Gaston beats Hamilton to win annual Snowmass 50 mountain bike race

John Gaston of Aspen competes in the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race on Saturday August 6, 2022 at Snowmass Village. Gaston won the 50 mile race in 4:36:28.
Jeremy Swanson/Aspen Skiing Co.

In a titanic battle of 35-year-old local superstars, John Gaston of Aspen beat Simi Hamilton of Basalt on Saturday to win the fourth iteration of the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race. Formerly called the Power of Four, the event produced by Aspen Skiing Co. is a 50-mile ride involving two 25-mile laps around the Snowmass ski area, starting and ending on Fanny Hill.

Gaston, one of the country’s top ski mountaineering athletes who co-founded Strafe Outerwear alongside his brother, finished with a time of 4 hours, 36 minutes, 28 seconds. Hamilton, the Aspen-raised Olympic cross-country skier who retired after the 2020-21 World Cup season, was second in 4:49:30.1.

Hamilton was hoping to defend his Snowmass 50 win from a year ago when he finished in 4:17:19 with Gaston not competing.

It was not Gaston’s first local victory. He also won the Snowmass 50 crown the last time he competed, in 2020, winning in 4:08:13. Denver’s Thomas Herman won in 2018 and 2019.

George Beck, a 20-year-old Aspen product, was third overall Saturday, another rising star in skimo and mountain biking, in 4:56:23. Bucky Schafer, 40, of Denver finished just off the podium in 4:59:04.5.

In the women’s 50-mile race on Saturday, 41-year-old pro Crystal Anthony took the win in 5:45:36.1. Hailing from Bentonville, Arkansas, Anthony has frequented local Aspen races for the past few years, also winning the Snowmass 50 mountain bike race in 2020.

Caroline Tory, 32, of Snowmass, was second on Saturday in 5:49:05.5, while Nicole Tittensor, 36, of Utah was third in 6:23:18.8. Tittensor won the women’s race last summer in 5:50:11. Just off the podium on Saturday was local rider Rachel Beck, mother of George Beck, in 6:43:08.9.

In the 25-mile race, where runners only complete one lap, 14-year-old Quinn Carpenter of Carbondale won in 2:48:56.1. He held off Taylor Rutt, 31, of Aspen, who was second in 2:56:08.5, and Chris Lane, 55, of Basalt (2:56:42.7).

Victory in the women’s 25-mile race went to Laura Hutchinson of Carbondale, 25, in 3:36:29.6. Erin Glen was second in 3:52:20.2 and Dana Laughren of Aspen was third in 4:08:36.3.

Tristan Trantow and Will Karrow won the team race, where each rider completes one of the 25-mile loops, in 5:16:49.

Full results can be found here.

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