Tooting My Own Horn

And not in my usual fart-y manner.

The local paper in Idaho Falls (Post Register) gave us a nice write up on the AB Memorial Crit… It’s a pay site, so the author (Zach Kyle) was kind enough to send me the plain text.

Allan Butler’s former teammate returns to criterium                                                                                                                                                                 Ryan Barrett has competed in the Allan Butler Memorial Criterium each year, winning it twice and taking second Saturday.

For cyclist Ryan Barrett, the Allan Butler Memorial Twilight Criterium is the most important race of the year.

Barrett, who was pro rider Allan Butler’s teammate when the Idaho Falls native was struck and killed by a Las Vegas taxi in 2005, has participated in the criterium in each of the four years the race’s inception.

“It’s really important to me to do the race, to see his daughter, to see the family is well and keep those connections,” the 33-year-old Provo rider said. “It means the world to me.”

As a tribute to Butler, Barrett has dominated the criterium, winning the most competitive men’s category the past two years, and working in tandem with Barbacoa-Mi Duole cycling teammate Dustin Eskelson to hold off the pack again this year.

The criterium knifes in 90-degree turns through the blocks of downtown Idaho Falls.

Eskelson, 21 of Ogden, Utah, saw his teammate “Turbo” make a move in the hectic first turn and closed space to join him. From there, the tandem worked its advantage to fend off the pack for the rest of the 60-minute race.

“There was a gap, and as soon as I went around that corner in the backside, I turned across it,” Eskelson said. “Turbo and I just drilled it and held it the whole time.”

Eskelson and Barrett broke from the pack. A lone rider, Daniel Bechtold of Boise, kept pace for 40 minutes before falling behind.

Eskelson and Barrett lapped the group but remained in the front of the pack for the remainder of the race.

Bechtold rode by himself for 20 minutes to finish third.

With the win in hand and his teammate holding the lead, Barrett turned to Eskelson with five laps to go and signaled he wouldn’t risk a crash to try to pass Eskelson.

“He was pretty cool with it,” Eskelson said. “It’s my first win of the season, so I’m pretty stoked.”

After winning, Eskelson accepted the microphone from the race emcee and said he was happy to win and wouldn’t mind if somebody bought him a beer.

Barrett chatted happily with the other racers with a grin stretched across his face. They will split the $650 prize and get to race today at the Jackson Hole Downtown Criterium.

Barrett said he misses his old teammate Butler but is proud of his current running partner.

“I don’t want to sound like I gave it to him,” Barrett said. “He earned it. But the way it shook down, I told him, ‘Hey, this is all you. Don’t get caught up in the group. We don’t want to crash or anything.'”

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