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12 Hours of Temecula - Vail Lake, CA

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |February 18, 2012 2:43 PM
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12 Hours of Temecula – Vail Lake, California

Written by: Jens Raz

The cookie jars are empty, eggnog gone, mistletoe all dried up, and the Champagne is back in the fridge… the MTB season is on!  Southern California has had some amazing weather over the past weeks and no rain since November. The excitement of the new twelve-hour race season was palatable.  Of course, the 12 Hours of Temecula did not disappoint, and the little bit of rain on race day failed to dampen the excitement -- but more on that later.

Jason Ranoa (sporting a new "fashionable” fu man shoo mustache) planned an exciting course for the race, filled with new technical nuggets and fantastic descents.  The fast and relatively short 9-mile lap by Vail Lake featured around 1,100 feet of pain and was littered with short-ish but steep climbs.  Thankfully the climbing efforts were rewarded with a fantastic and unique downhill experience.  The descents featured everything from moto-cross style whoopty doos at 25 mph and 30+ mph double-track speed descents. The delightful flowing singletrack through the "Tunnel of Love”, followed up with banked turns that made me feel like Valentino Rossi dragging knees on his Ducati motorcycle around Valencia!

Other than the omnipresent food trucks, many vendors including KHS, Trek, Scott, The Bike Shop, Nite Rider, Lights in Motion, Marzocchi, Canari Clothing, Otus attended (and probably a few more). My favorite vendor at the race was Crankbrothers (who also brought a sister) who renovated my eggbeaters to new condition in just 5 minutes!  Anyone who stuck around was entered in Southern California’s best raffle. Racers were rewarded with the chance to win a wheel set, nutrition, jerseys, race entries, lights and more. Racers who stayed around for the weekend had an opportunity to engage in a 3-race Super D event on the following day.

The six-hour racers were expected to have some of the largest groups and most exciting racing.  Both male and female categories totaled over 100 competitors combined.   

Junior racer Joel Titus part of the "SoCal Endurance” Juggernaut team dominated the 50 person-large men’s open field. Each of the top 3 competitors finished with 8 laps.

Open Male results

1.    Joel Titus – 8 laps

2.    Kyle Ireton – 8 laps

3.    Juan Nunez – 8 laps

For the women, the leading rider was none other than Scottsman Leslie Patterson who last year won not only the 50-mile Fat Tire Epic but also the Pro XTerra World Champions. She was challenged by Socal Endurance sponsored Heidi Volpe this time. Heidi had a miraculous ride being just months out from surgery.

Open Female Results

1.    Lesley Paterson – 7 laps

2.    Heidi Volpe – 6 laps

3.    Shannon Howell – 6 laps

The main event however was the twelve-hour race.  Wild speculation and rampant gossiping surrounding 24 Hour and Marathon National Champion Pua Mata’s new 5-person team before the race even started.  Pua captained her team with four high-school girls from across North America, during the 12-hour challenge. Pua’s team was also there to create support and awareness for female mountain biking.

The "ShoAir” team rode to the front with a second place overall in the five-person team category racing, which included both women and men.  Mata even managed to set the fastest lap of the day of all female competitors at 39 minutes.

1.    Sycamore Slackers – 14 laps

2.    ShoAir – 14laps

3.    Why Are we out Here in the Rain Again? – 13 laps

The fight of the day was to be with solo racers Tinker Juarez of Cannondale Factory fame, Daniel Munoz representing the SoCal Endurance Elite Mountain Bike Team and 1st time pro Chris Branson (Don’s Bicycles). TJ and Daniel had been battling most of last year with Daniel taking the overall.  

            Daniel Munoz, The Man of Steel had this to say:

            "Well, I think, from the last few 12 hour races and many training rides to prepare for them, I knew what to expect before the race, but it was just a treat that much of the expected lousy weather conditions did not happen. Turns out Tinker came prepared too and I was still a minute or so behind him one lap into the race, which I knew might be inevitable, I just wanted to stay within striking distance without blowing up early or taking too many risks. I felt good and comfortable with where I was and kept pacing how I planned, and not getting caught up in the first few laps race. Then second lap came around and on the bridges climb I had big time chain suck that ripped the protection plate up on my frame right into the way of the chain ring, so I had to listen to that the rest of lap two.  I hopped on my back up bike to let my pit crew figure out how to fix the damage. I felt good pushing my heavier rig for a couple laps then after my fourth I asked for my race bike back.  

When I got up to the top of the highest point of the climb, after the bridges, I greeted Jason (Ranoa) with a still happy to be here smile... and as I went by he said " You're winning!, Tinker cr...".... and that's all I heard... Found out details later, but figured it was either crashed or cramped. Then at the end of the lap I found my other competitor (Daniels friend Chris Branson) at the tent next to mine with his collarbone sticking out. After finding this out I pretty much just wanted to keep my plan the same, race my own race and keep it strong till the end. I did stay pretty consistent like I wanted and felt good when I finished and knew that if I were pushed, I could have pulled off another lap or two. I Thank God, mom and dad for amazing support, Sjon (my Pit Crew Guru! ), and my teammate Joel Titus, who killed it at the 6 hour race and paced me at times.

Unfortunately, two of my closest competitors did take crashes that made my day bittersweet. I don't like to win because of someone else's misfortune; I wanted to have a chance to beat Tinker outright...”

1.    Daniel Munoz (Socal Endurance Elite Mountain bike Team) – 14 laps

2.    Chris Branson (Don’s Bike) – 3 laps

3.    Tinker Juarez (Factory Cannondale) – FASTEST LAP OF THE DAY at 35 minutes – 2 laps

Sadly the epic battle between Tinker and Daniel was not to be and is pushed back until June. Much healing vibes to Chris Branson too!

12 Hour Women Solo (Expert)

1.    Amber Monforte - 10 laps

2.    Kimmi Hotchkiss - 10 laps

Men Solo (Expert)

1.    Jens Raz (MTBRaceNews.com/zaboo29) – 12 laps

2.    Tom Andres – 12 laps

3.    Michael Carmody – 12 laps

Men Solo (Singlespeed)

1.    Keith Richards-Dinger – 12 laps

2.    Rich Maines – 12 laps

3.    Michael Grosso – 10 laps

Check out Ben Jones’ first lap video!   http://youtu.be/oMbNtbtBGkI 

 

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