There was no sophomore slump for the Whiskeytown setting this past Saturday in the 19th annual Lemurian Shasta Classic. In fact, enhanced by temperatures in the eighties, this year's Lemurian, was absolute, total brutality -- just as nature and race director Ron Bresolin Jr. intended.

Which was perfect, because that's exactly what more than 300 tough-ass mountain bike muthas from Oregon to Santa Barbara came to the banks of Brandy Creek to experience.

2005 Long Course winner Tim Olson of Chico put on another clinic, setting a course record of 2:12:21 en route to his second consecutive Lemurian win. On the Sport Course, Chris Coble of Concord also set a new standard, tearing it up in an impressive 2:01:11. Former World Champion Linda Eckhart of Auburn was the first woman finisher on the Long Course, putting up a 3:04:22 on a single speed.

For the rest of the competitors, it wasn't so easy. Across the board, times were about five minutes slower than last year even though the course was actually drier and more manageable. Blame it on the heat.