Bikers compete in W’ton bike race

Curtis Howard, of Lake Placid, crosses the finish line during the Wilmington/Whiteface 50K mountain bike race on Saturday. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

WILMINGTON — After a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wilmington/Whiteface 50K and 100K mountain bike race returned to the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center on Saturday. With solid weather throughout the day, the race didn’t disappoint.

Around 400 cyclists competed in the 100K race, which counted as one of the seven qualifying races for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race in the Colorado Rockies from Aug. 18-19. Around 60 bikers competed in the 50K race.

Ryan Atkins, of Quebec, Canada, claimed the top spot in the 100K race. Atkins rode right past the finish line at 4 hours, 8 minutes, 27 seconds.

“Honestly, I felt good,” Atkins said. “I don’t think I ever felt like I was going that hard on the climbs, but then my legs started twinging. I knew I had to slow down and just conserve.

“It’s weird, I don’t normally cramp, so I don’t know what was going on,” he added. “I definitely had to pump the breaks and chill out a bit. I played it right. I played my cards alright and I’m super psyched to win.”

Bikers wait at the starting line for the Wilmington/Whiteface 100K and 50K mountain bike race on Saturday. (Enterprise photos — Parker O’Brien)

Emile Hamm, of Ontario, Canada, took second place in a time of 4:09:06, while Mathieu Blanger-Barrette, of Quebec, Canada, clocked a time of 4:09:47 in third.

Regina Legge, of Salem, New Hampshire, was the first woman to cross the finish line in the 100K race. Legge clocked a time of 4:56:02 to place 49th overall.

Lindsay Webster, of Quebec, Canada, took second place in the women’s 100K in 5:07:39, and Anja Meichs, of Belmont, Massachusetts, followed up in third place in 5:10:18.

In the 50K race, two locals claimed the top podium spots. Lake Placid’s Curtis Howard and Elizabeth Izzo won the men’s and women’s races, respectively.

“I felt amazing. I felt really strong and I felt like I could really climb, which is my favorite,” Izzo said.

Howard completed the course in 1:55:10, while Izzo finished in 2:10:51.

For Izzo, the win marked her second in a row after winning the event in 2019. Two years ago she finished at a time of 2:09:25.

“I never expect to win. It’s always a fight to earn it, but I’m psyched,” Izzo said.

Deidre Cullen (2:21:15) of Laconia, New Hampshire, and Megan Cea (2:27:21) of Peekskill finished in second and third place, respectively, for the women’s 50K.

Lake Placid natives Caitlin and Emily Delaney finished the race together in 3:14:24. The pair tied for eighth place.

On the men’s side, Jerry Hughes (2:01:53) of Hopkinton, Massachusetts took second place and Patrick Robinson (2:03:52) of Ringwood, New Jersey rounded out the podium in third.

Brian Delaney, of Lake Placid, finished in 2:35:10 to earn 15th place in the men’s category.


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