Dong and Calton Take the Rage at Snowbird

Dong and Calton Take the Rage at Snowbird


SALT LAKE CITY, August 4, 2018—Evelyn Dong (Spry Cycles/Stan’s No Tubes) and Zach Calton (Spry Cycles/Legacy Properties West) overcame intense competition and serious altitude to take top spot on the podium in the elite women’s and elite men’s divisions respectively of the Intermountain Cup Rage at Snowbird X-country MTB race at Snowbird, Utah on August 4, 2018.

With a base elevation of just over 8,000, the Snowbird course was surrounded by immense granite peaks in all directions. With a 5-mile lap featuring over 500′ of climbing per lap, the course tested the fitness of even the most prolific riders.

The competitive drama began in the elite women’s division when a downed directional sign caused Dong and Nicole Tittensor (Jan’s Park City/Scott Bikes/Reynolds Cycling) to miss the turn from the preliminary fire road climb onto the initial single track. Tittensor noticed the mistake first and recovered quickly enough to put several riders worth of distance between her and Dong. However, with a recent win at the Missoula XC and a top-20 finish at the USA National Championships, Dong would not be denied and caught Tittensor on the next climb.

“Maybe it was a good thing I was back there so I could calm down and ride my own race,” said Dong who created separation on the fire road portion of the second lap.

“[Dong] put on her climbing legs on me and put about five guys between us going into the single track for the second lap,” said Tittensor. “I just couldn’t get her back in my sights after that.”

Dong continued to create separation throughout the second and third laps to ride away with a 2:40 victory. Tittensor, however, leveraged the extra motivation of a race dedicated to her ailing father-in-law to continue to push and beat out third-place-finisher K.C. Holley (Kuhl Cycling) by nearly six minutes.

In the elite men’s division, Calton, fresh off a victory at the Crusher in the Tushar and number seven ranking in the U23 national series, took advantage of Robbie Squire’s (Summit Bike Club) early mechanical problems to take 1:30 lead through the first lap. He continued to fend off Cooper Wiens and Chris Holley (Kuhl Cycling) over the final three laps to win the division by 1:12. “You have to be an all-around rider to do well up here [at Snowbird],” said Calton. “[The course] has a good blend of everything, so you have a good amount of climbing, but not heinous. You’ve got good, old-school single track, but you also have roots, rocks, bumpy climbs, but also smooth climbs.”

In the high school categories, Katelyn Williams took top spot on the varsity girls podium followed by Madeline Tanner and Hannah Foreman. Brennon Peterson won the varsity boys division followed by Max Miller and Ryder Jordin.

 

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