The Park City Point to Point another must do event!
This race is a great example of what I’m looking for in an endurance race with great riding, the trail system in Park City and the surrounding area is stellar. There’s tons of climbing, and you know what that means what goes up must come down. Super fun descending, screaming fast, tight and technical, and great flowy trails are what you will find in this race. The amount of single track is second to none, it’s a 78 mile race and probably 77 of that is trail. Last but not least there cash pay out is the best in the country for this distance, they pay 5 deep and even in 5th your still making more than most other races pay for 1st place.
The race starts out down below Park City in a trail network called Round Valley. Right from the start and into the single track I was in the top 5, right where I wanted to be. Unfortunately, I dropped my chain, which was the first time this has happened all season. I jumped out of the human snake and throw the chain back on and after 10 seconds I back to around 15th place.
By the time we get out of Round Valley and started working our way to PC, I had worked my way back to top 5 and the players were getting sorted out, Rob Squire jumps out front and starts hammering never to be seen again. This left Nathan Miller, Drew Free, Sam Sweetser, Justin Lindine, and myself to battle it out. Nate, Drew and I fall into a group and worked our way through the web of trail network from Deer valley to PC. Justin joins us briefly then slowly pulls away, we are all content to stay together, its nice to have a group of guys to rally with especially when the riding is so fun.
In the middle of the race there’s an enduro segment and so I hit the gas to go for a good time. I hit it pretty hard but a couple blown corners and my chances of winning the enduro were pretty slim. I did succeed in dropping my group and if nothing else, they had to work hard to catch back up. Drew and another guy pull me back after 15 or so minutes but Nate drops off the pace we continue like this until the final decent back down to PC.
Drew and myself are rallying down when he blows a corner and I get by, at the bottom I have about 30 seconds on him and just ahead by 30 seconds I see Justin. This is the start of the last long climb from PC to the Canyons and the finish. I gave it all I had to stay ahead of Drew, but he gets back up to me anyway. When we get close to the canyons the weather starts to turn and we start to get pounded with rain and hail. This made things interesting and very cold. By the time we hit the final decent our hands are numb and the trail is very slick and to make things even more interesting Sam is on us making it a 3-man race for 3rd place.
We stayed together until the last mile where it’s a decent to the finish. I’m sensing a battle royal but as soon as we make the turn to go down my chain drops again and I’m forced to stop and fix it. It was a very anticlimactic way to end the race, but I end up in 5th, 20 seconds back from 3rd and Justin was only 1 minute up from that.
It turned out to be a very close race and super fun I would have loved to sprint it out to the finish but that’s racing you have to just roll with the punches. The PCPP is a must do race, this is what mountain biking is all about, they have the race dialed, I will be back again for this great event!