Pisgah Stage Race: Stage 3

Thursday April 12, 2018Stage 3 is sponsored by Sycamore Cycles, and is the White squirrel Route. Pisgah forest was populated with white squirrels after a circus train carrying them tipped over quite a few years back. This stage offers 29 miles and 5118 feet of climbing! With most of the trails being so close to Brevard, these trails are quite popular with the locals.

Racers fighting for position at the start at the bottom of Black Mountain.

The race starts at the bottom of Black Mountain. Racers immediately funnel into double track up Grassy Rd and over to a rooty fast decent down Sycamore Cove. From there racers loop back around to Thrift cove over to climb/hike-a-bike up black mountain. A fun decent down Buckhorn gap brings you to the 2.25 mile enduro section on Avery Creek. This downhill sections offers a little of everything from roots, rocks, drops, creek crossings and smooth fast hammer sections.

Carey Lowery (Women’s Masters leader) tearing up the downhill.

Sketchy bridge crossing after the Avery creek enduro.

Taking the win for the day in Men’s open is Travis Livermon from NC with a time of 2:31:30. Stefano Barberi from CA came in 2nd at a time of 2:33:03 and finishing 3rd is Tristan Cowie from NC in 2:34:03. After stage 3 Travis now takes the lead in the overall Men’s Open.On the Women’s side, Jeana Greaser had another strong finish 3:11:52. Coming in 2nd is Ada Xinxo at 3:17:56 and Jen Nielson 3rd with a time of 3:27:06. The standings in the Women’s Open remain the same.

Race director Todd Branham awaits racers at the finish line.

Watch the video recap!

 

Moab Rocks: Stage 3

Kabush and Sears Win Moab Rocks with Payson McElveen and Jenny Smith Taking the Mag 7 Stage Win

 Written by: Marlee Dixon

The third and final day of Moab Rocks is as exhilarating as it is exhausting.  After two days of physical XC racing, most racers wake up tired; their bodies aching.  Todays’ course wasn’t going to provide any relief as it was just as challenging and demanding as the previous two days.

Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

At 8:30 the shot goes off and competitors head out onto Gemini Bridges road.  The starting pace was mellower this morning due to a stiff headwind on the road.  Today is the day to finalize positions with most people looking to push hard to try and gain position.  The lead men waited until off of the first flat road and onto the steep climb to make their attack.  From there everyone spread out, pushing as hard as they could up the first 500’ climb.  Next is a loose quick dirt road descent followed by a fast flat road before climbing up Gemini Bridges road.  After the first 6 miles of dirt road; the course veers onto the Getaway single track, a moderately technical climb with some flowy dirt single track.  It’s a six mile climb up Getaway and then everyone is rewarded with the screaming descent; Bull Run.  It’s rocky, it’s fast and it makes the climb worth it.  The descending continues after Bull Run with more rocky, adrenaline-charged singletrack including the trail, Great Escape.  After descending what feels like forever, the course turns back on Gemini Bridges road where riders climb up and over the 500’ hill before sprinting down to the start.  Today’s course is a tough 2500’ of climbing over 28 miles.

Payson McElveen doesn’t have much time to enjoy the view as he heads for a stage win. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

Almost all of the climbing takes place in the first 15 miles making the rest of the course pure joy.  If you haven’t fallen in love with the trails in Moab yet, today will leave you smiling ear to ear as you remember the thrill of the course.  Moab Rocks encompasses three very different trail systems, each with their own unique challenges and rewards.  It’s a perfect start to the race season as you’re sure to leave Moab tired and sore, with memories and experiences you won’t forget.

Josiah Middaugh leads on the opening climb. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

Coming into day 3, Geoff Kabush (Yeti/Maxxis) had a 9 second overall lead over 2nd place Payson McElveen (Orange Seal).  3rd place Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX) was only 30 seconds back.  Today all racers started off cautious on the flat windy road, but once off of the flat road, McElveen attacked and right behind him was Kabush.  McElveen pushed the pace the entire first half of the race, maintaining a 30 second lead on the climb.  Once on the single track descent, Kabushwas able to make up time and catch up to him.  On the final road, McElveen again pushed ahead but was only able to get a 5 second lead on Kabush.  McElveen won stage 3 in a time of 1:57:26 but Kabush keeps the overall GC by 4 seconds with a 3 day ride time of 5:26:59.  McElveen finishes 2nd overall (5:26:55) and in 3rd is Justine Lindine (Apex/NBX) (5:30:34).

Sparky Moir Sears takes second on the day but wins the GC. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

For the women’s pro race, Sparky Sears (Pivot/MRP) was in the lead to start.  She pushed the pace up the road trying to distance herself from her competition.  Not far back was Jenny Smith (Kenda/Cannondale) and behind her, Marlee Dixon (Pivot/Pearl Izumi).  Once on the singletrack climb, Smith caught Sears and the two rode together for a little while before Smith was able to gain the lead and distance herself.  Smith won the stage in a time of 2:28:13 but it wasn’t enough of a lead to win the overall.  Sears wins the overall in a 3 day ride time of 6:54:44, followed by Smith in 2nd (6:59:38) and Dixon in 3rd (7:05:28).

Click Here for Full Results From All Stages 

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Moab Rocks: Stage 2

Kabush Repeats as Jenny Smith Takes Her First Stage at Moab Rocks

Get ready for a completely different racecourse in Stage 2 (Klondike Bluffs) of Moab Rocks!

Payson McElveen leads Justine Lindeen through a maze of rocks on stage 2. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

The day started out similar to day 1- a beautifully cool, slightly overcast morning as racers warmed up for the day. At 8:28 the now familiar “Highway to Hell” rif blasted from the sound system and at 8:30 the shot rang signaling the start.

But today racers took off from the start, climbing quickly up the first 4 miles of rolling dirt road as each person was chomping at the bit to be first on the singletrack.

It’s a fast rolling climb up the road before racers cross onto a double track and into the trail system.   Once in the trail system, racers are heading up the rocks on rugged one track.  The Klondike Bluffs trail system is marked by paint spots on the rocks and although the rocks are gigantic and can be ridden in numerous directions, the painted trail markings keep cyclists from getting lost and off unrideable terrain.

Marlee Dixon on course at stage 2 of Moab Rocks. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

Today’s course was filled with punchy climbs/descents, technical rocky areas, loose dirt and is overall a cross country racers favorite course.   With 3,000’ of elevation in 25 miles, today was a challenging course that tested fitness and technical skills.

For the pro men Jeff Kabush (Yeti/Maxxis) led the men for most of the race.  With him was Payson McElveen (Orange Seal), Justin Lindine (Apex/NBX) and Chris Baddick (Boulder Cycle Sport).  Thirty minutes into the race Baddick fell back and the top three men rode together for the entire race.

In the final push, Kabush (1:50:29) and McElveen (1:50:32) rode ahead finishing 3 seconds apart with Lindine another thirty seconds back (1:51:09).  For the overall, Kabush remains 1st (3:29:23) with McElveen nine seconds back (3:29:32) and Lindine moves into third (3:31:05).

Spark Sears leads Jenny Smith on stage 2. Photo courtesy of Moab Rocks

For the pro women Jenny Smith (Kenda/Cannondale) took the lead on the road climb followed by Marlee Dixon (Pearl Izumi/Pivot) and Sparky Sears (Pivot/MRP).  A few miles into the trail system, Sears moved up, passing Dixon and challenging Smith.

Smith and Sears rode the remainder of the race together until Smith took off in the last 5 miles for the win finishing in 2:19:04.  Sears finished 2nd (2:20:07) and Dixon in 3rd (2:24:07).   For the overall Sears remains first (4:24:12), Smith moves into 2nd (4:31:24) and Dixon in 3rd (4:32:40).

Click Here for Full Results From Stage 2 & GC

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Moab Rocks: Stage 1

Geoff Kabush and Sparky Sears Kick Off Moab Rocks with a Win

 

It’s 8:10am and racers are congregating at the local high school, music is playing and the energy is high.

The 2018 Moab Rocks stage race is about to start in downtown Moab, Utah; a town known as a world class mountain biking mecca.

riders: Geoff Kabush wins Stage 1 of the 2018 Moab Rocks. Following him is Chris Baddick who took second place. – Photo by: Gibson Pictures

With the familiar TransRockies starting song, “Highway to Hell”, bursting from the loudspeakers, racers lead out on a neutral road ride behind the local police escort.  After a few minutes, once climbing Sand Flats road, the police car pulls away and it’s go time.

Racers begin a fierce 14-mile climb up Sand Flats road.  It’s an undulating 3,300’ climb with steep sections, sandy areas, rocks, some headwind, sun, and an overall grueling climb to Lower Porcupine Singletrack trail (LPS).

– Photo by: Gibson Pictures

Once finished with the long road climb, racers veer right on to LPS and hit some fun windy singletrack, and the beginning of one of the most epic trails!  Porcupine Rim starts as a pedally descent, with large rocks, chunky sections, drops and specific lines to follow.  At several points racers are riding only a few feet from the 1000 foot cliff ledge.  If you have time, the views and scenery are spectacular.  For those racing, it’s a very physical descent where you have to be on point, paying attention to each turn and rock and watching the lines.  It’s technical and fast, a descent that will make you forget you are racing and leave you smiling; loving Moab. After descending 2,200’ racers finish on Porcupine Rim proper, smiling, exhausted and exhilarated about the first day of Moab Rocks.

– Photo courtesy of Jean McAllister

For the pro men, Josiah Middaugh (Midaugh Coaching) pulled away from the lead pack of men on the road climb.  The rest of the men worked together while he had a minute lead.  On the top of Porcupine Rim Middaugh crashed.  From there, Geoff Kabush (Yeti, Maxxis), Chris Baddick (Boulder Cycle Sport), and Payson McElveen (Orange Seal) rode together down Porcupine Rim finishing only seconds apart.  Kabush won in a time of 1:38:53, following right behind him was Baddick (1:38:58), and only another 30 seconds back was McElveen (1:39:00).

Sparky Moir Sears takes 1st Place Open Women/Stage 1 Moab Rocks. – Photo courtesy of Jean McAllister

For the pro women, the lead four women worked together, quickly pulling away at the start up the road climb.  Sparky Sears (Pivot), Jenny Smith (Kenda/ Carbondale), Chloe Cross (Whistler Mountain Bike), and Marlee Dixon (Pearl Izumi/Pivot) rode together, often leap-frogging each other for the first half of the road climb.  At one point, Sears pulled ahead and jumped up with a few guys, within eyesight she maintained a lead on the other girls.  With a headwind, today was a tough day to be out riding alone on Sand Flats road.  Riding in groups, the next three women rode close to each other.  Around mile 11, Dixon pushed ahead on a steep paved section.

Not long after, Cross blew up and Smith maintained a strong third place.  Once on the singletrack, Sears, a fast enduro racer, maintained her lead and finished first (2:04:05).  Behind her, Dixon took second (2:08:33) and Smith third (2:12:20).

Click Here for Full Results

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Pisgah Stage Race: Stage 2

Wednesday April 11, 2018

Written by: Jen ToopsStage two started at the bottom of Black Mountain with a police escort out to Turkey Pen road. From there riders climbed up and hit trails such as: South Mills River, Mullinex, Squirrel Gap, Buckhorn Gap, Pressley Gap and finished on a 2 mile enduro section of Black mountain.

Stage 2 was a close race in the Men’s Open. Travis Livermon overtook Tristan Cowie in a close finish taking the stage win by less than a second. Tristan Still holds onto the overall lead by less than a minute over Travis. Rounding out 3rd place is Kerry Werner only a few minutes back.

Men’s Open category: 1st- Travis Livermon: 2:14:04.448 USA, 2nd- Tristan Cowie 2:14:04.965 USA, and Kerry Werner 3rd 2:17:05 USA

In the Women’s open division it was Jena Greaser still holding strong in first and adding to her overall lead. Ada Xinxo comes in 2nd about 6 minutes back moving her to the 2nd overall position. Jen Nielson grabs the 3rd podium spot pushing her to 3rd overall.

In the Women’s Open division: 1st- Jena Greaser 2:44.54 Canada, 2nd Ada Xinxo in 2:50.59 Spain, 3rd Jen Nielson 2:58.49 USA

Tomorrow’s stage 3 brings a lot of climbing and locals favorite trails such as Avery Creek and Buckhorn gap.

Click Here for Full Results From Each Stage

Pisgah Stage Race: Stage 1

Tuesday April 10, 2018

Written by: Jen Toops

Stage one sponsored by Cliff is the Looking Glass Route. This stage has 4,130 ft of elevation gain over 25 miles and visits Daniel Ridge, Gloucester Gap, Butter Gap, Long Branch, Davidson River and Cove Creek trails.
The Enduro blasts down 1.75 miles on Daniel Ridge. This is the “so called” easy start to the race with fast flow sections to get riders warmed up for what the Pisgah forest really has to offer. Toward the end of the stage riders were able to view Looking Glass Rock which is a 4,000’ piece of exposed granite.

It was low 30’s for the race start but quickly warmed to high 40’s after the sun peaked through the clouds. The race started out fast on the gravel roads that quickly turned to techy-singletrack.  The timed enduro section came up quick at the beginning of the race on Daniel ridge. This stage is a favorite among many as it hits popular trails and ends with flowing downhill’s, leaving most riders smiling.

A very tight race is forming in the Men’s Open category: 1st- Tristan Cowie: 1:46:59 USA, 2nd-Travis Livermon: 1:47:42 USA, and Kerry Werner: 3rd 1:49:18 USA

Tristan Cowie takes the lead by less than a minute going into stage 2

In the Women’s Open division: 1st- Jena Greaser: 2:16:50 CANADA, 2nd Jen Nielson: 2:18:43 USA and hot on the chase is Ada Xinxo in 3rd 2:19:03 Spain.

Jena Greaser takes the leaders jersey.

Click Here for Full Results from each Stage

 

 

Moab Rocks Stage Race Preview

Are you bummed on the lack of snow this year?  Have you already made the mental switch over to bike season?  If so, this is a great time to start training for one of the best cross-country stage races in the US!  Moab Rocks is a 3 day cross country mountain bike race in Moab, Utah, that takes some of the regions best classic and new routes including Klondike, Porcupine Rim and Mag 7 and combines them into a three-day xc masterpiece in a fully supported format.

Photo by: John Gibson

Each year Moab Rocks hosts some of the top names in North American mountain biking.  Top competitors looking for an early-season bump to their fitness and the experience of Moab’s best trail networks flock to southern Utah, riders like: Geoff Kabush, Payson McElveen, Chris Baddick, Kris Sneddon, and Rotem Ishay will be pushing that pace at the front of the pack in 2018. Vying for the top female rider will be former Moab Rocks winners Liz Carrington and KC Holley along with top contenders like Jenni Smith, Marlee Dixon, Sparky Sears, Ksenia Lepikhina, and Liza Hartlaub.

Day 1:  Starting in downtown Moab, racers will line up and head out of town amongst crowds of onlookers.  The first 10 miles is a climb up Sand Flats road – perfect for the climbing legs, this is your opportunity to push yourself and get into position for the downhill.  Once at the top of the road, it’s left onto one of the most famous Moab trails.  Porcupine rim is a an extremely challenging and technical downhill trail that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.  With over 12 miles of descending, you’ll finish day one having fallen in love with Moab.

Lea Davison (3rd on Stage 2) leads teammate Maghalie Rochette (2nd on Stage 2) Photo by: John Gibson

Day 2: After an epic day one, day two is a true cross country race. Klondike Bluffs is a new trail system that features a lot of punchy short ascents and descents, rock features, and moderately technical riding.  Today’s course will keep you sharp with almost the entire 25 miles of technical single track racing.

Day 3: After two days of racing, there’s no letting up on the last day of Moab Rocks. Today is your opportunity to race hard and finish strong.  Starting at Gemini Bridges road, today racers begin with a 4-wheel drive dirt road climb followed by a short dirt road descent and then everyone is hammering again on the next road climb before getting onto the singletrack.  Once on the dirt, racers continue in an upward trend on moderately technical trails.  Finally over the climbing, it’s yet another epic descent on Bull Run.  Physical and technical, this descent will again leave you grinning.  But leave some in the tank, as there’s still some uphill before you’re home.  Racers finish by climbing back up the Gemini bridges road and descending back to the start.

Geoff Kabush enroute to winning Stage 3 and the final general classification of Moab Rocks. Photo by: Jean McAllister

With three days of back to back xc racing, Moab Rocks is the perfect jumpstart to mountain biking season.  Long known as one of the world’s most iconic mountain biking destinations, Moab has played host to riders from far and wide.  Featuring technical, desert riding, it’s a mountain bikers’ paradise.  If you’ve never been to Moab before, this is the perfect opportunity to ride some of the best trails in the area.   If you have ridden in Moab, then you know you’re in for some of the best mountain bike riding in the country.  All this wrapped up in a fun and friendly atmosphere, combining camaraderie and competition.

 

Riders live on the edge racing on the Upper Porcupine Singletrack. Photo by: John Gibson

Register today and start training for Moab Rocks, April 14th-17th, 2018.  Get ready to push yourself to the limit as you race against 150 other pros and amateurs.  Then prepare to relax in the warm desert afternoons, soaking up the sun and experiencing the best in Moab culture, with beer from Moab Brewery, nightly slideshows and awards.

For more information and to register visit: transrockies.com/moab-rocks.

Giddy up and get ready to ride Moab!

Photo by: John Gibson

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True Grit Epic – Santa Clara, Utah

Fast Times Posted at NUE Series Opener in Southern Utah with Biggest Ever Field

Saturday’s True Grit Epic saw it’s biggest-ever field with over 600 racers taking on the treacherous, rock-strewn course tucked in the south west corner of Utah. The record-setting participants were rewarded with some of the best race conditions possible with calm winds, temperatures in the low 60s and overcast skies keeping the sun at bay.

All this allowed racers to post some of the fastest times around the notoriously techy True Grit course.

Gwendalyn Gibson (Norco) had some fun while destroying the marathon event. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

The NUE opener experienced a youth infusion with riders like Gwendalyn Gibson (Norco) and Hannah Finchamp (Clif Bar) who just recently left the junior ranks. 50 miles was not too much for these youngsters though as the powered away from the outset battling each other most of the day.

Gibson took the win with Finchamp just minutes back. It wasn’t all about the kids though as Jenni Smith (Kenda/Cannondale) who just turned 45 rallied all day and finished just behind in 3rd. Nicole Tittensor (Scott) and Liza Hartlaub (GU Energy Labs) finished off the podium in 4th and 5th.

Nicole Tittensor (Scott) leads Jen Hanks into the Waterfall. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

The men’s marathon was a showdown between Justin Lindine (Apex) and another youngster testing out the long distance scene, Zach Calton (Spry/ LPB Sotheby’s).

The two rode wheel-to-wheel through the most technical first half of the race before Lindine opened a gap and took the win after just missing it last year in a sprint finish.

Justin Lindine (Apex) showed his early-season form taking the men’s marathon title. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

Former winner Alex Grant (Maybird/Cannondale) took third followed by Nic Beechan (Trek) and Clayton Otto (Giant).

The kids came out in force for the 2018 True Grit. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

Dave Harris won the 50+ marathon event but had to leave part of his face on the course to do so proving that even living in St. George and riding these trails everyday doesn’t give you a free pass on the True Grit course.

Local speedster and 50+ marathon champ Dave Harris left some blood on course. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

100 Mile 

Taylor Lideen charges toward the finish. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

100-mile winner Taylor Lideen (Pivot/DNA Cycling) turned in one of the most impressive rides at the True Grit taking the win just three weeks after winning the solo race at 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. When asked if he considered doing the 50 mile event instead he said, “Never, I don’t have that kind of fire in my legs right now – my goal was just to set my pace and see how it went.”

Lideen was challenged throughout the opening lap and a half by Pete Karinen (Broken Spoke Racing) before a flat, on the second pass through Zen trail, sent him back in the pack and Brazilian Stefano Barberi (Team Barberi) took up the chase. He couldn’t catch Lideen as he finally finished second followed by David Krimstock (Pearl Izumi/Pivot). Pete Karinen rallied after his flat to finish fourth with Coulton Hartrich in fifth.

2017 NUE marathon champion Jen Toops (Pearl Izumi/Pivot) traveled out from Ohio the NUE opener. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

Larissa Connors smashed the True Grit course winning by 30 minutes over Sparky Sears (First Hand MTB) and Carla Williams (Joe’s Bike Shop). Connors was so fast she would have placed just off the podium in the open men’s category in 7th.

Chase Hansen (CZ Racing) finished 4th followed by Lauren Cantwell.

Hannah Finchamp (Clif Bar) making an impressive debut at True Grit. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/ MTB Race News

By far the most exciting part of the 2018 True Grit Epic despite the great weather, amazing views, brutally fun course, and fantastic volunteers and staff was the number of young racers on hand.

The number of participants under the age of 21 was truly impressive and a testament to the success of the NICA high school racing league in the southwest. Dozens and dozens of kids strapped on their helmets and conquered one of the toughest endurance events in the country with many even contending for race wins. It was an exciting development I hope we continue to see for years to come.

Riders have to decide between riding or taking in the incredible views at True Grit. Photo by: Shannon Boffeli/MTB Race News

 

CLICK HERE FULL RESULTS FROM ALL CATEGORIES

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Pisgah Stage Race Coming April 9

The 10th annual Blue Ridge Adventures Pisgah Stage Race takes place April 9-14th, 2018 in Brevard North Carolina.  This 5-day journey takes you on a 140-mile tour of Pisgah through the temperate rain forest sampling some of the best singletrack Pisgah has to offer.  The race delivers with a timed enduro section each day, scenic views, waterfalls, creek crossings, technical east coast rooty-rocky singletrack and has over 20,000 feet of elevation gain.  Racers from around the globe including 9 different countries and 23 states are signed up making the race already 75% sold out!

https://youtu.be/akXImuoJIyc

After each stage of the race the Brevard Music center serves as the venue for results, awards, slide show of race day photos and a local gourmet meal.

Some racers are looking for a challenging week with scenic views and technical riding but some are looking for a podium position.  Which racers can push their limits and take the top spots this year?

The defending champion in the Women’s Pro class and fat bike national champ Jena Greaser is returning and hoping to hold on to that top step.  Trying to challenge her will be Ada Xinxo from Spain, Jenna Downey and many other women eager to be crowned the new champion.

In the Men’s Open category Elliot Baring, Stefano Barberi, Jeff Cheever, Santi Val and Tristian Uhl are all looking to face the 2017-defending champion Tristian Cowie.  With such a stacked field of men its definitely going to be an exciting race.

Stages:


Pearl Izumi/Pivot Mountain Bike Team Announcement

The new season brings exciting new changes for the Pearl Izumi/Pivot Cycles Mountain Bike Race Team. A new team member and new title sponsor promises to make 2018 a special year for the team that’s been winning races across the country and now has teamed up with cycling gear superpower Pearl Izumi.

Pearl Izumi has come on board to provide the finest threads and performance gear to keep the team performing at the highest level. The 4-person team will be competing in the Team Training Jersey from Pearl Izumi featuring P.R.O. Transfer In-R-Cool fabric to keep the team cool whether racing in the heat of the desert southwest or thick summer air at Trans-Sylvania Epic. Italian nylon in the Elite LTD short will be keeping riders comfortable racing hundreds of miles of dirt and singletrack.

Pearl Izumi/Pivot team debuts new threads for 2018

For the first time in team history riders will be trusting Pearl Izumi with the single most important piece of equipment to any cyclist, shoes. The connection between a rider and their bike, riding shoes, are the most critical piece of riding apparel. Riders will compete in the X-Project P.R.O. shoe that combines a rigid carbon sole that stays stiff while pedaling and flexes while walking, this combined with dual BOA closures makes the Project X the best shoe for marathon and stage racing.

“I’ve never sought out a shoe sponsor for our team in the past,” team director Shannon Boffeli shared. “It’s such a deeply personal and significant piece of equipment. But the X-Project is such a unique and comfortable shoe I knew all our riders would love it. I can’t wait to get everyone in them.”

The team will also be using the Divide glove to stay connected to the bike as well as Pearl Izumi’s full line of performance baggies and comfort-fit riding tops providing the best blend of style and function.

Pearl joins a long listed of trusted sponsors including Pivot Cycles, producer of the most advanced mountain bikes in the US. Riders will be competing on the Pivot Mach 4 and Mach 429sl as well as the Les 29 and 27.5.

Stan’s NoTubes has been a team supporter since the very beginning. The team will be competing with only Stan’s sealant rolling in NoTubes’ Valor carbon wheelset, a lightweight wheel strong enough for the most punishing ultra-endurances races in the world.

The team will again be riding the Pivot 429sl spec’d out with help from Rotor, NoTubes, Ergon, Continental and Xpedo

Rotor bike components are providing the highest end cranks, powermeters, and chainrings. Riders will be racing and training with the Inpower Rex powermeter and groundbreaking, leg-saving, Qring oval chainrings.

Nutrition will be provided by Carborocket drink keeping riders hydrated with their stomach-friendly race hydration and Rehab recovery drink to keep racers strong during the longest events while Honeystinger great-tasting organic waffles, energy chews, and gel will power riders.

Ergon will be keeping riders comfortable and connected to the bike providing new innovative designs with their saddles and grips.

The team will be rolling on Continental tire rubber a proven winner with the durability to get their riders to the finish line.

Xpedo pedals will provide the platform for thousands of miles of racing from the Pearl Izumi/Pivot team this season continuing to produce some of the lightest and positive-feeling pedals on the market. Riders will be using the ti body and spindle of the Xpedo M-Force 8 ti for all their racing and training this season.

In addition to a change at title sponsor this year’s Pearl Izumi/Pivot race team is losing a longtime member and adding a new face. After 6 years on the team, east coast superstar Karen Potter is taking some time away from racing opening a spot that will be filled by 2017 National Ultra Endurance marathon series champion Jen Toops.

New Pearl Izumi/Pivot team member Jen Toops. Photo by: Jonathan Karol

Toops, from Marion, Ohio, had a phenomenal 2017 with wins at NUE events, and 3rd at the Ruta de los Conquistadors in Costa Rica. She’s excited to join one of the top ultra-endurance teams in the US and looking forward to taking another big step in her racing career.

Jen will again be tackling the NUE marathon series as well as trying her hand at some stage races including Trans-Sylvania Epic.

Toops will be joining returning team members Marlee Dixon, Jen Hanks, and Shannon Boffeli. All of whom are coming off successful seasons of their own including wins at bigtime events like Firecracker 50, Titan Tropic Stage Race Cuba, 12 Hours of Mesa Verde, and Hanks’ 3rd at the Rotor Big Race in Madrid, Spain.

Jen Hanks following the finish at the 2017 Rotor Big Race in Madrid, Spain. Photo by Jeffrey Juip

Together the Pearl Izumi/Pivot team will be conquering some of the toughest mountain bike events in the US and beyond. The team will be focusing on the National Ultra Endurance (NUE) series, Epic Rides events, and stage races including Moab Rocks, MITAS 4-Islands, in Croatia, Pisgah, Trans-Sylvania, and Breck Epic. And as always they will be publishing full reports of each event on MTBRaceNews.com. Please follow along with them as they embark on an exciting new season of mountain bike racing.