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Mega-bike race starts and finishes in downtown Lebanon

Downtown Lebanon was the nerve center for a demanding bicycle race, the Swift Summit 200/100, held Saturday, Aug. 9.

The event, which started and finished at Conversion Brewing in downtown Lebanon, is a mixture of long-distance “brevet” cycling, gran fondo (“big ride”) and self-supported endurance road race, according to organizers.

The 200-mile route included 11,000 feet of climbing and several sections of gravel roads, while the 100-mile route included over 5,000 feet of climbing.

Since scenery is a big part of the experience in these events, both courses offered “scenic views of the Cascades Mountain range and run alongside the swift Santiam and Calapooia Rivers,” organizers said.

The event drew 160 competitors from as far away as New Jersey, organizers said.

Riders were provided a cue sheet with directions, a marked course, and aid station/control points approximately 40 miles apart to restock. In between those support checks, they could access convenience stores and other necessities as they became available.

Grayson Striano, 13, of Salem was the youngest finisher on the day. Photo by Scott Swanson

 Riders in the 200-mile event started at 5 a.m. at Strawberry Park, next to the brewery.

They rode from downtown Lebanon to north of Scio, then circled south through Roaring River and Lacomb to McDowell Creek, over Sunnyside Road to Sweet Home and over Scott Mountain to Brownsville, followed by a long back-and-forth over Middle Ridge and Santiam Terrace, then a loop through Halsey and Shedd and back to Lebanon.

The course included 13 climbs, ranging from seven-tenths of a mile to a 5.1-mile climb of  1,349 feet (6.2 percent) and 30-some miles on gravel.

They were required to make it back to Strawberry Park by 10 p.m., which required an average speed of 12 mph.

Stephen Rockwood of Eugene was the top finisher in the 200, which drew 48 racers, in 10:54.45.9. He was followed closely by Chris Sarrett of Albany, in 10:54.46.9.  Kristi Cutter of Bend was first of nine women riders, in 12:16.31.9.

The 100 started at 9 a.m. The course ran from Lebanon through Lacomb and on to Roaring River, with a loop to the north of Scio and back through Crabtree to Roaring River, then south on Berlin Road to Sweet Home and back to Lebanon through Liberty and Mountain Home.

Riders were required to finish by 5 p.m., which required an average speed of 11 mph.

Felipe Nystrom of Portland finished the race, which drew 113 riders, in 5:02.22.9. Tara Deacon of Eugene was the first female, in 5:38.07.

Local finishers were:  Josh Bezecny of Lebanon, fifth overall in 5:16.07.7; Robert Ostrander of Lebanon, 51st in 7:38.53.0; Justin Baker of Lebanon, 52nd in 7:38.53.9; Katie Beuter of Lebanon, 66th in 8:19.30.1; and Gabrielle Chang of Lebanon, 67th in 8:19.30.7.

The youngest finisher was Grayson Striano, 13, of Salem, who finished in 8:55.15.6.