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Saturday, July 2

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Cycling Wed Sep 02 2009

Meltdown Recap

Last Sunday's Palos Meltdown went off exceedingly well with sunny, mild weather that belied the fact that the race was threatened at one point due to the epic rains that poured down only days before. Despite what one might assume, muddy trails and mountain biking do not get along very well, unless one doesn't want any trails to mountain bike upon.

In its third year, the Meltdown is the closest cross-country race to Chicago and a well-run one at that. The volunteers of CAMBR put in hours of sweat equity to get the trails in good shape and do all sorts of legwork to negotiate things with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. With over 400 riders registered to race the three distinct races, lots of work was needed and the results showed in a fantastically put-together event.

In the Men's Citizen race, one lap of the 8.2 mile course, Jay Corgiat won handily three minutes ahead of the runner-up Stan Zielinski. While Nancy Paulinson came across the line in 53:55 to take first.

Sport with a total ride of 16.4 miles, was the most populated race with nearly 250 racers, had some major battles from the gun -- riders jostling for position in the grassy hills before the singletrack bashed into each other and one rider took a ride in an ambulance (don't worry, he's OK). Mitch Moen came in first with a time of 1:12 and in the Women's race Julia Daher won with a time of 1:34:14.

The Expert race had some major big guns at the line and the racing was evident of that. Ben Popper, the fifth place overall winner in the Men's race said about the winner Kevin Klug, "I look up and he puts three or four hard kicks to the pedals and is GONE up that hill. I crawled up that hill, not really out of defeat, but just plain tired." Kevin Klug's wife Holly, and fellow Killjoy rider won the Women's Expert race with a time of 2:02, 12 minutes faster than second. Stunning.

Take a look at photos of the race here, here and here. And results are here.

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