Ruby Canyon Classic
April 21, 1996
By Tom Horrocks
The Colorado racing season kicked off April 21 with the Ruby Canyon Mountain Bike Classic, and once again a Team Trek rider dominated the Pro men's race.
Durango's Daryl Price (Trek/Volkswagon) cruised to the pro victory as Laurie Brandt (Ross/Jeep) of Boulder showed her early season form was on, winning by almost two minutes in the pro women's race.
The 25.5-mile race featured lots of technical single track, double track and sections of gravel road while utilizing part of the famed Kokopelli's Trail that winds from Grand Junction, Colo., to Moab, Utah.
Last year, Trek's Travis Brown rode away from the strong pro contingent for the victory. This year, Price did the same, setting a blistering pace in the combined pro/elite race as the first three miles rolled over a wide-open dirt road.
Price held the lead into the single track as second-year pro Carl Swenson (BMW/Pro€flex) led the chase, followed by brother Peter Swenson (Ross/Jeep), Matt Smith (Mongoose), Kurt Masterson (Bouré), Brian Riepe (Ibis) and Sean Crotty (Schwinn/Grand West Outfitters) close behind. However, a Peter Swenson crash quickly strung-out the field. Price took advantage and increased his lead, riding to the victory in 1 hour, 25 minutes and 59 seconds.
"It was basically fast from start to finish," commented Riepe, who finished fifth, at 4:46 back. "It was such a short race that it was hard to make up time, even 30 seconds."
Carl Swenson finished second at 1:42, followed by Smith in third at 2:27. Crotty won the elite division in 1:30:34, a time that would have place him fifth in the pro ranks.
Brandt also set a quick pace from the start that was matched by Rene Marshman (Dean) and Karen Wilson (Jamis). However, Wilson flatted, and last years winner, Mia Stockdale (Vail Bicycle Services), slid into third.
Brandt increased her lead through the technical single track that overlooked the Colorado River, winning with a time of 1:42:49. Marshman settled for second at 1:58 back, while Stockdale finished third at 6:09.
In the women's expert class, Michele Keane (Team Algae) rode to the victory with a time of 1:52:38. However, Sandy Fee (Colorado Bike Service) relinquished her two-minute lead to Keane after falling victim to two flats and numerous mechanicals midway through the race. Tara Llanes finished second at 3:18, followed by Muffy Rite in third at 3:42. Fee settled for eighth, more than 30 minutes back.
Christian McCarthy rode to the victory in the men's expert race in 1:30:26, thanks to his superb technical skills.
"My chain fell off on the first technical section and Christian just rode through it," recalled Jeff Roy (Colorado Bike Service), who finished second at 2:14 back. "I thought I was going to be able to catch him on the climb, but he just pulled away. He was a lot more efficient on the technical stuff." Chris McGee finished third at 2:56.
1. Daryl Price Trek/Volkswagon 1:29:59 2. Carl Swenson BMW/Pro-Flex 3. Matt Smith Mongoose 4. Kurt Masterson Boure 5. Brian Reipe Ibis 6. Peter Swenson 7. Todd Wells Specialized 8. Mike Volk 9. Daniel McNeil Schwinn 10.Mark Logan
Expert Vet Men