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Team Photo Scrapbook 2014

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Red Rock Rampage
St. George - March 1, 2014

The weather forecast said heavy rain. Yes, there was an overnight storm, but the morning sun rapidly dried the mud. The race went on schedule and the riding was superb. The first wave went at 10 a.m. for Beginner categories, kids, and Women 40-plus. Temperatures were into the upper 50s by the second race for Sport and Expert classes at noon. It was a great day of racing. UMB's only first-place finish was Dallin Hatch, with Sally Reynders taking our only 2nd.

Left:   Early-morning view northwest, as the team canopies welcome riders to the first race of the 2014 season.

The course was the Classic Green Valley loop. The shakeout went northwest on doubletrack, then up the little hill. After a short detour onto singletrack, broad trail rolled northwest before dropping into Keyhole Wash for a fun challenge. The trail then climbs to the top of the escarpment before plunging down the ridgeline to the cow pond. Now Rock Wash leads back uphill to the top, where it links to the classic Green Valley Downhill for a twisting high-speed return to the valley floor.


The approach to the race area was very squishy during the first
hours of the morning. Several vehicles had to be towned out.

The staging area itself was firm, with no mud issues when walking
around or warming up. The sun dried the ground quickly. 

Preparing for a cold and miserable day, a large stack of scrap
lumber was ready to provide heat for wet cold racers. The only
"wet" was sweat, as the clouds gave way to sun.

The trail was firm and dry enough by 10 a.m. that the Beginner class
race went on as scheduled. The weather-hardened check-in and
judging areas were a smart precaution. 

Expert Men 40-plus:  

Left:   Mark Messer turns toward finish line as he
completes his third lap, taking the 5th place ribbon
in Expert Men 40-plus.

Right:   Zooming across the slickrock below The Plunge,
 Michael Engberson finishes with 11th place.


Left:  Steve Bonney grunts up the final hill before
the finish-line sprint with only a single gear,
getting a podium finish at 3rd place in the
Singlespeed category.

Right:   As parking-lot neighbors, Rick Morris and
John Twitchell prep their bikes before hopping
on their trainers to warm up for the race. 

The first race of the season is a time to renew old racing friendships
and to meet our new team mates. Bogdan Balasa says hello to 
Jason Cowley at the UMB bike stand.

Time for the first wave to get ready for the race. As the air warms
up, the jackets come off. Racers were well-prepared. Our repair
stand was used only by other riders. Recruiting tool? 

Open Categories
Women 40-plus:

Left:  Sally Reynders rolls into the ledges of
the slickrock corner. A half-mile to go to finish
her race in 2nd place for Women 40-plus.

Right:  Staging for the Sport Men 40-49 group, as
Ben Becker, Tim Wagstaff, and Corey
Spencer get ready for their call-up. 

Men 60-plus:

Left:  Rick Morris hammers around the final turn
in the sage flat below the mesa as he nails down a
podium spot with 3rd place in Men 60-plus. Rick
has moved up from the Men 50s this year.

Right:  Bruce Argyle bangs through the little trough
in the slickrock of the big wash on the downhill,
taking the 4th place finish in the old-guys group.

Left:  Also a brand-new grown-up racer this year,
Joe Benson joins the 60-plus category and makes
fast work of his two laps, taking 5th place.

Right:  Cranking over the slickrock below The Plunge,
 Gene Poncelet grabs another ribbon for the UMB team
with the 6th place spot in Men 60-plus.

Left:   Filming the race as he rides, Richard Ewell 
bounces through the little wash near the finish
line as he rides to the 5th position in the
Clydesdale category.

Right:   Sally gives encouraging words to UMB
riders Christian Burrell, Daniel Truong, and
brother Ben Hutchings.

At 12:14, the Men 60-plus group gets their start. Bruce Argyle,
Rick Morris, Joe Benson, and Gene Poncelet are in UMB colors.

Mark Messer and Mike Engberson sprint away from the start line
as the Expert Men 40-plus group heads out for their three laps.

Sport Categories
Sport Men 19-29: 
Left:   Dallin Hatch fights up the doubletrack of the last hill
on his way to the 1st place win in Sport Men 19-29. Way to
go, Dallin! You've set the bar really high for the rest of the

Right:  Daniel Truong looks toward the rock drop at the
end of the main downhill as he grabs the 7th place
spot in Sport Men 19-29. After strong performances
in cyclocross last fall, Daniel has upgraded to the
Sport class for this cross-country season.

Sport Men 30-39:

Left:  Michael Dodge tips into the final turn on his final
lap, sprinting to the  9th place finish in Sport Men 30-39.

Right:  Dropping into the little wash before the finish
line, Christian Burrell finishes his 12.4 miles with the
 11th place position in the Category.

Left:  Coming around the finish area at the end of
lap one, Ben Hutchings fires up for the long straight
section that starts the new lap. Ben takes the14th
place spot.

Right:  Matt Thygerson has the 16th place spot in the
Sport Men 30-39 group.

 -  No Photo - 

Sport Men 40-plus:

Making a hard fast turn toward the finish
line, Ben Becker takes a nice 4th place
finish in Sport Men 40-plus.

Denmark Jensen hits the wash-bottom
slickrock on his first lap, nailing a ribbon
with 5th place in the category.

Cornering hard for the final sprint,
Tim Wagstaff grabs the 9th place spot
in the older sport men group.

Left: Moving up from Clydesdale for a bigger
challenge, John Twitchell joins the Sport
40s and takes 18th place at the Rampage.

Right:  Corey Spencer eyes the upcoming
slickrock steps at the bottom of the downhill, 
on the way to the 19th place finish.

A UMB racer sets his sight on the finish line as he rolls into the
final downhill. The blue stripe is the final curve of racing fence.

A camera system read racer plates as they crossed the finish line.
Install your number plate in FRONT of your cables.

Beginner Categories
Beginner Men:

Left:   New to the team for 2014, Bogdan Balasa grabs
a podium spot in Beginner Men with the 3rd place
finish in the category.

Right:   Quinton Wall tips his bike into the slickrock steps of
the tricky turn at the end of the downhill.  Quinton is
another new team member this year.  His ride earns him
the final ribbon of the Beginner Men class with 6th place.

Left:  Jason Cowley joined the team just in time to do a
lot of trailwork in Lambert Park last year. Jason is dropping
off the slickrock on the way to 8th place.

Right:   Rolling with speed down the slickrock steps
 Adam Reynders gets the 12th spot in the Beginner
Men category.

Draeden Jensen crosses the finish line as he completes his race.

Ben Becker poses with his two young bikers after their race is over.

Kids Categories
Billy Goat:
Note:  Finishing order is not reported for the Billie Goat and Millie Goat (9-and-under) categories this year. Photos appear in the order they were taken. Parents, we really want get your child onto the web page. Let us know if we've missed anybody.

Left:   Draeden Jensen powers across the flat
on his first lap in the 9-and-under group.

Right:  Ben Becker had a couple of young
riders at the race. We'd love to learn
who they are and add them as team

A breeze made things slightly chilly for sweaty racers. The warm
glow from the last coals of the fire felt good.

Because of weather uncertainties, the team enjoyed sandwiches
instead of the usual hamburger BBQ. Good side dishes too!

Many riders stayed were spooked by the weather forecast in the days leading up to this race. UMB had 26 racers in the event, compared to 39 last year. Those who came had a great time, as the weather and trail surface were perfect.

More pictures:
     Bruce photos (Thanks, Quinton, for shooting the 2nd race!)
     Sally's photos 
GPX track of  Rampage course
Race course Trail Page on

Left:  The Men 60-plus class saw the biggest collection of UMB riders getting awards, with four of the six top finishers riding for the team.

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