12 Hour of Temecula - Vail Lake, California
Written by: Jens Raz
Danny Munoz and Margaret Gregory Win the Rain Shortened 12 Hour of Temecula
It’s always sunny in California, or so one thinks. For the past couple of years racers have been blessed with a dry environment at Vail Lake. This year however a persistent fear of rain emerged the week prior to the start.
Race day did not disappoint those fear mongers when it delivered a cold morning with light rain to greet the numerous and courageous racers. Luckily the Ranoa Clan had been working on a course that seemed to be tailor made for moist to slightly wet conditions. The infamous "Damn Climb” was back in after a hiatus followed by a fast, smooth and not too technical course finishing the remaining 10 miles. The Start finish area seemed more like a carnival with KHS, Cannondale and Trek having a test ride fleet available. Niterider, Baja Designs, food vendors serving tri tip steak and burritos and the Racer’s and Chasers Support Trailer all near for the partakers.
Even with the rainy forecast a sizable field lined up. The 9 am start was held under a light rain that disappeared within the first hour. The course was dry again within another 45 minutes and produced some, if not the best trail conditions I have ever experienced. As riders thoroughly enjoyed those fast turns in hero dirt the sky opened up with heavy rains to ruin the fun around 2pm. The ground already saturated was not able to shed any more water. Due to severely deteriorating conditions and fading day-light the race director wisely chose to call the race at 4.30 pm. Even so the last biker finished shortly before 7pm.
The 6 hours edition had some of the most exciting competition of the day. With close to 40 competitors toeing the line. The top 12 all finished with 6 laps. After battling for 5+ hours, Jonathan Edwards took the win over downhill daredevil Ken(ny) Givel from Idyllwild by a mere 18 seconds!
1. Jonathan Edwards 6 laps
2. Ken Givel 6 laps
3. Joel Titus 6laps
In the 12 hour class, the Pro to beat was the current series leader and winner of the June race Danny Munoz. This Specialized rider defeated Tinker Juarez on his last outing . This weekend however, Danny’s challengers were Stephane Roche and Ryan Draper.
Danny Munoz took the Pro win with out a heavy fight, lapping his nearest competitor. His only close call came from the Navy Seal Guy McDermott (Phoenix Patriot Foundation) racing in the Expert class. Both racers finished the shortened 12 hrs with 8 laps.
1. Daniel Munoz 8 laps
2. Stephane Roche 7 laps
3. Ryan Draper 7 laps
Margaret Gregory owned the women’s pro division and took the rainy crown.
1. Margaret Gregory 5 laps
In addition to the great racing, 12hrs of Temecula also has the best support and raffle near and far. The lucky dozen or so people took home everything from custom colored Spinergy 29er wheels, multiple light systems by Niterider and Baja Design, boxes and boxes of Hammer nutrition products (not just serving size packages either), a case of wine by the local Wiens’ Winery, numerous sets of Kenda Tires, Jerseys, year long free race entries, and a bunch more! Yes, Jason and Heather Ranoa know how to bring in the rainy day sunshine with all that shwag!