Fire Cracker 50 - Results & Photos

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4 days later and neither USA Cycling or the event sponsor have posted results, but Cycling Dirt has the most understandable posted results.

Horgan-Kobelski, Irmiger win US marathon titles

By: Dave McElwainePublished: July 4, 23:40, Updated: July 5, 03:58
Husband-wife duo does it again

For the second year in a row, the husband-wife duo of Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) won the US marathon national championships at the Firecracker 50 on the Fourth of July holiday in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Horgan-Kobelski defends marathon title

On a picture perfect day in Breckenridge, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek) overcame a four-minute deficit due to a flat tire, to make it two marathon titles in a row. Teammate Sam Schultz led the race for part of a lap, but settled for second place when JHK finally passed him. Colorado favorite Dave Weins (Topeak-Ergon) seemed stronger as the race progressed. He finished third. Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) also moved up in the late stages to finish fourth, while road racer Burke Swindlehurst finished fifth.

The US Marathon National Championships are part of the extremely popular Firecracker 50-mile race. This year the race sold out again and had 750 racers at the starting line for its 10th edition. The crowds in Breckenridge were enormous, with some spectators claiming viewing positions along the street as early as 6:00 am. There was face painting, parade floats, horses, balloons, and just about everything you might expect for a Fourth of July celebration.

The racers started on Main Street and were treated to a four-mile, 1200-vertical-foot climb up Boreas Pass Road. By the top of the road, JHK and Peter Stetina had a gap and were pulling away.

"The race was harder from the gun than last year," said Horgan-Kobelski. "I felt good but we were suffering. I was riding over my limit but stretched out a gap on the singletrack. But then I flatted on a descent and had to throw in a tube."

At the first descent into French Gulch, JHK had opened a gap over Stetina by one minute. Behind him Ryan Trebon (Kona) was descending well with Sam Schultz on his wheel. By the time JHK was dealing with his flat, Schultz found himself in the race lead.

When asked how this felt, Schultz said, "I was hoping that JHK could come back because this is a lot of pressure. I started feeling cramps coming. I managed to pound a bunch of fluids and hand in there. Unfortunately Stetina was climbing like a maniac."

Both JHK and Schultz heavily complimented Stetina's climbing ability. Schultz said, "he was a class act and just pulled over on the singletrack (where Schultz is more experienced) and let me go ahead."

By the time they were descending from Lincoln Hill on the first 25-mile lap, JHK had slipped to sixth place. Schultz, Stetina, Swindlehurst, and Bishop had all moved ahead. But by the next climb out to the start/finish, JHK had passed all but Stetina and Schultz.

"I had told myself I had two hours to catch back up. I was encouraged when I was able to see Sam and Peter going through the start finish only about a minute ahead of me," said Horgan-Kobelski. By the end of the race, JHK had build up a six-minute margin of victory over the entire field.

Behind the leaders, Dave Wiens started to make a move. He passed at least six riders in just the last lap alone. Bishop managed to pick off Colin Cares on the last lap also. Swindlehurst seemed to ride consistently fast lap times but also was passed on the last half lap by Wiens and Bishop.

This race was full of drama. Not only did JHK have to come back from a long way back to claim the win, Stetina's bike broke on the last lap. He crashed hard and suffered a shoulder injury. Andy Schultz (Kenda / Felt) crashed on a steep descent during the first lap, banged his head hard, and withdrew. Trebon, apparently suffering with the altitude, was force to walk his bike a long distance.

This is the second year in a row that both the men's and women's races have been won on 29-inch wheel bikes. A turning point in the sport seems to be taking place. The Subaru-Trek team no longer even brings their 26-inch wheeled bikes to races.

Most of the pro cross country racers will head to the US Pro XCT finals next weekend in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Irmiger makes it two in a row

Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek) pulled away from her rivals today to win by a convincing seven-minute margin over Amy Dombroski (Luna Team), who rode to her best Firecracker finish ever. An elated Krista Park (Incycle/Cannondale) finished third after riding much of the race in second place. She was less than a minute behind Dombroski. Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joe's), a two-time winner of the event, finished fourth, and Kelly Boniface (Moots) finished in fifth place.

Pua Sawicki (Okole Stuff.com), last year's runner-up, again found herself with Irmiger at the top of the Boreas Pass Climb. Irmiger managed to open up a two-minute gap on the singletrack leading to Sally Barber Road. Soon after, that Sawicki withdrew from the race due to a brake failure.

"My team told me that Pua was out, but I didn't really know who else was there so it didn't really matter," said Irmiger after the race. I was having some cramping so the French Gulch climb felt hard the second time. I'm glad I'm here (at the finish) and I made it."

Dombroski seemed to gain steam as the race progressed. "I started a bit conservatively. I've done this race a few times. I know it is easy to go out too hard, and at this altitude you never come back," said Dombroski. "I faded for a little while and then kind of got a second wind."

Park was hoping for a top three finish so that she would automatically qualify for marathon Worlds. She was literally glowing at the finish. "I'm happy. I rode half the race in second, but Amy had more than I did at the end."

Irmiger, along with her husband Horgan-Kobelski, will now try to defend their cross country national championship titles at Sol Vista, Colorado, in two weeks.

"I want to be fast for the national championships, the next World Cups, and the World Championships," said Irmiger. "I'm aiming to win every race from here on out - just going for wins. It's very straightforward."

Mens Results
1 Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru-Trek)
2 Sam Schultz (Subaru-Trek)
3 Dave Wiens (Topeak Ergon)
4 Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale)
5 Burke Swindlehurst
6 Brady Kappius (Team Clif Bar)

Womens Results
1 Heather Irmiger (Subaru-Trek)
2 Amy Dombroski (Luna)
3 Krista Park (Incycle / Cannondale)
4 Gretchen Reeves (Tokyo Joes)
5 Kelly Boniface (Moots)

Men 19-29
1. Stevie Cullinan (Paradise Valley)
2. Peter Kalmes (Steamboat Springs, Colo./Honey Stinger)
3. Jonathan Schottler (Columbia)

Men 30-34
1. Ben Aufderheide (Wilson)
2. Paul Gorbold (Avon, Colo.)
3. Michael Scott (Denver, Colo./Team Evergreen Racing)

Men 35-39
1. Will White (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
2. Michael Schoenly (Fort Collins, Colo.)
3. Aaron Small (Morrison, Colo.)

Men 40-49
1. Peter Webber (Boulder, Colo.)
2. Michael Hogan (Louisville, Colo./Justins-Titus)
3. Frank Gonzalez (Helena, Mont.)

Men 50-59
1. Robert Stanley (Longmont, Colo./Echelon Spokes)
2. Mark Gouge (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
3. Mark Hershberger (Fitgeralds Bikes)

Men 60+
1. Dwight Hibdon (Park City, Utah)
2. Glenn Town (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
3. Steve Becker (Prescott)

Men Singlespeed
1. Cameraon Brenneman (Santa Fe, NM/Bike’n’Sport)
2. Dax Massey (Denver, Colo.)
3. Mark Thompson (Breckenridge, Colo./Wilderness Sports)

Women 19-29
1. Brenda Moczygemba (Breckenridge, Colo./Tough Girl)

Women 30-39
1. Kennon Roeber (Colorado Springs, Colo./WMBA)
2. Kim Baugh (Colorado Springs, Colo./WMBA)
3. Tracy Hankinson (Colorado Springs, Colo./WMBA)

Women 40-49
1. Anne Gonzales (Aspen, Colo.)
2. Sheri Boltz (Morrison, Colo./Justin’s-Titus)
3. Coreen Wright (Evergreen, Colo./Justin’s-Titus)

Women 50+
1. Amy Harris (Steamboat Springs, Colo.)
2. Ellen Guthrie (Salt Lake City, Utah/Spin Cycle Racing)
3. Sharon McDowell-Larsen (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Women Singlespeed
1. Amy Hermes (Edwards)
2. Hillary Hienton (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
3. Andrea Wilson (Marx and Bensdorf)

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