper/Lower River Road about 6 miles to a turnaround point that is one-quarter mile above the bridge over the Roaring Fork River to Old Snowmass.

From the turnaround point, the course returns via Lower and Upper River Road, climbing 400 feet to the starting point where all racers will veer left onto Woody Creek/Lenado Road.

From there, the course gently ascends 600 feet over about 4.75 miles to the end of the pavement.

There will be a post-race gathering at the Woody Creek Tavern for participants to enjoy recovery beverages.

Volunteer course marshals are needed. They will receive race bonus points for assisting.

For volunteer information, email Mouse at mousesmv@ or call her at 970-618-4626. Please let her know ASAP if you can Marshal!

For more information on today’s race, call the Aspen Cycling Club hotline at 970-922-2000.

In other cycling news, the road races scheduled for the holiday weekend in the midvalley have been canceled by the Front Range organizers. Races originally were set for the Missouri Heights/Carbondale area.

Several area cyclists will head to Durango over the holiday weekend for the annual Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. There is the annual 50-mile road ride from Durango to Silverton with nearly 3,000 cyclists.

Mountain bike races also are scheduled along with criterium races and individual time trials.