Racers battled heavy rains around midday, but then those who competed later in the afternoon faced warmer, sunny conditions.
“The rain isn’t too bad. It’s actually better if there’s more rain,” said race director Jim Walker, who competed in the Category 3/4 race.
Walker said initially rains will cause oils in the road to come to the surface, which can cause problems but it’s not bad as the race continues.
“It gets really slick for a little while, but when it really comes down in torrents, it kind of washes that stuff away,” Walker said. “Then you know it’s wet and you kind of take extra precaution.”
The criterium was the second of a two-day Adirondack race series for cyclists. The weekend kicked off with the Wilmington-Whiteface Road Race, a long-distance race that traversed some difficult hills. The second day was the criterium, which is more of a sprint. Cyclists circled a 0.6-mile loop that ran from Main Street to Broadway, down Dorsey and back from the LaPan Highway.
The criterium was also the New York state championships at the elite level. Brendan Housler of Rochester took first place in that men’s 30-mile elite race.
Housler finished the course in 57 minutes and 34 seconds, barely edging Greg Olsen of New York and Andrew Waclaw of Ithaca.
In the women’s race, Jenny Ives of Gloversville took first place in 38:09 minutes. She outlasted Danielle Ruane of Webster and Rosanne Van Dorn of Lake Placid.
Van Dorn was one of several locals who had podium finishes Sunday.
Lake Placid’s Colin Delaney took second place in the 15-mile Category 5 race in 33:10, trailing Joseph Wells of Essex, who finished in 33:07. Delaney won the same race last year.
Lake Placid High School athletic director Donna Moody took first place in the 15-mile women’s masters with a time of 39:37. She was the only competitor in the event.
Cecily Decker of Saranac Lake took second in the junior girls race for 13- and 14-year-olds, clocking a 19:38 in a two-person race.
Although some of the categories had small numbers, the most competitive ones were packed with cyclists.
“It’s getting to have a real reputation around the Northeast,” Walker said. “We’ve been going up about 25 percent every year in registrations, for both races.”
Walker said that’s a good percentage to go up, any more might make it challenging for the race organizers to handle.
“We don’t really want to explode because then we might have too much growing pains and not be able to handle it well. We’d rather have a gradual growth where we can handle it. We’re not a small club but we’re not a huge club either.”
Morgan Ryan/Lake Placid News
Karl Miller and Colin Delaney, both of Lake Placid, take on the downhill portion of the Saranac Lake Downtown Criterium Category 5 bike race Sunday, June 12. Delaney, the defending champion in the 15-mile race, took second in 33:10, while Miller was fifth in 33:20.