September 11, 2005 — Riders delighted in the new cross country course at the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic. In response to rider input from last year’s race event organizers sought the goahead from Sonoma County and upgraded the cross country course, expanding it northwest into the vast rolling expanse of the Carneros.
The new course takes competitors over 1,500 acres of pristine, treeless, land punctuated with intense 10-15 minute climbs, descents, fire roads and swooping singletrack sections. Race winner, Barry Wicks (Kona) found riding the 9-mile course a novel experience. “There are no trees out there so you can see where you’re going to from a long ways away but it can be very deceptive because you think you’re going to be somewhere a lot quicker than you actually get there,” said Wicks. “I was looking behind me and it looked like look the closest rider was much closer than he actually was so I powered and moved way out in front and after that relaxed a bit and just enjoyed the ride.” Wicks appreciated his full suspension bike on this course, labeled by competitors as a “˜bumpy ride.’ Wicks finished 5:31 ahead of 2nd place Jeff Schalk (Washington DC). Adam McKannay (California Giant) finished 3rd, Dana Weber (Jax Bicycle Center), 4th and Bear Perrin (Felt/Kenda), took 5th.
In the women’s race, Kerry Barnholt (Subaru) from Boulder, CO took first place pirze, finishing 4 minutes ahead of Beverly Harper (Bike Works) from Portola Valley, CA.