Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wisconsin Off Road Series Finale - Sheboygan, WI


Cooper Dendel on her way to a WORS title - Photo by Extreme Photography


Cooper Dendel Wins WORS Finale and Overall
Report by Todd Nutter

Another cross country mountain bike series closed its books for 2014 this past weekend. The nationally recognized Wisconsin Off Road Series (WORS), sponsored by Trek, held its finale on Sunday in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. The Sheboygan Bicycle Company MTB Challenge has been the closer for WORS for many years and remains a favorite for hundreds of participants. With perfect weather and trail conditions, racers prepared for what would prove to be a fast and exhilarating competition. 

Young Pro Female, Cooper Dendel (Quick Stop Bike Shop) has been the overall points leader since she beat out Abigail Strigel (Honey Stinger/Bontrager) at the WORS opener in Iola.

Click title to read full report

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Moab Rocks - Stage 3: Travis Brown and Jen Hanks Wrap Up the Open Titles

Photo by: Townsend Bessent
As a fitting end to 3 days of high-paced, bar-to-bar racing, the final stage of Moab Rocks was determined on the final climb of stage 3. After a gusting wind battered racers yesterday Monday’s weather couldn’t have been better.

Warm temperatures and sunny skies greeted riders and no wind could be felt. The great conditions meant the riders would have only each other to battle on today’s 30-mile final stage through the Magnificent 7 trail system.

The highlight of the final day was a showdown looming between former national champions: Travis Brown (Trek) for the Americans and Eric Tourville (Hype) representing the Canadians. Each rider had won a stage and just 30 seconds separated the two at the start, with Brown being the overnight race leader. 

The Canadians had a clear plan that started off with a suicide attack by Patrick Chartrand (Rocky Mountain) as soon as the start gun fired. Chartrand buried his head and powered away getting a 30 second lead before starting the first climb.
Patrick Chartrand and Eric Tourville attack on the downhill - Photo by: Townsend Bessent

The Rocky Mountain rider was a threat to take first on GC if his lead continued to build. That meant Travis Brown had to do all the work of chasing Chartrand and protecting his race lead.

Brown did his job bringing Chartrand back with Tourville close behind. After making contact with the lead duo Tourville attacked again and again. “I attacked Travis about 20 times today. He was really impressive. Each time I went he was able to catch back up,” Tourville said after the race.

The group of three shredded the 9-mile descent wheel to wheel and entered the finishing climb together. So close that Brown and Tourville registered the exact same time for the enduro segment.

After 3 days and almost 100 miles of racing the 2014 Moab Rocks title would be decided on the very last climb of the race. Just miles from the finish line.


The trio began the final climb together but Brown made it immediately clear that he had the legs to finish off his day in first place and maintain first overall in the GC.

Brent Pontius enjoying the singletrack at Moab Rocks - Photo by: Townsend Bessent 

Tourville powered his way in for second followed by Chartrand. Those three took the top spots in the final stage race results.

Peter Watson (Balance Point) finished fourth followed by Jonathon Firth (Planet Foods/Honey Stinger).

The women’s race became a battle between two race leaders and a challenger looking for a stage win. Overnight open women’s GC leader Jen Hanks (Epic Brewing/MTBRaceNews.com) took the lead on the first climb out of the Gemini Bridges parking lot and was joined shortly after by 40+ leader Margie Smith (Wilson) and yesterday’s top challenger Pepper Harlton (Devon).

Jen Hanks on her way to the Open Women's title - Photo by: Townsend Bessent

Harlton was determined to make up for a weekend of bad luck by taking a stage win at Magnificent 7.

The three riders stayed together throughout the first half of the race climbing the rock-strewn trails in unison.

Right around the midway point the racecourse plunged down a steep Jeep trail littered with blind drop offs. The two Canadians, Smith and Harlton, fearlessly charged the treacherous trail opening an immediately opening a sizable gap to Hanks. The enduro segment downhill was next and the two leaders pushed the limits demonstrating their mastery of rough trails.

Margie Smith dominated the 40+ women's race at Moab Rocks

That’s when bad luck struck Harlton for the third consecutive day. This time coming in the form of a flat tire for the Canadian cyclocross phenom.

The flat allowed Hanks to rejoin Harlton and the two played cat and mouse on the final road section approaching the base of the final climb. Hanks put in an acceleration on the early slopes of the climb. When she looked back a small gap had opened and the Epic Brewing rider went into full attack mode sensing a stage win in hand.

The final push to the line would prove anti-climactic as Pepper Harlton flatted again on the final descent and Hanks cruised home with stage win and open women’s title in hand.

Riders congregated at the finish reliving their stories of a fantastic three days of racing in one of the most challenging and majestic race venues in the United States.

The final awards ceremony was held, as it was every night, in Swanny City Park with great prizes, a slide show of the day’s race, and free beer provided by Moab Brewery.

Click Here for full results from Stage 3

Click Here for full GC results following stage 3

Riders from Barcelona and Canada added to the international flavor of Moab Rocks - Photo by: Townsend Bessent
Kenny Jones crushed Moab Rocks on a hardtail singlespeed - Photo by: Townsend Bessent

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Moab Rocks Stage 2 - Travis Brown and Jen Hanks Take Over the GC



As any veteran of the 24 Hours of Moab will tell you, fall racing in Moab is as much about surviving the environment as it is about conquering the trails. Today’s stage 2 of Moab Rocks proved that to be true.

Moab has an endless number of challenging weather conditions it can throw at you. Today Moab chose: Wind. A gusting 20-25 mph wind strafed riders throughout the day, at times making it difficult to hold your line on the tight singletrack of Klondike Bluffs. Although it could have been worse as abundant slickrock kept blowing dust to a minimum and the winding trails meant the wind was never in your face for too long.

Click title for full report

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Moab Rocks Stage 1: Canadians Dominate Day One as Eric Tourville and Jennifer Schulz Lead Open Categories

Travis Brown opens it up on the Upper Porcupine Singletrack - Photo by: Townsend Bessent



Moab Rocks 2014 kicked of with a vengeance just after sunrise this morning. Just as the sun crested the majestic red rock cliffs around the world’s first mountain bike mecca 94 riders took the start with all eyes on conquering the 17-mile, 5,000 vertical foot climb up Sand Flats road.

In contrast to 2013, this year’s Moab Rocks stage race started with the toughest 17 miles of the racing first. 

Click title for full story

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sea Otter Classic - Cross Country- Full Results, Photos and Report to Follow

Photos courtesy of Brightroom

Burry Stander took the sprint finish for his second consecutive Sea Otter win

Georgia Gould took wins in the short track and XC this weekend

Pro Men

1, Burry Stander (Specialized) 1.23.13
2, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis/Rocky Mountain) 1.23.13
3, Todd Wells (Specialized) 1.23.15
4, Christoph Sauser (Specialized) 1.24.19
5, Roel Paulissen (Cannondale) 1.25.27
6, Manuel Fumic (Cannondale) 1.25.52
7, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Gary Fisher) 1.26.05
8, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale) 1.26.05
9, Marco Fontana (Cannondale) 1.26.30
10, Chris Sheppard (Rocky Mountain) 1.26.35
11, Carl Decker (Giant)
12, Barry Wicks (Kona)
13, Adam Morka (Trek)
14, Conrad Stoltz (Specialized)
15, Jason Sager (Jamis)
16, Benjamin Sonntag (Cannondale)
17, Lachlain Norris (Drapac)
18, Travis Livermon (Champions systems)
19, Kris Sneddon (Kona)
20, Thomas Turner (Jamis)
21, Craig Richey (Aviawest)
22, Andy Schultz
23, Stephen Ettinger
24, Ryan Woodall
25, Rotem Ishay
26, Ken Onodera
27, Spencer Paxson
28, Tad Elliot
29, Peter Glassford
30, TJ Woodruff
31, Dana Weber
32, Max Know
33, Robert Marion
34, Stefan Widmer
35, Sean Babcock
36, Kerry Werner
37, Simon Jensen
38, Sam Schultz
39, Tinker Juarez
40, John Bennett
41, Russell Finsterwald
42, Mitchell Hoke
43, Pierre Facomprez
44, Burke Swindlehurst
45, Kalan Biesel
46, Eric Emsky
47, Jeffrey Herrera
48, Dror Pekatch
49, Vincent Lombardi
50, Brendan Stewart
51, Colin Cares
52, Yuki Saito
53, Ben Thompson
54, Bryan Alders
55, Aaron Bradford
56, Erik Tonkin
57, Aren Timmell
58, Scott Frederick
59, Adam Snyder
60, Tim Allen
61, Ross Schnell
62, Greg Carpenter
63, Ethan Gilmour
64, Nate Whitman
65, Alex Grant
66, Kevin Smallman
67, Drew Edsall
68, Spencer Powlison
69, Anthony Slowinski
70, Troy Wells
71, Lucas Livermon -1 lap
72, Omer Kem
73, Nicholas Stevens
74, Aaron Snyder
75, John Nobil
76, Blake Harlan
77, Bradford Perley
78, Dylan Stucki
79, Michael Mooradian
80, Aaron Elwell
81, Brady Kappius
82, Kenny Burt
83, Alex Boone
84, Nate Byrom
85, Justin Maka
86, Gabriel Keck
87, Nitish Nag
88, Brian Astell
89, Charles Jenkins
90, Mitchell Peterson
91, Ncik Weighall
92, Jeff Blair -2 laps
93, Mike Anderson
94, Randall Jacobs
95, Tony Smith
96, Jason Moeschler
97, Wiley Mosley
98, Matt Connors
99, Noah Tautfest
100, Ben Sullivan
101, John Burns
102, Ron Castia
103, Jeff Kerkove
104, Seamus Powell
105, Zachary Keller
106, Bob Delp
107, Osias Lozano
108, Garnet Vertican
109, Rob Sousa
110, Anastasio Flores
111, Andrew Rigel
112, Hal Helbock
113, Eric Batty
114, Evan Plews
115, Rouke Croesser -3 laps
116, Bryan Van Vleet
117, Matt Wittler
DNF Ryan Trebon
DNF Sid Taberlay
DNF Kat Statman
DNF Nick Truitt
DNF Drew Mackenzie
DNF Jim Hewett


Pro Women

1, Georgia Gould (Luna) 1.16.48
2, Lene Byberg (Specialized) 1.16.54
3, Katharine Pendrel (Luna) 1.17.33
4, Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) 1.17.34
5, Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Gary Fisher) 1.17.57
6, Emily Batty (Trek)
7, Pua Sawicki (Okolestuff.com)
8, Katerina Nash (Luna)
9, Chloe Forsman (Tokyo Joe's)
10, Kelli Emmett (Giant)
11, Amy Dombroski (Luna)
12, Alison Powers
13, Melanie McQuaid (Specialized)
14, Amanda Carey (Kenda/Felt)
15, Judy Freeman (Kenda/Felt)
16, Alice Pennington (S&M)
17, Sue Butler (River City Bicycles)
18, Kathy Sherwin (Mafia/Pabst/Felt)
19, Nina Baum (Cannondale)
20, Aleksandra Moora (Bedford/Spin/Verge)
21, Lizzy English
22, Sonya Looney
23, Rebecca Rusch
24, Krista Park
25, Linnea Koons
26, Joelie Guynup
27, Holly Liske
28, Wan Line Chang
29, Christina Betz
30, Lydia Tanner
31, Timari Pruis
32, Danae York
DNF Mical Dyck
DNF Kari Studley

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Sea Otter Classic - Cross Country- Pro Men Live Updates

Kabush brings it all back together. It's going to be a 3 up sprint for the win!

All three riders wind it up. And it's looks like Stander is going to take the win!

He just inches in front of Geoff Kabush with Wells right behind.

Christoph Sauser rolls in unchallenged for fourth with Roel Paulisen in the fifth and final podium spot

Marco Fontana takes 6th

Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Jeremiah Bishop come sprinting into the finish with JHK just taking it in front of the Cannondale rider

Special thanks to Todd Park for assistance with the reporting today
_________________________________________________________________________________

With a 1/2 lap left Wells attacks on one of the dirt climbs but Kabush closes it down and counters with his own move putting him in the lead. It doesn't last long.

Now Stander takes his shot with a huge acceleration! He has a gap but it's small...

__________________________________________________________________________________

As the leaders enter the final lap it's now Stander's turn to attack on the pavement of Laguna Seca. Kabush quickly shuts down the young South African with Wells locked onto his wheel.

It's great to see an American doing this sort of damage in a field stacked with international talent


Sauser remains in 4th but he is now too far out to contest the lead. It will come down to Stander, Kabush, or Wells

__________________________________________________________________________________

The third lap is now done. Geoff Kabush attacks the Specialized duo on the track. Kabush wants to get rid of these two or at least split them up. Even someone as strong as K-Bomb doesn't stand a chance against the combined strength of Stander and Wells.

Kabush needs to keep the pace high to keep Sauser from bridging up and making it three against one at the front.

The chase group is no down to just one rider and it's Sauser.

Just 45 seconds behind Sauser it's a group of six including Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, Marco Fontana, and Roel Paulisen
___________________________________________________________________________________

At the beginning of the third lap Todd Wells and teammate Burry Stander have moved off the front with Canadian Geoff Kabush in tow

Christoph Sauser is in fourth with one comrade.
___________________________________________________________________________________

After the opening lap a lead group of twelve has joined at the front. Most of the top contenders are in front group. The games are already beginning as no one wants to pull through the paved sections of the course.

Todd Wells launches a big attack on the climb just before the riders exit the race track.

Sam Schultz and Ryan Trebon are two big names not currently in the lead group. They are both chasing hard to get on.

These riders completed the first lap in just 18 minutes! Unfortunately some racers will be getting pulled on the next lap.

___________________________________________________________________________________


The men's race has just started.

It promises to be a truly high-octane event with some of the fastest men in the world on hand. Yesterday's winner Todd Wells will certainly be up front as will his teammate South African Burry Stander. Euro World Cuppers Marco Fontana, Roel Paulisen, and Christoph Sauser will all be looking to steal a win on US soil. And of course, Geoff Kabush is always a factor.

In order to comply with UCI regulations the Sea Otter course has been radically modified from it's previous route. Now racers will stay on the Laguna Seca raceway for about 3/4 of a mile throughout the race while periodically ducking onto the dirt for some singletrack. FInally the race leaves the raceway for two steep off-road climbs before entering the track again just before the finish. Laps shouldn't take more than 18-19 minutes for these monster of mountain biking.

Stay tuned for all the action with live updates each lap on MTBRaceNews.com


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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sea Otter Classic - Short Track - Full Results, Photos, and Report

Photos by: Todd Park
Americans Take Both Sea Otter Short Track Titles

Todd Wells saw nothing but clean air in front of him all throughout today's short track

April weather in Monterrey, California, is known for being predictably unpredictable. It ranges from temperatures in the 50s and thick mud to soaring highs well over 100 with gusting winds. This year however, it seems to be down right pleasant. As riders lined up for the short track today many commented that this is the best weather they have ever seen at Sea Otter.

The racing action was pretty good too.

The women started first with Pro XCT #1 short track winner Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher) going to the front. Koerber was joined by Specialized rider Lene Byberg and Georgia Gould (Luna). Canadian Katharine Pendrel (Luna) chased the leaders.

Gould quickly made it clear she had her sights set on winning this race. After several early attacks by the Luna rider, she was finally able to get clear with four laps remaining. Byberg and Koerber were left to do the chasing but Gould's determination to win was just too much.

Georgia Gould took her first win of 2010 in commanding style

With each lap she powered farther off the front leaving all the other riders to sort out who would be second. With one to go, it looked as if Gould's teammate Pendrel would take the runner up spot but Norwegian Lene Byberg surged one final time and passed the Luna rider. Pendrel would take third in front of Koerber and 2009 Sea Otter short track champion Emily Batty (Trek).

Just as the dust settled the men took their turn at Sea Otter glory and just like last year the Specialized team stomped out the competition.

Todd Wells leads the chasers through the chicane

Early on, it was Specialized's big man Todd Wells doing most of the damage accompanied by Geoff Kabush (Maxxis/Rocky Mountain). A crash early on waded up a healthy portion of the field and assured the front-runners clear sailng.

Wells was soon joined at the front by his South African teammate Burry Stander. And just like 2009, the two simply checked out from the rest of the field. Kabush had his hands full trying to hold off former world champion Christoph Sauser (Specialized) while Subaru/Gary Fisher riders Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski and Sam Schultz did their best to latch on to the Swiss rider.

Sid Taberlay, flying to Aussie National Championship colors, leads Burry Stander early in the race

There was simply no catching Wells today. The big Specialized rider rode confidently slowly increasing his lead and proving that he is truly on great form heading in to 2010. Wells was able to cruise across the finish line claiming back-to-back Sea Otter STXC wins.

His teammate Stander also repeated his result from 2009 taking second. Kabush held off the charging Swiss rider for third. Sauser crossed the line in fourth while Sho-Air/Specialized rider Sid Taberlay squeaked into the fifth and final podium spot.

Geoff Kabush on course

Staging for the short track event under warm sunny skies in Monterrey

Lene Byberg on her way to a second place finish

Willow Koerber, Lene Byberg, and Georgia Gould opening things up early in the race

Pro Women

1, Georgia Gould (Luna)
2, Lene Byberg (Specialized)
3, Katharine Pendrel (Luna)
4, Willow Koerber (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
5, Emily Batty (Trek)
6, Katerina Nash (Luna)
7, Kelli Emmett (Giant)
8, Heather Irmiger (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
9, Chloe Forsman (Tokyo Joe's)
10, Mical Dyck (Trek Canada)



Pro Men

1, Todd Wells (Specialized)
2, Burry Stander (Specialized)
3, Geoff Kabush (Maxxis/Rocky Mountain)
4, Christoph Sauser (Specialized)
5, Sid Taberlay (Sho-Air/Specialized)
6, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
7, Sam Schultz (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
8, Manuel Fumic
9, Carl Decker (Giant)
10, Marco Fontana
11, Ryan Trebon (Kona)
12, Max Plaxton (Sho-Air/Specialized)
13, Ken Onodera (Subaru/Gary Fisher)
14, Roel Paulissen (Cannondale)
15, Jeremiah Bishop (Cannondale)

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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Robbie Report

He's Back and He's Got Even More To Say

The_Robbie_Report_2

Former Junior National Champion and America's top U23 racer Rob Squire. This season Rob will be traveling the world gaining valuable experience and saddle time as one of America's elite racers. Rob will share his adventures with us throughout the 2010 racing season. Here is his first report:

Currently I’m sitting in an airport headed out to Albany, New York, for my first road race of the season with my new road team Holowesko Partners. The race is Tour of Battenkill, a 200km race, much of which is on dirt roads, which should make for an interesting first road race.

Tour of Battenkill will be my first road race of the season I’ve already taken part in two mountain bike races. The first of which was a PRO XCT national race in Fontana, California. I went to it not expecting to have a great result because it’s early in the season and usually the guys from California and warmer climates have a bit of an advantage because they can get more riding and training in earlier in the year. However, as it turns out I had a pretty good race. I recorded my highest place finish in an elite national race and was the number one placed U23.

At the start of the race I was nervous, as it was my first real race of the season against a formidable field. I had a great start position in the second row just behind Todd Wells due to the UCI points I had accumulated over the course of the last year. Despite my good start position, once the race started I went backwards almost immediately dropping from 9th to high 20s. I was able to make up some spots on the climbs and started closing in on the top-10. Unfortunately, I put a nasty kink in my chain on the second lap and had to ride 4 laps with a skipping bike. The big bonus of the weekend was that Scott Tedro, the Sho-Air series sponsor, decided to start doing a U23 podium and cash payout so I was able to pick up a few bucks for being 1st U23 and 14th elite.

My biggest news of the season so far was at Pan American Mountain Bike Championships in Guatemala City. This race takes the top riders from each nation in both North and South America to compete for the title of Pan American Champion. I was really excited to compete in the event but a little less eager to go to Guatemala. I had heard that it isn’t a good place for Americans to go because of crime but it wasn’t that bad. I did receive a few warnings about where to avoid and to be careful of bandits and for the most part this was enough to keep me out of trouble. The most exciting part of the security issues down there was the armed guards almost everywhere the team went. The hotel was guarded by men with shotguns at each entrance as well as guards along the course. I was happy to have the added security but I never saw anything that made me think that armed personnel was necessary.

As far as the racing goes, the course was a lot of fun. It wasn’t the best racecourse because it lacked anything technical. What it lacked technically it made up for by being a really fun course.

The start of the race was really chaotic. The U23 men were started 2 minutes after the elite men so we had to kind of hurry up to get lined up and ready to go in a short amount of time. I was looking forward to the call up here because I knew that I would have a good start position. I was called up third and lined up right in the middle of the first row, a perfect start position for the first climb and starting lap.

I was getting ready to start as the official counted down, 60 seconds….. 30 seconds….. 15 seconds….. and then without a whistle from the official the two Brazilians on either side of me just decided to go. They didn’t wait for the race to start and ended up doing a false start. The official decided not to start the race over because the elite men were already on course and restarting the race would take too long so I went from excellent start position to about 15th in the first 2 seconds.

I was able to make up some ground on the first lap and starting the second lap I was in second place in a group of 5. As the climbing started on that lap the pace really picked up and we lost a guy bringing the group to 4 halfway through the second lap. On the 3rd lap the two Brazilians attacked and got away from me and now I was in 3rd with a Costa Rican right on my tail. Once those two got away I decided to ride my own race and ended up dropping the Costa Rican and finishing in 3rd place.

Although I think I could have done a bit better I’m still really happy with the result. It was my first international UCI podium. I don’t have any pictures but you can find some on www.usacycling.org

From here on out my schedule is pretty hectic with this race in New York and then another stop in New Mexico next weekend before heading across the pond to Europe for some mountain bike World Cups and some road bike stage races-I can’t wait.

-Rob

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Camp Hilbert 1 Continues The 2010 Season Of The Virginia Off Road Series

Sunday April 11th, under perfect race weather, Camp Hilbert 1 was held in Maidens, VA as the 2nd race in the Virginia Off Road Series. A strong turnout of 179 riders turned out to ride between one and ten laps of the six mile course of twisty, rooty singletrack with plenty of whoops and hills.

A VORS rider charges through the singletrack


Expert Vet was the closest and most exciting category of the day. Michael Hosang of TriPower and Brent Williamson of Rostello presented by Fiorucci/Cycor were neck and neck for the entire 24 mile race, trading places for the lead with lap times always within 3 seconds of each other. With Hosang and Williamson passing near the finish line with a quarter mile left, Jared Stangl was heard saying "There's going to be a fight!" to Woody Elliott, both Virginia Off Road Series directors. In an uphill sprint finish, Hosang edged Williamson out by a single second and finished in 1:51:14.

Warm weather brought out large groups for Camp Hilbert

In Expert Men, Michael Runnals won by almost three minutes after producing the fastest lap of the day on lap 2. Sheila Scott of Bike Factory Racing/Trek won the Women's Expert category in the three lap event. In Single Speed, the 22 year old Gordan Wadsworth with Gary Fisher 29er/Trek Co-op clocked faster than sport class laps for the win, while Anne Green was the fastest Single Speed Woman.

In Sport Men's Classes, Jay Catlett of Bike Factory Racing/Trek, Todd Green of Design Physics/Rowlett's, and Mark Lewis took their age groups, while Sport Women was won by Jennifer Whedbee. Beginner Men Classes was won by Robert Unberhandt and Michael Spinos, while Kate Fisher won Beginner Women.

Some of the deep woods singletrack on hand at Camp Hilbert

The Virginia Off Road Series introduced an enduro-style category into the season called X-Cat. Charles Clarkson was the only Enduro to complete ten laps under 5 hours to win the Enduro Men category with 36 racers and Denelle Grant of Gary Fisher 29er/Trek Co-op won Enduro Women with eight laps.

Full Results, Photos, VORS Standings - click on standings

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

alison

Alison Dunlap is a certified Level II USAC Coach and has been working with athletes for five years. She runs a coaching business called Alison Dunlap Coaching, and has mountain bike camps in Moab, UT through the Alison Dunlap Adventure Camps. Alison is also a two-time Olympian, MTB World Champion, and 13-time National Champion.

Question: I do a lot of races that require me to drive long distances after I race. What is the best way to maximize my recovery when I have to get in the car and drive 4-6 hours after my race?

Answer: Racing is hard enough, but to sit in a car or get on a plane immediately after your event can put a wrench in your recovery plans and wreak havoc on your legs. Fortunately there are a few simple things you can do to improve your body’s ability to recover before jumping in a car for the long drive home.

As soon as you cross the finish line you should head straight for your car. The temptation to stop and talk with friends, family, and your fellow racers is strong, but you’ve got some muscles to take care off. At your car you should immediately change clothes and put on a dry jog bra, undershirt, and cycling shorts. Even on a warm day, hanging out in wet sweaty race clothes can create an uncomfortable chill.

After you are warm and dry your next task is to have a recovery drink. A recovery drink is a high carbohydrate/protein drink mix that will help get needed carbohydrates to your fatigued muscles. Most of the good recovery drinks have a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. Protein has been shown to increase the absorption of carbohydrates. The recovery drink needs to be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing your race. This is SUPER important. When you race, your body releases an enzyme that facilitates the uptake of glucose from the blood into your muscles where it is used for muscle contraction. This enzyme is extremely active during your race and then starts to dissipate about 30 minutes post exercise. If you can get a large amount of carbohydrates into your body while this enzyme is still “hot”, you will get more carbohydrates to your muscles faster. The more carbohydrates your muscles get, the faster they will recover. Research shows that having a recovery drink as soon as you finish your race is more effective than waiting two hours and then having a large meal.

Once you have changed into dry clothes and you’ve got your recovery drink in hand, head back out on the bike for a cool down. I know this is the last thing you want to do after a race, but this can be one of the best things you do for your legs. A light spin will increase blood flow to your muscles which helps flush out the byproducts of metabolism, lactate being one of them. 20-30min is the minimum for a good cool down.

The last thing you’ll want to do before getting in the car is a 10 minute stretch. After your cool down, the muscles are nice and warm and supple which is the perfect time to stretch. Focus on the major muscle groups; quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, IT bands, and calves. If your stomach isn’t too upset you could also eat some kind of solid food; bagel, energy bar, fruit etc.

Now you’re ready to stuff yourself into your car for the long drive home. You’ve done the best you can to jump start your recovery, but I guarantee you will still feel pretty lousy when you get out of the car in a few hours. That’s just what happens after a hard race. It takes about 24-36hrs for your muscle glycogen stores to be fully replenished. Keep eating and drinking on the drive home! By morning you’ll still be tired, but your legs will feel a heck of a lot better.

Good luck and happy trails!

Alison

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Julian Death March: Julian, California -- Full Report, Results, and Photos

Written by: Jens Raz

California Cyclocross Champion and two-time Death March Champion Brent Prenzlow defeated Danish Champion Simon Jensen to take his third win at this demanding race.

Brent Prenzlow brining it home for his third Death March win (photo by Mrs. Brent Prenzlow)

This race is called the Julian Death March for a reason. In Race-Director Rich Wolf's own words: "If you weren't dying at some time during the race I haven't done my job." True to form this was one of, if not the toughest race on the West Coast.

A shivering cold greeted the most competitive and eager group ever assembled at the Death March. The 4th annual running promised more climbing and additional miles than ever before.

The promise of stiff competiton drew out defending champion and local speed man/Dentist, Guy Sutton (Cal Coast Cyclery), fresh from a top-10 finish at Vision Quest. His competition was fierce as 2-time Death March winner and multiple California State Cyclocross champion, Brent Prenzlow (Celo Pacific), was waiting in the wings. Brent had company during the waiting game as the current Danish Cross Country Mountain Bike National Champion, Simon Jensen (HC Stevens Bikes), slid up in position among the defending champions. Cannondale Factory Racer Dezmin Wilder and Sho-Air’s Mario Corea rounded out the top competition. They too wanted a piece of that Julian Apple Pie!

The lead group opens it up on an early climb with Jensen, Prenzlow, Sutton, and Corea left to right (photo by: Rich Wolf)

Compared to the previous years, the 2010 edition was 5 miles longer. A tough "horsethief" like climb/hike a bike was added to the first of two laps, 55 miles into the 64. The last loop adds about 3200 feet of climbing and 22 miles of "beautiful" riding through cow pastures and Wildlife Preserves with turkeys, bulls, snakes and other distractions.

Past editions of the Death March were marked by early breakaways and the eventual winner soloing to a commanding victory. Prenzlow, in his first two wins did so on a cross bike. In contrast, Guy Sutton took the win last year on his Ibis Mojo.

This year interestingly enough, the lead group stayed together producing a very close race for the first 60+ miles between Brent Prenzlow, Guy Sutton and Simon Jensen. Prenzlow was riding smart and doing minimal work while staying in the draft until dropping off on Rodriguez Canyon due to a mechanical. He had lost a water-bottle cage bolt and bottle, as it was wedged into his crank. Loosing close to 5 minutes by the 3rd aid station.

Utah racer Greg Gibson flying the flamboyant orange of Union College with his older brother Charlie just behind (photo by Rich Wolf)

Left to their own wits with Brent distracted, Guy and Simon were on their own to battle it out. Coming out of the desert, Oriflame was the first of 2 brutal climbs to test their strength. Sutton, the 41-year-old dentist, almost dislodged the European coming out of the 1600' climb. Unfortunately for Guy, the thought of early glory was short lived as the Dane was able to create a gap going up the next grueling ascent of Banner Grade. Brent recovered from his potentially devastating mechanical and surged past the 2nd placed rider before leveling out into the town of Julian.

Prenzlow and Jensen duked it out on the final loop. Finally, Prenzlow, riding a 29"mountain bike this year, rode clear on the final evil granny gear climb with just 9 miles to go. Riding solo past the resting steers and turkeys to victory. Rounding out the Podium were the Jensen and Sutton.

Guy Sutton challenged for consecutive wins at the 64-mile grueler (photo by Rich Wolf)

Dezmin Wilder came in fourth with Provo, Utah, resident Greggy Gibson (Racer’s Cycle Service) taking the final podium spot in 5th.

Cannondale's Dezmin Wilder (photo by Rich Wolf)

Not to be outdone, Calvin Mulder finished the race in just over 9 hours on a fixed-gear and rigid mountain bike to show how truly tough some people are!

The Men's Podium -- Sutton, Prenzlow, and Jensen left to right (photo by Jens Raz)

The Death March offers up over 16,000 vertical feet of climbing in 86 miles.

Pro Men

1, Brent Prenzlow
2, Simon Jensen
3, Guy Sutton
4, Dezmin Wilder
5, Greg Gibson
6, Chris Crosby
7, Tom Andrews
8, Luke Wiens
9, Michael Hanson
10, Bruce Wilson
11, Alex Ter-Vrught

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Greg Gibson Report from Julian Death March

Greg Gibson is a Pro-level mountain bike racer and frequent contributor to MTB Race News and owner of www.truckerco.com. He recently made the long drive from Provo, Utah to compete in the Julian Death March, in Julian, California. The Death March boasts 16,000 feet of climbing in 64 miles. Greg shares his experience with us.

Chuck (my brother) saw the event on the MTBRaceNews calender and emailed it to me last week.

Because it was snowing at our house in Utah we decided to make the trip. The town of Julian is totally cool and was the perfect place for an event of this sort. We started in the very back of the race. The first climb is about 4 kilometrers up and takes at least an hour so it pretty much shook out the race. Positions didn't change much after that.

Greg, with Chuck just behind, chase the lead group (photo by Rich Wolf)

Chuck and i rode together and worked through the field to the front. At the top of the first climb the three leaders were together a minute or two ahead of our chase group of four. The race got a little technical and we had some singletrack that split our chase group up. I got away and ended up doing the next four hours alone.

Chuck made a wrong turn and I never saw him again. It is impossible to mark the entire course , so, I recommend pre-riding or owning a Garmin if you do this event.

At one point I was in the middle of the desert and I saw an old sign that pointed to Mexico. I thought that was cool. I had no idea where anyone else was or what the time gaps were. I rode strong 'till about 10 miles to go when I blew up, totally bonked and dehydrated, when a very fresh and strong Dezmin Wilder plowed by. Considering the difficulty and amount of climbing, I say "Cheers" to anyone who can even finish this thing.

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