The last event of the four-week Delta Area MTB Series concluded Thursday evening at the Crossroads Trail in Hotchkiss.
The series, which was organized by Delta Marketing Director Darin Hamm, saw a growing audience each week of the event, culminating in a total of 23 participants at the last race, which was titled “Coyote Shuffle.”
With the 2021 series being over, Hamm indicated that the test run for a mountain bike racing series was overall successful, meaning the event will most likely return, possibly with more trails involved.
Winners of the last race were recognized, as were those who stood out cumulatively across all four races — two of which were at Crossroads Trail and two of which were at Confluence Park in Delta.
Between new contestants and some slightly different routing for this second race at Crossroads, there was some confusion and wrong turns out on the trail, some of which was never fully understood. The placements at the end were therefore given a bit more loosely, with riders being recognized for racing in all four races and finishing each race at the head of the pack for the most part.
Once again, Ashton Howard took first place in the full-length race, which was two laps that totaled 10 miles. He finished those 10 miles with a time of 56:44. Ciana Beller, a 15-year-old junior racer who participated in all four races, was also given an honorary first place recognition after she concluded her last race with a 64:02.
Likewise, Gunner Lee was given the same first place honor as the youngest racer to do the full 10-mile option at the age of 12. His time was 75:58.
Cameron Teal (69:30) and Leonardo Perez (64:05), both adult racers, were honored with second place, due in part to discrepancies out on the trail, which was ultimately not taken as a serious issue by racers or organizers, as the series has been advertised primarily as a fun time, not hard-core competition.
Among the youth racers, Micah Stenson and Ben Johnson, both ages 9-11, had both been in close competition for the previous three races, with Stenson having won the first and with Johnson winning the following two. However, due to an injury, Johnson forfeited his advantage to Stenson by only racing the half-lap race while Stenson did the full five-mile lap.
Stenson was recognized as the cumulative youth winner of the series but Johnson came next in the placement.
Bodhi Gilroy won the last race with a 32:16, just as he won the week before, but those were his only two races of the series. Stenson finished the last race with a 34:12.
Among the “masters,” or seniors, Kelly Brooks won the final race, but Dave Armlovich was equally recognized for participating all four weeks.
Among the half-lapper youth, whose race was approximately three miles, Ben Johnson did win the race with a 20:32. Forest Reeves got second at 24 minutes even. Among the girls, Pilar Edstrom was honored with a first place recognition after finishing at 30:14, while Sonora Shishim then finished immediately after at 30:16.
Extra prizes were laid out at this final race, and all participants were called forward for something, whether it was a T-shirt, certificate, gift card, bike lights, or other accessories.