Sunday, July 26, 2009

Podium Sweep -- 2009 Sunflower State Games

In years past this race has been hit or miss.

Despite USAC's presence, this year's race was definitely a hit. Race Commissioner Chad Lamer did a great job of stringing together the best sections MacLennan Park's singletrack to create a five-mile race course filled with twisty descents, steep climbs and hairpin switchbacks. This is probably the most underrated trail in the state of Kansas. The tough climbs and tight switchbacks give it a decidedly east-coast feel.

The Bad Goats descended upon the Sunflower State Games mountain bike race in force. Aaron Apel, Josh Patterson, Joshua Stamper, and John Waller lined up for the Men's Expert race. Andrew Slater lined up for the Men's Sport race.

Waller secured the hole shot, leading the expert men's paintrain for four laps en route to defending his Sunflower State Games champion title. Stamper followed suit, grinding it out in 34:18 to take second. Patterson rounded out the podium in third. Following a disappointing flat while descending through a rock garden on his first lap, Apel was forced to call it a day. Last but not least, it was with sandbag like authority that Mr. Slater held down the sport class.

Next Stop: Mark your calendars for Heartland Racing's Rapture in Misery, August 15 at Crowder State Park.