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LOCAL CYCLISTS CLASH AT BATTLE OF THE BORDERS

By Susan Roberts

Special to the Pilot

Advance vehicle, broom wagon, electronic timing devices, perfect weather, ramp starts and mid-course photographers! Could it be the Tour de France?

No, it was the Battle of the Border - a two-day, four-stage bike race presented last weekend in Brookings and Crescent City, Calif., presented by Wild Rivers Multi Sports.Race organizer Shawn Burke saw it as a andquot;total success with a lot of talented, competent riders.andquot;

First, second, and third place male winners finished within minutes of each other. Cordino Longiotti of Ashland came in first overall at 2:00:34, Jerry Huether of Brookings was second at 2:01:37; and Burke of Brookings finished third at 2:02:48.

Best female rider was Nan Latimer, who finished the course with a time of 2:13:39.Best young riders were Sidney Hintz and Connor Skudstad, andCloyd Darrowtook the difficult mountain bike category.

andquot;Although the field was smaller than last year, the friendly competition and general attitude of encouragement resulted in a 'springboard' race for the forthcoming season,andquot; Burke said.andquot;It's a way of testing current fitness level.andquot;

The timing device, lent by Ralph Hirt, and the Pacific Northwest Physical Therapytrailer used for the time trial ramp starts, brought an aura of professional racing to the weekend events.Lead and follow vehicles watched out for the riders, with photographers stationed along the course.

Stage one, a6 mile individual time trial, depended on speed and was won by Russ Burnette in 14:10.

Burnette, 60, blasted the existing stage one record previously held by Ron Griswold.

Stage two took place up Gardner Ridge Road and was a display of hill climbing strength, won by Longiotti in 33:30.

Stage three on the Winchuck River Road was a technical race that demanded strategy and was won by Huether in 46:39.

And stage four, a 12 mile time trial endurance race, was won by Griswold in 29:11, breaking his own record set last year.

andquot;This really was a lot of fun and we now have an awesome opportunity to make this an even bigger event next year, or perhaps even this fall,andquot; Burke said.

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