Overend and company take crown
Vail CO, Colorado
VAIL ” Perfection was what they needed and what they delivered.
Team Ned Overend, sitting in third place after the first day of the Teva Ultimate Mountain Challenge, won both of Sunday’s events to come from behind and take first in the new Teva Games event.
Matt Carpenter won his third straight Teva 10K, catapulting Team Ned Overend into first place in the morning. Later in the day, Overend bested all competitors to take the hill climb title (his second in as many years) and secure his team’s victory.
“We pulled it off,” Carpenter said. “If we had lost either (race), we wouldn’t have won (the overall).”
Carpenter also enjoyed that he and Overend were tops among the entire field in their races.
“That’s special,” Carpenter said. “It’s like the cherry on top.”
Team Nike, which held the lead after the first two events, came in second while Team Athletes for a Cure was third.
On Saturday, Pat Keller got Team Ned Overend started with a third-place finish in the downriver kayak race.
“I did fairly well for our team,” Keller said. “I thought I could have done better, but these guys were such a great team. I can’t thank these guys enough ” I wouldn’t be here otherwise. It’s such an honor.”
Overend handled the mountain-bike race Saturday afternoon, finishing second among the Ultimate Mountain Challenge racers.
“I flatted on the first lap,” Overend said. “There were 55 guys, so I was 55th when I fixed it, then moved up to 13th.”
Team Nike was first, second or third in all of the events but slipped behind Team Ned Overend on the second day because of the way scores were weighted.
“We’re all longtime locals, and it’s good to show everyone we can hang,” said Jay Henry, who won the mountain-bike race Saturday. “There is definitely room for improvement. I know I’ve got room for improvement.”
Nike’s Brad Ludden was second in the downriver race behind Athletes for a Cure’s Tao Berman, who won the race. The kayak portion was worth 30 percent of the overall score.
The mountain-bike race, worth 15 percent of the overall score, went to Nike, while Floyd Landis of Athletes for a Cure was fifth, digging his team into a hole.
In the 10-kilometer trail run, accounting for 40 percent of the overall score, Nike’s Dan Weiland was third, just 10 seconds behind Athletes for a Cure’s Andy Ames. At this point, Athletes for a Cure held a slight margin on Nike for second place. But in the hill climb, taking up the final 15 percent, Henry was two places ahead of Landis, putting Nike one step higher on the podium. Had Landis finished three seconds faster, he would have been third, keeping his team in second.
Weiland, who had a great personal race, was amazed that a team with two guys older than 40 won.
“Ned is 51, and Matt is 42,” Weiland said. “Both of those guys could be the father of Pat Keller, who is 21, so to think those guys are still doing it that well and are still that old.”
Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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