Intrepid bicycle enthusiasts tested their racing skills at andquot;The Battle of the Borders,andquot; a challenging two-day, four stage race in Del Norte and Curry counties this past weekend.
The race was a fundraiser to raise funds for the Crescent City Pool Renovation Project.
The first stage occurred on Saturday, April 14 in Crescent City. Participants partook in a six mile individual time trial.
Ron Griswald of Brookings was the top finisher in the men's division with a time of 15:31, and he took possession of the yellow jersey for the start of the competition. Mike Castagnola of Crescent City finished second with a time of 15:23. Shawn Burke of Brookings came in third with a time of 15:58.
In the female division, Linda Blundell of Crescent City, a newcomer to the sport, was the winner with a time of 16:09 and took possession of the pink jersey. Second place went to 11-year-old Sidney Hintz of Crescent City, with a time of 20:53.
The second stage, held on Saturday, consisted of a seven mile race, including a grueling three and one-half mile hill climb up Gardner Ridge Road in Brookings.
In the male division, Burke won the stage with a time of 34:17 to take over possession of the yellow jersey for having the fastest combined time for both stages. Castagnola took second place with a time of 35:15. Griswald was third with a time of 35:46.
In the female division, first place went to Blundell, with a time of 34:44, and she maintained the pink jersey for the day. Susan Roberts of Crescent City was runner up with a time of 47:08. Hintz was third with a time of 52:21.
The third stage, held on Sunday, consisted of a 16-mile road race that took place on Winchuck Road in Brookings. The stage on Sunday ended with four cyclists sprinting for the finish.
Jerry Huether or Brookings came out on top for the men with a time of 44:16. Castagnola finished second with a time of 44:17. Burke finished third with a time of 44:20 and was able to keep the yellow jersey going into the final stage that afternoon.
In the female division, maintaining the pink jersey and finishing first, Blundell had a time of 48:19. Runner-up went to Roberts, who finished with a time of 56:47.
The final stage, held in Fort Dick, was a 12 mile individual time trial.
It was organized with the slowest combined time starting first and the fastest starting last.
Griswald took first place with a time of 29:21 and was able to regain possession of the yellow jersey from Burke with a total time over the four stages of 2:04:59. Burke dropped to third place overall, with a combined time of 2:05:37. Castagnola finished the fourth stage in a time of 30:10 and was second overall with a combined time of 2:05:22. Russ Burnett was the third place finisher for the fourth stage with a time of 30:17.
In the female division, Blundell was the only female competitor to complete all four stages, winning the final stage in a time of 31:54 and an overall combined time of 2:11:08 to take home the pink jersey. Misty Bischoff of Brookings was runner-up of the fourth stage with a time of 37:42. Roberts rounded up the top three with a time of 38:28.
Hintz was named top overall female youth athlete and was awarded a pink jersey. Top overall male youth athlete was Jesse Cipolla, 15, who was awarded a yellow jersey.
Event organizers said the race will now become a biannual event, with the next race to be held in October 2007.
For complete race results and photos of the event, go to WildRiversMultisports.com .