Bend's Adam Craig cruised to his second Blitz to the Barrel title Tuesday night, and in the process took home $3,000 of the $20,000 purse. Delaware's Katie Compton, a multi-time cyclocross national champion and world championship medalist won the women's race. Compton also claimed $3k in the roughly one hour downhill-oriented race.
Men Results: 1, Adam Craig; 2, Barry Wicks; 3, Ryan Trebon; 4, Chis Sheppard; 5, Josh Carlson
Women Results: 1, Katie Compton; 2, Kelli Emmett; 3, Alice Pennington; 4, Serena Bishop Gordon; 5, Brook Blackwelder
**Nerves were high at Wanoga Sno-Park, the start of the men's race, as a number of North America's top mountain bikers gauged their competition and plotted their lines.
Though Australia's Josh Carlson was the first rider into the singletrack and grabbed the first of four $500 "primes" (mini-contests within the race where racers could pick up extra cash) when he won the holeshot, it was Kona's Matt Slaven who took the best line JUMPING THE FOUR FOOT HIGH TAPE and slotting himself into the singletrack in third place. He later flatted, but still managed to air out the Tetherow jump.
Craig and Bend newcomer Barry "Wicknasty" Wicks soon passed Carlson and Craig managed to open a gap on Wicks which the Kona rider could no close. Wicks, who finished second, was successful in holding off a chasing group of four all the way to the 10 Barrel finish line (both Craig and Wicks hit the gap jump at Tetherow, the faster line).
Behind the two Bend riders, Craig's Giant teammate and Bend native Carl Decker followed with Carlson and Bend's Chris Sheppard and Ryan Trebon in tow. Trebon and Sheppard worked together on the pavement of Skyliner's Rd. and finished together with Carlson behind in fifth. To settle the third/fourth place tie, Trebon and Sheppard chugged frosty pints at the finish and Trebon proved to be the faster drinker and was awarded third place and the $1,500 prize. Sheppard took home $1,000 and Carlson, in fifth, won $500.
Cog Wild co-owner Lev Stryker, of Bend, won both the big-air competition ($500) and the arm wrestling comp ($500) held at the race's finish.
**This reporter raced the men's event and thus familiar with how the race played out. Regretfully, he is less aware of how the women's race unfolded.
photo credit: Joe Lawwill