||The 2012 Season Awards:
UtahMountainBiking had over 120 racers representing the team during the
year 2012, in cross-country, endurance, and cyclocross. 100 of these
racers participated in the Intermountain Cup. Of these 100, 47 qualified
as "Active Team" by racing in 4 or more events of the ICup
series. And of those 47, 30 received votes from their team mates for
special recognition. As our team has matured, there's talent and
determination in more and more of our team members. In 2012, UMB won the
season ICup team competition and earned the IMBA Trailwork Trophy. Many of
our racers took spots on the season
podium in their categories.
These awards serve to honor some of that talent and effort. During
December 2012, team members voted for those they thought deserving of
recognition. They were free to vote for any rider in any award category.
Like the Workhorse Award, a Sparkplug Award is not based on vote. It's an
arbitrary recognition of a few individuals who
"spark" the team by participating enthusiastically in multiple
races of varying type, including cross-country, endurance, and cyclocross.
So this recognition is not limited to Intermountain Cup competition. It
honors those who participate strongly across a variety of racing events
and represent the team with distinction.
Thirty UMB racers received votes toward season honors. An Honorable Mention is awarded where a
rider received multiple votes in a category but was not the winner.
||As part of the racing Hutchings clan, Sally Reynders
has been with the race team since 2005. For several years she's completed
every race of the ICup season. Sally has received the "Best
Attitude" award many times in recognition of her good sportsmanship,
team spirit, and sweet disposition. (It must be contagious, because husband
Adam also received votes in this category this year.) Sally won the overall 2012
season championship in Women 35-plus.
||If you're looking for Fire in the Belly, look at Jason
Sparks. A few years ago Jason joined the team as a beginner. He put
more effort and fanaticism into racing than anyone we know. This dynamic
"force of nature" is regularly on the podium in the ICup Expert
40-plus class, and participates with gusto in endurance races and
cyclocross. Jason has been our cyclocross squad captain for the past three
seasons. This year Jason won the Men 35-plus category at the 50-mile True
|We aren't awarding an official Honorable
Mention for this category in 2012. Second place for "Most Inspirational" was a
nine-way tie between Bruce Argyle, Meghan Sheridan, Adam Lee, Gene
Poncelet, Spencer Neeley, Dave Benson, Jason Sparks, Adam Reynders, and
John Higgins. Apparently we have a lot of inspirational people on our
||It's like the Before and After photos from an fitness
program advertisement. The pictures of Michael Dodge over the 2012
season show his progress from hefty Beginner to tough Sport rider. When
barely out of the Beginner class, he tackled and finished the tough
Wasatch Back 50. It will be a pleasure to see what he can do next year.
||Joining the team for the 2012 season, Corey Spencer
completed 5 ICup races and one USCS race. At most races he was accompanied
by his son Devin. Several of our greenie racers received votes for Rookie
of the Year, with Corey being the runner-up.
||We've watched Jake Van Wagoner get steadily faster
and stronger since he joined the team in 2007 in the Beginner category at
age 12. As our Sport-Expert 16-18 racer, he took 2nd place overall for the
2012 season. Jake demonstrates consistently good sportsmanship and is
willing to work hard. It's a pleasure to have him on the UMB team.
||In 2011, Casey Zaugg worked his way from Sport to
Expert to Pro and was voted Most Improved. This year Casey represented the team well in the Pro
category with podium finishes, including a 2nd place in the 100-mile
version of the True Grit. During the year Casey developed his CocoNutz
Fuel business, with the Coconutz canopy becoming a regular feature at Utah
||It's hard to imagine what the UtahMountainBiking race team
would be like without Kay Hutchings. For the past few years Kay has
been at trailside snapping photos of the UMB racers. After the race she
sizes, sorts, and tweaks the photos, then uploads them for the team. It's
a lot of work, and much appreciated. The photos on our race report
pages are cropped versions of her photos. We owe much of our sense of
"family" to Kay's generous effort.
||For the past few years, Gene Poncelet has been under
the UMB canopy after every race, talking about biking while enjoying the
after-race picnic. Gene just seems to enjoy riding and racing, and he
infects those around him with happy vibes. Even a serious leg injury after
the season didn't lessen his enthusiasm for this great sport. Here's to
another season of enjoying Gene's company!
Joining the UMB team early in the 2012 season, Mitt Stewart moved
steadily up the ranks of the very competitive Expert Men 40-plus
category. By season's end, he was fighting to win. He had a 2nd place
finish at the ICup season finale at Snowbasin. In addition to speed and
skill, Mitt is remembered as consistently having the blackest dirt-covered
post-race face ever seen.
Christian Burrell shares the title of Most Improved. Joining the
team last year as a Beginner, Christian fought hard to toughen up and trim
down. As he began to hit the podium in Beginner in the early 2012 season,
Christian moved up to Sport. There he won enough points in the remaining
races to finish with overall 3rd place in the Sport Men 35-39 category.
||Our Most Inspirational rider was our Toughest Racer last
year. As the oldest member of the UMB team, and consistently the oldest
racer on the mountain, Joel Quinn not only keeps going, he keeps winning.
Joel has won the 57-plus overall season championship in past seasons, and
finished in third place overall for the 2012 season. Joel inspires us all by showing what's possible.
||In the space of 14 months, Bruce Argyle had two
surgical procedures and four "injury" crashes, but stubbornly kept on training and
racing. Bandages in UMB yellow hid the stitches and scrapes. A painfully unstable AC joint
made every race tricky. But during that 14 months Bruce won 6 out of 21 races,
sweeping three Gold Medals at the Huntsman World Senior Games, winning the
2012 Utah State Championship Series, and taking 2nd place overall in the
Intermountain Cup for Men 57-plus.
||Our runner-up to Most Improved, Michael Dodge was
voted Rookie of the Year by the UtahMountainBiking.com team. A few times
during the season, it appeared certain that Michael was moving up too fast,
taking on too much. But he met the challenges, moving from Beginner to
Sport and tackling brutal endurance races. With good attitude and pleasant
disposition, this Rookie is a great addition to our team.
||Our Junior Racer of the Year raced in 7 of the 10 ICup races
as a Sport-Expert 13-15. Quiet and unassuming, Adam Lee was
consistently on the podium, including a 1st place at the Snowbasin season
finale. It's a pleasure to have Adam represent UMB as a bike racer.
||In April while finishing law school and studying for the Bar
exam, Meghan Sheridan joined the UMB race team. After a few races
she shocked us by moving to Pro. Then she moved up within the Pro field,
winning the Pro category of the Draper Fall Classic 50 in September. And
while racing, Meghan looks like she's having a good time out there. By vote of the UMB
team, Meghan is our 2012 Racer of the Year.
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