Sports Stories

Of the more than 100 bikers who rode the Sedona Golf Resort on Saturday, Aug. 27, local rider Will Quan proved faster than almost all of them.

Quan completed the 5.1-mile lap Saturday, Aug. 27, around all 18 holes of the resort in 23½ minutes to win the Men’s Sport Division of the Sedona Bike and Brew Festival.

Only Ladies Division champion Amy Chandos, of Flagstaff, rode the lap faster, in 21:49.

West Sedona School principal Scott Keller and Cody Kukulski were virtually inseparable in their Open Division second lap. But for the second time in the three years of the race, they couldn’t catch Matt Connors, of Scottsdale, who finished 10 seconds ahead of them in 37 minutes.

“It seemed like any attacks we could make to break away from each other, somebody had something to counter,” said a drained Kukulski, who was also runner-up in June in the state cross-country mountain biking series. “Scott, Matt and I were within a bike’s length of each other all 18 holes.”

Because of the rain, not only Kukulski but every rider “had to scramble a little bit,” he said, after a hard rainstorm early Aug. 27 delayed the start of the races by two hours.

“Altered a few routes,” said Jeremy Hayman, director of golf at the Sedona Golf Resort. “But otherwise the course held up well [with] almost no damage.”

All 55 participants in the three adult races Aug. 27 received a celebratory beer after crossing the finish line, which followed a gauntlet of squirt-gun-wielding children and the crossing of a bridge 18 inches wide over a water hazard at the 18th hole.

That finish had its own effect on Kukulski.

“I’m pretty tired but pretty happy,” he said. “I had a few beers afterwards, but that one right after took me a little while to drink — it took me some time to recover.”

Local bike shop repairman Alex Petitdemange, last year’s Open Division champion, did not return to defend his title.

But Kukulski, who may ride next in Gallup, N.M., in addition to nine other events by the end of the year, said he still finished slower than last year due to other factors, like a longer course and its new features such as a single track between the second and third holes.

While the only local in the winner’s circle among Junior Division racers up to age 12 was Vinny Pugliano, the 13- to 17-year-old age group was dominated by Sedona Red Rock High School’s mountain biking club.

“The kids don’t even really get on the cart path,” Hayman said. “They just do the small loops.”

Junior Josh Reilly, a triathlete who swims with Village of Oak Creek club High Performance, was first in 22:40, followed by Village of Oak Creek trail runner Cole Mace and fellow SRRHS sophomore Thomas Zielinski.

A record 58 Junior racers participated in Bike and Brew, which raised $860 for the club.

For top three finishers and times from all Sedona Bike and Brew races, please see the Friday, Sept. 2, issue of the Sedona Red Rock News.