Circle-Fairbanks Trail: 7/12/2017

Delamere Wins Circle-Fairbanks Trail Race of Rocky Dirt Series
By Eric Troyer

Sam Delamere battled Devin McDowell to win the second Fairbanks Cycle Club Rocky Dirt Series mountain bike race of the season by a mere 15 seconds.

Eight riders came out on Wednesday, July 12, to challenge the 13.5-mile course, which has about 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Results are below.

Delamere’s time of 1 hour, 25 minutes and 15 seconds was just enough to take first place over McDowell. Sam’s father, Pete Delamere, rounded out the podium with a third-place finish in 1:33.

Nikki Potter finished first for women and fourth overall in 1:45. Corrine Leistikow, the only other female rider, finished second for women and seventh overall in 2:06.

The race started at the trailhead of the Circle-Fairbanks Historic Trail. Racers first headed four miles down the Fairbanks Creek Road before turning onto another mining road for two miles that’s mostly uphill and has some steep sections with loose rock.

Then the easy part was over, as the course turned onto the Circle-Fairbanks Historic Trail. Back in the day this trail was the main route for miners between Circle and Fairbanks, hence the name. Basically a jeep road, the Circle-Fairbanks Trail has a variety of terrain including steep climbs, fun descents, big mud puddles, rough rock sections and smooth, easy flats. The course followed the trail about 7 miles back to the trailhead.

Smoke impeded the great views from the high points of the trail, but temperatures were fine for racing and the mosquitoes weren’t bad, according to Race Director Erica Betts. Skies were cloudy at race time, but only bit of rain fell, so racers stayed relatively dry above the waist. But below the waist was a different story.

Recent rains meant mud puddles on the trail were deep and numerous. Detouring around the puddles usually means a serious bushwhack, so most decide to risk wet feet. Alas, slippery mud, hidden ruts, or really deep puddles almost guarantee that a racer’s feet will get wet multiple times. A couple of riders said they “took a swim,” Betts said.

Winner Sam Delamere rode on a borrowed fatbike with clip-in pedals for the first time and said he crashed about seven times but still had a lot of fun, Betts said. Other racers had their own spills, but fortunately “no one got lost or hurt,” Betts said.

Thanks to Erica for putting on the series. Thanks to Tom Clark and Eric Troyer for marking the course. Apologies for any name misspellings.


Circle–Fairbanks Trail (Rocky Dirt Series) 07/12/2017

1. Sam Delamere 1 hour, 25 min, 15 sec

2. Devin McDowell 1 hour, 25 min, 30 sec

3. Peter Delamere 1 hour, 33 min

4. Nikki Potter 1 hour, 45 min

5. Ethan Helgager 1 hour, 49 min

6. Craig Soto 1 hour, 50 min

7. Corrine Leistikow 2 hours, 6 min

8. Daniel Bormley 2 hours, 16 min