Dolores professional mountain biker Shawn Gregory made it 6-for-6 in his spectacular USA Cycling season, winning the 12-hour Dawn til Dusk race in Gallup, N.M., on Saturday, April 9.
Gregory won the male solo singlespeed 40+ class. He has won all six races he has participated in this season. But the latest victory came as a bit of a surprise.
Gregory, and Kokopelli Bike teammate and Cortez resident Kiviok Hight, each originally finished second and third place, respectively.
However, because of a computer glitch, it was determined that the original winner actually came up a lap short of finishing, so Gregory and Hight moved up to first and second with times recorded at 9:21:16 and 9:23.11, elapsing eight laps.
We get in there (the awards tent), they said that I was in third and that he was in second. A day later, we found out we moved up another spot, Hight said.
The final results were as crazy as the Gallup weather during the race. Mountain bikers battled mountainous conditions with 50 mph winds that resulted in blowing rain, sand and snow.
It definitely was terrible weather. The track condition was actually pretty good in the morning. The rain came and then it transitioned to snow for some reason. The trail kind of went downhill, Gregory said.
The snow turned into a three-hour blizzard, which forced many racers to drop out. Gregory and Hight have seen all the weather elements in their careers. Training competitively the last three years with Gregory has helped Hight prepare for individual singlespeed racing. The Dawn til Dusk race was Hights first singlespeed racing event. Hight also trains with Kokopelli teammate Jeff Hemperley, who placed ninth in the 40+ class with a time of 5:36:53 in five laps. Hight has seen bad weather all over the world in past team racing events, so he isnt phased by what the Four Corners dishes out.
Just experience in the past with a lot of team events that have been, I guess, through a lot of different conditions in different places that Ive been exposed to quite a bit, he said. The race that we did the other weekend, the weather really wasnt all that bad. You just keep on going.
The rocky, high altitude trails near Gallup are similar to what Gregory and Hight train on near Cortez, giving them another advantage.
Mountain bike racing has also resulted in a fun hobby to do together as friends.
Its just a lot of fun. It gives us something to talk about, Hight said.
Gregory, too, enjoys training with his friends.
Youre kind of only as fast as the guys you always ride with. If you ride with really slow people, you dont have any chances to get faster, he said. We all go out and do the same things. We kind of advance faster together as a group. It kind of works out well for us.
Hight will race today in the Voodoo Fire mountain bike singlespeed, endurance race in Pueblo starting 8 a.m. at Lake Pueblo State Park.
Gregorys next competition will be the 12 hours of Mesa Verde on Saturday, May 7, at the Phils World Trail near the Montezuma County Fairgrounds east of Cortez.
Fans can check out Gregorys progress at www.shawngregorymountainbiker.blogspot.com.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at firstname.lastname@example.org.