The Summer Solstice is upon us and the mountain bike race season is reaching a peak around Colorado. I had the chance to catch up with Moots mountain bike Pro Kelly Boniface after a storming weekend of racing….literally.
On Saturday Kelly was on hand in Colorado Springs for the Ute Valley US PRO XCT race. The race featured a 4.2 mile course which the women did 5 laps. Kelly in the past has been primarily a long 50-100 miler, however this year she has been doing many shorter more intense races and coming out doing really well. She has also been racing our local Town Challenge series with the Men Open group. Racing with the men has done a couple of things for Kelly…now she starts faster than she would when racing the women and also has to chase the faster carrot that is out in front of her. Kelly attributes some of her great results to the quicker start, faster pace she is doing with the men. It seems to be working….
Back to Saturday…..she lined up on a dry start line with the best in the business….Women that pin it from the start and keep it there for the duration of the event. In this case a 5 lap race that should have run about an hour and twenty minutes. Once the chaos of the start was sorted out Kelly was positioned in a top 10 spot and feeling great. About mid-race a pounding storm turned the dusty dry track into a mud/clay fest. The thick clay mud packed up drive trains and wheels rendering her bike into an overweight single speed for most of the race. Kelly pushed on and rode well in the tricky conditions. Going into the final lap she was sitting 5th and looking to make the podium at a very high level national event. Then just 2 miles from the finish her bike would go no more. She had to stop on the side of the course and resort to scraping mud off the tires with a nearby stick. Kelly got passed by 3 races and she rolled in with a fine 8th place on the day.
Talking with Kelly after the event she was optimistic and up-beat with her accomplishment. She attributed her great finish to those days spent riding in snow during the winters around Steamboat Springs…”it was about being tenacious and keeping it upright as much as possible”.
Next up for Kelly is a little rest before hitting our next Town Challenge race, a Winter Park XC race and then capping off the 4th of July with the Firecracker 50 in Breckenridge, CO. Once that event is finish she’ll take a vacation with her family and then get back on the bike and continue the last half of the season.
Moots could not be more proud of Kelly. She takes it all in stride, as she balances the full time work of a mom, business owner, and Pro bike racer.
Nice work Kelly!