September 12, 2005 – The Eight-hour Endurance Mountain Biking race was a welcome addition for pro and amateur mountain bike cyclists looking for a full-day’s challenge. The Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic 8-hours of Mountain Biking offered solo riders and four-person teams a chance to battle it out in the rolling hills of the new scenic cross country course that now expands northwest of Infineon Raceway into the vast rolling expanse of the Carneros Valley. The nine-mile course takes competitors over 1,500 acres of pristine land that’s punctuated with intense 10-15 minute climbs, descents, fire roads and swooping singletrack sections.
Michael Lee (Trek/VW/JBL) finished the race first completing 12 laps with a time of 7h56m. “I had a great time and this was just a great race course,” said Lee. “I really appreciate Infineon Raceway and Sonoma County for allowing us to race here. The race was tough because it’s up and down and into the wind. The wind really makes you feel like you’re working really hard.”
In spite of some tire issues, second place finisher, Arlo Buijton, (Titus) from Davenport, CA, felt the course was good for an eight-hour race. “We got lucky, the weather was so mild,” said Buijton. “The morning temperatures were cool and it didn’t get too hot. The most challenging thing was fixing 3 Â½ flat tires. I had to ride in for a few miles with a flat tire once.”
Third place went to Sean Sullivan, (Independent Fabrications) from Santa Cruz, CA, who went out hard and really found his groove. “The course really wears the body out,” said Sullivan. “There were lots of bumps. The downhill was really tough, more so than the uphill. It was a great event, though. I really liked it.”
For the women’s race, Christy Murphy (Soulcraft) from Novato, CA, got to know the lie of the land prior to the race by competing in Saturday’s 15k Road/Off road SuperRun. She won comfortably completing 9 laps with a time of 8h8m. “I saw it was going to be pretty difficult in some places,” said Murphy. “But once I got to know the course, it was really good. I liked the course. My nutrition was right on target and I was able to eat exactly what I needed.”
Second place went to Carrie Edwards, (Squadra Ovest) from Sausalito, CA who finished 8 laps in 7h33m.
Skelly Marshall from Ronert Park, CA took a pretty nasty fall over the handlebars in the fifth lap but came back in good form to bring home the third place prize finishing 6 laps in 7h25m. “The race went great,” said Marshall. “The first four laps felt great and the fifth lap killed me. The race was fun and the commentators were awesome. The course was 100 times better than last year. I can tell someone really took the time to make this a really great course. It was a great race!”