Weinhold repeats as Porcupine Loop champ
CARBONDALE – The Porcupine Loop bike race has got Mark Weinhold’s name all over it. Well, its trophy does anyway.Weinhold secured his second win in as many years in the 14.8-mile race on Sunday, finishing in 41 minutes and 46 seconds. The event’s trophy, a plaque with a bronzed bike gear sticking out of it, now has Weinhold’s name etched on it twice. Not bad considering the race has only been in existence for three years.Weinhold took the lead right off the bat, pulling out in front in the race’s grueling uphill beginning stretch.”It was incredibly painful,” Weinhold said. “The hard part about it is that you start straight uphill. The person who gets to the single track first is usually the one (who wins) – you can’t catch up to them.”Max Cooper tried his best to catch up to Weinhold, staying close for the majority of the race. After staying with him from the starting line on Prince Creek Road and keeping up on the Porcupine Loop Trail, Cooper was still on Weinhold’s tail going down the final 100 yards into Sopris Park.When the two riders approached the finish line, both accelerated and flew across the line. Cooper couldn’t manage a final pass, finishing one second behind Weinhold.”This guy (Weinhold) won last year, and I knew that he was going for an early break,” Cooper said. “I didn’t realize how hard and how early it was going to be.”Mike Gettinger placed third with a time of 45:34.The race brought out 32 riders ranging from four under-18-year-old cyclists to 71-year-old Jacques Houot. Six women also raced in the event. The competition differed severely from the kind of cycling in the news lately. Instead of intense seriousness and allegations, riders were constantly smiling and joked about all racers needing to take drug tests in the port-o-potties set up for Mountain Fair. Weinhold even said that the best part of the race wasn’t winning it, but just having fun in it.”It’s fun. It’s a fun ride for Mountain Fair and a chance to go out and goof around with your friends,” he said.For top results from the race, see the scoreboard.
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